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Old Jul 15, 2005, 8:08 AM   #1
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Just recently acquired my FZ20 and I'm having a blast getting many unbelievable shots. BUT I'm a total newbie with along, longway to go on the learning curve. Many of my shots are throw aways, and I can't seem to get those razor sharp images that so many of you post here.

I've more or less confined to using the presets (I've taken some wonderful pics with Portrait setting and some amazingones of the kids in the pool with Sports setting; complete with water droplets frozen in thin air).

I'm having so much fun that of course I have no time to read the manual, but I'd love to learn more about manual settings.

QUESTION: Does anyone have orknow where I can get my hands on asort of "quick start" list of manual settings for various situations?

BTW, this forum has already helped tremendously; but as usual I'm looking for more short cuts.


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Old Jul 15, 2005, 8:26 AM   #2
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Here are a few of the pool pics.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 8:27 AM   #3
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Here's another.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 8:28 AM   #4
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And a couple more that I really love.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 8:28 AM   #5
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Corcoj -

Your starting a learning curve in manual photography - there are no shortcuts that will teach you what the Z20 is capable of doing. Time, practice and more practice with a ton of "throwaways" will eventually make you achieve what you desire. You'll quickly rtealize that the throwaways become fewer and fewer.

That said, I've found two books indespensible: Understanding Exposure by Bryan _____ (can't remeber his last name) and John Shaw's Nature Photography: A Field Guide. By themselves they're great: with the Z20 and practice, practice and more practice - well, get them and see for yourself.

And to be honest - does the learning curve EVER end? I don't think so.

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Old Jul 15, 2005, 8:29 AM   #6
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Last one.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 12:32 PM   #7
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Nice shots...love the first one of the kid jumping in the pool with giving the old "Nixon" sign...lol, and the very last one was funny...the expression on the girl's face was priceless.

From what I've read...your best bet is to take 3 or 4 times as many shots as you think you will need, and just be selective. That's the fun of digital photograpy...it's cheap to take pictures, and the more you take the more chance you have of taking a priceless one.

Other hints: just try the settings (Apeture or Shutter) when you are not so worried about coming out with a great picture. Try some experiments with them. You will soon learn what works best for you.

have fun, I know I do with my Panasonic, and I'm an amateur, too.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 4:22 PM   #8
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1. Understanding Exposure is by Bryan Peterson. I've read it and also think it is a very good book.

2. What kind of post-processing did you do to the photos? I don't see any EXIF information associated with any of them.

3. High contrast pictures like the first two you are trying to take where you have a highly reflective water area and a very dark background are are some of the hardest to get right, IMO.

4. I've had pretty good luck in normal conditions using Aperture mode set to f/5.6, however if you are trying to do action shots (e.g., people jumping a pool) you might try Shutter priority and at least a shutter speed of 800.
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Old Jul 15, 2005, 7:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I've already ordered Understanding Exposure. Looking forward to reading it! I'm ready to put some work into this, but my lazy self is always looking for shortcuts.
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Old Jul 16, 2005, 4:36 PM   #10
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corcoj wrote:
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....QUESTION:* Does anyone have or*know where I can get my hands on a*sort of "quick start" list of manual settings for various situations?
You've already got some helpful suggestions, but here's my tuppence:

Visit a web page called "The Ultimate Exposure Computer". To comply with the author's request, the following link points to his home page, instead of directly linking to the page in question; the link you want is at the bottom of the page.

http://www.fredparker.com

Read this page thoroughly. Print out the two tables. (Exposure value chart, table A, and Exposure value relationship chart, table B.) Take these tables and your camera outside in the daytime and start shooting. Set the camera to Manual mode and ignore the meter; just set your exposures by the tables.

I promise you will learn something from the experience. You may or may not get any good photos, although some of my best shots were made just this way, basing exposure settings on a film data sheet. But you will have a better sense of light and the reciprocal relationship between aperture and shutter speed.
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