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I got a Nikon D3000 for christmas.  I have done lots of research on how to use a DSLR.  Thanks to Skinny_Water for tips...much needed!
I have not even really taken the camera out yet. Just messing around the house first.
Thanks enjoy and critize...I can take it.

http://www.photoshop.com/accounts/39d2ace687fb4e3eb5eb5b6c946e989f/px-assets/f228f4e5b3574dc783d808b3f371bb3a

http://www.photoshop.com/accounts/39d2ace687fb4e3eb5eb5b6c946e989f/px-assets/24ea9af82a6e44428d0c9a75ed34fc5f

PS...It was shot in Manual mode...more difficult but more rewarding when it is not blurry...haha
 

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Looks good. My only suggestion is to open a account here, photobucket.com. They will allow you to host your images for free so we can all view them without clicking a link. Also they need to be resized to 650 on the long edge.
 

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This pic is like your reel pic. The problem is that the dogs eye cast a shadow on on itself. A slower shutter speed would let more light penetrate into the eye, not really but in a way true, but there is no need for such a high aperture because the counter in the back ground needs not to be clear. So drop the aperture, which will make the over all exposure brighter and the dogs eyes stand out more. But then you will need to either lower the ISO, Ideally so it is as little grainy as possible, or actually make a faster shutter speed so it is not washed out. I think that makes sense, try it again (I assume it is in your house) and let us know how it works.
 
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