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      04-04-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
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Nikon D40x SLR Camera Help...

ok guys...
i've had my Nikon D40x SLR camera for a few months now...
and i still dont know all the settings and shit.
so if any of u photo guys can help me out on this one, i'd appreciate it.

now...

how do u take good pictures? for instance. the image quality? what setting it should be on during what time of day/how much light. what shutter speed. the exposure.
everything.
How to make an HDR image...<--especially this one.

if someone can give me a nice explanation of everything that'l be helpful.


thanks.
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      04-04-2008, 02:52 AM   #2
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Read the manual. Experiment with different settings.

The aperture, represented by f/4 or f/2.8, etc, controls how much light is let into the sensor during an exposure. The lower the number, the wider the aperture, thus the more light is let in.

The ISO is the sensor's sensitivity to that light. Higher number means increased sensitivity. During normal daylight you should be fine shooting around 100-200 ISO. But shadows can affect that, so sometimes you may want to increase ISO or use the flash. In low-light, it just depends. Note that higher ISO will also increase the graininess of the image.

For shutter speed, I can't really think of a good way to tell you what to use, when. So I would suggest just shooting in Auto mode to learn what shutter speed it shoots in various environments. You can then begin using the manual controls as you learn more about the shutter speed. Keep in mind the aperture will affect what shutter speed to use more than anything, followed by ISO.

HDR is done by combining multiple exposures of the same frame, editing them with a program like Photoshop or Photomatix. Anywhere from 3 to as many exposures as you want to use. The simplest way is to take one underexposed, one normal exposed, and one overexposed shot. As for anything more in-depth on HDR, I can't tell you. Haven't really tried it myself.
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      04-04-2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3KILL3R View Post
ok guys...
i've had my Nikon D40x SLR camera for a few months now...
and i still dont know all the settings and shit.
so if any of u photo guys can help me out on this one, i'd appreciate it.

now...

how do u take good pictures? for instance. the image quality? what setting it should be on during what time of day/how much light. what shutter speed. the exposure.
everything.
How to make an HDR image...<--especially this one.

if someone can give me a nice explanation of everything that'l be helpful.


thanks.

It's generally best to under-expose your shots by -.3 to -.7 stops. Use the meter in the camera to do this. Refer to your owners manual on this topic as well.

Always use the highest image quality setting, you can reduce it later for web use, or keep it there if you want to print it. The only time I shoot anything but the highest res images if it's for someone else, and they know they don't need the high res (for instance, it's only going on the web, or it will be 4x5 prints), or don't want to deal with the large files. If I'm shooting for me it's RAW all the way. My camera will also allow me to do a .jpg at the same time (I have the D200), but I don't think the 40x will allow that. I usually do RAW with a small .jpg for a thumbnail that I can review quickly for exposure and composition.

As for shutter speeds and aperatures, that varies on so many factors. What is the light? Where are you? Time of day? Type of lens? Action or still? Long or shallow depth of field?

In sunny weather, on the snow, on water or at the beach, you may want to go as high as f/16 on the aperature, and adjust your shutter speed from there. A sunny day on the water could work out to f/16 and 1/2000 for a shutter speed. It also depends on if you are shooting into the sun, across it, or with it at your back. In the backyard, in the shade, you probably want to stick with f/8, as that us usually the sharpest f/ stop on most lenses. Many times I will set my camera to "aperature priority" (check the manual on this), and let the camera select the shutter speed, but more often than not I use full manual and meter for my shots. You'll get quick at it.

It also depends on the type of lens you are using. A long focal length (over 200mm) will usually require a faster shutter speed, and a faster aperature (lower f/stop number). If you are shooting action, you'll also want a faster shutter to avoid blur and stop motion. That means you'll need a low f/stop (a fast lens, in photographer speak).

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, the f/stop you select will determine your depth of field for the image. A wide open fast f/stop (like f/1.4 or f/2.8) will give a shallow depth of field. The center of the flower may be in focus, but the front and back of the flower will be soft or blurry. On the other hand, with an aperature of 16 or more, the entire image will usually appear to be in focus. This is my favorite creative control in my photography.

The best way, IMHO, to do HDR is with a tripod and bracket. You need the images to be identical, but with different exposures. I'll usually shoot a 7 image burst, bracketing from -1.0 EV to +1 EV at 1/3 stops. That will give you a hellagood start for an HDR image. Your camera needs to be shooting a pretty fast shutter speed, and you want to be shooting as many frames per second as possible. If the grass, trees, leaves or anything else in the picture moves at all, it will sour the results of your final HDR image.

Hope that all helps. The beauty of digital is you can experiment without paying lab and film fees. Just get out and shoot! The camera will record the data (shutter, aperature, white balance, etc) and you can compare what went well and what didn't back at the PC.
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Last edited by TurboFan; 04-04-2008 at 06:08 PM.
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      04-04-2008, 05:55 PM   #4
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turbofan do you give lessons? if so sign me up
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      04-04-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymu View Post
turbofan do you give lessons? if so sign me up
I go shooting around Cincinnati periodically. Shoot me a PM if you want to go. Another buddy of mine (335Xray) has been known to come along too. I'm over in the Hyde Park / Mt. Lookout area. We can bring the cars, have a little mini-meet, do a little shooting! Nighttime is some of the best, IMO if your up for it, maybe this weekend. I know we'd both like to see your interior mods!
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      04-04-2008, 06:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFan View Post
I go shooting around Cincinnati periodically. Shoot me a PM if you want to go. Another buddy of mine (335Xray) has been known to come along too. I'm over in the Hyde Park / Mt. Lookout area. We can bring the cars, have a little mini-meet, do a little shooting! Nighttime is some of the best, IMO if your up for it, maybe this weekend.
You know i've been trying so hard to figure out who 335xray is, don't tell me, we work in the same hospital too. I will find you. Yah i'll love to tag along and learn how to shoot a camera.
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      04-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymu View Post
You know i've been trying so hard to figure out who 335xray is, don't tell me, we work in the same hospital too. I will find you. Yah i'll love to tag along and learn how to shoot a camera.
ya, he said he's seen your car on a couple occasions. You'll probably start seeing mine there too, as my wife works there, and will be driving it more starting next month (we give hers back on lease, and she doesn't like my truck).

BTW, his screenname should give you a hint where to find him.

I may go out Sunday night if its nice. You're welcome to join me.
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      04-04-2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFan View Post
ya, he said he's seen your car on a couple occasions. You'll probably start seeing mine there too, as my wife works there, and will be driving it more starting next month (we give hers back on lease, and she doesn't like my truck).

BTW, his name should give you a hint.
yah I know, he works right next to me. but which one? hmmm
I don't think he has seen my car, i've never parked my car in that garage. He saw another resident's. That same guy just replace his black for a gray. Supposely, he blew up his turbo on his first.
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      04-04-2008, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymu View Post
yah I know, he works right next to me. but which one? hmmm
I don't think he has seen my car, i've never parked my car in that garage. He saw another resident's. That same guy just replace his black for a gray. Supposely, he blew up his turbo on his first.
he's got a thing for watches.... if that helps
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      04-04-2008, 06:46 PM   #10
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ok seriously my car is almost done so lets meet up. I'm dying to find out who you guys are. This new camera is just collecting dust seriously.
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      04-04-2008, 10:25 PM   #11
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I'm in. If it's nice Sunday I'll probably wash the car and head up to Ault Park, or over to Kentucky for some pictures with the stadiums in the background.
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      04-05-2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm in. If it's nice Sunday I'll probably wash the car and head up to Ault Park, or over to Kentucky for some pictures with the stadiums in the background.
I work every weekends from 6am-8:30pm. yah it sucks, no social life that's what happens when you run your own business, gotta do what you gotta do. Anyways, HIN columbus is coming up if you and other cinci guys are interested I can hook you up with tickets and we can do a gtg and take some pix. Well, most likely you would be doing the taking I will be doing the writing down notes. by the way where is this ault park? I always go to devoe park and take pix of the city.
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      04-05-2008, 05:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnymu View Post
I work every weekends from 6am-8:30pm. yah it sucks, no social life that's what happens when you run your own business, gotta do what you gotta do. Anyways, HIN columbus is coming up if you and other cinci guys are interested I can hook you up with tickets and we can do a gtg and take some pix. Well, most likely you would be doing the taking I will be doing the writing down notes. by the way where is this ault park? I always go to devoe park and take pix of the city.
Go all the way up Observatory, across Delta, across Herschel. When you cross Herschel, it starts to go down hill, and bend to the right. Keep going, and it dead-ends into Ault Park. No city shots, just plenty of places to shoot, both the car and different subjects.
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