Manual DSLR Users...

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by FG167, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    ...help please? How did you start? I loved my preset settings on my D5000 (like the "sport" mode was my fave), but since I have bought a D7000, I am not as pleased with my pictures. I think this is because the settings aren't suiting what I like anymore :( I don't know how to even begin shooting manual. I did bring my manual for my camera - is this sufficient to start with or is there a book or a certain something I should work on (like a certain lighting situation etc). My photography friends are in MI, I don't have any friends in TN so no one to hands-on show me what to do...
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    This is the blog post that got me feeling confident enough to start playing around with manual: http://tech.yourway.net/getting-exposure-right-in-camera-and-why-it-is-important/

    For me, I just needed the push with the bit of info above to start playing around. I'm still learning a LOT, but I am soooooo much happier with my photos on manual than on presets. For the most part, no the only time I go to auto settings is when the lighting is changing rapidly (cloud to sun and back usually).
     
  3. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Pretty much I put it on Manual and promised myself I wouldn't take it off for a year. From there is was just trial and error and I'm still learning. It's been a year and half on Manual.

    I started with a lot of over and under exposed shots.
     
  4. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    How did I start in manual? I went to college for photography.
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    lol here too, but honestly just tinkering really teaches you the most. Start with some basics: higher ISO (6400 v 160) allows you to shoot in lower light but increases the grain. Higher f stop (f/16 v f/2.8) allows for a greater depth of field, less blur outside of your point of focus, but the higher you go the more light you need. Lastly the shutter speed dictates how fast your camera reacts, the higher the number the faster the reaction and the more light you need to shoot with. All three aspects can compensate for one another, it's a science of balance.

    Ill hop on my computer and post some examples to help.
     
  6. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I'd really like to actually take a proper photography course/s at some point, but in the meantime I just decided one day that the clarity and colour of manual photography was just so much nicer and reason enough not to use any automatic settings anymore. I'm not a very technical minded person, so reading most "how to" guides kind of go right over my head, so I just started playing with my camera and settings. I still have a lot to learn and am not happy with my photos a lot of the time still, but even so, I've definitely learned a fair amount just by playing around with it and practicing.
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    A couple examples:
    1/640 Æ’/2.8 ISO 6400 59 mm
    [​IMG]
    The light was awful in this forest so I pumped the ISO up to 6400 and the dogs were not holding still well so I pumped the shutter speed up as high as I could without losing too much light which was 1/640 (for action shots I try to stay above 1/1000) and to compensate for these other two settings I dropped my f stop to f/2.8. Notice how his nose is out of focus but his eyes and anything on the same plain, such as the wubba, are? The last number is the zoom distance. I have a 24-70mm lens on and I had it at 59mm.

    Grain, but not bad and frankly I enjoy grain. This photo needed it's white balance adjusted and some moderate exposure adjustments because like I said, tinkering.

    1/800 Æ’/2.8 ISO 200 70 mm
    [​IMG]
    The light was much better in this shot. I used a lower ISO to crisp up the shots. The I have my shutter speed up but lower than it should be in this shot, in retrospect I would up the ISO a bit and the shutter speed because I was currently shooting action shots. I still had the f stop very low to give a stronger point of focus. The lens was at it's maximum zoom.

    1/50 Æ’/4.5 ISO 250
    [​IMG]
    I try to never go below 1/60 when I am shooting handheld, the human hand has difficulty not vibrating with camera weight and anything below 1/60 is a rule of thumb to use a stabilizer like a tripod. I upped the f stop to encourage more of the face being in focus as opposed to just the eyes or just the nose, etc. This was a fixed 50mm lens so no data is needed for the zoom.

    1/8000 Æ’/4 ISO 400 50 mm
    [​IMG]
    Dog in action, higher shutter speed, daylight but roving clouds moderate ISO, and a moderate f stop helps the chance of catching the dog in focus. The smaller the f stop the more likely you are to miss your pinpoint. Depending on the number of focal points in your camera body this is a very important aspect.


    Can you try to reason why these ones are set up the way they are?

    1/1600 Æ’/3.2 ISO 1250
    [​IMG]

    1/640 Æ’/3.2 ISO 400
    [​IMG]

    1/2500 Æ’/3.2 ISO 400
    [​IMG]

    1/1250 Æ’/2.8 ISO 160
    [​IMG]

    This is all natural lighting... adding a flash or light boxes adds another dimension, do you use artificial lighting?
     
  8. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Toller...you could teach photography courses... :D
     
  9. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    THe thing for me is that I have all VERY entry level equipment still and it REALLY shows in the clarity of my images. I have a Rebel which is an entry level Canon, and I only have the kit lens and a cheap $200 70-300 Tamron. My Tamron sucks for clarity but I still use it a lot because I enjoy being at a distance from my subject, I would LOVE an "L" series lens that gets up to 400mm but that's a $1300 dream.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  10. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I hated my tamron gear and honestly the sigmas weren't much better. I will probably only ever buy canon from here on out. Upgrading to even a 40d & a 50mm isn't terrible, if you're looking, about 500 dollars all together. Of course it doesn't get you the distance you're seeking but it's a good set up for the time being.

    These are older but shot with these.
    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5269/5867801335_b604026c33_z.jpg

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5266/5868360208_e83192de3a_z.jpg

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3064/5802900655_c502d66437_z.jpg

    They're not my favorites but still a lot that can be done. I really like the 40d, it's a great body even lacking full format.

    (sorry for blabbering, it's a favorite topic of mine)
     
  11. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    That's pretty much all I use. My Canon 40D and a 50mm. I would love to get a nicer lens but for now this works really well for me.
     
  12. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Adrienne - thank you SO much for the really concise description of what f-stop, ISO, and shutter speed settings really mean when it comes to the photos you take! That description plus your photo examples really helped clarify a few things I'd been wondering about! :D
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Not a problem, they can be hard to understand and even harder to explain in simple terms. I hope that helps! I can't imagine shooting auto anymore, I can never get want I want and I find manual fun. :)
     
  14. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    I'm going to have to read this thread, play with my camera, read this thread, play with my camera etc to really "get" what you are showing me. I'm such a noob :( I don't suppose there are any good online classes anyone would recommend? Something to keep me on track and challenge me and help me as I go? I really would like to be a better photographer...
     
  15. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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  16. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Try the local community college, see if they have any online classes on the subject.
     
  17. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Thanks Adrienne :).

    I have a hard time getting consistently good photos. If the lighting is just so, and the right color dog, and the right position..I might get a good shot. But action photos...not much. Skye..not much.
    Like this...
    [​IMG]
    f/5.6 1/2000 ISO 800

    Even in manual, I can't lower the f stop much more than that, if I want to keep the high shutter speed?
     
  18. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Lower f stop means more light let in so the shutter speed can go higher. That's why I love my 50mm 1.8 because I can if need be use a really low f stop and get the shutter speed really high.

    Usually I keep my f stop around f/2.8-f/3.5.
     
  19. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Also, white dogs are super hard. I have not mastered it especially since Kaylee hates the camera. When I was out with Nina and she had Kela I had a lot of bad pictures. But some came out decent. Still over exposed in parts, the white fur with the black face seriously was messing me up.

    1/1600 Æ’/3.2 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    As I'm looking through my pictures I'm noticing my best action shots seem to be using f/3.2. Hmmm, something to keep in mind.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Is your auto focus on? The grass to the lower right of Skye is in focus, meaning you just missed your mark. Also, shooting a white dog is very hard, I have more difficulty with Shamoo than my red heads. I would lower the exposure, her coat is over exposed. Also, is that in the harsh afternoon sun?

    The photo could do well with f/5.6 if it was focused properly but I would lower my exposure, lessen the light by dropping the ISO or shutter speed.
     

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