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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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Question Settings with Nikon D3000

Hello!
I just got the Nikon D3000 for Christmas and I'm currently playing around with the settings. Seems like when I see others photos, their pics are alot lighter than mine seem to be. For example, I would like for my pics to be light like the one in the attached pic! I have my camera set to "A", and the ISO to 100 and the exp comp to 1.0. I'm very new to this, as this is the first dslr I've owned. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Renee
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:07 PM
JulieM JulieM is offline
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Hi Renee,

I would guess that the photo you posted has been manipulated in post processing to both lighten and add vibrance. Can you post an example of one of your photos that you aren't happy with and tell us how you'd like it to look? I'm sure the experts here can help you either get your camera to produce a similar look or help you with post procesing....
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:51 PM
TeleFragger TeleFragger is offline
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i agree..
post up one of your pics..

also if you can tell us where you got the other pic.. or a link so we can see the post processing...

also side note.. you said your pics are dark... but you didnt say you took a picture like the one you posted...

if you are taking indoor pics and they are dark... and you say I want mine to be bright like this outdoor pic... you need to take a pic like that one..

now im a new dslr guy.. canon guy... but think i can help some..

so what is your camera gear?
you said the camera type.. what lens? need that to see...

also this site is great for the post processing.. but you will be better getting good readings from www.photograpy-on-the.net
join there and even though it is a canon site... they will help you.. they are a bit rough at times.. if you ask for CC (not sure on the first C but second is correction i think..).. they dont hold back and will put you in a fetal position sucking your thumb in the corner.... so just a heads up...
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:56 PM
Jeff Perry Jeff Perry is offline
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~shortness~, I would strongly recommend against trying to deliberately overexpose in camera too much, because in large part you end up with no detail in the over exposed (blown out) areas of brightness (sky, snow, etc.). You are much better off trying to get a proper exposure, with detail in both highlights (brightest areas) and shadows (darkest areas), and then learning to manipulate those same areas in Elements or some other post-processing application.

The image you used as an example lacks a lot of detail in the brightest areas, and had that been captured that way in camera, as opposed to "created" or adjusted that way in post, means that there is no detail in those highlights to bring out if you really wanted to.

Jeff
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Old January 9th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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Sepiana Sepiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleFragger View Post

also this site is great for the post processing.. but you will be better getting good readings from www.photograpy-on-the.net
join there and even though it is a canon site... they will help you..
Hi TeleFragger,

Are you referring to the Canon forum -- photography-on-the-net? If so, this is the link. There is also a site for users of Nikon cameras such as Renee.

On a side note -- I am familiar with the Canon forum and I can assure you that Renee can get the same high-caliber advice and help here.
Just look around the Take Better Pictures category and you will see what I mean.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 07:51 PM
TeleFragger TeleFragger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepiana View Post
Hi TeleFragger,

Are you referring to the Canon forum -- photography-on-the-net? If so, this is the link. There is also a site for users of Nikon cameras such as Renee.

On a side note -- I am familiar with the Canon forum and I can assure you that Renee can get the same high-caliber advice and help here.
Just look around the Take Better Pictures category and you will see what I mean.
hah thanks.. im new here and didnt realize it also caters to dslr pics too.. COOL... another place to ask...
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Old January 9th, 2011, 09:32 PM
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ok, the lens I'm using is the 18-55mm. The picture that I posted that I really liked, was taken by a girl that I graduated with....she does photography. She has taken some pics of my children (last spring), but I didn't want to ask her b/c being that she has her own business she may or may not tell me. I know she uses a Nikon also. Here is one that I took during Christmas when we had snow that I'm not happy with. It doesn't have that "vibrance and lighting" effect that hers has?! We are supposed to get about 8 inches of snow by tomorrow (ALOT for here), and I want to be able to take some great photos! I really do appreciate all of the advice! Let me know what you all think about the photo I took? What I did wrong....I did have the setting on AUTO when this pic was taken. Was told by someone on my facebook that I needed to have the exp comp set between +.7 and 1.0 to make the snow look "white" instead of blue.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 09:35 PM
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This is one that I took inside with the Nikon, on AUTO setting, using the flash, of course! Does it look dark? Or, should I say, too dark for an "inside" pic?
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Old January 9th, 2011, 11:01 PM
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Hi Renee,
you should get away from the AUTO setting. If you take a picture of one of your children in the snow, the AUTO setting see's that the dominating part of the picture is very bright (snow) and compensate for it by making it darker (usually turning snow into a grey). You can take a spotmetering of your child and use that setting, or play with the exposure compensation until you find one that you like, so take many pictures and play with the settings. But a spotmetering should give you a good result and if you shoot in RAW you will be able to do a lot of tweaking afterwards.
Greetings,
Stephan
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Old January 10th, 2011, 07:11 AM
JulieM JulieM is offline
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Renee,

Congratulations on the new camera! Ken Rockwell produces a good guide to setting up the D3000. You can read it HERE.

You've got a lot of time to grow into your new camera but it sounds like you need a quick answer in order to get some decent shots of your kids playing in the snow today. Given the short timeframe, I'd stick with your setting of A to get these shots today. As you get more used to the camera, you can experiment with shooting in manual mode and shooting in RAW as Stephan suggested. You'll have a lot more control that way. But, for now, the first thing I would suggest is to set your camera to Vivid. Learn how to do that in the above link in the section called Picture Control. For your snow photos, the advice you received to apply a positive exposure compensation is good. But, as Jeff said, you need to be sure you aren't blowing out the details in the highlights of the image. Shoot some test shots in the snow to be sure their aren't a lot of 'blinkies' on your LCD screen which indicate that those parts are overexposed. If the kids are taking up a lot of the frame, the exposure compensation might not even be needed because the exposure meter in the camera will be taking it's reading off the kids and their clothing. If there is a lot of snow in the frame, the exposure compensation will likely be needed.

Now you should have some fairly decent shots but the lighting might not be exactly what you wanted and the colors might not be as bright as you'd like. A very simple way to do this is to bring the photos into Photoshop Elements and go to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels and play with the sliders to brighten the photos further. Then Enhance>Adjust Color>Hue/Saturation to increase the saturation of the colors you want more vibrant. If you end up making the skin tones too red in order to get the vibrance you want in the clothing, you'll need to mask the effect back out of the faces. If you need help with the making these or other adjustments in PSE, post back with the exact shot that you want to adjust and be specific about what you want it to look like and you'll likely get lots of help from members here.
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