Learning is tough

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CherpeAr, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. CherpeAr

    CherpeAr TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Been practicting a Little with my new equip when I have time. Man it is tough! I really have a new appreciation for photographers now.
    I like my new camera and lenses but getting the exposure right is tough. They’re either over exposed or under.
    I’ve been very adamant about doing the settings myself which is why. I don’t want to use automatic.
    If anyone has any tips feel free to let me know.
    Just feeling like a failure :(


     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,742
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    We all have failed in the past.
    You just have to sit there and figure out the "why" ... and you have the luxury of being able to present the failed image to others here that can provide insight/advise.
    When I started photography I did not have anyone else to tell me ... so it took longer.
     
  3. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    6,438
    Likes Received:
    4,174
    Location:
    Northeastern Pennsylvania
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Do not get down on yourself. It really is tougher than one thinks it will be. One tip that helped me lots was when I get to the area and in the environment I would be shooting, I would put everything in auto and take a couple pics. I then looked to see what settings the camera chose and made a mental note of the conditions. Once I felt a little more confident, I would get to the site and set my settings myself, snap a picture of the first thing I saw, look to see if it was exposed correctly, make adjustments if needed, reshoot, etc. Until you get proficient, take several meaningless photos every little bit to keep checking yourself. It is better to have to delete a lot of photos and get a keeper than have to delete your shots you wanted to keep because they just aren't good. As you improve, you will soon learn no one gives a harsher critique on your photos than you will because you always want to do better.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    17,139
    Likes Received:
    4,351
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You don't always have to go either fully manual or fully auto. You can also select aperture priority or shutter priority as the shot requires.

    My advice is to decide first; if the shot is a quick snap that is going to be gone in a few seconds, or if you can take your time with it and make some adjustments to your gear. If you are chasing your children around, why not just use auto (either one, as you need). If you can take a little time to set up a shot, decide on either aperture priority or shutter priority, and maybe add some flash.

    Frankly, nobody but you cares if you use auto sometimes. Or even all the time, come to that. Why do you want to avoid automatic? Is that just some silly "pride" thing?

    If some shots are over- or under-exposed, are you not seeing your exposure meter? If you can see the indicator, you should use it. If you wish to experiment with some slightly over- or under-exposure, either use the meter or set the exposure compensation control to some plus or minus value.

    Speaking of exposure, you can usually make some meaningful adjustments in editing. Adjust the final exposure just as you would the white balance, contrast, sharpness, and crop, among others. Sure, you'll spend a few minutes getting it better, but it is so easy to do, that I think everyone can do it without a lot of fuss.

    If you have any shots about which you have questions, post it up on here and ask your questions.

    Oh, one last thought; Learning can be as stressful as you allow it, or you can simply enjoy the hobby and let it all happen in good time. Relax. Take your time. Learning all the finer points does take time, so don't stress over it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    413
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    As other have said, relax, and take it easy.
    With all the data on the internet, it can be like drinking water from a 5 gal bucket. Way too much data to absorb.

    There is NO ONE best exposure mode. It is up to the photographer to select the best mode for the situation. There is a skill that is called into play is determining which mode is best for a particular situation.
    I usually shoot in P (program) mode.
    Then I shoot in Shutter priority (Tv for Canon), Aperture priority, or Manual based on the specific situation, if it calls for it.

    I do NOT shoot in Auto mode for 1 reason. In Auto mode, the camera will autofocus on the closest subject/object. This means that when shooting guests at a dinner table, the camera will focus on the dinner table between me and the guests on the other side. So you cannot have anything between you and your subject, or the camera will focus on it. :(
    Shooting in P mode, lets ME choose where to focus.
    As long as you understand the limitations, feel free to use it, just know when to NOT use it.
    The other thing to look at are the scene modes.
    Scenes are the camera manufacturers attempt to make it easier to use the camera. A scene will configure the camera to what the camera manufacturer thinks is best for that shooting situation. This takes a lot of the detailed configuration out of your hands and into the camera and makes it easier to shoot different subjects and situations. This is GOOD stuff, don't ignore it.

    Now . . . for shooting in Manual

    Look up the "sunny 16 rule."
    It is an old film guide to exposure, when there was no automation and everything was manual. In the "old days of film" there was a piece of paper in the film box, with this info on it, and that is what I used to set my camera. No light meter, no automation, just a piece of paper to tell me what to set my camera to. I had the small version taped to the back of my camera.

    The start of the rule is the exposure on a sunny day; shutter speed is 1/ISO of the film, aperture = f/16.
    So with ISO 125 film (or digital setting), shutter speed = 1/125 sec, aperture = f/16.
    If you raise the ISO to 500, shutter speed = 1/500 sec, aperture = f/16
    The sunny day constant f/16 is why it is called the sunny 16 rule. The shutter speed changed based on the ISO speed.
    From this base, there are adjustment for cloudy sky, open shade, and deep shade.

    The neat thing about digital, is you can look at the back of your camera, and see if you need to adjust up or down, then take another shot.

    Now go out and try this.

    Gud Luk and hang in there.
    You will make it.
    Just take small steps, and don't get overwhelmed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  6. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    413
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The next step is 'equivalent exposure.'

    The "sunny 16" rule has you shooting at f/16 on a sunny day. But what if you don't want to shoot at f/16, or you want a faster or slower shutter speed. Then you then have to learn "equivalent exposure." Or the same exposure, but with different settings.

    Look at this chart, shutter speed on the left, aperture on the right.
    4000 - 2
    2000 - 2.8
    1000 - 4
    500 - 5.6
    250 - 8
    125 - 11
    60 - 16
    30 - 22
    15 - 32
    As you go up/down the chart, the shutter speed and aperture changes, but the exposure to the film/sensor stays the same.
    1/1000 sec at f/4 is the same equivalent exposure as 1/60 sec at f/16.

    Make 2 cards; one with the shutter speed, and one with the aperture, in the same order as the chart above. Then line the cards up side by side as the cart is.
    Line up the exposure (shutter speed - aperture) based on "sunny 16" or your camera (1/60 at f/16 in the chart above), then look up/down the card to see the equivalent exposure. Line up a different exposure and look at the equivalent exposures.

    One thing, depending on YOUR lens, you won't have ALL the apertures available, so you will be limited to the apertures on YOUR lens. Similarly, your camera shutter speed may not go as high as the chart. So make your card match your camera and lens, so you don't have settings that you can't use.

    This is only an exposure card. The next check is in your brain. Your brain needs to select the appropriate exposure from the card.
    Example, while 1/15 sec at f/32 is a usable exposure, it is toooo slow to be able to freeze fast moving kids. You need to use a faster shutter speed to freeze motion. So rather than 1/15 sec, you want to go up to 1/125 sec.
     
  7. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    269
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I rarely shoot in full manual. My preference is Aperture Priority. I adjust the f stop to give me the depth of field or sharpness I am looking for in the shot. I always cross check the shutter speed and ISO the camera has calculated. If it is not acceptable then I go manual.

    Today I broke that rule and used shutter priory shooting sports.

    A good way to master the craft is to take on assignments. @SquarePeg has a weekly challenge that many of us participate in. Low key and no criticism unless you want it. Each week she posts a specific assignment and we then go out and take photos and post them in that week's thread. It is easy to find. Just search the forums on "Weekly Challenge".

    Also, get a third party book on your specific camera. David Taylor, for instance has written many on Canon cameras but there are numerous others. These books offer more than just technical information...they often delve into technique.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    432
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Take a shot with Auto first. And take a look at what the camera choose for ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture. (The exposure triangle)
    So now turn the camera to manual mode and dial the same settings for ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture and take the same photo again It should roughly about the same.
    How about up the ISO settings once (means turn that dial with one click) and take the same photo? Is the photo become slightly over exposed? With the increased ISO settings, increase the shutting speed settings once (turn that dial with one click so that the number is smaller. Remember, the number shown could be a fraction number, for example, 1/200 is smaller than 1/100) and take the same photo again. The exposure of the photo should be similar to the 1st photo.

    Now decrease the Aperture (reduce the physical size) by increase the F number. Is the photo become darker?


    So basically changing one setting at a time and see how that one change affect the photo.

    Here is a general idea of the ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture settings
    Increase ISO settings will yield a brighter photo. (e.g. change ISO from 100 to 200. Of course, decrease it will yield a darker photo if other settings keep the same)
    Increase Shutter speed will yield a darker photo. (In seconds, e.g. you change the shutter speed from 1/125 seconds to 1/250 seconds)
    Increase the Aperture (lower the F number) will yield a brighter photo. (e.g. change the F number from f/5.6 to f/4 . Yes, the actual number is smaller when you increase the aperture)

    Please note that I am not trying to tell you to shoot with Manual mode as a beginner, I just want to show you how settings of ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture will affect the photo. Once you understand that, it will be easier for you to use those Semi -Auto mode such as Av, Tv mode.

    Also, metering is also important. Sometimes the camera may not know what you really like to capture. Especially when you try to take a photo of a scene which have a very bright and dark area. (i.e. you are inside a cave looking at the opening during the day. The cave is dark and the opening is bright) Learn more about different metering mode and how to use it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    269
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Oh, and metering mode is critical no matter how you shoot. In spot mode it will meter on, in my camera, the focusing spot. Take a photo of the moon and if the spot is on the moon the results will be drastically different from a photo where the spot is on the space just next to the moon. Change to center weighted average and the precise location of the spot is less important.

    Don't worry, it took me a while and a lot of reading and experimenting to learn how to take advantage of nuances like this.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Winona

    Winona TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    18
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Great thread! I have been a beginner for 30 plus years, but feel like I have time to move on this past 18 months. Kids are older. Getting a Dummy Book for my camera helped. I also bought a book that gives more detailed info. I read these a lot. I started shooting AV, but also use the scene modes when I don’t want to miss something or don’t have time to fool with settings. As above, I also do a photo in auto and then use those settings to set up for use in AV and manual. I now understand ISO, shutter speed, and aperature and most of the time feel like I know what I need to change. But still a lot of work ahead to become proficient. I also need to turn my focus to correcting white balance and using the cameras metering mode. Not even sure I am using the correct terms. Basically-I read more than I take photos. But, I try to read something and then go out and try what I read. This is 18 months and I have barely started post-processing! So, easy to give up, but there is no race for me. Enjoying the journey. Good luck.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    409
    Location:
    Crystal River, Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I don't know about others but even back when the camera was manual, I still didn't try to guess at exposure, It just can't be done accurately. The eye, and brain, adjust what you see but the camera doesn't. It was necessary to use a light meter and then adjust the camera. Or, if using a strobe there were fairly standard settings.
    You could guess based on some rule but it was just a SWAG.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    One of the Ebooks that really helped me was "How to Create Stunning Digital Photography" by Tony Northrup. At the end of each chapter there are exercises that will help you improve your skills. There are several hours of video with great explanations. They also have an active online presence where you can view tutorials and reviews and even post your photos for critique. https://www.amazon.com/How-Create-Stunning-Digital-Photography-ebook/dp/B006KY2VZ2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546832248&sr=8-1keywords=tony+northrup's+dslr+book+how+to+create+stunning+digital+photography. You might want to search for Northrup Photography on Facebook and go through some of their videos.

    One of the best online photography learning communities is at Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community

    Good luck!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2

Share This Page