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February 24, 2013
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How can I get the best possible out of my Camera?

:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello! I do photography as a hobby, well its more just taking pictures and hoping they come out good. I am new at this to say the least. I was wonder what I could do to get the best quality pictures out of my camera by messing with the settings or buying new new lenses etc. But I am new at this and have no idea what I am doing. The pictures come out well if there is enough light but at certain times of the day or in doors the quality is not so good unless all the windows are open. Regular lights make the quality not so great either. This is the specs of my camera if that helps:
Model:KODAK EASYSHARE Z1012 IS Digital Camera
Shutter Speed:1/203 second
Aperture:F/3.6
Focal Length:26 mm
ISO Speed:320
I was wondering if I could ever get the quality of the pictures of this blog with the Camera I have: [link]

Thanks :)
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:iconstudio-toffa:
studio-toffa Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Photographer
I would say practice, set the camera for the highest quality file option and get it off full auto. Set the ISO-speed manually and try to keep it as low as possible. Also if you need to get some kind of gear. Get a good quality tripod. Don't get one of those filmsy wobbly crap tripods, but a quality tripod that will hold a dslr. One tripod I can recommend is a Redged RTT-327, and a Vanguard SBH-20 ball head. Remember that a good tripod will follow as you progress in your photography, and the tripod set-up I've given you here will also hold a consumer DSLR like a Nikon D3200.
Tripod Legs:
[link]
Tripod head:
[link]
When you fell you've outgrown your present camera, go for a good DSLR. But if you want to be serious with your photographic hobby, then I don't there's no way besides a good DSLR, and a good kit lens for start.
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:iconoutback-art:
OutBack-Art Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Professional Photographer
Eww the Kodak. =P I've used that one before I went to a DSLR, and I got to say.........Never mind. But just like what `FallisPhoto said do what he said 100%.
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I plan on getting a new camera in the near future but I might as well get some use out of it till my budget lets me get a new one haha.
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:iconoutback-art:
OutBack-Art Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional Photographer
Yeah do that, that will help you a lot. :D
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:iconjordan-roberts:
Jordan-Roberts Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Photographer
Man I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it yet, but I would have to say practice.
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:iconvalentinawhite:
ValentinaWhite Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student Photographer
Hi!
I don't have any particular advice to give, altough I think practice is the best way to achieve a certain quality and improve your skills.

I reckon you have the right attitude about it(which is basically mine, too XD): " it's more just taking pictures and hoping they come out good" - just know that I'm going to quote this forever.
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
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:iconbethcole95:
BethCole95 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I had the same problem when I started but honestly yes it's practice that makes things better. Just play around with the iso, shutter speed and aperture in different light settings until you find the best for all (write down each as you go along. e.g if you find that a certain shutter speed works well for a certain setting write down the info and note what photo it was)
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:iconmusksnipe:
musksnipe Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Everyone here gave great advice, two of the last three, gave the best, practice.
I'm also an amateur, who basically hopes for a good picture.
I have gone into manual. Actually, only shooting on manual now. It's not easy. Every shot needs new input from you, Exposure, focus, aperture, and framing. That's a lot to think about, when you just want to shoot that little puppy, quickly. (And don't forget about white balance, ISO, bracketing, etc)
I practiced, most of the winter. Not sure if I learned anything, because we had a dark, cloudy winter. I got a lot of noise.
Once I can sit outside, without freezing, I plan on taking a series of shots, of the same subject, using all of the different manual settings. I also plan on taking notes of each shots settings, so I can figure out how to take a picture, a certain way.
Good luck.
BTW I had an EasyShare z12 IS. It took fine pictures. [link]
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the example picture and advice!
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:iconemblemata:
Emblemata Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Practice, practice and practice.
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:icondejivrur:
dejivrur Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
go exploit yourself on brainstorming creative ideas, you'll be amazed of what you can do...
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:iconphotomark:
photomark Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Practice
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Photographer
As you’ve already noticed, your camera operates best when you give it a lot of light. Now consider the photos on that blog you were referencing. A good many of those were taken during the day, but notice that the photographer never shoots up into the sky, and always has her subjects facing away from the sun. That does two things: 1. it uses the sky as a main light source; and 2. it uses the sun as what we call a “rim” light (because it puts a nice glow around the rim of the subject). Could your camera replicate those types of shots? To some extent, yes. Use the zoom feature of your camera and zoom all the way in (without using the digital zoom feature) and physically move yourself back if you need to. That will create the sense of intimacy that she has in her photos (or at least get you close to that feeling). As for the post-processing (which is a large portion of what makes the pictures on that blog), how much of Photoshop do you know?
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I got Photoshop Elements 10 with my tablet and I am slowly learning how to use it.
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Photographer
Okay, that’s good. Here’s a quick tip: camera manufacturers tend to lower the saturation in your images by default, in order to allow the camera to capture the widest possible tonal range. As a result, many people’s photos tend to feel a little washed out or undersaturated (or both). If you pay attention to what direction the sunlight is coming from, (how high it is in the sky, how clear the air is, etc.) and you’re still finding your photos to be underwhelming, try using the Brightness/Contrast adjustment and move both sliders in small increments just to see what effect they have on your photo. If you do that as an adjustment layer (PSE has those, right?) it won’t affect the original image, and you can go back and tweak it as much as you want afterwards.
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Okay I'll take some pictures tonight and practice with PSE. I'll tell you how it goes Thank you for being so helpful. :)
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Photographer
Try taking pictures between one hour before and one hour after sunset, especially if you’re shooting outdoors. That’s one of two times of day when the sunlight tends to have a nice yellow-orange colour (there’s a technical explanation having to do with the distance it has to travel through the atmosphere close to the horizon, but I’m not going to get into it). The other time that happens is, of course, at dawn. But not only does the sunlight have a warm tone, it’s also coming from a more interesting direction (much lower in the sky, as opposed to overhead). Try a few shots with your camera aimed towards the sun, aimed 90º around from the sun (either due north or due south, in other words), and 180º around (due west) to see what things look like in those situations.
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:iconkingstephenarthur:
KingStephenArthur Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student Photographer
lol, I forgot to take your camera model into account when giving that advice, I just spat random information. tripod will help if it can fit to one. remote shutter release might not be available for that model, but look into it anyway. same for Manual mode, don't know if that camera even has that or not, but if it does start using it.
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Whats Manual Mode?
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:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013

Right next to the on/off switch is a dial that has things on it like M, S, A, P, C, and some symbols. The M stands for manual. Set it for that and you can select your shutter speed and aperture and you will see what effect those adjustments will have on your screen. Shutter speed freezes or blurs motion. Aperture has an effect on something called depth of field (how much of the foreground and background will be in focus).

If you use a tripod, it will hold your camera absolutely motionless, so you can take longer exposures when the light is dim and hand tremors won't cause you to get blurry photos. In manual mode, you can choose your shutter speed. If you use a tripod, it is a good idea to use a camle release. A cable release is an item that looks like a cord with a hypodermic syringe on one end and a little bolt on the other. The bolt screws into your shutter release button. Pressing the plunger on the "hypodermic syringe" trips the shutter without touching the camera and causing it to shake. For cameras that don't have a threaded hole in the shutter button, you can use the self-timer to do the same thing. Cable releases are more practical for shooting kids with the attention span of a hyperactive hummingbird because you can shoot when you want, without having to wait several seconds for the self-timer to run down (by which time the kids will have lost interest and will want to run off and play with a dead rat carcass).

It is going to be worthwhile to read the entire owner's manual that came with your camera. There is a lot of information in there that you can use. If you don't have an owner's manual, you can go to the Kodak website and download one for free.

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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Sorry for the late reply but thank you!
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:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
You're welcome.
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:iconkingstephenarthur:
KingStephenArthur Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student Photographer
Use a tripod and remote shutter release. That will help. Learn how to use Manual mode if you don't already know how.
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:iconjulicus12:
Julicus12 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
oops I meant to say Pictures In my title.
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