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Old Nov 28, 2006, 12:22 AM   #11
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Here's the other photo:
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 11:10 AM   #12
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Curtis,

I am ok with reading all of your message. You explained it very well. I too am very excited about getting good at this. I have been on the developing side for 11 years and it has become a passion.

My camera flashes 5.6 when I am shooting so I am guessing it's set right.

I'd like to attachsome test shots that I recently took while trying to get my poorly made lighting kit to work right. Bare with me. I will need to read how to do it since not only am I new to up and coming professional photography but also this forum. Please give me your HONEST thoughts once I get them on here. I am doing a shoot for my son's preschool on Dec. 15th so I really need to get the Christmas ones right.

Thanks


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Old Nov 28, 2006, 2:33 PM   #13
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That first photo I obviously had the lighting set too high and too close. It was shot in jpeg with no edits.

This next one was shot in raw and converted with no edits. I also used a softening filter.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 2:34 PM   #14
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This next one was shot in raw w/ density edits and the softening filter.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 2:36 PM   #15
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Lastly, since I had just about given up on the Christmas scene, this last photo was shot in raw/converted w/ contrast and density edits w/ the softening filter.

Please let me know your thoughts. I know I have a ways to go before I master it.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 6:44 PM   #16
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What sort of lights did you use with the Christmas scene and with the lady with child?

The first Christmas scene looked way over exposed for the white portions. You could either increase your shutter speed or make your aperture smaller (bigger f-stop number). In fact, using a smaller aperture might make more sense because you have several objects in the scene that are towards tha camera and away from the camera. Unless you wanted to blur out some things on purpose, I suppose. Then again, you have really white things in the picture mixed with colorful things. Getting a proper exposure on that seems like a challenge.

The other pictures seem to be better exposed for sure.

The pregnant lady's photo looks a little flat, I think because you can't see any shadows. If you had some nice soft shadowing, I think it would go along with the whole pregnant woman theme. That's something I think I'll be working on soon since my wife and I are expecting our first baby this summer.

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Old Nov 28, 2006, 7:24 PM   #17
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The lighting in the Christmas picture were the two strobes (one fired) and the slave that didn't work.

I understand the aperture now but need to figure out how to adjust it in my camera.

Since I sent that lighting kit back I am considering just getting a flash for now to get me by. Please let me know what you think of the following flash kit. http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Speedlit...F8&s=photo

The Christmas shoot will be set up in a room under flouresants but probably much brighter than what I have in my garage.

The pregnant lady (me) was taken with just the stock flash and the strobes without fire. Congrats to you. There's nothing else like being a parent.

I downloaded the software you suggested and really like it. I edited one of my Christmas pictures (below) and got much better color although I know it still needs work. I was trying to blur out the tree in the muslin since it's branches are not very well blended. I went with a much cheaper one than I should have.

Boy, am I learning that with photography you get what you pay for.


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Old Nov 28, 2006, 8:55 PM   #18
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Hehe, yeah, it seems that in photography the sky's the limit with what you can spend and the quality you can achieve.

But, it's like most things that require equipment, there seems to be a diminishing returns with it. You can get a point and shoot camera for pretty cheap, but you aren't going to have as much freedom to explore as you are with a digital SLR. The Canon Rebels are just the entry-level prosumer models, but it seems they are a good fit for people who want to go beyond the point and shoot with the hobby. The Rebel costs about $800-$900 and you could spend over $3,000 for the pro Canons, but at our skill level, what does that really get you. The camera doesn't make you a good photographer, it just allows you to become one, I suppose.

As far as the flash kit goes, I don't have any experience with those types of camera mounted flashes. I don't even have one. I have a this set up with some extras (like a softbox, boom arm, heavy duty stand): http://www.alienbees.com/digi.html

And do you know how to set your camera's white balance? Look it up in your manual. You might get better shots if you make sure that the white balance on the camera is set to the lighting you are using (in this case, flourescents).

If you are shooting without using off-camera strobes, dial that dial on top of your camera to "AV" mode. Then, look through your viewfinder and press the shutter button halfway down. You should see the little display inside. When you do, roll that knobby wheel right in front of the shutter button and you'll see a number changing in your viewfinder. That's your aperture setting. In full manual mode ("M" on the dial), you have to simultaneously push a button on the back of the camera while rotating the wheel. Check your manual. In fact, be sure to just sit down and read your manual through with your camera. You will learn tons about how your camera works that way.

Is that picture of you recent? Here are some nice pregnancy photos: http://www.linnealenkus.com/pregnancy1.html

Oh, and one more thing about strobe lighting that I have learned as a newbie. It has a lot to do with how you place those lights. Also, think in terms of using reflectors and stuff. You can go down to the art supply store or even the Office Depot and buy some white foamcore boards to use as reflectors. There are lots of resources on the web that can give you basic pointers on how to light shots for portraits or products or whatever.

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