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Real beginner

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Meomyo, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Agree with Pete. Working with fully manual settings is just one of your options, that's all. Sometimes it's appropriate and sometimes it isn't. If I'm outdoors there's a good chance the light is going to change without much notice. I CAN opt to shoot fully manual but it means remembering to check all your settings each and every shot. Who has time for that if the subject is also moving around in front of them? Not me, for sure. Which semi-automatic mode I choose goes back to that question I asked - what is it you want your shot to look like. If I know I want a shallow depth of field for all my shots, or I know I want full clarity front to back in all the shots, I'll choose aperture priority. I set the aperture to get the depth of field I'm looking for and let the camera deal with the rest. Or, if I know I want to blur movement, or I know I definitely want to freeze movement, I'll choose shutter/time priority and let the camera figure the rest out. If I'm getting consistently over exposed shots with these, or underexposed, I will dial in some exposure compensation - effectively say to the camera 'When your figuring this out, go for it but let in a bit more, or less light than you first calculated'.

    There are lots of false beliefs around photography out htere. Some believe their camera system is the best or that you should only shoot manual, or that you can't do anythign with a kit lens or that flash is always horrible light or that not using flash is a cop out and demonstrates a lack of skill. It's all tosh. Basically you can take a photograph with a biscuit tin and so long as you are getting the results you wanted it doesn't really matter how you got them.

    Editing is a whole other box of frogs with just as much nonsense spoken about it but can be a lot of fun!
     
    EightBitTony likes this.
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Exactly so.
     
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  3. Paul M

    Paul M Well-Known Member

    Hi Meomyo,

    There is loads of great advice here. I think you have chosen a good time to take up photography as the cameras available to you now offer you features which I really would have appreciated when I first started. As you mention macro photography I think there are three features on your camera that are invaluable - as is a tripod.

    1. Turn on the ‘blinkies’ (Highlight Alert). Buried in the playback menu on your Canon camera is a feature called Highlight Alert, usually referred to by everyone as ‘blinkies’. With this enable when you review a picture any part of the image which is over exposed will blink black. So if you were taking a close up of a white flower and when you review the image the white petals are blinking it will mean there is no detail being recorded in this area. It is not possible to add the lost detail back in post processing. By adjusting the exposure you and reshooting you will find the point when the blinkies stop - at this point you are recording information in the highlights. How you adjust the exposure will be dependent on as @Geren says how you want the final image to look like. This feature is the wedding photographers best friend :)

    2. Use the focus option in live view. Rather than let the camera chose the focus point, for macro work I would suggest putting the lens into manual focus mode and focussing via the magnified live view option. You can put the focus point where ever you want it to be and then magnify the view by 5x or 10x to ensure accurate focussing. I suggest this as the viewfinders on modern cameras are not really designed for manual focussing anymore as most users will only ever use AF, and for macro work focussing manually is best IMO.

    3. Look at the metadata. As someone already mentioned every image has all the exposure details embedded in it’s metadata - so if you take a sequence of images changing the exposure between each, when you identify the image you prefer you can see the exposure information and then compare it with the other images in the sequence. Over time you will recognise the situations when your camera will struggle and won’t give you a correct exposure and know from experience what exposure compensation to dial in.

    Lastly have fun, take as many photos as you can because the only way to improve at something is to practice a lot.
     
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Or perhaps this is exactly the situation when working in manual makes things simpler, because learning from experience will help you know when to make these adjustments yourself as you take the picture, hence avoiding the time needed to take a test shot, look at the result, adjust the camera's exposure compensation and finally retake the shot. By which time your subject may have moved, the light may have changed or it's begun to rain. Perhaps, with experience, you can adjust the exposure compensation without the need for a test shot, but then the light will change after you have made the adjustment...
     
  5. Meomyo

    Meomyo Member

    Work finished for the day, and lots to read on here, good to have sound honest advice. I'm taking it on board. Thanks again
     
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    To my mind there is absolutely no difference between "working in manual" and, say, using aperture priority with fixed ISO and exposure compensation if taking exposure information directly from the camera meter. It just seems perverse to choose to dial in settings on each and every occasion, rather than let the camera do it, because the camera will mostly get it right. I only take a test shot when I'm seriously concerned about "getting it wrong", mostly I'd take a reading off a representative neutral subject and lock exposure. My current camera has a on/off AEL control which is very useful.
     
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  7. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Fully manual is neither a goal nor an aid to learning, it's just another tool.

    One of the reasons learning to drive is so hard is that you have to be controlling your feet, your hands, your eyes and your brain all at once, while also watching everything around you.

    For many people, a better approach is to master one aspect, and then master another, and then join them together. Non-manual modes allow you to do that.

    At the end of the day, though, what ultimately matters is that you point your camera at stuff, and enjoy the process.
     
  8. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Of course, but preferably to also get the correctly exposed images you want. The process used to get there is a personal choice, but mastering manual settings will help understanding of what the automated options do and also what they sometimes cannot do without you overriding them (exposure compensation).
     
  9. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    For some. Not for all. And it's not necessary to use manual exposure to understand the effect of the three variables, nor is it necessary to start there, nor is it necessary to always head there.
    • Fetishising manual control over the camera is a form of gatekeeping.
    I'm gonna put that on a t-shirt.
     
  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    XXXXL? Or very small print...
     
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Nope, regular size.

    upload_2020-10-29_22-39-41.png
     
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  12. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Who are they keeping the gate against?
     
  13. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Someone who might point an automatic camera at a scene and record an image which lots of people like more than the efforts of another person who claims that you can't take likeable pictures if you don't understand "the rules of photography"? Other possibilities are available :p
     
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  14. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I probably last used fully manual on a camera when I had no choice but to do so and that's going back quite a long time really.
     
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  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Yup, and I can't get past the feeling that in many cases 'use full manual' is equivalent to someone saying 'it was hard in my day and it made me a better person so it must be hard for you to too'.
     
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  16. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I agree. I feel a second class photographer at times. TBH I rarely ever, if at all, use full auto, so not yet a third class!
     
  17. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Well you really shouldn't! (Feel second class I mean, not that you shouldn't use full auto ever.)
     
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  18. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Thanks Kath but it was said tongue in cheek.:)
     
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  19. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I had hoped so!
     
  20. Meomyo

    Meomyo Member

    Good to see that i'm not a pleb for not using full manual mode. I mainly started using it to learn things and was led to believe using other modes was not making full use of my camera, or at worse lazy. Well I'm happy to see most of you do not use it unless it's absolutely necessary.
     

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