Newbie here - intro and 2 for CC (LONG!)

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ButtonsMama's picture
Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 283
Newbie here - intro and 2 for CC (LONG!)

Hi! I'm Krista (34 tomorrow!). My kiddos are Abby (3.5 y) and Caleb (22 mo). Over the summer I really started thinking hard about myself - I don't have many hobbies and have often wanted something that was just for me, you know? I have a bit of a creative flair - I'm a public relations/marketing professional and I love lots of "artsy" things. I never really got into paintings and such, though - photographs always seemed to have so much more depth and meaning to me. I love looking at them and have very often wished I could take pics like the professionals. So, I decided to start doing some research to see if it's for me. I've spent the past two months or so reading a lot about it - your tutorials here really helped. The problem was, I have no camera.

Then, a few days ago, I was at work and was asked to take a pic of a new employee for her ID badge. I pulled out our office camera and a light bulb went off. The camera is a Sony CyberShot DSC-F828. It's oldish - purchased in early '04. But, it has a manual setting and would be perfect for me to practice with. We bought it when our office had 9 staff members and we did lots more photo shoots internally. We are now a staff of 1.5 and we only use it for ID badge photos. Sad, huh? Anyway, I finally got around to reading the manual and trying it out.

Please bear with me - many things are still very confusing to me and I'm definitely a learner by doing, not reading. So, here are a few I took. The subject is less than interesting, but I'm at work and just couldn't wait until I got home. I think these two are the best.

ETA - these are both SOOC - I have Photoshop CS2 on my computer at work but my experience is with InDesign, so I have absolutely no idea how to process pics. I only cropped these.

#1 - f/2.8; 1/40; ISO-400

#2 - f/2.8; 1/40; ISO-200; WB set to "incandescent"

So, here's one of my questions - what's up with the WB settings? Do you all use them, or do you leave it on auto all the time? #2 looks really blue, but when I set it to "daylight" setting, it looked really yellow. BTW - the day outside is cloudy and the pic was taken inside on my office window sill.

I'm having a problem with focusing - do you all use the view finder or do you use the LCD screen?

I plan on taking the camera home with me for the holiday and taking lots of pics. I'm so excited!!

Joined: 03/15/09
Posts: 576

Welcome! Thats great you were able to find a camera to practice on. I am not familiar with that camera, but to answer a few of your questions...I mainly use auto WB or Flash WB and am just starting to play around with custom white balance using a gray card. I am seeing a lot of difference, just as you are seeing with the auto and incandescent. Thats exactly how to start, just play around and see what each does! I agree the second one looks very blue to me. As for focusing, I definitely use the viewfinder. On my camera I cannot even see it on the screen until after its taken. I keep my camera in auto focus at all time and have the ability to move between multiple focus points that show up as red dots within my viewfinder. Can't wait to see more pics from you!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Hi Krista, I think you need to bump up your shutterspeed, 1/40th is pretty slow and it causes camera shake which makes the pictures less sharp! In general I use auto white balance because I'm shooting RAW, but the white balance just takes the picture depending on the temperature of light. I actually like the warmth of the first photo, but I tend to go towards warmth more anyways!

Joined: 01/16/07
Posts: 951

welcome and happy birthday.

like others have said wb makes a huge difference (i had it wrong when I first started taking at home - I try to avoid flash - and I was getting horrible results, after trying various ones I could instantly see how it matters). For me I'm not the greatest indoors but I rarely take since my house is too dim.

My camera I can't see on screen until after it's taken. Use the viewer and if your camera has various points use them.

kris10gal's picture
Joined: 11/02/07
Posts: 1306

Welcome Krista!

Much prefer #1, what setting for wb is that one on? Agree with faster ss. As for the focusing, not quite sure, but I definitely would use the viewfinder if your camera can. :wavehello:

ButtonsMama's picture
Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 283

"kris10gal" wrote:

Welcome Krista!

Much prefer #1, what setting for wb is that one on? Agree with faster ss. As for the focusing, not quite sure, but I definitely would use the viewfinder if your camera can. :wavehello:

The wb setting on the first one is set to auto.

I came home yesterday and tried taking some pics, but even though it seems really light in here with all the lights on, the pics came out dark and underexposed (according to the histogram). It's been cloudy and rainy here for a full on week (today included), so I can't get outside to try things out. I'm debating putting the lens shield on and going out anyway, since it's not supposed to be sunny until Saturday. How do you all get enough window light to make your pics bright enough? That's why my shutter speed has been set so high - when I lower it to anything lower than 80, it looks like nightime in my viewfinder! I am loving trying everything out though - thanks for the advice all!

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6205

:wavehello: I am a newbie here too! I can't see photobucket pics, so I can't cc your photos! Can't wait to get to know you better!