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12-15-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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Newbie photo shoot

I just got my K-r this week with what seems to be the standard two lens kit. I'm enjoying it quite a bit a bit but it's been 20 or so years sincce I've taken a photography class so I'm a bit rusty. Some lady friends want to do a practice photo shoot this weekend and I'm looking for some advice on where to start with settings. I'm assuming I'll have crappy light to work with and can't currently afford to buy anything to help out. Yes I've read the manual quite a few times and I'm definitely going to play around to see what works. I'm just looking for a starting point and any other suggestions you might have.

thanks ahead of time.

12-15-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
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Welcome!

That is a hard question to answer. What kind of 'photo shoot'? Outside or inside? Portraits or action? What is the lighting like? Family photos or swimsuit models? Hard to recommend anything without a better idea of what you want to do.

That said, I use Av mode and set for the depth of focus I need adjust speed and ISO as needed. If your friends are modeling and staying still then a tripod and long exposure might get you by. If they are moving then shutter speed has to keep up and you need to adjust aperture and ISO. Flash is your friend if you have one if not then a tripod is next best.

Give us some more info and I think you will get a better answer than that.
12-15-2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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This IS a tough general question to answer. I went years without taking a lot of photos, started out with my ME Super in College. Took lots of pictures then, and a few of them ended up being really nice. Then years passed, kids came, we went through some point and shoots, and I finally decided I needed/wanted a DSLR to be able to be in control of the camera....and those old lenses I kept work just fine in the K-r. I was so inspired a week ago I grabbed my ME Super and my K-r and took a bunch of photos of the same subjects with both, and after getting the film developed and comparing old vs new, I really like BOTH....

As I am by no means any more than at the novice level, I would not presume to offer any other advice other than to play around with your K-r, experiment, "focus" on focus, and just learn from doing. After I purchased my K-r, I came upon this forum, and took the advice of others and purchased a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I had never taken a photography course before, but this book was a BIG help for me. If you have taken courses in the past, you might find it to be basic, but I found that it really started me on the road to thinking about shots before taking them, and understanding light, shutter speed and apature etc.

I generally try and stick with manual mode, but auto works well if you don't have time to compose. I started using my old tripod, I think it was the first purchase I ever made with my first SEARS card way back when, but it had been collecting dust for the last 15-20 years....but it works great for low light shots. I even found that my old flash that I used with my ME Super years ago can work well with my K-r, once I was able to spend time experimenting with it....

I think that the best thing about taking pictures now is that I can take a lot, see the results right away, and without fear of screwing up that was always in my mind using film.

Experiment, experiment, experiment....re-read the manual when you need to check a fine point when you are thinking about it....and sooner than you know, you'll find that what took you a few minutes to figure out today will be second nature tomorrow...and the next day...and the next.....

ENJOY!
12-16-2011, 02:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenman76 Quote
I just got my K-r this week with what seems to be the standard two lens kit. I'm enjoying it quite a bit a bit but it's been 20 or so years sincce I've taken a photography class so I'm a bit rusty. Some lady friends want to do a practice photo shoot this weekend and I'm looking for some advice on where to start with settings. I'm assuming I'll have crappy light to work with and can't currently afford to buy anything to help out. Yes I've read the manual quite a few times and I'm definitely going to play around to see what works. I'm just looking for a starting point and any other suggestions you might have.

thanks ahead of time.
What kind of "crappy" light do you think you'll encounter? Do you have a tripod? Jatrax's suggestion is good, use Av mode first if you want some ideas, then play around with the ISO. It's best if you can shoot outdoors during the day though, since the sun is the least crappiest source of light easily available, even when overcast. have fun! you're lucky you have subjects readily there to practice with!

12-16-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
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Sorry I had to catch a bus and realized I left out some details once I was there. It will be indoors at night (hence the crappy lighting reference). It will be modeling (swimsuits optional) but I can't guarantee they will always be staying still. I did just get a tripod off craigslist for $10 but I don't have the quick pad and can't seem to find one locally, so I probably won't be able to use it unfortunately. I'm not sure exactly what the lighting will be like, but most likely normal overheard room lighting. I might be able to buy a couple lightbulbs if you think that will improve things. Any suggestions there?

Thanks Jatrax for the advice on starting with Av mode. That's exactly what I was looking for. Alizarine you're right I am lucky. I posted the pics I took around my neighborhood the moment I got my battery charged and now I have quite a few people wanting me to shoot them, which is good because I really need the practice. I did alright with my Lumix point and shoot I bought 5 years ago (was surprised since I didn't think I'd be happy with less than an SLR) but I've been itching for something better for years.
12-16-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
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Indoor with overhead lighting is crappy,, first some Kr's have issues focusing in some indoor lighting conditions, The first thing I would do is check the focus on your first few shots, If the camera is not focusing to your sanctification try using live view and see if the results are better. You could also replace the bulbs with compact florescent the Kr has no issues focusing with those. Get a spare battery or the AA adapter, live view sucks the life out of batteries. You could always use the built in flash but that may not be better than the overheads.

Good luck and have fun

Hans
12-16-2011, 12:25 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenman76 Quote
It will be indoors at night (hence the crappy lighting reference).
Not to be the bearer of bad news but I would not attempt that scenario without a couple of off camera flashes, flash stands, radio triggers and a tripod. Not to say you cannot do it but trying to keep a decent shutter speed while keeping the ISO down is going to be difficult. With Av setting you still have to watch the shutter speed. The camera will not hesitate to set the speed at 1/4 second or slower which gives you a proper exposure but will not give you a decent shot hand held. So start in Av but keep a eye on the shutter speed. You may have to adjust the ISO up until the camera can use a high enough speed to keep images blur free.

One plus is that inside at night the light is likely to be very constant so once you have it set you will not have to worry about fiddling with it.
12-16-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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Thanks. I figured as much but I have to work with what I've got. Maybe I can find a quick release pad today so I can use my tripod.

12-16-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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plus 1 ^^^

I was going to say Tav mode but realized the Kr doesn't do that. In reality you need light. So if you can't do the flash beg borrow or steal some reading lamps that are directional and use them as fill lights . Shoot a couple of shots with a white card so you can set the WB accurately in post and apply to all the shots. I've been known to build impromptu light supplies from cheap Clip spotlights from home depot and return them the next day saying they didn't work out

You definitely want to keep ISO as low as possible but need to keep shutter at 1/125 or higher at the same time (kit lenses make this doubly hard being slow at the long end where most of your shots will come from
12-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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I'll be doing some DIY lighting and what not eventually, but lacking funds atm. I'll see what I can do about lamps, that's a good idea.
12-16-2011, 12:52 PM   #11
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anything that will boost light levels helps, if it's directional even better. find a guy with a grow op and borrow his grow lights while the plants sleep
12-16-2011, 01:26 PM   #12
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Just don't do what I did. I got my K-x in Dec. '09 and was playing with it indoors in M mode with a high ISO. When I did take it for an outdoor shoot, on a bright sunny day, it was still at ISO 1600. When you put the camera in M mode it switches out of auto-iso, when you switch to say AV it doesn't automatically switch back.

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