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Old Dec 7, 2006, 5:54 PM   #1
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Ok... I had a Kodak Easyshare camera for a year or so. I have a baby bird as an awesome subject. Anyway, this camera convinced me I actually knew how to take pics! Ha!

By the way, nice to meet everyone, lord have mercy, I have sold my camera and 'moved up' to the Fuji 9000. Now, I cant take a picture for love or money.

You can see what I have done so far at:

http://s117.photobucket.com/albums/o69/littlecherokee/

My camera phone pics start at the eye ball. I am acheiving better pics with it! The pics before the eye are with my 9000.

sidenote: My flag represents pride not hate. Im not white myself, native american. Therefore, I can not and am not prejudice. I just want to make that clear as some flags project images that arent so.

Any and all help would be So appreciated. I am most interesting in getting good close-ups:

- Inside a fairly dark house using indoor lighting

- Outside in the bright sun as I live in Florida. (I have a lens cover for that)?

- Outside without sun.

Also, my main problem is focus. My focus blows. I know this camera has awesome potential and I have done all I can to improve before bugging others. I just cant seem to get it right.

Im feeling over-whelmed to the point I want my ol point and shoot back. That makes me feel quilty because this was my b-day present !

Thanks ya'll. Nice to be around other shutterbugs !!

Oh! And lastly... did I even get a good camera? For going from point and shoot to semi-pro?

Thanks!


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Old Dec 7, 2006, 7:13 PM   #2
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mikaela,

To answer your last question first, you got a good camera. However, there is a learning curve to getting the most out of this camera.

"My focus blows."

Not really, actually your real problem seems to be camera shake due to slow shutter speeds. Let's look at an example of what I mean... let's use SouthernBoy 0166... Your camera was trying to tell you something here - it was giving you a blur warning. That was because your shutter speed was down to 1/4 second - way too slow to effectively hand-hold. The auto focus was fine - you moved the camera when you pressed the shutter release. There are two things you could have done...one would be to use a tripod. That will hold the camera steady in low light situations. The other would be to raise the ISO to 800 or 1600 (your camera selected ISO 400 for this shot). That will bring your shutter speed up, minimizing the effect of camera movement. Read your manual regarding aperture priority, shutter priority and available light shooting.

Now let's consider SouthernBoy 0177... you had the camera in Macro...the focus was good...once again, you had excessive camera movement, due to a slow shutter speed (1/4 second again). Once again, your camera warned you with a Blur Warning. When you see that in your viewfinder, you need to take some action. Once again, consult your manual. That would have been a great shot, had it come out un-blurred.

Try playing around with higher shutter speeds, and see how that works. Take a couple more pics and post the results here.

Good luck.

the Hun

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Old Dec 7, 2006, 8:46 PM   #3
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Thank you!

I went back and read my manual more and more while I was waiting for replies and took more shots.

Its going to take just that, I suppose... a lot of practice and helpful advice.

Now, I am going in to set it to how you recommended! We will see what we get tomorrow !!

[EDIT]

Wow! I changed the ISO to 1600, the max and started using the pop up flash and MUCH better results. I kiss you until your face hurts! lol

Only problem I am seeing is the pics look grainy? Is ISO what effects that? Should I go to 800 and see if the grain is better? Tell me what ya think!? The pics on the settings you gave me certainly turned out better results.

Go check them out... dog me... tell me what I did right AND wrong. I can take it! I just want to learn. Nothing is cooler to me than freezing time. Because, after all, time is relative... a man-made concept. Nature has no clock, nor should we if we lived as intended. But that a whole new ball game.

My album is in that previous post! Hope you see *some* improvement!! Im so happy! I might actually, with ya'lls help, take pretty good pics again. Lord willing and the creek dont rise.

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 7:52 AM   #4
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The graininess is actually called "noise," and it comes from the camera having to amplify the signal from the sensor more at a higher ISO. As JimC can explain better than I can, I'll just give you a fairly simple explanation: A sensor is made up of "photosites," each of which is responsible for one pixel of your picture. They react to light (photons) hitting them; they produce a signal in proportion to how many photons hit them. In daylight or if you're using flash, you will have a lot of light available to go through the lens and hit the sensor, so the camera won't have to amplify the output of each photosite very much to get a decent picture.

In any electronic circuit, there is going to be a small amount of random "noise." It's a little like static when you listen to a radio. If you're listening to a nearby station, you don't have to turn the radio up very much to hear the music or voice very nicely. If the station is faint, though, you might have to turn the radio up quite a bit; when you do, the signal gets louder but so does the static.

To put it another way, the strong, nearby station has a better "signal to noise ratio" than the faint, distant one. If the signal is faint enough, the noise might be almost as strong as the signal.

It works similarly with your camera. The less light you have, the more the camera has to amplify the signal from each photosite to get anything usable, and just like with the radio, the "noise" gets amplified too. On the radio, you hear hiss and crackle. In the picture, you see random speckles of wrong color or wrong brightness all over the place. It's the visual equivalent of static.
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 8:00 AM   #5
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Way to go, Mikaela! I see a lot of improvement already...and, my face never felt so good!

The grain you're seeing is the result of using higher ISO. The higher the ISO, the worse the grain will appear. Now, if you are going to use the flash, you don't need to raise the ISO - the camera will adjust the duration of the flash to compensate. Try keeping the ISO as low as possible when using the flash...the result will be cleaner pics - no grain.

When you want to take pics without the flash, that's when you need to jack up the ISO, because that will permit a faster shutter speed. The exception would be, if you are taking a picture of a stationary object, and you have the camera on a tripod, you can use a low ISO and a long shutter speed, because the tripod will prevent camera movement, thereby producing a sharp image. Experiment with identical shots, one hand held, and the other in a tripod. If you don't have a tripod, rest the camera on a solid object, such as a table, and use the camera self timer to avoid moving it. Compare the results. This won't work if you're taking a shot of your friend, because if he moves during the longer exposure, the pic will be blurred.

Half the fun of photography is learning how to produce the best images in varying conditions. You are already on your way to becoming a good photographer, Mikaela...half the battle is interest and desire. Keep up the good work.

the Hun

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 8:31 AM   #6
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Thanks so much!

Ok, I am going to bring my ISO down a notch, jack my light up and see what I get.

I actually have a tripod (Im really into this with all of my heart). Do ya'll think I should start there?

Gimme a project! A direction! An assignment? Then, I'll know what Im shooting for. And at. haha. Imma dork. :lol:

Should my assignment be:

I still of a flower in a pot?

A moving fish in a tank (HARD)

A moving birdie?

Something of ya'lls choosing

And... with or without a tripod?

Tripods sure are awkward... thats for sure.

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 11:26 AM   #7
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OK, mikaela...your assignment...should you choose to accept it...is as follows...

Place a favorite object (preferably one with some pretty colors) on a table. Place a second object next to and slightly behind the first object (about 10" behind). Put your S9000 on the tripod, and take a flash pic, with everything set on auto. Focus on the closest object, but make sure you can also see the other object in the frame, and fire away. Now put the camera in aperture priority, and open up the aperture all the way (I believe that would be F2.8 on your camera), and take a shot. Now close the aperture all the way (F8 - F9?), and take another shot. Now shut the flash off and repeat all three shots...one on auto, one at F2.8 and one at F8, or whatever the highest number is. Tell me what you've learned from this assignment.

By the way, your pic, Babypractice0012 was very, very good. I think if you had lowered the ISO down to 200 or so, it would have been even better.

Hey Mikaela...you fish off that boat?

the Hun

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 1:38 PM   #8
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I sure do or I'd have me a girlie boat! With leather seats and a loud stereo hehe. A Stingray perhaps. But with that flats boat, I can get back in all kinds of places.

Good for privacy and awfully good for fishin'!

I accept the assignment but if a death ray shoots out of this thing!

Already has green lights coming out of it, acting like alien shit and grinding... lord have mercy! But I will be brave.

Do you need talent to be a photograher? And if so, do you see any? Im reaching so hard for something thats so abstract... but I keep reaching!
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 2:15 PM   #9
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A death ray would be unusual, but far from impossible, so maintain a discreet distance. How far can you run in 10 seconds?

Photography takes no talent (anyone can snap a pic)...unless you want to be a good photographer - then it helps a lot to have talent. I can see some talent brewing in your latest round of pics...I think you're gonna make it. Look at your subject before you take a picture...what do you see? Try to capture what you see...what you feel. Use your imagination...turn it loose.

I hate girly boats. Take some pics of those back creeks...looks beautiful!

the Hun

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 2:44 PM   #10
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I have tons of Great! pics of Florida and all the places I boat... taken with my easyshare... which is boxed up right here on my desk.

I look over at it and sigh... knowing Im doing the right thing. I'll always remember that camera as the one that made me fall in love.

Wish I could afford to keep both. But, if I did that, I would revert to the point and shoot.

Or would I?

Do ya'll have a nicer camera... such as the S9000 and a more simple one like the Kodak EasyShare? I have been thinking... do I want to take this S9000 to the beach? Uhm. No.

Im use to giving up to move up... do I have to this time? Should I?

As any good photographer would do HA! I got my cam on the tripod and my assignment all set up... I was ready and anxious! Then my cam went night-night grrr. BATTERIES! So, they are charging and note to self: Need two sets of batteries. I feel like Im waiting on the drug man to get here so I can get my fix. IM ADDICTED!

You can hit me up at carrollwoodmom on yahoo. You yoda... I mere student.



This is the island I go to. It just sits out there, bigger at low tide. Best kept secret in Tampa!

The pics you want to see though (I believe) are of the ones I take when I fish the Hillsborough River. Its in my back yard so I have to boat down it to get into the ocean. So beautiful. Im native american so I always enjoy that part of the trip a lot. Mose trees, aligators, so many birds and other wild life.

It reminds me I blessed by my Mother Earth and so loved by my Father God everytime they send me a gator, dolphin, stingray... anything like that to watch.

And Im always sent something that spends a good deal of time with me. Last trip out was a sting ray. Where I went, he went. Amazing. So, maybe my calling is to be a wildlife photographer?

Many 'stumble' onto their true callings and leave their 'jobs'. Nothing is impossible. All I know if I always find an animal and it will stay with me until I have to go. That in and of itself is a blessing as a shutterbug.
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