New: Which Camera Settings Guidelines Should I Use?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Tracker15, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Tracker15

    Tracker15 TPF Noob!

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    I take a lot of outdoor photographs just using Auto on my Canon Powershot A630 digital camera. This camera has a lot of different modes where I can change settings to what I want. I can also change the size of the pictures, as well as the quality from Normal, fine and superfine. I wanted to know how I can work with my setting to take better pictures. I enter a "Biggest Buck Photo Contest" every year where the photo is judged off of the quality of the photo, not just the size of the buck, so any help taking better pictures would be great. What are some guidelines with setting aperture, Shutter speed, ISO etc? Thanks for any help you can give!!!


    Here is an example of one of my pics.

    [​IMG]
    Ricky
     
  2. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    there really are a lot of posts on this topic already, and I know someone of them are specifically for the camera your using.. maybe try a search on those things... it really starts to get to some of the "vets" on here when people post the same questions over and over... I also know that the manual that came with your camera can be of great help... once you've read through that, and if you still have questions maybe trying posting then...

    to say to us "how can i take better pictures" is a pretty full question, because things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO all change depending on your surroundings.. so we cant really tell you that... maybe if you read through some descriptions of what those things are, it will give you a better understanding of how to set them depending on your situation..
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm I would recommend getting a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - that book will explain all the ins and outs of ISO, aperture and shutter speed as they relate to exposure.

    In the shot you pot you can see that the problem is the sky behind - its all white with most of the detail lost - to counter you can try several things

    1) shoot in the evening or early morning - the golden hours are 1 hour before and after sunrise and sunset and in these hours light is softer and more even than in the height of the day when you can get problems with highlights and such

    2) get a different background - a darker background (say woodland) would mean that you were dealing with a reduced range of brightness in the shot - at the moment you have very dark areas (such as your clothes) and very bright areas such as the sky - and the camera cannot get both well exposed in the same shot (Even the big fancy DSLRs and SLR(film) cameras have problems with this though film SLRs are the best at it)

    You could also try using the flash and exposing the shot for the sky - the flash then filling in the light in the foreground (which if set for the sky would make the foreground very dark) though popup flashes are not the best they are serviceable and if you put a few folds of toilet paper (white) in front of the flash that can soften the light.
     
  4. Tracker15

    Tracker15 TPF Noob!

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    I read the advanced manual on my camera. It does a pretty good job showing me how to change the settings, but doesn't go into detail what the differences in Aperture, ISO shutter speed are going to mean in my picture. I'm sure there are some posts similiar to mine out there, but I am at work and don't have that much time to search and filter through the thousands of posts on here to find one that answers all my questions and isn't all over my head. I belong to hunting forums and trail camera forums and understand why a post like mine is a little bit annoying, but usually if you can point the person to a few other posts or in the right direction it helps a lot....thats all I'm asking for.

    Thanks.
     
  5. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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  6. Tracker15

    Tracker15 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks ChrisBurke its obvious that you know what you're doing on this site. I appreciate it.
     
  7. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    I'm a good faker... just read through those guides (they arent that long) they should explain the purpose of things like aperture... then from there you can put it into affect out in the woods.,...
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    There won't be a difference between a shot taken in auto or manual (or the other modes) if the shutter speed, aperture and shutter speed are the same. So it doesn't really matter what mode you use on your camera...however, different modes may use different methods for finding which combination of settings to use.

    As for guidelines to use; you should use the combination of settings that gets the effect that you want and that works in the light you have. The aperture is used to control DOF (depth of field) although with a camera like yours, the small sensor limits how shallow you can go, so it may not be much of an issue to be concerned about.
    The shutter speed controls how motion is recorded. A faster shutter speed freezes motion, both from the camera and the subject...so faster is better for sharper images. This can be an issue when the light is poor and you need a longer shutter speed for the exposure.
    The ISO controls the sensitivity. You can turn up the ISO in order to get a faster shutter speed, but the trade off is more digital noise.

    All three of those settings work together to control the exposure. So if you adjust one, the others will have to compensate. It's a give and take and it's almost always a compromise of some sort. So the best thing is for you to have a good understanding of what the settings do and how to control them...then you can make an informed choice as to what settings are best for the situation that you are in.

    All that being said, I would suggest that you concern yourself more with lighting and composition, rather than camera settings. If you want a great photo of a buck, get a shot in nice directional light (dawn or dusk) and get a good composition.
     

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