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Discussion Starter #1
So a months ago, my girlfriend's brother purchased a Canon Rebel XTI camera. It was one of those professional looking cameras, so we all assumed every picture would come out looking "picture perfect" or at least "fabulous". Unfortunately, it was too complex to use and the camera than sat around for a few months. A week ago, my girlfriend looked at the camera and tried to take some pictures herself. Once again, epic failure. Then she bet that I could not use the camera since it was so complex. I took her bet and started to read.

Please leave your comments to give me some pointers or to give me confidence-booster. And remember, I've barely had the camera for like a week.









Here's some of my friend's Lexus IS.







 

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Not bad. Looks like you have some good composition on all but the last shot. The black element gets a little lost in the shadows.

With these SLRs I found it easier to learn if you don't mind experimenting. Just keep finding stuff to shoot and keep track of what you're trying. If I'm not 100% sure and I need the shot to come out right, I use the auto mode.
 

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Whats that shade thing inside the element and IS?
 

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Not bad. Looks like you have some good composition on all but the last shot. The black element gets a little lost in the shadows.

With these SLRs I found it easier to learn if you don't mind experimenting. Just keep finding stuff to shoot and keep track of what you're trying. If I'm not 100% sure and I need the shot to come out right, I use the auto mode.
i tried the auto mode, but it the pictures came out too dark. I left it on the M mode and only adjusted the shutter speed mainly. The aperture was adjusted a little bit too. But as for now, I got a long way to go. I'll keep experimenting like you said. Thanks
 

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DSLRs are horrible point and shoot cameras. Photography with limited lighting is very difficult, and I would almost always recommend the use of a tripod. My best advice would be to buy books off amazon.com for your camera in particular and read read read, then its all trial and error from there. Try taking pictures in the daylight and work from there. If you have real love for photography, youll have patience. Photography is ALL about patience. The XTI is a great camera, but now is old technology with the release of the XSI. Good luck.
 

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DSLRs are horrible point and shoot cameras. Photography with limited lighting is very difficult, and I would almost always recommend the use of a tripod. My best advice would be to buy books off amazon.com for your camera in particular and read read read, then its all trial and error from there. Try taking pictures in the daylight and work from there. If you have real love for photography, youll have patience. Photography is ALL about patience. The XTI is a great camera, but now is old technology with the release of the XSI. Good luck.
He gave me a tri-pod with the camera and I didn't spend a penny to get this camera. I'm pretty sure the new XSI must be an AWESOME piece of technology, but until I learn how to use this older one, the new would be useless to me. As for daytime pictures, I love the outcome, but its been really hot and muggy lately. I'll get on it. Thanks for your info
 

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i tried the auto mode, but it the pictures came out too dark. I left it on the M mode and only adjusted the shutter speed mainly. The aperture was adjusted a little bit too. But as for now, I got a long way to go. I'll keep experimenting like you said. Thanks
You just have to be smarter than your meter. The meter on your SLR has one job and it does it well. When you point your camera at something and push the button half way, it determines a shutter/aperture value to turn the object middle grey. Point it at something black and the meter gives you a reading to make it grey. Point it at something white and it gives you a reading to make it grey. What you have to do it set your meter to the smallest metering setting, like spot or partial metering, then find something that is grey and is also in the same lighting (and preferably the same angle) as your subject and take a meter reading from that.

You should purchase an 8.5 x 11 plastic 18%(middle grey) grey card from B&H or Amazon. Take it along with you when you shoot and take all of your meter readings from the card. After a while you will get a feel for what is middle grey and eventually, you won’t need it anymore. For the shots you took, the cement looks a little light but you could compensate maybe a ½ stop for it.

You don’t really need books. Photography is an exact science with a dash of math. If you can multiply and divide by two, you are half way there already. With the fully manual camera you have, you should never have to wonder if your picture will come out or not.

Good luck!!
 

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Take pictures of everything. Eventually you'll figure your way around the camera; and looking back at old photos you'll realize how much improvement you've made.
I've had the XTI for about year now and just love it. I also have an Olympus E 500. My photos will never be perfect as I've got vision issues. however as long as I'm enjoying myself thats all that matters!

Happy shooting!
D
 

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DSLRs are horrible point and shoot cameras. Photography with limited lighting is very difficult, and I would almost always recommend the use of a tripod. My best advice would be to buy books off amazon.com for your camera in particular and read read read, then its all trial and error from there. Try taking pictures in the daylight and work from there. If you have real love for photography, youll have patience. Photography is ALL about patience. The XTI is a great camera, but now is old technology with the release of the XSI. Good luck.
Umm... I've gotten good results with my DSLR in auto mode. I've gotten much better results using one of the programed modes. I prefer one of the priority modes (Shutter or Apature) but, unless the subject is not moving, rarely have the time to get them set just right.

i tried the auto mode, but it the pictures came out too dark.
At night that'll happen. If your shots are coming out too dark durning the day, try adjusting the Ev? compensation. It might have gotten set in the way wrong position.

Night shots are hard to get the light meter to see what you want and may over/under compensate in auto.

I'd definately get some books. I'd recommend some books that show you how to deal with different lighting situations. You don't need one specific to your camera, you said you have the manual. That manual will tell you where the knobs and buttons are to set everything. A good book will tell you what you need to work with the lighting and camera you have. (That does not apply to the PS crowd unless you have modes like shutter priority, aprature priority and manual.)

Another thing you will find is that the lens matters. There are some Web sites you can go to to rent lenses. When your just starting to learn and you're thinking about purchasing a new lens, it's much better to rent one first to see if you're going to like the way it works.
 

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Nice pic's, was wondering if you can come over and get my E to look that shiney ?
 

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Nice work!
Don't forget, you can structure the photo the way you want by choosing an unusual position to take the pic from. A buddy of mine only take car photos from high (20+ feet) platforms or with the camera nearly on the ground. Change the composition and you change the whole focus of what you're photographing.
Another trick is to use a mister (little spray bottle), spray the subject item first (anything transparent, you don't spray, windows, etc) see how you like the effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice work!
Don't forget, you can structure the photo the way you want by choosing an unusual position to take the pic from. A buddy of mine only take car photos from high (20+ feet) platforms or with the camera nearly on the ground. Change the composition and you change the whole focus of what you're photographing.
Another trick is to use a mister (little spray bottle), spray the subject item first (anything transparent, you don't spray, windows, etc) see how you like the effect.
does your buddy have any pictures online? 20+ and ground shots sound interesting
 

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Umm... I've gotten good results with my DSLR in auto mode. I've gotten much better results using one of the programed modes. I prefer one of the priority modes (Shutter or Apature) but, unless the subject is not moving, rarely have the time to get them set just right.



At night that'll happen. If your shots are coming out too dark durning the day, try adjusting the Ev? compensation. It might have gotten set in the way wrong position.

Night shots are hard to get the light meter to see what you want and may over/under compensate in auto.

I'd definately get some books. I'd recommend some books that show you how to deal with different lighting situations. You don't need one specific to your camera, you said you have the manual. That manual will tell you where the knobs and buttons are to set everything. A good book will tell you what you need to work with the lighting and camera you have. (That does not apply to the PS crowd unless you have modes like shutter priority, aprature priority and manual.)

Another thing you will find is that the lens matters. There are some Web sites you can go to to rent lenses. When your just starting to learn and you're thinking about purchasing a new lens, it's much better to rent one first to see if you're going to like the way it works.
i picked up a UV lense the today. got any pointers on that? thanks and i appreciate it
 

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a few photo tips...

always shoot in manual. forget the pre-programmed modes, the auto, etc. always M. You will learn so much more, and you will truly realize the potential of the camera.

if you want to buy a book, buy only one- Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Easy to read, easy to learn. It seems like a quick read but has valuable information

the XTI, although not the newest in the Canon line, is an amazing camera. Don't listen to anyone telling you it doesn't have enough mega pixels and yada yada, to the point, it doesn't matter. I know freinds who shoot with cameras that are 9 years old and they continually get print work from all of the camera bodies.

continue to shoot, make mistakes, learn, and shoot more. The biggest advantage with digital is being able to take picture after picture. it takes time and patience. every so often you will get pics you like, others you will be happy to throw away.

another good help is logging on to photo forums and looking at others pics for whatever you might want to shoot. if your shooting cars, look at the car forums. it helps to have an idea in your head before you go to a shoot. composition in any image is the biggest key to any photograph, and can make or break a picture. understand the 3/5's rule and your good to go.

hopefully thats what you wanted to hear, and hopefully it helps
 

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Nice Pics! Like everyone else is saying,.. just shoot everything,.. and play,.. and keep track.

I like that running board shot with the rims,... that is one saaawweeet lookin' E.:cool:
 

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a few photo tips...

always shoot in manual. forget the pre-programmed modes, the auto, etc. always M. You will learn so much more, and you will truly realize the potential of the camera.

if you want to buy a book, buy only one- Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Easy to read, easy to learn. It seems like a quick read but has valuable information

the XTI, although not the newest in the Canon line, is an amazing camera. Don't listen to anyone telling you it doesn't have enough mega pixels and yada yada, to the point, it doesn't matter. I know freinds who shoot with cameras that are 9 years old and they continually get print work from all of the camera bodies.

continue to shoot, make mistakes, learn, and shoot more. The biggest advantage with digital is being able to take picture after picture. it takes time and patience. every so often you will get pics you like, others you will be happy to throw away.

another good help is logging on to photo forums and looking at others pics for whatever you might want to shoot. if your shooting cars, look at the car forums. it helps to have an idea in your head before you go to a shoot. composition in any image is the biggest key to any photograph, and can make or break a picture. understand the 3/5's rule and your good to go.

hopefully thats what you wanted to hear, and hopefully it helps
I would agree with this too. A correct exposure doesn’t mean too much these days in the digital world, but back in the day, often you had exactly one chance to get a shot, so guessing, bracketing, photoshop, and thinking, “Gee, I hope it turns out” were not options, and unlike today, every click of the shutter cost money.. There are a million+ books out there, but probably less than one percent of them will really teach you anything valuable about light and how to get an exposure right the first time. If you are going to learn, might as well do it right, right? Learning how a camera sees light is the first and most important step. For instance, your eye can see about 21-24 stops of light (dynamically), but your camera's CMOS can only correctly reproduce a range of 6 stops of light. And as it happens, if you placed the whitest object on earth next to blackest of black objects on earth under the same light, they would never be more than 6 stops of light apart. That's one of the reasons why it is important to get a middle grey meter reading.

The image sensor is the most important part of a digital camera, and you have a high quality superior image sensor, but your pictures are only as good as your lenses, so don’t skimp and buy some POS 20-300mm f5.6 lens because it will generate images that look like crap no matter what you do. Photography is not a cheap game at all.

Learning the science part is pretty easy, but the artistic side takes a while to develop, and the next most important thing you have to do is immerse yourself in photographs, good, bad, and everything in-between. It’s not a bad idea to go to art shows of all mediums, and a great way to see a range of photographs for free is to hang out at Barnes and Noble or Borders and browse through their selection of photography books in the arts section. They have everything there. People will pick the strangest subjects for fine art books.

The next thing to do is shoot, shoot, and shoot. Give yourself "assignments" like shooting hats, glass, clocks, rims, water reflections, anything really. Then you will learn to compose the same subject in different ways and in every variety of situations. Trust me, this is wayyyy easier said than done, but it works better than anything ever and eventually, you will know your camera like it is part of your body and won't need a meter for exposure and you will know the appropriate shutter/aperture settings just by looking at a scene.

I promise you, taking the extra time and effort to correctly learn the fundamentals with your camera will lead to jaw-dropping results in the future.

Sorry for the longest post ever!!
 

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does your buddy have any pictures online? 20+ and ground shots sound interesting
No, he just does photography as a hobby and maybe a little side work for some of the local MSRA guys. However, he has taken about every photography and composition class you can find (call him an obsessed hobbiest:rolleyes:)

Above all, have fun with it. The only one who has to be happy with the result is you (Though, as you can see, you're gaining some appreciation here:D)
 

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i picked up a UV lense the today. got any pointers on that? thanks and i appreciate it
Well, most people put one of those on to protect the lens element from getting smashed if the camera were to be dropped in such a way to potentially break the lens.

Some pros would say to take it off when your shooting, but I just leave mine in place.

BTW, the book that ohheycheckmeout posted is one that I have on my wishlist. I'm still a bit of a noob myself.

As you can see, there's many ways to get something done. I've learned it's best to do things by the rules until you understand the rules, then start to break them as you learn the exceptions.
 
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