Manual Settings ( understanding Matt)


TPF Noob!
Oct 2, 2005
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Im getting closer.. I can NOW understand the light vs app. and shutter.. I think lol.. I took this one today.. I did a few shots.. Settings were

f 8.0 ISO 100 Shutter 1 / 125

They were taken outside so my first shot the screen was ALL white.. Played around to find the right settings that worked best.. IS it to bright? Should I go darker and edit it myself?

It should, indeed, be darker
It depends on the lighting. If the subject is backlit, weird as it sounds, you raise your exposure. I do this in AV mode or apature mode. If the subject is forlit, you would either back off the exposure or keep it the same.
Crank your ap down on a backlit subject and crank your exposure up. Depending on the light coming from behind them, it might be as much as 2 stops to expose the subject properly. I'll try to post an example this week of sun blasting through a window with a subject right in front of it. It's something I learned within the last few months, and something I hope to learn a lot more about. I'm taking David A Williams class in Detroit in June so I should have a much better handle on it later.
At any rate, that little peice of info helped me TONS.
Hope it helps you as well.
Try to use the inside meter to "help" you know the right exposure, but allways take the meter as just help for example as elaspet pointed out, if you have your subject backlit and the meter on your camera is reading the whole it will tell you to use a faster shutter speed or close your f stop, that is why you have to point the meter so it can help you out.

For example if you point your center point (that most camera use for focusing) at your subject instead of having 3 to average the meter will tell you how to get your subject exposed, but its allways a compromise, since you're leting more light in you also over expose the bacground in order to see the details of your subject.

Now refering to your picture, it all depends on what you want to use it for, it looks like you used direct sunlight if you want less highlights on the child's face you need to under expose it (be it by faster timing, or bigger F stop).

this subject is pretty long, if you ever want to delve more about it, send me a PM, it also helps to know what you want from your photo, for example if you want less depth of field you must open your F stop all the way and only use shutter speed to control the exposure.

Both elsaspet and Cuervo79 are spot on with their exposure suggestions. The only other thing I would add, is to perhaps look for friendlier lighting conditions for future portraiture… A shaded area or overcast skies are almost always more conducive to “keeper” photography.

Just my .02.
Thanks every one!! I agree DepthAField.. I was just playing this time to test it out while we were at the Bus stop... Only area we have so no shade at all...

Going to try again today and post here.. HOping you all can help me out some more.. Also going to try a wider F etc.. Not sure how it will be? When I use iet now F11 with shutter of like 1/70 its a dark picture? IF I make my F wider do I need to make the Shutter higher?
If you make the aperture wider (which is a smaller f number) you will need to make the shutter speed faster (bigger number). This is because your wide aperture will let in light faster, so your shutter has to go quicker to stop too much light getting in.
OK! I will play with them and post them here... Show the difference... For some reason Im thinking my camera is *different* then the others? could it be ?
OK!! I went outside to play with this.. JUST much easier since the lighting is always good.. Unless its raining..

HERE is my flower *IT doesnt move* lol

F2.8 shutter 1/100 ISO 100


This is my model.. My son.. (He doesnt look happy)

F3.6 Shutter 1/60 or 70 dont remember... ISO 100 (its on the dark side)


Its obvious my flower came out Better...
I wanted to add... the picture of my son came out straight and no dizzy looking aspects to it.. YET the one with better lighting DID..

You seem to be getting it...understanding exposure seems to one of those things that is a mystery at first but then once you "get it"....Eureka! Getting it right, is still a bit harder but at least you can understand how it works.

It sounds like you are using full manual mode, is that right? It almost seems like you are picking your settings randomly...until you come to something that works. This will definitely help you to learn...but it seems unnecessary. You don't have to know the specific settings to use in a situation (although that may come after plenty of experience)...what you have to learn is how to meter a scene.

Your camera has a built-in meter, learning how to use it properly is the key. I like the idea of using one of the priority modes, either shutter priority or aperture priority. This way (for example), you set the aperture and the camera's meter will give you a shutter speed for what it thinks is a good exposure. Same idea with shutter priority, just reversed.

Now, the trick is to know what your camera's meter is seeing...and knowing that it will always try to turn everything to mid tone or middle gray. So if you metered something black, the meter would give more light to make it grey....if you metered something white, the meter would subtract light to make it grey. We obviously don't want everything to be grey so you adjust (or compensate) the settings to make the exposure look closer to how we actually see it (or how we want it too look).

The default setting for the meter is probably a matrix, which would take most of the scene into account, maybe giving the middle more weight (centre weighted metering). To get an accurate meter reading, you should zoom in or get close to something that is uniformly grass or someones shirt or face...or you own hand, if need be. Then you take that meter reading and compensate the setting...based upon the what you metered.

Grass or green foliage, for example, is about mid meter that and then don't change your settings. You son's skin is fairly light, so you could meter his face and then give about one stop more light (slower shutter or bigger aperture). You give more light because the meter wants to subtract light to make it grey.

Learning how & what to meter can be tough. I took a class, specifically about metering, and I still find myself trying to figure it out, when I'm shooting.

Sorry for rambling on so much...I just had a very large cup of coffee. :p
Thanks! To all of you!! I will contiue to practice with it and keep going.. I AM getting some where with it I can tell.. :) YES I am using FULL manual.. I set my meter to 0...

I CAN set my meter to 0 which is dead in the center and Click my shutter half way down to SEE the image before I shoot... IF I dont like it I can play with it too... I have tried t his a few times too...

Thanks agains you all are great!! :)

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