How can I prevent this?

I just bought and just learning how to use my Nikon D4000.  So far I love it...I am just trying to figure out how to prevent some of the shadowing from happening and the distortion when I take in darker spaces. Examples below.


I just bought and photo 1100904-1


I just bought and photo 1100904-2


 

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm
FMIL
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jackieg
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04/17/2009
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well, you most likely need to use a flash unit that is NOT your pop-up flash on the camera....one where you can bounce and diffuse light, and not point it directly at the subjects...


that first one though, looks like some of it might not be avoidable, other than positioning the group in another spot...due to the way the light is coming through the trees....


you're shooting in "auto" mode, right?

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm
brianne2009
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besides the flash issue jackie mentioned, Looks like in the second one, your shutter speed is a little slow.  I see some motion blur in the hands and as far as shadows, you can't avoid them with a pop up flash


Jackie's right about the first one too, I think that some fill flash might help even it up a little, but the way the sunlight is coming through the trees, it's causing hotspots in the picture.  Setting your camera to meter light from several spots within the picture might help some too.

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm
FMIL
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@ Jackieg- No it was not auto mode.  Well, maybe semi auto, I was shoot the top one in a "portrait" mode as for the second one I shot it in a night scene mode with it set to ISO 1600, active D light set to on with shutter speed at 1/30s.


Are there kind of some general rules of thumb for manual settings in sunlight, indoor, night and pictures involving alot of detail at night like christmas lights?


Thanks for the shadowing info.


Oh and correction:  I bought a D3000


Also what settings would I put it on to get a night shot like this?  Do you have to use a tripod to keep from shaking? I have the 2 lenses that is V/R


Jackieg No it was photo 1101678-1


I am going to some classes set up by Wolf Camera but there is nothing available until after Christmas.  I hope to get some good pictures before then.

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 12:16 am
SummerBride2009
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I shoot only in manual so I am not sure what settings you would need. A fast prime lens would allow you to shoot at a higher shutter speed by lowering the aperture. I am not sure what types of lenses you have but it could also really depend on that.

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 1:17 am
FMIL
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Lense - Nikon DX AF-S V/R Nikkor 18-55mm & 55-200 ED V/R  Nothing fancy.

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 1:28 am
SummerBride2009
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Well the 18-55 is f/3.5-5.6 which means you can only stop down to 3.5, which is not effective for low light situations. Here is what I do when in manual.


If I am in bright light/day time I set the aperture first, then I set the shutter speed depending on what the camera is telling me to do.


If I am in a low light situation, I set the ISO, then I set the aperture, then I adjust the shutter speed.


The lower the aperture the higher you can get the shutter speed w/o the need of any sort of lighting (flash) whether on camera or off.

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 2:58 am
yelppuppy
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FMIL, for night or low light pictures, there are several ways to do it:


1. increase ISO - the higher the ISO, the noisier the pictures will be. By noisier I mean you'll see small dots all over your photos


2. increase aperture - it's kinda like our pupils enlarge at night, so more light can come through. The drawback of that is more things will be out of focus.  The harbor picture you showed us has a small aperture, because everything is clearly in focus.


3. increase shutter speed - the longer the shutter is open, the more light can come through.  However, hand shake is unavoidable, so you'll need a tripod.  A good rule of thumb for handheld shots is shutter speed shouldn't be slower than 1/60.  I personally don't hand hold under 1/100 just to be safe.


To make the best use out of your nikon, you should learn how to shoot in manual, or at least aperture (AP) mode.  There are a lot of articles and info on the web, and that's how I learned in and outs of photography.  It takes a while to grasp the concept, but it's very rewarding!

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 4:13 am
memoirestudio
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1st pic:


Classic example when it comes to shooting people in areas where there are patches of light and shadow. The way you would not cause this problem would be to simply use a fill flash to lighten the subjects.


 


2nd pic:


The is caused by a long shutter speed. The faint trails will always happen with a long exposure compounded by a flash. The flash freezes the moment, but because your shutter speed is too slow, "ghost" images will appear as the subject moves around while your shutter is open. The way to fix this would be to simply force a faster shutter speed.

Posted on November 13, 2009 at 8:41 am
Nadine2135
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Wow, FMIL I am impressed with your knowledge so far! I bought my Nikon in June and still don't know how to use anything other than "auto" haha

Posted on November 18, 2009 at 5:46 am
FMIL
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Nadine --- that is funny....I have NO CLUE what I am doing rofl....I push this button, switch this and that setting and hope for the best, if it doesnt work, I go pushing and setting some more...lol

Posted on November 18, 2009 at 10:04 am

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