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Old Dec 30, 2004, 10:28 PM   #1
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In the short time I have been a member of this forum, I have seen some exceptional photography from other members. If you could share the top three tips or tricks you have learned using your beloved Panasonic, what would they be? Little things you have learned that may be out of the ordinary would be especially appreciated. I'm sure there are lots of novices (like me) who would love to see "your top three" Thanks in advance!javascript:emoticon(':idea:', 'images/emoticons/speechless-smiley-021.gif')
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 9:47 AM   #2
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I'm no expert, but the three top things I have learned in almost 40 years in this hobby are:

1) Take LOT'S of pictures...I mean, tons of them, then take some more.

2) Keep the ones you like, really like, or your friends like.

3) Discard or delete the rest.

Works for me, your actual mileage may vary...

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Old Dec 31, 2004, 12:18 PM   #3
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Certainly not an "expert" but...

For general outdoors...

1. Lowest ISO

2. Aim for F4 to F5.6 (sweet spot for lens...), control with shutter speed, aperture priority, and/or ND filters.
...avoid extremes in apertures if you can... f2.8 and f8.

3. Use the lenshood outdoors, always.

4. Use a tripod whenever possible

5. Avoid widest focal length... zoom up just a tad to 50mm (in 35mm terms). Don't use camera's shortest focal length as its default when not zooming...That is, remember to zoom up a bit to avoid barrel distortion.

6. Use exposure bracketing to downstop by 1/3.

Indoors General

1. For indoor candids, no flash... exhale, lock elbows, use the 2 second self-timer... shutter speed priority no lower than 1/25 - 1/30 ISO as low as possible, no higher than 200.

2. Get a flash, learn how to use it. Learn how to bounce it.

3. Don't be afraid of iso 400. Film had grain, digitals have noise... people WAY overreact to it, and hyperfocus on it. It's not a big deal - especially in prints.


1. Get a good image editor, learn how to use it... auto adjust levels...

2. Learn how to use the unsharpen mask

3. Get noise removal software, learn how to use it.

For FZ-1 and FZ-3 owners research and learn how to use interpolation to boost pixel density for larger prints, without sacrificing detail or sharpness.

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Old Dec 31, 2004, 12:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. Very helpful.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 12:43 PM   #5
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Now this is what I'm talking about - keep 'em coming!
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 1:21 PM   #6
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1. Learn how to focus... Practice... Practice... Practice...

2. Learn aperture, shutter, dof... Practice... Practice... Practice...

3. Be at the right place at the right time to capture the moment... Practice... Practice... Practice...

Repeat steps 1 thu 3.

And did I mention... Practice... Practice... Practice...

It's good to learn image editing, but better to learn to get great "OUT OF THE CAMERA" shot first.

Practice in as many different environments as you can... Indoor, outdoor, night, scapes, low light, bright light, etc...

Small birds are good practice, as they teach you how to focus quickly, expose quickly, and get the shot off quickly.

And keep practicing.

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Old Dec 31, 2004, 1:53 PM   #7
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Hey guys, thanks for the greattips. I'm still new to all this but one thing I've learned so far is that if you're shooting people, especially kids, its a good idea to shoot in burst mode if possible. Ususally by the time my daughter gets that "perfect pose" I'm too late firing the shutter. With burst, you can hold down and let the pose come to you! This is all I got at the moment and I'm sure I've read it somewhere on the forums before.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 4:48 PM   #8
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When using the polarizer (filter) always set camera to manual, otherwise you won't see the changes as you rotate the ring (the auto features will compensate).

I constantly have trouble with skin tones when using the flash indoors, but this improves when using the sunpack 383. Also, just tried it last night, is upping all the adjustments to high in picture adjustment in the menu (contrast, saturation and sharpness -- I leave the noise reduction at normal) I did this for the indoor pictures with my flash and it looked really good, but I haven't printed it, and I only took a few shots, so you will definitely want to play with it.

With action shots, outdoors, learn how to pan and you can use a lower shutter speed (lower ISO) and it blurs the background, as well which shows the motion of the shot. Someone posted a pic a long time back of a race car going around a track and it looked great b/c everyhthing around the race car was blurry but you could tell that it was on a racetrack. I think there was also a pic of a cyclist racing.

And finally (for my 15 minutes of wisdom) learn how to find the subject, don't be scared to zoom, heck knows we FZ owners have a lot of that, we're like the pornstars of the zoom cameras. You can always take a wider shot and play with the cropping in an imaging program. You can learn a lot from the shooters here (tchuanye, Bobc, Nick, Willow, smac and others-sorry if I forgot someone, just doing this off of the top of my head - plus I am working on New year's eve:sad. Ask yourself, "what is it that I want to show? How can the objects/people in the background/foreground enhance my point/subject?" Things like this really help. Because if a photo critic looks at your shot, the first thing they say to themselves is, "What is the photographer trying to say with this photograph". good luck!

Happy New Years, all!:G
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 7:46 PM   #9
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I tried last night with this post, but can't really think of anything. I only shoot manual everything, so give me a few hours and I'll think hard about it........aww man that hurts. :-)

See ya soon, got a great brand by the way (NZ). Read your bio up there. A pleausre to meet you and that Kiwi :-)

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Old Jan 1, 2005, 3:13 PM   #10
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Great idea for an item, nznhut. Here are my three 'tips' (not very original Im afraid):
  1. I always shoot in manual focus mode and in spot mode. This makes it possible for me to control 'white balance'-- the focus does not change when I make a decisionwhere to point my 'spot'so that the camerawill determine WB.
  2. Itry to point the 'spot' on the brightest area in the scene. This way I avoid the danger of 'burning' the brighter parts, while I can usuallylighten the shadows in post processing (especially now with PS-CE). I found out that I do not have time to use the information on the histogram for that purpose when I am out to take a picture.
  3. When I do manual focusing, I choose the sharpest point to focus on as a 'third dimension' -- to help in determining what is important in the picture (similar to composing and cropping).
Hope that hellps!

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