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Real beginner

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

  1. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    My camera live in Aperture priority mode and auto ISO. Most of what I shoot is outdoors in changing conditions, and I care more about depth of field than anything else. So I set my aperture, and the camera worries about shutter speed and ISO.

    On my Canons I can control (to some extent) the maximum value it will move the ISO to, so I still have to watch the exposure rating in the viewfinder (on my DSLR) to make sure it's not reach a limit and is going to under expose, and I have to watch the shutter speed it's picking (which again, I can control to some extent) to make sure it's not going to blur motion unless I want it. But generally, the camera works it out properly and I get short notice shots that I want to get.

    I have to understand the exposure triangle (here's my blog on it, self promotion, https://perceptionistruth.com/2016/08/the-exposure-triangle/), but I'm not constrained by having to control all three elements at once. I use the time that gives me to think about the edges of the frame and the content which are more important to me personally than being out by a stop on the exposure.

    I use shutter priority and let the camera worry about aperture and ISO when I know I want to get motion blur (or avoid it).

    I shoot manual when I'm doing panoramas, so that I know I have consistent exposure across every frame.

    What I find more important than manual is understanding exposure compensation and metering modes. Getting to grips with those help you get the best from the semi-auto modes and reduce the need to worry about manual exposure. Understanding where manual exposure is the best choice is key and knowing how to achieve it is key, but it's such a low priority mode for a lot of people.

    Don't sweat it.

    Focus on the content.
    Learning likes this.
  2. John Fantastic

    John Fantastic Active Member

    I only use manual mode when i do off camera flash photography. :)
  3. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Wise words - with good content, you can look at what else you can do with the settings to change it.

    I shoot a lot of cricket in the summer and, like Tony, my camera stays on Aperture Priority. There are other things I have to watch as I'm shooting people wearing white in bright sun, but that covers the important bits.
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Remember that P stands for professional. (Sorry; its an old joke) Get a shot. If there is time, refine your settings to improve the shot.
    For macro you may start to use focus stacking. I won't explain it; its easy to look up. If you do use focus stacking then manual exposure becomes essential. You must have consistency between exposures. That is about the only time that I use fully manual exposure. If I was into making moving water look all soft as some people like it then I would use manual for that.
    There are times where I fix the shutter speed and aperture but let the camera choose iso (within sensible limits). Again this is for special requirements.
    Aperture priority is important if you want to control depth of field. Shutter priority if you want to control motion blur.

    Most of what I shoot is shot on the P setting with auto iso. Sometimes I refine the setting using what Nikon causes program shift. I expect Canon has something similar.
    Modern cameras normally choose appropriate settings and allow the photographer to concentrate on the more subjective aspects of making a picture.
    Choose manual and/or exposure compensation when you expect the camera to get exposure wrong.
  5. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Just out of interest Adrian. When you shoot cricket with your 400mm f5.6 do you normally set your aperture at f5.6?
    If you were to set your D200 to P instead of aperture priority would the camera algorithm choose f5.6?
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I’d expect the algorithm to pick F5.6 when it has to. These days the cameras are aware of what lenses are attached so, for a 400 mm lens, any sensible program will try to get exposure time to 1/400 or less and open the aperture to do so. I haven’t seen a camera program chart for ages. They used to be standard fold out in the printed manual.
  7. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Exactly so.
  8. Burcu9320

    Burcu9320 Member

    Greetings and Welcome!,

    Just like you, I also joined this forum to learn and share my experiences in photography. I don't think photography has to be a very expensive hobby. For sure there is some very expensive equipment for professionals, but for the level we all start, there are also some cheap options that will for sure allow us to learn how a camera and its accesories work.

    All the best!

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