making your way out of using auto...newb question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by chris182, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. chris182

    chris182 TPF Noob!

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    This is prob. a really stupid question so go easy on me but is there any advice on working your way away from using auto on the camera? How do you know EXACLY what your aperature, iso, shutter speed, etc should be at to get that perfect image? I have a few books and understand the meaning of the terms but just find myself getting nervous when shooting in Aperature Priority for example, and last night I was indoors using flash, only had ceiling fan light to work with and was taking pics of my daughter and they all seem to look yellowish. Any books, or advice anyone can give when making your way to out of using auto. Thanks and sorry if this seems like a stupid post, but I need help.
     
  2. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    I never used the auto modes on my DSLR. I think it kinda defeats the purpose of having anything better than a P&S.

    I have tons of books too, and I've read them all, but I really start to understand all the elements when I practice.

    You can try to use a larger aperature when shooting indoors in low light. When I take pictures of my son I have to use somewhere around 1.8 if the lighting is real low. And in Af mode you only have to fool with that one aspect...it'll adjust the SS for you.
     
  3. Santa Gertrudis

    Santa Gertrudis TPF Noob!

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    Start out in Program and work your way to the other modes as you learn. That and just play around a lot in all the modes. Take note of what aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc. that you use on each shot and compare with the next setting and so on. You would be surprised how much you learn/remember. Hope that helps a little!
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. Big Mike

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

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    Shooting in manual, is the big secret that a lot of people seem to think it is. It isn't all that complicated and it won't magically make your photos better.
    If you shoot a photo at F8, 1/100 and ISO 100....the shot will be exactly the same, whether you are in manual, auto, Av, Tv etc.

    Still, there are times when it's advantageous to shoot in manual...and it' certainly a good idea to know how. To get started, put the camera into auto, or a priority mode and half press the button to take a reading. Note the values and then switch to manual & input those numbers. There, now you are shooting in manual :).
    Another way to do it, would be to aim the camera at your scene and adjust the settings until the 'needle' gets to the ---0--- on the scale.
    Now, you can adjust the three exposure variables to either keep the same exposure or change it away from ---0---...it's up to you.

    As for your indoor shots looking yellowish, that sounds like a White Balance issue, not an exposure issue. Completely different thing. Try using a different WB setting, or using a custom WB (check your manual for how to set that up). But if you shoot in RAW, you don't have to really worry about WB.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Read the users manual that came with your camera.

    It describes the features the camera has.

    With the camera out of A mode there a light meter in the viewfinder that indicates if, with the current settings you will get a proper exposure or if the image will be over or under exposed.

    A proper exposure can result from 6 different combinations of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Which of those 6 combinations you choose to use is where the artistry part of photography comes in.

    This is all covered in the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

    It is a very popular book because Bryan uses language that easily conveys the critical concepts that relate to the exposure triad.
     
  7. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    When I first started off, I read every book I could get my hands on. Libraries are awesome sources, although material can be outdated. Also like others suggested, read and re-read you manual. It can really help. And don't forget that practice makes perfect. You cant learn without experimenting with your camera
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Step 1. Order this [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003"]book[/ame].

    Step 2.
    While waiting for the above book to arrive, get out the user manual for your camera and read it carefully. Learn how to operate the entire camera.

    Step 3. Read the book in step 1 when it arrives.

    Step 4. Practice what you have learned. Step 3 will give you an understanding of exposure and how ISO, shutter speed and aperture work together and how to make compromises in one area to get advantages in another. Step 2 will give you an understanding on how to operate your camera to truly take advantage of what you learned from Step 3.

    Step 5. With your new found knowledge enjoy being a photographer and work improving your skills instead of being a picture taker. It's easy to walk away from Auto mode once you learn how to make the camera work for you instead of you working for the camera.
     
  9. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    This hobby/professional pastime is not a simple buy and do to get better industry.

    There are so many different aspects to it, that it will most likely be a lifetime learning event, unless you decide to stay in a small area of the profession...which is not such a terrible idea if you choose to do so.

    Read, do...do, read...read, do. Continue this for the however long it takes, and you will succeed. I also believe that taking some classes from a bonafide expert is a great idea as well.

    Happy shooting & Good luck!
     

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