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Old 09-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
luvmyfam444
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help me set my camera...

I went ahead & bought a new camera today - Canon Powershot sx40HS.
I will be trying it out tonight for colorguard (y'all have told me a lot about setting it for that on another post - I'm going to reread & try).

But the other pics I will take tmrw are sunset @ the beach. The sunset setting on my previous Cannon never looked like the real thing - added way too much orange....tried it last night on old camera. OR the people were just all black shadows using other setting like auto.

Can you help me with the specifics for this?
I can take notes & take them with me since i'm clueless about Fstops & apertures & all the other stuff. lol
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
havoc315
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It really depends on what you're trying to capture. The sunset itself, or capture pictures of people posing in front of the sunset, or candid shots around sunset time.
Also, tripod or not? Whenever you start to lose light, tripods are very helpful, if you have it available.

In terms of the very automated settings, if you don't have a tripod, I would try the handheld night-time mode.

Some basics through a bit more manual manipulation:

Try setting the shots for slight underexposure. That will let you capture more detail in the sky.
Assuming you are really trying to capture details in the background, go for a large aperture number. (which is actually a small aperture).

If you are feeling adventurous... I believe your camera can capture RAW images. If photograph in raw, and then use lightroom (you can get a free 30 day trial), you can do AMAZING things with sun sets. Even with jpeg, lightroom can give you quite a bit of latitude with sunsets. Here is an example from Disney:


Disney Boardwalk sunset by Havoc315, on Flickr

And here is the same shot, before lightroom:


Sep 2, 2012-87 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
luvmyfam444
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thanks for the tips...I will see if i can learn how to do those things...underexposure

I don't have a tripod & yes, I'm trying to capture people

Gorgeous pics by the way....
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
havoc315
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You should have a setting for exposure -- normally set at 0. You may want to set it at -.3 or -.7. That's under exposure.

If you have people posing in front of a sunset, that can be challenging. You may want to use a fill flash. If you can hold the camera steady enough, you may want to use the flash with slow synch or rear curtain, or whatever it may be called on your camera. (And if the people can stand still). What this does -- Is a long exposure, to capture the background with natural light (say 1-2 seconds), and then the flash fires at the end to capture the people in the foreground. This works well in twilight. But obviously, you need some sort of a tripod or a very very steady camera hand.


Thank you for the compliment on the pic. Both samples are the same pic, just edited with lightroom. If you want to really magnify sunsets and evening skies... It's amazing software for doing that.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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The tip I wish I heard before my trip was to use the lowest ISO and actually the smallest aperature (highest f/ value) Sp you get a slightlt longer shutter speed. And you might want to consider adding a ND filter (I think your camera has threads)

In addition the lower EV is needed for smaller sensors to reduce blown highlights.

Unless you are comfortable with a lot of post processing to just lighten people, then a SL flash seems to be the easy way to illuminate people.
If your first shots do not get the sky correctly, then I usually tilt the camera up until the sky looks nice, then half press the shutter, tilt back down and take the picture.

Havoc, that first picture is amazing! Feels like it was taken with a big camera!
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips....even though some of it was all foreign to me!
That's a great tip to try & focus on the sky first - I'll have to try it.

I didnt' read this thread in time...but I did snag a couple of good pics of the sunset & kids. I tried every setting I could try on the camera, I just kept turning the settings & shooting - I think the ones that came out I had the flash on. I had no idea that a flash would be a good thing to try...I figured a flash would alter the colors too much. Shows you how clueless I am! By the time I tried that - the sun was already down, but the sky was still beautiful.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:45 AM   #7
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Also very new and have a Canon SX40!

This was on "vivid color mode" Just starting to use the manual mode......I am a very slow learner!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmyfam444 View Post
Thanks for the tips....even though some of it was all foreign to me!
That's a great tip to try & focus on the sky first - I'll have to try it.

I didnt' read this thread in time...but I did snag a couple of good pics of the sunset & kids. I tried every setting I could try on the camera, I just kept turning the settings & shooting - I think the ones that came out I had the flash on. I had no idea that a flash would be a good thing to try...I figured a flash would alter the colors too much.
One of the great counterintuitive ironies --- Flashes work better outdoors than indoors!
When indoors, a flash bathes the subject in unnatural light, and causes the background to be underexposed.
But when used outdoors in daylight, the flash allows the background to come out naturally, while taking the subject out of the shadows. (It's called using a "fill flash" -- filling in the shadows.)
Remember, the tiny flash isn't affecting anything that is more than a few feet away.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:29 AM   #9
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havoc - thanks for the explanation.

wdw1976 - Great pic -I'm a slow learner too - I don't have a clue what the vivid color mode is & since it didn't come with a manual - I haven't gotten around to loooking it up from the disk or online to see what all I can do. (I prefer to read in bed - especially boring things like manuals),
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