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Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Nikon Fan, May 21, 2005.

  1. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    So here's something that's been nagging at me for a bit. When you shoot a pic do you ever leave it on auto, or do you do everything manual? And is it so bad if you are shooting on auto settings or do you think that to truly be a good photographer that you should be using manual settings? I know there is much more to it than this...but I'm having trouble putting my exact thoughts in words at the moment. I think you all get the idea though.








    Oh and I hope this kind of question is what you are looking for in this section even though its' a bit surfacy :) So if needed you can move it to genera questionsl ;)
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Well, if you are asking 'what makes a good photographer?' I think it could stay. But if it is an 'auto vs manual' thread then I shall banish it.
    I think if you know what you are doing you understand what the auto settings are trying to do - and so you know what to leave on auto and when.
    I have to admit that with digital I leave a lot on auto. I usually pop off a shot then check it and if I don't like what one of the auto settings is doing to the shot I put it right.
    But that goes for all the elements in the photo too. I have been known to clip branches off trees because they were in the wrong place.
    Maybe we should turn this into a 'how much intervention is acceptable?' thread.
     
  3. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Agreed :) Along with the what makes a good photographer part, b/c it seems that peoples ideas differ a lot from on what makes someone good.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I think that if you understand how the camera is operating while on auto or semi-auto there isn't much difference. I mean, which demonstrates less control? Setting the exposure to manual, and then just zeroing (or centering, or whatever) the meter to middle gray without considering the scene, lighting, tones, etc... or setting the camera on program if the situation is appropriate, and the photographer understands how the camera is going to do it's thing.

    Most of my cameras have no modes except manual, but on the fancier ones I use aperture priority all the time. Like Hertz, with my new DSLR I've been mostly shooting in auto or semi-auto, with the flash on E-TTL (super auto? ;) ), and then making the neccessary adjustments for the next shot.

    Last night I broke out the D20 at a wedding reception. I was shooting on AV at f/2.8, with the flash on full auto, and letting the meter pick the shutter speed (which didn't take into account the flash, so it was pretty slow). I set Manual to f/2.8 @ 1/125th. This way I could easily jump back and forth between long exposure times, and a safer hand held speed.
     
  5. JonMikal

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    i shoot a d70 on manual as it gives me total control of what i'm trying to accomplish; that way i can only blame myself and not the camera when im disappointed. shooting a nikon f for years put me in that mindset. unless you understand settings you'll be in the dark as to why you get what you get when shooting auto. to be all you can be, understand all aspects of the camera or join the marines. :p
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    First, all of the equipment I have is manual.

    Most of the stuff I shoot, I take DOF into account quite often. So I am always checking my preview. I guess if I had Apeture Priority setting I would use that, but auto wouldn't give me the control I need.
     
  7. Andrea K

    Andrea K TPF Noob!

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    in order for me to learn what everything did i had to put the camera in manual mode because auto wasnt cutting it i just didnt feel that i was using the full potential of the camera (i guess curiousity as to what all the icons on the dial meant as well) so i put it in manual mode and learned how to use the light meter in the camera and that in turn helped me to use the shutter and aperture priority modes. now my favorite mode is manual mode mainly because it makes me think more than the other modes, but if im in a hurry to take pictures like at some kind of event ill put it in program mode

    i guess my method was like learning to swim by jumping in a pool :confused:
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Yeah. What they said. To illustrate further...

    I think the technical aspects of photography should become second nature. Auto will produce good results 90% of the time. It is a great starting point. Review the metadata (exif info) and the photo. If you are shooting film be sure to record the info. At this point you can say "well ƒ2.8 was not the depth of field I was looking for; next time I will use Aperture Priority @ ƒ11 so I can get all the elements in focus. Or "I needed to open up a stop to get details in the shadows. Auto exposure is only the beginning. If shooting digi. Auto white balance and flash can be an even bigger problem. Generally use of the Slow flash and tungsten modes are mandatory. The extent of these options will depend on your camera, so spill some details and we will help.

    There is no Auto learning, so shoot lots of exposures and understand what is going on.
     

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