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Agreed on everything Greg said. I'll just add this: shooting directly 
into the sun is very tricky. I love doing it, and it can produce some 
great photos, but it's difficult to avoid the problems of lens 
flare/dark subjects/blown out highlights like this. It's especially 
relevant to skiers since we're so often on north slopes, looking uphill 
directly into the sun.

There are a few things you can do at the time of the photo to try to 
avoid the necessity for software fixes later, if your camera allows for 
this. First, use spot metering instead of whole-frame metering to try to 
get the camera to set its exposure for the subject (which is backlit) 
instead of the background. Second, a lens hood will help reduce the 
flare. If the camera or lens doesn't have a lens hood, you can improvise 
out of cardboard or anything that happens to be around, or even your 
hand. Third, fill flash can produce some very dramatic shots in bright 
sunlight. It's just a way of shining light on the face of your subject 
to compete with the sun that's behind the subject. Finally, you can take 
the complete opposite approach, and instead of trying to illuminate your 
subject, you can go for a dramatic silhouette.

Some of these may not be possible on all cameras, but if they are, it's 
worth experimenting with them. The great thing about digital photography 
is that once you have the camera, the cost of individual photos is 
minimal, so you can experiment in your backyard to figure out what works 
before you get on the mountain.

Dave G.

On 2011-06-03 07:51, Greg Petrics wrote:
> Well even with a camera phone one can focus on composition, and come 
> away with good shots. Even if this shot was taken with a Canon 1Ds 
> Mark III ($6700), and a several thousand dollar L lens, it would be 
> tough to salvage it because of the lens flare.
>
> As far as upgrading to expensive camera gear: You'll know when it's 
> time to upgrade to more expensive gear when you start creating strong 
> compositions, and make you say "gee I wish I had a sharper, higher 
> resolution version of this shot."
>
> In the meantime learning the artistic guidelines for composing 
> pleasing photographs is free on the internet, and there's plenty of 
> places to get free critique as well (honestly the TGR photo/video 
> forum is a really great place to learn and get critique of what you 
> share so long as you have thick skin)!
>
> Honestly there's a few shots in your set that would already be making 
> me say this. For example the flower shot was quite nice.
>
> I guess my take away point is, don't think you need to invest heavily 
> to get good photos. There's a lot you can do with a point and shoot, 
> and A LOT you can do and learn to prep for an eventual SLR purchase 
> with a point and shoot that shoots in full manual.
>
> Greg
>
> On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:14 PM, Joshua Auerbach 
> <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
>     Greg, thanks for the lesson! I really appreciate it.  I will try
>     on my own to see if I can get comparable results.  Dylan thanks
>     for the pointers too.
>
>
>     Greg Petrics wrote:
>
>         It's not great, but at least it's passable in this set of
>         shots intended to convey the experience.
>
>     That's really all I can hope for.  I realize I am nowhere near the
>     level of photographer as you or some of the other listers , and I
>     don't pretend to be.  I am content using my little camera in hopes
>     of capturing the experience, but am always down to learn how to do
>     so better.  Perhaps some day I will invest in good camera
>     equipment and educate myself on how to use it properly, but at
>     this point my income is too limited and I already spend enough
>     money on other gear.
>
>
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>
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> "You?? Yesterday you wanted a nuclear powered car that could turn into 
> a jet with laser-guided heat-seeking missiles!"
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