First few shots with Nikon D40 - Opinions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SOLLERBOY, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Hi guys , I got a D40 last saturday as I just started taking Photography at college , I come as a total noob ( I am a video camera geek).

    I took the camera to the local woods today to try it out.

    I was wandering if anyone could give me their opinions/advice? I know they aren't great as I was just testing it out and getting used to SLR cams.

    They were all shot using either auto or macro settings.










  2. MKnight macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2007
  3. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    sorry , fixed.
  4. MKnight macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2007
    Good job, some of those are quite beautiful...
  5. Samarium macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2008
    @ home.
    Nice. I really like the one with the feather. Keep up the good work.
  6. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I really like #3, #7, and #9. #1 is out of focus.
  8. pointycollars macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    In order to make #1 better, switch to manual (M) or "aperture priority" (A) mode, and lower your aperture as low as it can go (I believe it's F3.5) while keeping the autofocus on. I've taken "macro" shots like that with my D40 and it can definitely get some great close-ups with just the kit lens - it's a great camera. :)
  9. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    1. Out of focus. Entire flower is not in the frame.
    2. Could be improved by cropping out a bit.
    3. Overexposed.
    4. Seems a bit overexposed and I would've preferred lower angle shot.
    5. Cropping needed.
    6. Better exposure and cropping would help.
    7. Needs cropping. White balance issue. Looks too "flash" exposed.
    8. I don't like the angle.
    9. Too "flash lighting".
    10. Similar issue as 7, along with poor framing. Am I supposed to look at out of focus area?
  10. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
  11. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    ^ Yeah I also like the bridge the best. Love the lighting of the grass contrasting with the shadows on the bridge. Good work and keep practicing :)
  12. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Good photos, I specially like #8. Since I think what you really want is some tips and recommendations, here it goes.

    #1 is blurry and out of focus. Macro photography is quite difficult and you generally need a tripod. Using flash and a small aperture in this case would make the background go almost completely black, make this to make the flower stand up and be more attractive.

    #2 lacks composition. I think that shooting from ground level could really improve this one.:)

    #3 is overexposed. Be sure you are using matrix metering for this kind of photos and watch out the exposure.

    #4, this one I like a lot. Maybe, as someone already said, you could get lower to get a better composition. I would also use fill-flash and change the exposure to make the background less bright.

    #5 lacks composition. I would have got to floor level and then take the photo with a blurry background. Tho you might need a different lens for this.

    #6 looks tasty.:p Maybe a little cold.

    #7: lower, lower! Try and simulate how an ant would see this.:)

    #8: I like it, a lot! I would like it a bit warmer, but, this is simply my taste, I tend to prefer warmer photos. And might also crop it, take out a little from the right and a little from the bottom.

    #9, mmmmmm. I think you get it.:) (Tip: what am I supposed to be looking at).

    #10 is overexposed. I prefer #8.

    I hope this helps you. And keep up working and learning. One recommendation tho: forget about Auto modes. Those are for P&S, use manual (M) and you'll see how fast you start improving your technique.

    The only auto mode I use now is Auto ISO. I hate to change ISO, and I don't care much about some noise. So I find it perfect for me.
  13. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions!:)
  14. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    could the cause of the overexposed pix be the live view or something similar?
    may I suggest shooting RAW and tweaking with the exposure and white balance in post process?use lightroom or aperture
  15. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    the D40 doesn't have live view;)
  16. quotemeas macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008

    Did u edit these photos using software after the shoot? If not, what mode were you using (auto, manual, scene modes)? If manual, do u have a general idea how to set up the image settings?

    Compared to my D40 photos, these look great. I have been very disappointed about the photos I have been getting out of my D40. The level of detail is great, the colors, contrast, brightness (or sometimes darkness) are all very low compared with your shots. When I shoot using my P&S and then the same shot with the D40, the detail is better, but the overall look is very similar. I am also a total noob with shooting, and find my self making up for the raw photo in post editing. Thx for your inputs.

    My D40 shoots using RAW format.
  17. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    these are all straight out of the camera using either auto or macro settings. I also shoot in JPEG Fine , try than ( i think raw is better for post processing but JPEG is better for straight outta the camera results)
  18. tMac85 macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2007
    in a great place
    very very very nice for a first time. keep it up. i really like #8. very 'fall'
  19. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    Experiment with WB settings in different scenes (just remember to set it back if you change it.) Also, various scenes work better underexposed from 1/3 to a full stop on my D50, seldom do I need to overexpose, but when the shadows are important either meter on the darker part of the picture, or just go + on the exposure compensation. Also, I found that in P mode, you can still really crank down the flash power and also adjust the exposure compensation and ISO, so it can also be a useful setting at times.

    Also, if using the jpeg settings, you can play around with those too, for more punch in the colors out of camera, more or less sharpness, etc.

    The fun part is, there's a lot to experiment with and as you do, you'll start to naturally push your camera further and further into it's capabilities.

    Nice photos - tending a bit towards overexposure in the sunlit scenes. The exposures in the woods look more accurate, but the shots using on-camera centered flash just aren't going to be as pleasing as a rule.
  20. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    The D40 with kit lens is not great for close up work as the minimul focus distance is quite large. I guess this is the reason for failure in the first picture.

    I do find the D40 will either get the exposure spot on or most likely overexpose (picture 3). You can check this via the histogram. Best tip is to ignore the histogram display option in the playback menu (up/down via the dpad) and to use the RGB histogram from the retouch menu. In playback, the OK button calls up the Retouch Menu. Select Filter Effects, then Color Balance to see an RGB histogram, critical for precise exposure. Press playback button to cancel this. Note that when you have selected this once the camera will remember your selection and so you just have to hit OK three times to get to the RGB histogram.

    All the best
    Andrew W.

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