Intro and some questions

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Intro and some questions

Hi, ladies! I have lurked on this board a handful of times, and to be quite honest I always get overwhelmed and confused. lol. I know next to nothing about photography and I rarely understand anything that y'all are talking about! Smile But I really, really, really want to get better at this, so I figured the best thing to do is probably to jump right in. Gulp!

I have a Rebel XS, an 18-55mm lens and a 75-300mm lens.

Here are a few of my "better" (haha) recent pics, just to give you an idea.

This one I took for a project I was working on for my mom's birthday.

Here it is SOOC:

Gwen did a great edit for me (thanks again, Gwen! Lol which convinced me that I also need to learn to edit. I did purchase PSE8 but do not have the foggiest clue what to do with it. I'm thinking one thing at a time...I'll worry about that once I take some pictures worth editing I guess. Lol If any of you are using PSE8, would you recommend internet tutorials or are there any good books I should be looking for? Either one would need to be pretty basic...

This was taken on a gray yucky day (which they have all been lately!). I was trying to get him to lean against the fence but this is what he had in mind. :rolleyes: The focus looks off to me. What else could be improved?

I found this rock wall this morning while we were out for a drive and I was pretty excited about it...but I only had time for about 5 pictures before DD lost her interest and started walking back toward the car (and hence the road), so I had to give up for today. No eye contact at all. Sad I do like the spot, though, so I'll be trying there again some time for sure.

This was taken just before noon today, and it was totally sunny. I went to the shade...was that the best thing to do? It looks so gloomy compared to how gorgeous it was outside. Sad

Any CC is most definitely welcome!

I know that I need to work on my focus. What should my other main priorities be? I know there is so much that I need to learn, but would it be best to just work on a few things at a time?

I do have UE, and have read through it once. I am going to start through a second time and do the exercises. I have also started looking around ILP. Any other recommendations?

If you have made it this far, thank you! I can't wait to learn as much as I can from all of you! Biggrin

P.S. Does anybody know where I can rent some more cooperative subjects???? LOL

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Hi! I'm still learning too but wanted to welcome you here. Really a great start!!! The 1st pic is adorable and has great catchlights and lighting! I am in love with that rock wall too! Smile I can't help with PSE because I use Paintshop Pro. But online tutorials are really great for practicing. But before tackling editing it's better if you try to get a real hang of your camera settings.
Once you learn about and understand the basics of exposure and using manual settings, then the editing tools start to make much more sense, such as the histogram adjustment tool, channel mixers, etc. and then you can use them much more effectively.

Can't wait to see more!

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Welcome! That first picture is adorable!

Going into the shade was the right thing to do. What editing will do is help you brighten that picture and fix the white balance - things are all bluish in the shade so when you touch a picture like this up you add yellow to it using something like color balance. Wish I could help you with your program, but I use Photoshop CS4 and know nothing about elements.

It really is best to do one thing at a time. Most things become much easier if you are exposing the images properly, so I'd start there.

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Thank you both! I guess it is time to get serious about UE!

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Katie, I gotta get to bed so I just want to answer the question about PSE8. I'll come back tomorrow (if I get some free time to actually post) to reply to the rest of your post. I suggest Scott Kelby's PSE8 book - you will learn a LOT if you get it and actually try the stuff he writes about. His PSE7 book was my bible for Elements, and now I live with his CS4 book. I read the PSE7 book cover to cover and I'm almost done doing the same for the CS4 book. Smile

Glad to see you here!

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:wavehello: Glad to see you here!

I am still a total newbie, but I would like to say that I love that first pic! I think the only thing is your ss, might be a bit too slow? :shrug: Maybe I am wrong though!

As for the 2nd one, the focus is just not spot on. I think the comp is fine b/c the fence draws you in.

3rd one- I like it even though there is no eye contact. I think the rock wall might be more in focus though, than she is.

Glad you posted! I don't have a great program, so I am of no help there, sorry. As for renting new subjects, good luck! I have an almost 1 year old right now, and it's not easy.... Wink

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Just popping in to check the boards quick before I take my oldest to school.

Just wanted to say WELCOME and thanks for coming out of lurkdom to post!

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Thanks for welcoming me everyone! I wish I would have not been so intimidated and posted sooner (or even lurked more often, lol). I am so determined to get better at this!

Gwen, that sounds perfect. I will have to check that out!

Sadie, you are right about the focus of the 3rd pic. Definitely something I need to work on!

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Pioneer Woman is really great for beginning editing and photograpy.

Here are a couple links for you:

Basic Photography
[Basic Photoshop
Photoshop Elements

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OOPS!

weird DP

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Hello, and welcome!! I'm very new myself, and usually just lurk. I just don't feel good enough to CC most people. But, it's taught me A LOT just coming here every day.

You have an adorable DD and I'd definately go back to that wall. You could get some amazing stuff at that location!! Maybe if you had opened your ap a bit, lowered your SS, or raised your ISO (since we don't know the stats on the pic, it's hard to tell which one!), I think the brightness would have turned out a bit better.

I usually underexpose all my pics. But, I've also noticed a trend for beginners of underexposure. It's all the learning curve!!