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Old Aug 26, 2006, 4:26 AM   #1
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Hi there. I am fairly new to digital photography, although I have been a multimedia teacher for several years.....guess I just got sick of being on the other side!

In a fit of madness and passion (is there any difference?), I splurged one Saturday afternoon and brought myself a Panasonic FZ 30. I also picked up a tripod, spare battery, 1GB SD card, and a nifty UV lense because I am paranoid about scratching my lense with sand.

Got the whole thing home and thought.........blast, I know nothing about the techniques of digital photography. I am a whizz with photoshop and fixing/modifying other people's digital photos, but I don't actually know a great deal about the skill behind taking photos.

Spent a Saturday afternoon in "auto mode" and the results were pleasing but I am yearning to do it the "hard way". My fingers are itching to hit that manual mode.

My interests lay in street photography.........people, building etc. I love B/W photography but intend to tweek that using the Grad in Photoshop rather than the actual camera settings.

Ok, enough rambling. Here are my questions............

I've brought a few magazines and researched via google everything I can lay my hands on about aperture and shutter speeds. I've taken a look at the various settings for photos I've admired on the web, but I just can't seem to reproduce the same results.

Is there a "base" line that most people begin their aparture and shutter speeds, and adjust accordingly?

I understand the theory behind the aparture and shutter speeds, but some of the photos I've admired have been taken with settings I wouldn't even think would work under normal circumstances.

I guess looking at someone else's photo's settings and actually knowing the context under which it was taken is very difficult (available light etc).

Can anyone direct me to a website or a photography gallery whichincludes the conditions and camera settings?

I've mucked around with manual mode, and then switched to auto or P and taken a look at the aparture and shutter speeds the camera has chosen to display and thought........Hmmmm that doesn't seem like it should work, but it does.

Many thanks........and I look forward to posting a few urban shots in the not-so-distant-future.

Cheers, Debs

P.S.........this is the first pic I ever took with the FZ 30.My husband was working on his laptop outside inthe garden. I just took a chance with the settings and pointed! Naturally.........it ain't a great pic but it seems to caputre his humour and expression.







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Old Aug 26, 2006, 8:03 AM   #2
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That is a nice photo...not sure you need help, at least from me.

Well I am not a fan of full manual modes as I think the camera is smarter than me but her are 2 articles that kind of helped me understand ..and I have a book by Brian Peterson..."Understanding exposure" which is pretty good.

[url=http://[url=http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understandexposure.shtml]http://
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 9:22 AM   #3
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Hello there,

Well I have had mine about 5 months now and I still havent got the hang of the manual modes so I know where you are coming from, but I still think my pictures turn out ok. I just dont seem to be able to get my head around all the ways you can and should do everything.

The auto mode on our camera is quite good I have to say. I ussually use the shutter speed mode for capturing things faster, but the F stops still confuse me a lot. You alredy seem to speak camera from what you wrote, you sound a lot more in the know than me
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 10:10 AM   #4
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This thread should help answer some of your questions, about 1/2 way down the page there is a post by JohnG that was great for helping me understand the relationship between ISO, Apeture and shutter speed.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...amp;forum_id=9

The exposure calculator at http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html might also help give you some idea of starting points.

The next bit of advice I have is to just get out and shoot A LOT and play with the different settings, then when you get home and view them look at the EXIF data and see how the different settings impact the image. That way you'll start to get an idea of how they work in the conditions you shoot under.

Good luck!

John
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 11:40 AM   #5
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The problem is for me the Pansonic FZ30 isnt really usable above 100 ISO the results I have got are nasty, and pretty worthless. So I just keep my camera set to 80 or 100 ISO and never will I go above as realy the reesults to me are not worth it.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 12:06 PM   #6
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Hi romero

Regards ISO settings - your absolutely right on keeping the ISO set to as low as possible - with my FZ10 it stays between ISO 50-100, goes to ISO 200 when I have too and very rarely if ever to ISO400 unless i really want the shot. I think if you shoot at ISO 200 you may want to convert the pic to B&W - I find that at ISO200 and B&W the pics are more than usuable and have that grainy which gives them that added quality. Your lucky that with eth FZ30 you can shoot RAW and then post process afterwards and from what I've read and seen ISO200 becomes more than usuable.

Overall, the FZ's are excellent good light cameras - the image quality (sharpness, colour and detail) just rocks but in low light you do need to work a wee bit harder.

Cheers

HarjTT

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Old Aug 26, 2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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For the most part I agree romerojpg, quality usually does drop off fast and badly above ISO 100 but the FZ30 can do decently at higher ISOs if there is enough light. This bee shot was at ISO 400, the highlights are a bit blown out but it's not as noisy as the FZ usually dose above ISO 100.

http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...gAnch=imgAnch1

Also sometimes (often) when doing wildlife shots there isn't much choice, it's either use higher ISOs or get a black photo because of low light. That's the main reason I'm looking at a D50 as a companion to the FZ30.

John
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 2:11 AM   #8
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Hi Romero,

Yep I understand what you are saying about the ISO settings. I was thinking of using the AE mode to just set the aperture settings and let the camera work out the shutter speeds. I mainly wanted to get the hang of the aperture settings so I could play around with the depth - blurring the background so I could make an interesting face stand out etc.

My biggest problem is trying to find the time to actually use the camera, and also a lack of suitable subjects. We are moving to Melbourne in January 2007, so that should present me with a wonderful array of street characters and buildings.

Happy photographing.........Cheers
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 2:12 AM   #9
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Hi Gence,

Thanks for the link.......I am grateful for all advice and help.
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 2:22 AM   #10
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Hi JohnK,

Thanks for the links, will definately check them out. I try to get out with my camera every weekend - even if it is just dwom to the local esplanade markets to capture the tourists!

One question though on street photography..........do I need to obtain permission from each person I photograph, even if it is not obvious I am taking their photo?

Being a teacher, I am fully aware of taking photos of children and would always obtain parental permission, but what about other people who are in public areas?

I was walking along the esplanade the other day and spied two dogs who were in the back of a vintage ute. The dogs were resting their heads on the side of the ute and the photo opportunity was too good to miss. I waited 25 minutes for the owner to come back so I could ask his permission to photograph his dogs. He seemed a little taken-back that I would bother waiting around to ask his permission. Needless to say, after 25 minutes the dogs had shifted position and the photo wasn't as good as it could have been if I had snapped earlier.

Just a thought............don't want to invade anyone's privacy but at the same time I don't want to miss a good photo.

Cheers
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