Camera Settings

Matt Tullos

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I teach Yearbook in Junior High and green when it comes to photography. I have been a graphics designer for 20 years so I familiar with the industry. Here goes my question:

I am looking for a good resource for camera settings. For instance, what are the best general settings for an outdoor football game on a bright day (e.g. iso, shutter, aperture, etc...) I know I am opening up a can of worms here because everyone has their super intelligent opinions and long winded answers. I am not looking for liturgy on the art of photography, just a resource for some starting points for camera settings for different environments with different variable. A spreadsheet would be amazing.
 

astroNikon

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hmm .. (I know, maybe long winded) but you need to increase you understanding of the Exposure Triangle.

Let me give you a specific example.
If I want to isolate ONE subject on a soccer field I'm going to shoot at f/2.8
- and I want a shutter speed that will stop the action and not allow hot spots from too much light on a sunny day
- this I want an ISO value that is supportive of the 2 above items.
- add to that I may add a ND filter or Circular Polarizer to help the camera or minimize reflections.

This past weekend I was shooting at f/2.8, 1/1250 shutter and ISO 100 to do that.
ONE Cloud though and either shutter is slowed or ISO increased for that time the cloud covers the direct sun.

WHEREAS
If I'm shooting soccer where I want to get more than one person in focus I may be at f/5.6
- which will slow the shutter or increase ISO to compensate for less light coming in due to the more closed aperture.

someone in another thread just posted this which has some "spreadsheet" values
http://digital-photography-school.com/6-phrases-to-help-you-learn-photography-faster/
 

waday

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Matt Tullos

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Thanks..... astroNikon
 

Derrel

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Keep the shutter speeds FAST for football! Fast speeds, and if needed, elevate the ISO level to keep the shutter at 1/1000 second or so. Way,way,way too much worry about ISO levels of 640,800, or 1000 ISO these days with modern cameras. Far, far too much worry about minimal ISO noise--which is easily sublimated when images become ink-on-paper.

Noise will not be a problem in daytime football situations, so use whatever ISO level is needed, at whatever f/stop, typically f/5.6 these days with many lenses is as wide as you can get at many focal lengths.

On modern Nikon d-slrs, AUTO ISO setting in manual mode can help maintain a desired shutter speed and a desired f/stop, by varying the USO level on a shot to shot basis. This is a pretty good way to shoot a lot of daytime subjects, using the AUTO ISO setting option.
 

MolitorPhotography

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there are so many variables... photo journalists generally say if you want to get the shot, f8 and be present. rule of thumb is going to be to never let your shutter speed drop below your focal length for stationary targets, double your focal length if your subject is moving and to stop motion in sports youre going to be at least tripling it. but, friday night under lights is going to be different than saturday afternoon, and both will be different than in the gym for basket ball. maybe the best way to go about it is to say for portraits shoot in Aperture priority at the lowest available aperture and for sports have them set the camera for Shutter Priority at least 1/1000 of a second and let the camera do the heavy lifting.
 

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Keep the shutter speeds FAST for football! Fast speeds, and if needed, elevate the ISO level to keep the shutter at 1/1000 second or so.....
On modern Nikon d-slrs, AUTO ISO setting in manual mode can help maintain a desired shutter speed and a desired f/stop, by varying the USO level on a shot to shot basis. This is a pretty good way to shoot a lot of daytime subjects, using the AUTO ISO setting option.

^^There's your answer. Put the camera in M mode. Set the shutter to 1/1250 and set the ISO to auto. If it's a bright sunny day and your camera's base ISO is 200 then set the f/stop to f/8. If the base ISO is 100 then set the f/stop to f/5.6. Or make life even easier: Set the camera to shutter priority and set the shutter to 1/1250 with the ISO on auto -- take pictures.

You'll also want to pay attention to how the camera's metering and AF are set. You can get more specific answers here if you ID the camera make and model.

Joe
 

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The Digital Photography book 1 by Scot Kelby

That book might be what you're after; it very much boils things down to a series of example situations and rough guidelines as to what settings to use for each; or at the very least it tells you which setting are the most "important" for a certain kind of shot.

What you ask is actually a difficult question for many to answer because many have thought "beyond" such levels of thinking that it just comes natural to say "learn the exposure triangle" and the rest.

I'm not totally sure of your end resulting desire of understanding but I would suggest the above book is agood place to start. I would further say that it shouldn't be the last book - there are 3 more in the series by Scot; there's also Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson which takes things further (than the first book) and a wealth of other books and resource on teaching and learning exposure.
 

Bebulamar

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I saw a lot of people asking similar questions. Most of the questions concerning what kind of settings for what kind of condition. It's ok but that's for when you have no mean to make measurement.
I would make a measurement before deciding on what settings to make.
 
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Matt Tullos

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Keep the shutter speeds FAST for football! Fast speeds, and if needed, elevate the ISO level to keep the shutter at 1/1000 second or so.....
On modern Nikon d-slrs, AUTO ISO setting in manual mode can help maintain a desired shutter speed and a desired f/stop, by varying the USO level on a shot to shot basis. This is a pretty good way to shoot a lot of daytime subjects, using the AUTO ISO setting option.

^^There's your answer. Put the camera in M mode. Set the shutter to 1/1250 and set the ISO to auto. If it's a bright sunny day and your camera's base ISO is 200 then set the f/stop to f/8. If the base ISO is 100 then set the f/stop to f/5.6. Or make life even easier: Set the camera to shutter priority and set the shutter to 1/1250 with the ISO on auto -- take pictures.

You'll also want to pay attention to how the camera's metering and AF are set. You can get more specific answers here if you ID the camera make and model.

Joe
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Nikon D3000
 

Derrel

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Matt Tullos said:
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Nikon D3000

Here is a simplified For Dummies passage on-line, detailing the Canon T3i's AUTO ISO process:
How to Control ISO on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera - For Dummies

Nikon, USA has a VERY brief 2:02 video on how to use AUTO ISO, located here:
Understanding Auto ISO | Changing ISO on the Fly from Nikon

I wish this video were more in-depth, but it's pretty skimpy and mostly fluff.

The For Dummies brand web site has a much more detailed, specific how-to, usign the D3100 as the example camera at How to Control ISO with a Nikon D3100 - For Dummies

Good luck with this year's yearbook! I worked on yearbooks as a kid. Always a fun project for the students! Cameras are much more capable than they were when I was in school. Your kids ought to get some decent images.
 

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For sports you want to control the shutter speed -> S mode, speeds 1/500 sec to 1/2000 sec, depending upon how fast the subjects move.

In most other cases you want to control the aperture -> max. aperture (like f/2.8 or f/1.8 or f/1.4 or whatever your lens offers) for shallow depth of field and subject isolation, f/5.6 or higher for lots of depth of field and being able to capture, for example, groups of people.

I virtually never use M mode, one slight change in the light and especially with overexposure the shot is killed.
 

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