Help with Manual Mode!

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Michelle Davies, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Michelle Davies

    Michelle Davies TPF Noob!

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    I was trying to take some football pics the other night...my friend has the same camera and was shooting on Manual mode with auto WB, 1600 ISO, and 125 ap...her pics were great, mine were completely black. Does anyone have any idea why? I just got my camera (in August)...should I have it checked out? Help, this is very frustrating!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    There are three things that control the exposure. Shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO setting). White balance will control color but not exposure...so that doesnt matter too much right now.

    What were those three settings on your camera? You said ISO 1600, and 125 (which would be the shutter speed)...but you don't list an aperture. If your images were very dark...then your aperture was too small (higher F number).

    At night, there probably won't be much light...so you will probably need a long shutter speed, a wide aperture and a high ISO.

    Manual mode is great when you want to take full control of your camera...but it's not going to help if you don't know what you are controlling. I suggest using Av, Tv or auto mode...and notice the settings that the camera is giving you. This will help you get an idea of what the exposure setting need to be for the level of light you are shooting in. Does you camera have a scale in the viewfinder? If so, that is what you should look at when in manual mode. You need to adjust the settings until the needle is near the middle of the scale...you can under or over expose from there...but you need to be in the ballpark.
     
  3. ravikiran

    ravikiran TPF Noob!

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    Dear Big Mike,
    you'll be doing us a favour if you can make it more detailed (sort of lesson) on "How to use Manual Mode Efficiently". I am trying to learn something from different online tutorials but not satisfied.
    Thank you,
    amiably,
    ravi.
     
  4. Michelle Davies

    Michelle Davies TPF Noob!

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    Thats the thing...no matter how I tried the camera would not let me adjust the aperture. When I got it home, in a light room, it adjusted fine but as soon as I point it at shadows it goes down to -2. Is this strange or normal? And, yes, it was in Manual mode.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Question #1:

    Did you remember to take off the lens cap?

    Sorry, but I had to.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The aperture is the hole in the lens, through which the light travels. It is adjusted by a series of aperture blades that open or close to change the size of the hole. The is a physical limit to how big the can make the hole...that is the maximum aperture of your lens. You can't adjust the aperture past that point.

    So when it's too dark that your scale is off to the left side...you can only open the aperture to it's maximum. The next thing you can do, is to bump up the ISO or use a longer shutter speed. Remember, it's the combination of these three things that determine the exposure. Since you were already at ISO 1600...you would have needed to use a longer shutter speed. The problem then becomes blur do to motion. Moving subjects will show up blurry when lower shutter speeds are used. The entire image will start to get blurry because of camera shake if you are not using a tripod.

    Sports photography is hard to do and requires good equipment. Watch a pro or college game on TV...you will see that the photographers have HUGE lenses...with a big focal length and a large aperture.
     

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