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Using Manual Mode

This is a discussion on Using Manual Mode within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Ok, so after reading all of this, I'm trying to figure out "what determines which setting you adjust?" From my ...

  1. #11
    zenador is offline Member
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    Ok, so after reading all of this, I'm trying to figure out "what determines which setting you adjust?"

    From my - shall we say simple - shots last night, I can achieve almost identical photos from adjusting either setting... I don't have my camera with me at the moment (it was a motorcycle day ) but a sunset shot at f11 - 1/50 looks the same as another at f4.5 - 1/250. Those may not be the exact settings, but illustrate what I'm seeing. Maybe I'm not picking up the subtle changes, I'm just looking for a little more clarity.

    Cheers - Zen

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    If you are photographing a sunset with objects in silhouette the difference will not be that obvious. If you are at a rodeo and you photograph a cowboy on the ground roping a calf a wide aperture will make the cowboy and calf 'pop'. This is desirable since such things as the audience and fences are distractions so putting them out of focus lets us concentrate on the subject instead of our eye wandering around the photo.

    On the other hand if you want to photograph a street end to end, you want all of the elements to be clear so you will choose a small aperture, say f16 or less and your street will be in focus from near to far.
    Last edited by JAS_Photo; 04-17-2009 at 12:59 PM.

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    I've been using manual mode since I joined this forum and I've noticed a steady increase in the quality (and the quanitity) of the photos I've been taking.
    I'm far from perfect by any stretch, and I find I take a lot more photos now (and am slowly getting more right) but that's the beauty of digital and I'm learning which setting to use much faster by taking lots of photos at different settings and seeing which ones work the best.

    I also know what settings to get ready before the shot...that is to set white balance, ISO, single vs continuous shooting, metering, bracketing etc. I forgot about all that before and now I make a consious effort to get it done right away before I start shooting anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenador View Post
    Ok, so after reading all of this, I'm trying to figure out "what determines which setting you adjust?"

    From my - shall we say simple - shots last night, I can achieve almost identical photos from adjusting either setting... I don't have my camera with me at the moment (it was a motorcycle day ) but a sunset shot at f11 - 1/50 looks the same as another at f4.5 - 1/250. Those may not be the exact settings, but illustrate what I'm seeing. Maybe I'm not picking up the subtle changes, I'm just looking for a little more clarity.

    Cheers - Zen
    You did 'manually' exactly what I was describing that the semi auto functions do. As you adjust one setting the camera adjusts the other to compensate to maintain an expose that's 'average' for the scene. Therefore, more or less the same photo results.
    You need to shoot the 1st one ... look at it and decide what it needs to improve it. Is the sky too bright and therefore you can't see all the reds and oranges in the sunset? Then you need to drop the exposure a stop perhaps. Do that by choosing either the aperture OR the shutter speed (described above in my last post) ... not both.

    To look at a scene and decide whether shutter or aperture is more important you need to look at what you are shooting and the result you want.

    A speeding train ... do you want it blurred showing speed? Or do you want it clear and sharp? Choosing a higher shutter speed will be needed if you want it sharp of course and depending on how high you go, you may or may not be left with some options on the apertures you can use depending on your lens.

    A Flower ... clarity over the whole flower might be the target so you'll choose a middle f-stop like f11 or f16 and accept any shutter speed that is ok to handhold. Wind on the flower might dictate a slightly higher shutter. You adjust as necessary.

    As Raiven described ... a scene where you want to isolate your subject from it's surroundings requires a low f-stop number (wide aperture) if your subject is close to other objects in order to blur everything but your subject.

    Focal distance and how close your subject is to other objects, and how close you are to your subject all have an effect on the depth of field as well though. The wider the focal distance the wider the depth of field so more of the photo remains in focus. The further you zoom to your subject the less depth of field you get.

    Is that what you meant zenador??
    Last edited by Mad Aussie; 04-18-2009 at 02:47 AM.

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    This is EXCELLENT stuff people. Special thanks to MA for exercising his wrists writing all this.

    I started a thread on basic exposure a while back. I'll likely merge it with this thread and retitle it Using manual Mode and basic exposure. Then I'll make this a sticky and put it in the resource section.

    (after it gets even more input)

    It's your thread so is that OKay with you MA?
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    Yes MA, that's it. And Raiven's point too. I got the higher shutter speed for sharp images of moving subject (cause photographing my bird on a slower speed just doesn't look right ) It's everything else that I'm "fuzzy" on. I took photography and video production in high school for 2 years, but that was 14 years ago. This is my first foray back into it since then. It's slowly coming back to me as I read through the posts here. I've also downloaded what I think are good "beginner" pod casts from here, and dumped them on my crackberry.

    I have 2 hours to kill tonight in the city waiting for my son, so I'm going to wander with my camera and listen to the pod casts, taking shots and learning more...

    Off Topic - but I can't seem to stop?!? It's only been a week since I got my camera, and no matter what I'm doing, I seem to analyze whether my situation or surroundings would make a decent photo. I think this is a sickness?!? Lol...

    Zen

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    Quote Originally Posted by zenador View Post
    Off Topic - but I can't seem to stop?!? It's only been a week since I got my camera, and no matter what I'm doing, I seem to analyze whether my situation or surroundings would make a decent photo. I think this is a sickness?!? Lol...Zen
    You too huh?
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    i miss my film cameras which were all easy to change apertures and shutter speeds because of their 'click' stops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    It's your thread so is that OKay with you MA?
    Yes of course ... no problem.

    Zen ... most of us 'see' photos at every turn during our day. It's normal thing for a totally obsessed person to do

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