Shutter Speed, Aperture, & WB Settings

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ccdan, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. ccdan

    ccdan TPF Noob!

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    Camera: Canon E0S Digital Rebel

    I'm new to taking stock photographs and not used to using a SLR Digital Camera. I have read through the manual and got a pretty good grasp on how to change settings and such. I've been trying to use the "M" mode or "Manual Mode" using RAW format to edit once in Photoshop. My question is does anyone have pointers on starting points to set the Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO in both sunny outside conditions and inside white room (lighted) conditions.

    Also any pointers and information on using a custom WB vs auto & what should be made the custom WB if used (background, object, etc.)?

    If there are any other settings that I haven't listed that may need to be changed when in "M" mode let me know.

    *note I always have the flash turned off. not sure if this is a good or bad thing just seem to like the result of the photo looking as I see it in person rather than crapped up with glare and well flash.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I've been hearing more and more people saying this...and my question is...Why?
    I understand that using manual can certainly help you learn...but unless you have a decent understanding of how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work together to give you an exposure...using manual modes isn't really helping you.

    Light level are different all the time. Under clear sun light...the Sunny 16 rule will work...but there is no way to tell you what to use indoors, or outdoors in different situations. Is your bathroom the same brightness as your kitchen? Probably not.

    You camera has a light meter in it...Learn to use it. When you use auto mode...the camera chooses both shutter speed and aperture. You can use Av, where you pick the aperture and the camera will give you the shutter speed that will give you an average exposure for the light you are in. You could also use Tv and pick the shutter speed...leaving the aperture for the camera to set.

    When you use manual...the camera's meter is still useful. You just have to adjust the settings until the 'needle' is centered on the scale. This will give you an average exposure for your light. If you want to change the exposure, then change on of the settings.
     
  3. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ccdan,

    From what I've seen here you're going to get lots of useful information here. I can't help you much with wb as I'm pretty green with digital. But when using the FM2 I kinda start with a daylight rule - F8 in daylight with 1 over ISO for shutter. Overcast = add one stop, direct sunlight = reduce one stop, dreary rain day = add 2 stops.
     
  4. Bermuda05

    Bermuda05 TPF Noob!

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    If you are not familiar with aperture and shutter speeds for different light conditions you are setting yourself for a lot of frustration and the deleting of a lot of bad images from your flash card.

    Try this if you insist on using the Manual Mode on your dSLR.
    Take a meter reading of the scene you want to shoot in AV or TV mode. Remember the settings.
    Switch to Manual Mode and set the aperture and shutter speed using the buttons on your camera. On the Canon 20D those adjustment are made using the Quick Control Dial and the main dial. Better yet, look up manual setting in instruction booklet that came with your camera. Good luck.

    George
     
  5. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    Mike is right. And you may have an understanding of all the functions, but the honest truth is that most times, the camera is smarter than you. There are definetly times manual mode can help, but most times, especially for a beginner, the automatic modes will do the job a lot better.
     
  6. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I'd reckon that for around 99.99% of my shots i'm either on Av mode or Tv.
    Using M, as far as i can figure, is the same as using Av but then having to adjust the exposure and increasing chances of missed shots.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    M, Av and Tv
    are all about the same amount of manual, as the camera still meters the light and suggests you a combination of exposure time and aperture.

    to set your exposure in M you need to set aperture and exposure time.
    in Av or Tv you need to set either time or aperture respectively PLUS the exposure compensation (you fine tuning). so in both cases you vary two parameters to get the exposure.

    I mostly use Av or Tv as it is just faster for me to control the parameters that way.
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I have to say that I disagree with the camera being smarter than me, and also that you should not start out learning to set the camera manually. That's ridiculous imho. The camera cannot discern what it sees. It can only interpret exposure values and try and get a balance, or an 18% grey. It's true that starting in manual mode and stabbing around in the dark won't get you anywhere, but if you are serious about learning and understanding photography, then you should by all means use the camera in a manual mode, COUPLED with reading a book or something on the basics of photography, with an emphasis on exposure. Obviously, if you don't understand this aspect of it, you'll never get anywhere, but reading a book alone is abstract. Coupled with the experience of doing, it's really the way to learn, and with being able to see your results immediately with digital, you can't go wrong.
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    at least i would agree since the camera cannot interpret a shooting situation, after a couple of days you start to become better than the green programme.

    but then, if you use Av, Tv or M is more or less a question of convenience and taste. I would use M only in extreme light conditions, where the built in lightmeter is of no use anymore.
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    I use manual mode when shooting with studio strobes, because the camera's meter doesn't measure the flash output. I also may use manual mode when I use a light meter...or when the light is consistent for all the shots I might shoot.

    Matt brings up a good point. The camera is not smart at all...it doesn't know what you are shooting...or how you, as the photographer, what it to look. It may be a great bit of technology...but it's not smart.

    If you want to get technical...the camera's meter probably gives you an inaccurate exposure most of the time...and it's up to the photographer to compensate for that...based on what is being metered.

    Reading a good book, while experimenting with the settings...will probably be the best way to learn.
     
  11. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm, might try that as well one day ....
     
  12. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I agree with both point. If you use manual by simply matching what the camera says to do, you aren't really gaining anything and might as well use Av or Tv. But Matt's suggestion is great, as it will really drive home what exposure is.

    Personally I use Av most of the time, as I usually care most about aperture. I'll use Tv if I'm doing panning shots at an autocross. I'll use M if I have to compensate for tricky lighting, using a hand-held meter, etc. For most of the shots I do, I don't have time to fiddle with M for the sake of M.
     

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