OT- camera- photography help for Dummie (me)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenlisa, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. chickenlisa

    chickenlisa Invincible Summer

    Apr 9, 2007
    I have a Kodak EasyShare P850 digital camera. It has 12X optical zoom and 5.1 Megapixels. I know, it sounds old already compared to my sons' new (1 month or less) ones. Mine isn't even 2 years old yet, but I don't know how to use much of anything other than automatic and video. I tried messing around with the P, A, S,and M settings earlier today. I did get some better looking closeups, but don't know what I did. I know know what everything stands for and I don't understand the manual. I want to get close ups of my young fluffy butts and the growing teens (chicks) as they change. Can anyone help me without too much tech lingo? There is a strip across the bottom of the screen with F something or other, and then numbers, then shutter speed (I get that somewhat-like 400 iso, 800 iso, etc with the old snapshot cameras that I bought film for...action shots took 400 or so...) but I don't know any other things about ratios and F...
    I feel like I need a whole class in photography, and maybe someday, but right now with my babies changing daily? I need advice now. Automatic isn't cutting it in closeups.

  2. chickenlisa

    chickenlisa Invincible Summer

    Apr 9, 2007
    here are a few examples of what i did awhile ago, again flipping from auto to other settings (not sure where I had it though for which pic) I do know in the last pic I used S (i think) and 800 speed...

  3. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi LIsa, I'm no expert in camera stuff.I do have a Kodak Z760 that's a couple of years old too. Does yours have the letters "SCN" on it? It gives you different icons like action,bright scenes,nighttime etc... mine has a flower icon for close ups that I use.You may want to make sure you have good light when you use it.
    I don't have a clue about shutter speeds [​IMG]
    I'd love to take some photography classes too,one day.
    Good luck, those are some cute little babies [​IMG]

    Miriam [​IMG]
  4. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    Close-ups: Usually has a flower or may say "macro". (Be sure you remember to unset it for regular shots.)

    The F number stands for aperture. What YOU need to know is the higher the number, the more will be in focus. Note, this is generally not good for portraits. You would like the details in the background to fuzz into the background so your chick will truly be the "center of focus". An F number between 4-8 and is probably good.

    The number one thing to do to improve your shots is use a tripod (or prop the camera on something stationary).
  5. curliet

    curliet Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    west Michigan
    Lisa, We have 2 Kodak easyshare cameras. One is an older one that must be the first easy share model sold. It still works good, takes great pix, but a few years ago we got another, a C330. Neither is very tech heavy, but the manuals for both are still fairly good sized and sometimes seem complicated. I found that the best thing to do is just play with the camera and keep the manual handy to answer questions as they come up. My manual stays in a side pocket of my purse with the manual to my cell phone, and I read it while sitting in Dr waiting rooms, etc. I have accidentally discovered some neat things, and then had to turn to the manual to figure out what I did, haha. Since it's digital, you can't waste film, can download and check your results easily and then delete. And it's pretty hard to do any damage to the camera that way. But to be honest, your pix are looking good, just keep experimenting with them.
  6. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    An easy way to look at it is the "f" numbers stand for "field" meaning depth of field. (how much stuff infront of and behind the thing you are taking a picture of is in focus.)

    "f" numbers also determine how big the hole is that lets in light. Little numbers mean a big hole (use at night etc..) big numbers mean a little hole (bright sunlight)

    Shutter speed (or SP for short) determins how long you allow the light to go through the "f" hole and shine on the film (or microchip, as the case may be)

    The ratio of the "f" and shutter speed (SP) determins the exposure.

    For instance a SP of 1/1000 of a second and f-2 gives the same exposure as SP of 2 sec and f-25.

    It's all about the volume of light and the lenght of time you allow it to hit the film.

    You make compromises in photography, lets say you want a portrait of your favorite chicken in bright light, but the yard is a mess behind her. You want that blurred out.
    You want a short "field" so that only the chicken is in focus so you'd choose a small 'f ' number.
    BUT there's bright light, To avoid over exposing the shot you'll have to choose a super fast SP.

    My advice is to pick one function on your camera and take a metric buttload of PICs to get a feel for it then move on to the next function.

    Cameras don't make good pictures, photographers do. (for the most part) If you don't believe me look up "pinhole camera photography" on the net. These cameras are nothing more than a shoebox with a pin hole in one end and film in the other and they take wonderful photographs.
  7. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    To do easy close-up shots with that camera, try these tips:
    -set on the flower setting as ppl mentioned
    -try to use a tripod or even a small table to set the camera on. put the chicks right near a window with bright indirect light (i set mine on my computer chair with a white sheet over it-it rotates easily to change light if needed.
    -either set to not use flash, or hold the flash down
  8. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
  9. chickenlisa

    chickenlisa Invincible Summer

    Apr 9, 2007
    omg guys, thank you! I'm printing this now so I can carry it around with me- better than a manual! I played around with it today some at my son's school field day. I did see scan, but the sun was so bright outside, I couldn't make out what was on those little windows...not to mention, I'm going to need to wear my reading glasses when I do it. those little icons are, well...little! I can't see a thing!
    But I do mean this, thanks you a ton! I'll learn more this way than I have in the last 2 years!


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