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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default Precarious Places

I took my family to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, which is located about 5 hours from Albuquerque, NM, near a town called Silver City, NM. The monument was created by Theodore Roosevelt to protect these cliff dwellings and other cultural artifacts of the Mogollon people, who built and inhabited the cliff dwellings in the monument. To give you an idea of how old the dwellings are, the inhabitants abandoned them about 800 years ago. The wood in the roofs is original, which is pretty cool. I have seen other adobe structures from the same period in Utah where you could see the imprints of the builder's hands in the mud from hundreds of years ago. It really makes you feel small.

At any rate, this is a good representation of how hard family vacation photos can be to take, regardless of the camera. The Gila is higher than Denver, and over a mile high in elevation, which means that there is less atmosphere and really REALLY bright sun. Many of the photos are overblown, but there really was very little that I could do about it, especially given the harsh shadows and dark places in the caves. These are all straight out of the camera, so take them all with a grain of salt

http://picasaweb.google.com/gcmehoja...lMonument2010#
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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given the tough contrast of the conditions, i think they turned out quite well. and you have some very nice family memories captured, so i think you succeeded.

the ladder shot is my favorite!
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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Your pictures remind me why we carry cameras. I enjoyed the slide show very much. Thanks for sharing with us.

Jack
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 8:17 AM   #4
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Nice shots. It looks like everyone was having a great time.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 8:25 AM   #5
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Very nice vacation shots. Thanks for sharing.
In this environment, did you find yourself fiddling with settings at all or did you just keep the camera in program mode or IA and let it do its thing?

It's great to have the flexibility to do either, but sometimes true P&S mode is just what is needed.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 8:53 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone,

I left it in P mode the entire time, but did reduce the exposure to neutral, and put AWB on rather than trying to figure it out given the dark places and light places. I also used force flash for some of the photos.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 8:57 AM   #7
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That seems to be the way I have mine set most of the time.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Greg-2/Yukon Jack-

All in all you recorded the trip quite well. In situations of high altitude, high contrast, and bright sun. I always just go to Exposure Compensation and crank in at least EV-0.3 to reduce the clipped or blown highlights.

You were very correct in using the "P" for Programed Auto Mode and staying with Auto White Balance. As a general rule, the FZ-35 produces better image quality in the P Mode, rather than using the IA Mode. IA works well from dusk into night, and that is a good time to use it.

After reading your post, it was a pleasant surprise to find your photos somewhat over exposed, but certainly not totally blow out. Nicely done you made the best of the situation, Greg.

Sarah Joyce
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