New to manual settings

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PhotoBear, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. PhotoBear

    PhotoBear TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, I am a photo junkie!! I admit however I have used the auto settings and I am ready to move up. I have done a bit and usually just change things until the histogram looks good, but wanted some input. I am doing a Sr. shoot this afternoon and would love some recommendations. I have a Canon 40D and it is going from sunny to overcast here where I am and wonder if you all have any suggestions. :)
     
  2. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    If you are doing a shoot this afternoon, it's too late to try anything new now. Have the auto settings been serving you well??
     
  3. PhotoBear

    PhotoBear TPF Noob!

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    They have done fairly well. I also now have CS4 so tonight after my crew (4 kids) go to bed I will be experimenting with that and figured the more RAW I went with the shoot the more editing opportunities I would have.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I agree, a photo shoot isn't really a time to go trying something new...at least not unless you have a lot of time and get get the shots you need first.

    Shooting in manual can be great, sometimes it's essential. But really, there is no difference between a shot in manual, auto, shutter priority or aperture priority....if the settings end up the same. They are just different paths to take, that can get you to the same destination.

    You can still use the camera's light meter while in manual. Just look in the viewfinder or on the top screen. You can adjust the settings until the 'needle' gets to the ---0---. That will give you the same exposure as any of the auto modes (with no compensation).
    You can adjust the exposure away from ---0--- if that's what you want to do. You can do that in manual by changing any of the settings....or you can do it in the auto modes by adjusting the EC (exposure compensation).

    More important than what mode you are using...is your actual exposure and how it makes your image look.
    Metering can be fairly important. For example, what are you pointing the camera at when you get your exposure settings? What metering mode? The meter isn't necessarily accurate in that it gives you the best exposure...it just gives you exposure for 18% grey. But if what you're metering isn't that tone, then the exposure will be off...so you may need to compensate the exposure away from ---0---.
    Of course, with digital, you can shoot, check the exposure and shoot again. You can also bracket your shots...shoot several with different exposures.
     
  5. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I would shoot these in Raw-Jpeg

    this way you can almost experiment with the settings while having raw to fall back on.

    I would also bracket the shots this way it will also give you some leeway.


    Experimenting with manual settings on your shoot, will be like bungee jumping. Once over the railing there is no going back.................:confused::mrgreen:
     
  6. PhotoBear

    PhotoBear TPF Noob!

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    Thanks you all. May have to use more experimentation time with my little ones. I get great shots (I seem to have a gift for that) just ready to go to the next level. Have some great opportunities coming up and just want to be sure to capture what the clients are looking for.
    Hoping with some of my proceeds to upgrade/add some more equipment. I will be asking about your alls recommendation on that too! :)
     
  7. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    Hmm...What would your recommendation for metering and WB? would you use a gray card at the scene to meter and preset the WB?
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Forgive me if I am wrong here, but I get the feeling from you post you don't have a good working relationship of ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. Once you have those down and understand the proper operation of the meter in your camera, as suggested by other posters, shooting in manual can be fairly easy to do and you will have the ability to achieve looks that an automatic mode can not.

    If you don't have this [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003"]book[/ame], it would be a good one to get you started.
     
  9. JillH

    JillH TPF Noob!

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    I might be a bit out of line making a suggestion here because I'm not nearly as knowledgeable or skilled as many of the other contributors, but I'll throw out my "beginner's" 2 cents worth. I moved away from the auto settings recently myself, and found that, to get a 'feel' for manual, that working in just either shutter or aperture priority to start with was a good transition for me. That way, I only worried about setting one variable correctly at a time. From there, I started fooling with the full manual mode and experimenting with it.

    By no means have I master any of these modes with any consistency yet, but I am becoming more comfortable with them, and how my photos will look at different settings. It just takes a bit of patience and practice.
     
  10. Kansasdude

    Kansasdude TPF Noob!

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    Where manual mode can be most useful is when doing indoor shoots in a fixed location where the lighting isn't going to be changing from shot to shot. Once you dial in the exposure you'll have consistent exposure from shot to shot, even when your subject moves in frame. Auto exposure can sometimes misread the scene because it's suddenly metering on the background rather than the subject.
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    A grey card can be a great way to meter a scene and/or get a custom WB setting. There are also some other white balance cards that can be useful. Personally, 95% of the time, I shoot in Auto WB...but I shoot in RAW so that I can adjust the WB afterward. As for metering, I think the important thing is to realize when a scene could be throwing your meter off...so that when you aren't getting the results you want, you can recognize why, and make the proper adjustments.

    Understanding Histograms
    Expose Right
     
  12. PhotoBear

    PhotoBear TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone! As you are correct I am really new at this piece. Yesterday was a great shoot and now on to editing... Keep the great suggestions coming. I am looking forward to learning lots of good stuff here. You all are really great!! :D
     

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