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want to learn to shoot in more than auto

primrose

US
3 posts

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primrose Registered since 29th Oct 2011
Sun 30-Oct-11 02:51 PM

I have a D50 and a new 50mm lens. I'd like to learn how to shoot pics without using auto. Any suggestion on where I should start? Thanks!

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gkaiseril

Chicago, US
6739 posts

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#1. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 0

gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Sun 30-Oct-11 06:57 PM | edited Sun 30-Oct-11 07:04 PM by gkaiseril

First you need to aquanaut you self with the controls on the camera, especially the controls the affect ISO, f Stop, and shutter speed, the triumvirate of exposure.

Get a good book on exposure like Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera by Bryan Peterson.

Get an EXIF reader program so you can see the settings used for each image.

Get out an shoot.

Then learn about DOF, Depth of Field.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

wavey davey

UK
12 posts

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#2. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 1

wavey davey Registered since 30th Oct 2011
Sun 30-Oct-11 09:50 PM

might sound obvious, but practice.

When you haev time, take a shot in auto, and then flick to manual. take the same shot, but adjust the ISO, f stop, shutter speed etc by increments to see the effect it has. This way, you can see what the differences actually do.

rectangularimage

San Diego, US
1127 posts

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#3. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 0

rectangularimage Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Oct 2009
Sun 30-Oct-11 10:26 PM

You can learn this exposure estimation technique (like the "Sunny 16" rule but more in depth):

http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

I've used it with old film cameras. I've never really tried it with digital. It's probably more difficult with digital because with digital you need to be more precise with exposure than with B&W film. On the other hand, with digital you get the immediate feedback and know how close your estimation was.

...Mike

My website | My Nikonians gallery

clocke

Hungerford, US
86 posts

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#4. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 3

clocke Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Apr 2003
Mon 31-Oct-11 02:22 AM

Set your camera to Aperture Priority and F8. Now you are out of program mode and have more control over what your camera is doing. Yet at these settings your camera will work almost totally automatically.

Choose an ISO that will allow a shutter speed fast enough to keep your pictures sharp. Probably faster than 1/60 with the lense you are using. A little faster would be even better. When you are in really low light open up your aperture as wide as possible -- knowing that you are then going to sacrifice depth of field. Which is fine....just be sure the camera focuses well on the desired area before you shoot.

White balance set to Auto will probably do a better job of selecting the proper white balance than we can do trying to guess what is needed.

The Aperture Priority and F8 will cover about 90% of the situations you will find yourself in unless you shoot some really diverse things.

The next step would be to go totally manual and set everything but I don't think you'll see enough improvement in your pictures to compensate for the extra hassle of doing that.

Hope this helps!

Coleman Locke
Wharton, Texas

clocke

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blw

Richmond, US
27460 posts

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#5. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Mon 31-Oct-11 07:28 AM

I strongly agree with George - Understanding Exposure is easily the best investment you can make in photography.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

ctdrummer

Southern CT, US
239 posts

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#6. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 5

ctdrummer Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Feb 2012
Mon 13-Feb-12 06:24 PM


The book suggestion is great. What I would also suggest is to start playing with each mode, A, S and then manual. Start with A, aperture mode and see how changing he aperture impacts the shutter speed and how the ISO setting impacts both. Then switch to S, shutter priority and repeat.

You'll see that for the most part, S and A make adjustments to each other so you will get a "decent" exposure although it may not give you a great image all of the time, dependent on your subject. When you go to M manual mode, you can set the aperture, shutter speed and ISO independent of each other. Use your built-in meter when using the manual mode to get the settings correct. You'll get a lot of dark and white images while experimenting.


chewie

Petaling Jaya, MY
134 posts

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#7. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 1

chewie Registered since 17th Jan 2008
Tue 14-Feb-12 01:26 AM

You know you spend too much time in Facebook when you're looking for the "Like" button for this suggestion. LOL. Anyway, yeah, probably "THE" book to have as a beginner.



>First you need to aquanaut you self with the controls on the
>camera, especially the controls the affect ISO, f Stop, and
>shutter speed, the triumvirate of exposure.
>
>Get a good book on exposure like
>Understanding
>Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or[br />>Digital Camera] by Bryan Peterson.
>
>Get an EXIF reader program so you can see the settings used
>for each image.
>
>Get out an shoot.
>
>Then learn about
DOF, Depth of
>Field.

~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~

I've learned that I have alot more to learn...

rhinodad

US
2 posts

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#8. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 0

rhinodad Registered since 03rd Jun 2012
Sun 03-Jun-12 02:30 AM

This website is a great simulator to get you comfortable with the basics: http://camerasim.com/camera-simulator/

RodW

AU
116 posts

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#9. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 0

RodW Registered since 25th Mar 2012
Mon 04-Jun-12 09:54 AM

I would let the light meter do the metering for you and work on learning about shutter speed, aperture and to a lesser extent ISO as these are the three technical must knows and that is enough to work on as there is a lot to think of when taking a photo.

Start with shutter speed. This also brings you to correct technique; stance, breathing, shutter release, panning. Shutter speed is about controlling movement, be it camera movement or subject movement. Learn how to freeze sports action and how to blur movement for creative affect. Find a busy road to practice panning at slower speeds. Grab a tripod and find a waterfall and play with low shutter speeds to blur the water. Understand the minimum shutter speed for each lens you have to control camera shake.

Then learn about aperture and depth of field; how to isolate a subject using narrow DOF (wide aperture), how to get all of a scene in focus with a wide DOF (narrow aperture). Maybe set your 50 up one end of a 1 metre Long ruler or tape measure and focus about half way and take one photo at every aperture to see the difference, find some online DOF tables. If yours is the 50mm F1.4, I was looking at it today. If you focus out 6 metres (there is 3.28 feet per metre) at F16 it said that the DOF went from 2.9 metres to infinity. Take some photos with a subject at 3-4 metres away at F16 and focus on 6 metres, select manual focus and see if this is actually true for your camera/lens. There was a time with manual focus when there was a ready reckoner on the lens barrel now we need to use tables Grrr...

Practice these technical skills and then work n your composition!

go for it!

Rod W
Brisbane, QLD, Australia

musical

north-central, US
1050 posts

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#10. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 9

musical Registered since 12th Feb 2010
Mon 04-Jun-12 12:54 PM | edited Mon 04-Jun-12 02:01 PM by musical

Here's my take on it. Note: I am a hobbyist, not pro. Well, I just mean that a pro or newspaper mentality might be its own thing, (like a simple: fast f8-and-be-there rule). Ok so, randomly:
THIS IS NOT in place of much further study.
try S mode for any evening, indoors event such as a party or stage show. It's sort of complex, like once locked in S mode, I test one picture, then adjust EV and iso at almost the same time. I used S mode to avoid letting shutter drop below 1/60th; I get "postal" over blurred stage pictures. Background dark leads to an overexposed face, or background bright leads to an underexposed face. This is all existing light, unless... for slow flash blur effect, all the same but dropping shutter down to 1/15th and the flash freezes.
Ok, you're thinking, cool, easy, "I got it." Now what about A mode.
(I kidding sometimes, it's all no harder than, let's say, algebra or physics.)

With A mode, I use that in brighter lite portraits, where I want bokeh and the more generous daylight would otherwise stop the lens down in auto; then down with iso and shutter speeds get to (sort of cool) numbers like 1/4000th.
Or... for macro/tripod: A mode forces me (oops allows me) to put the aperture way high for huge depth of field, or forced shallow DOF.
So for me, I sort of juggle four indices (or indexes) rather than three because I use EV more within those modes-- or even just to M mode. And well, I'm looking at the histogram at this point.
As for the histogram, I avoid spikes on the right side. I love shadows (the left side) but hate bleached spots in the subject-- lovingly called blown-out areas.
The human eye sees maybe double the light range of any camera. We might have just bumped into "thinking like a camera" rather than a human. Your eyes see maybe 11 stops of light range while your camera maybe just 5.
I have be typing/thinking too much and if so I humbly apologize. Seriously.
My very best wishes as your push ahead. The rewards are very great.
Try any technique and then explain that in detail in the C&C forum here with your sample photo, and ask for encouragement and really fantastic advise.
jw





"Shadows are the soul of the picture."/>rick sammon

mkbee1

West Valley, US
664 posts

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#11. "RE: want to learn to shoot in more than auto" | In response to Reply # 1

mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012
Mon 26-Nov-12 10:44 PM | edited Wed 28-Nov-12 12:07 AM by mkbee1

>First you need to aquanaut you self with the controls on the
>camera, especially the controls the affect ISO, f Stop, and
>shutter speed, the triumvirate of exposure.
>
>Get a good book on exposure like
>Understanding
>Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or[br />>Digital Camera] by Bryan Peterson.
>
>Get an EXIF reader program so you can see the settings used
>for each image.
>
>Get out an shoot.
>
>Then learn about
DOF, Depth of
>Field.

O.K. Your D50 is a marvelous little machine! I love mine. Good information, here! First, do you have your D50 manual? If so, read it, underline it, tab it...keep it under your pillow. Next, go to Kenrockwell.com, and read his practical Nikon D50 user's information.

So, you have Auto down pat,and want to progress? Great! The D50 is designed to do a lot of the hard stuff for you, And I also strongly recommendbut the purchase and reading of Bryan Peterson's book, "Understanding Exposure" 3rd edition. That book contains all you will ever need to know about exposure!

Next,if the poor camera's mode dial isn't stuck on "AUTO" set your camera to P, which is "Program",or "Pro" , or "Panic" mode. This will allow a bit more manipulation of shutter speeds and aperture.

Learn where your ISO button is, and use it judiciously. As mentioned, learn the interrelationship between the three sides of the exposure triangle...ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. That's the foundation of the whole thing!

Then, when you think you have it figured out...shoot, evaluate, adjust, repeat. Carry a notebook. Write down what you like, or what didn't work,so you won't forget.

Photography is a Magical art! ENJOY the journey! Don't get too bogged down in the mechanics...gigaframmises, bunabs, Bokeh...(sort of sounds like a cat hacking up a hairball, doesn't it?) or whatever. One old- timey photographer said something like...the mechanics of photography can be successfully taught in an hour...(probably 3 for me) It is the eye, and that takes a lifetime to develop.
Good journey!

G