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Old Apr 5, 2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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I have a lot to learn. Would you recommend a field guide to the D90? I was thinking of buying David Busch's Nikon D90 or the Dummies for D90.
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Old Apr 5, 2011, 4:54 PM   #12
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I have a lot to learn. Would you recommend a field guide to the D90? I was thinking of buying David Busch's Nikon D90 or the Dummies for D90.
I canít recommend any books because I donít know any, and also the matching of an instructional book to a reader is a very subjective thing...every book out there has lovers and haters. I personally think that the often-recommended book by Brian Peterson, Understand Exposure, is trash. Do you have a Barnes & Noble nearby? Maybe you can review these books.

Before you learn to play an instrument, itís usually beneficial to learn how to read music first. In the same way, Iíve always believed that before you learn how to use a camera, you should learn exposure first. Unfortunately Iíve yet to find a tutorial on exposure that I consider ďgood.Ē All the tutorials Iíve seen want you to switch to manual mode and to start taking pictures using aperture and shutter to ďcontrolĒ exposure. But not only does that not teach you exposure, youíre not even controlling exposure. Controlling exposure comes from knowledge...not what mode youíre in.

In the days before digital, you learned exposure like you learned to walk...you start out shaky, practice a lot, and one day youíre just doing it without even thinking about it. Thatís how exposure should be. You should be able to walk up to a scene and recognize how to use the elements of that scene to set exposure perfectly. Proper exposure should always be the least of your concerns. But now, no one knows what an Exposure Value is and no one knows what APEX means. In todayís world of Matrix/Evaluative metering, histograms, and instant review, no one seems interested in learning the finer points of exposure.

Both the books you mentioned seem to jump right into the camera. So from my point of view thatís like trying to learn the piano without knowing how to read music...youíll learn how to read music just enough to play your lesson, and thatís all. Thatís what you get on exposure from books like that...theyíll say, ďReview your image and use your Exposure Compensation to brighten or darken as neededĒ...and never explaining why the image should need adjusting in the first place. And then you end up in a forum asking why your pictures came out wrong.

How did your pictures come out? From your last post Iím guessing you had some red-eye maybe? Most editing programs can get rid of that. Even ViewNX has a function to remove red-eye. Red-eye comes from the flash being so close to the axis of the lens. You get light bounced back from inside the eyeball.
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Old Apr 5, 2011, 6:42 PM   #13
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This makes sense. I have to learn my ABC's before I can read. I am taking a basic photography class this summer at the local community college. We are to use a film camera w/ changeable settings. So hopefully I can pick up some "skills" here. I guess I was hoping to get a jump start on things. Especially w/ this great new dslr I got.

You have been a great resource in getting me through this occasion. Thank you.

As far as my pics from the event?? I got a few good ones. Nice focus on person w/ blurry background. Color not so bad. Yes, I got some red eye and some glowing eyes??? There is a picture of my daughter in a white bridal gown standing in the girls locker room against a white wall. It seems to have a lot of grain to it. I had the 70mm lense on. So, I had to stand back as far as I could to frame her. Maybe this had something to do w/ it. Some of the runway shots are not in sharp focus. I think I rushed it. I can't wait to practice some more.

I will have to check out the editing next. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old Apr 5, 2011, 10:12 PM   #14
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This makes sense. I have to learn my ABC's before I can read. I am taking a basic photography class this summer at the local community college. We are to use a film camera w/ changeable settings. So hopefully I can pick up some "skills" here. I guess I was hoping to get a jump start on things. Especially w/ this great new dslr I got..
Nothing wrong with getting a jump on things...but "film camera"? Really?? That's a waste of time. I hope you donít have to supply your own. A film based class isnít going to teach you anything about white balance, which is a necessary skill. A film based class wonít treat ISO as a fluid exposure parameter, which can be done in digital. Also film, just by itself, requires its own skillset. So on top of photography knowledge you also have to have film knowledge to work properly with film. And film knowledge is pretty much 100% useless to digital photography. Iíd say find another class that works with digital cameras, otherwise youíll end up learning useless information, and NOT learning information you really need.


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As far as my pics from the event?? I got a few good ones. Nice focus on person w/ blurry background. Color not so bad. Yes, I got some red eye and some glowing eyes??? There is a picture of my daughter in a white bridal gown standing in the girls locker room against a white wall. It seems to have a lot of grain to it. I had the 70mm lense on. So, I had to stand back as far as I could to frame her. Maybe this had something to do w/ it. Some of the runway shots are not in sharp focus. I think I rushed it. I can't wait to practice some more.
There are probably two main reasons for the blur...first, you were shooting with the aperture wide open. That lens is sharpest somewhere between f/8 and f/11. Thatís okay though...you had no choice because of your flash limitation...you did what you had to do. Second, the D90 isnít really a sports camera, so maintaining sharp focus while a person is moving toward you is not the cameraís strong point. Your camera was in AF-A mode, which means that it must get a focus-lock before the shutter is released. While youíve got the shutter half-pressed, if the camera detects motion from the subject it will then switch to AF-C and continuously adjust the focus. AF-C works okay...but not great. Like I said, itís not a sports camera. Your natural timing may just be at odds with what the camera was trying to do. What you should be doing is fully pressing the shutter as soon as the camera locked, or immediately after you feel or hear it refocus. But itís possible that the moment in which you were naturally pressing the shutter just happened to be in between the cameraís focusing attempts. Itís no big deal...you simply have to go out and practice with the camera to get a feel of when it tries to refocus. You have to become one with the camera
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 7:54 AM   #15
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I thought the class seemed a out dated too. However, it is a prerequisite to the other courses they offer. Do you have anyother suggestion on where I can get started?

You really know your stuff!
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