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Advice For An FNG...  
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

So,

Santa gave me a Nikon D-80 for Christmas.

It has the 18-55 and the 55-200 lens kit(s) and I think will be a great starter camera.

Now I know ISO is how fast the 'film' absorbs light, I know that if you set the ISO too high you get grainy shots.

I know that the faster you expose a shot, the more light you have to have and the harder it is to get the subject and any backgound to focus.

Now today I was at KMIA, and I took a LOT of shots in automatic mode (JPG fine), the few exceptions being manually focusing some shots that had something in the foreground.

Most of it was very marginal, and I knew it would be given my inexperience. I got a lot of off center, a lot of off horizon shots (odd thing was I was getting rushed and for some reason I formed the habit of aligning the horizon with the angle of the a/c body) and the lighting was usually wrong.

I did get this shot that I like looking at on my laptop(lcd), but not my desktop (CRT).

http://www.airspaceonline.com/Aircraft/DSC_0095.JPG

Now when you look at it in a browser (resized to fit the screen) it's OK, but when you look at it in full resolution it's horrible.

Besides shooting in NEF, RTFMing(on the to do list after the holidays), and probably taking a photography course; what other advice can you give?

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFly747 From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1497 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2492 times:

One thing I noticed from the EXIF is you shot this @ ISO 1600. There's no need for such a setting on what appears to be a bright day. That gave you shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second which just freezes the props making them look as if they were shut off. A no no for props.
Read your manual a couple of times and go out there and shoot as much as you can.

Ivan



Contrails Aviation Photography
User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2483 times:

On a nice sunny day you should have no problem shooting at ISO 100. Nikons are not good at higher exposures (and before anyone poo-poo's me for slagging Nikon, I shoot Nikon!) so keep it low if you can.

If you want a deeper understanding of ISO, exposure, etc, read "The Negative" and "The Camera" by Ansel Adams. While "The Negative" seems out of date, it's almost entirely about how to expose an image and most of that information applies to negs, slides and yes, digital.

You're already doing the best possible thing you can though - getting out and using the camera.

B


User currently onlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2438 times:

The shot above looks over-exposed and, indeed, there really was no need for the camera to select ISO 1600. Using any DSLR on full auto is asking for trouble - if you want automatic operation but still require some sort of control use the 'P' mode. When you've learned the basics in this mode, try Av (aperture priority), which is the mode most commonly used by aviation photographers.

If the camera persists to over-expose in P or Av mode you'll need to change the exposure compensation and reduce it by 1/3 of a stop (to start with) - do be careful, however, as different situations need different compensations!

As the others have said, gaining a better understanding of when and where to use the advanced functions involves fully reading the manual.

Karl


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

So...first and foremost thank you all for the advice, I really appreciate your input.

Today I read some more of the manual and read Illustrated Guide To Rejection Reasons (by ThierryD Dec 25 2006 in Aviation Photography) . I took the camera out into the back yard (after figuring out how to control f, exposure time/and ISO in manual mode (I still don't know any other way to set ISO then through the menu I'd have thought there would be a wheel for it too)).

Due to the guide(above) I stayed @ ISO 100 using my 55-200 and took a lot of shots with various exposure lengths and f stops that looked good on the viewfinder(preview), but when I got the stick inside were nauseating. Either the light was right/ok and focus was blurred/sucked or it was underexposed and still not that sharp.

To say I have a long way to go appears to be a great undrstatment.

Now the questions I have for you all is what benefit am I going to gain by using A or S mode as opposed to sticking to my guns in manual? I mean are they not alternate names for automatic with a little bit of choice thrown in there? How much of a hard on should I have for shooting ISO 100? I remember in my old AE-1 days I shot lots of decent shots with 400 film.
Also should I give up on NEF for now as getting even a rudimentary shoot right seems to be a month or two away?

Also is there a way to keep the post shot preview mode running, but have it not react to the wheel controls?


User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9628 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2395 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

I would stick to jpegs until you get your technique down. I think it is pretty well accepted at this point that the D80 tends to overexpose, so keep that in mind. If you were in manual what app and shutter speed where you shooting at? Also, you don't mention the lighting conditions. Check out Flexible Program mode as a good place to start, get some auto input + the ability to tweak settings.

User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2386 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Thread starter):
I think will be a great starter camera

The D80 is far more than that - it is essentially a D200 with a plastic body. It is capable of great shots.

Quoting TedTAce (Thread starter):
Now I know ISO is how fast the 'film' absorbs light, I know that if you set the ISO too high you get grainy shots.

  See your shot above - very grainy (also over-exposed).

Quoting TedTAce (Thread starter):
I took a LOT of shots in automatic mode

Bad idea.

Quoting TedTAce (Thread starter):
aligning the horizon with the angle of the a/c body

Many beginners do this.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 4):
what benefit am I going to gain by using A or S mode

Aperture priority allows you to directly control the aperture, while the camera will set the corresponding correct shutter speed. A small aperture (high f number) will give you more depth of field than a large aperture.
Shutter priority allows you to directly control the shutter speed, while the camera will set the corresponding correct aperture. For flying aircraft, it is important to keep the shutter speed high enough to avoid blurred images. The traditional rule of thumb is that your shutter speed should not be slower than the focal length of the lens, e.g. when shooting at 400mm the shutter speed should be 1/400th/sec or faster. Of course, this does not hold true for lenses with image stabilisation ("VR" in Nikon-speak). With these lenses you can get away with a shutter speed two or even three stops slower.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 4):
How much of a hard on should I have for shooting ISO 100?

Shoot at ISO 100 or 200 unless low light prevents you from doing so.

[Edited 2006-12-30 00:23:48]

[Edited 2006-12-30 00:31:08]


Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 4):
I still don't know any other way to set ISO then through the menu I'd have thought there would be a wheel for it too

Nope. That is one of the reasons the D200 is more expensive.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
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