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00bolt Apr 29, 2006 9:50 AM

this afternoon my wife and I are taking the kids to the Botanical Gardens in Ft. Worth, Texas. Its a huge place with a japanese garden, rose garden, all kinds of VERY nice senery... anyway, I just bought a Canon S2-IS yesterday and basically dont know much about taking pictures at all, this will really be my first attepts to do anything other than regular snapshots... this is my first "real" camera...

anyone have any suggestions? really all i know is the AUTO mode, would love to surprise the wife with some awesome pictures!


slipe Apr 29, 2006 11:30 AM

Take lots of pictures – they are free now. Don't think in film terms. Shoot mostly in auto with maybe some experiments with spot metering.

Turn the flash on for outdoor photos of people. You don't want them squinting facing the sun and you don't want harsh shadows or dark faces.

If you want to take photos of things in the shade with brighter areas in the scene use spot metering and pre-meter on your target by aiming directly at the target and holding the shutter halfway. While holding the shutter recompose and shoot. Don't forget to put the camera back on matrix metering.

Portrait type shots of people look best at 2-4X zoom.

If you get pictures that aren't good and you don't understand why, post them on the critiques and techniques forum without stripping the EXIF when you downsize.

00bolt Apr 29, 2006 11:44 AM

what do you mean by metering?

dashboardgyno Apr 29, 2006 4:44 PM


VTphotog Apr 30, 2006 7:34 AM

00bolt wrote:

what do you mean by metering?
This is how the camera determines what to set the shutter speed and aperture values to. There are a couple basic modes. One is matrix, which is usually the default mode. Camera measures light at several different areas of the scene, and sets exposure to get most or all of the picture so it is not too dark or too light. Spot metering looks at just one small area and sets exposure for that. You would use spot metering (for example) when you are taking a picture of a person with a very bright background. Spot metering on the person's face will get proper exposure of the person, but leave the background washed out. In this instance, if you want to get good exposure of the backround as well, you probably need to use your flash to fill in the shadows on the persons's face.

Most camera manuals have a lot of information about basic photography as well as how to use the camera. Spending some time reading and trying the various techniques will be time well spent. May even become an obsession.:-)


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