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What settings would you use
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Aug 19, 2016 21:21:31   #
nan123
 
Trying to stop depending on the auto mode and learn P mode and AV mode, What ISO and f stops settings would you have used to make these photos better? I am using a canon sx500. Especially want to know what the best settings for taking photos of clouds.


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Aug 19, 2016 21:36:12   #
stillducky (a regular here)
 
Manually focus your lens to its true infinity on the clouds. HDR works well.
Aug 19, 2016 22:02:51   #
Apaflo (a regular here)
 
nan123 wrote:
Trying to stop depending on the auto mode and learn P mode and AV mode, What ISO and f stops settings would you have used to make these photos better? I am using a canon sx500. Especially want to know what the best settings for taking photos of clouds.

All you need is experience! Given your specific question... a lot of experience! It won't come overnight though, so just accept it at one step at a time and realize that it's the hike itself that's fun, not where you go nor getting there.

Your question is interesting because the two images are at opposite ends of the scale. The bird is small and close. The landscape requires everything from near to far to be in focus. For that shot you want to do a web search on "hyperfocal distance". Also you want the greatest "dynamic range" possible too, so search on that and on "histogram". For hummingbirds you'll need to study up on freezing motion with high shutter speeds or by using a flash. Lots of stuff... enough to fill a lifetime!

One thing I would suggest is that P mode is no better than A mode. AV, TV and M modes are all equally useful, just for different circumstances.
Aug 19, 2016 23:20:48   #
dirtpusher (a regular here)
 
i use shutter speed mostly since i do fair bit of flying. just habit now.
Aug 20, 2016 09:08:46   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
For landscape photography use a small lens opening to get most of the subject in focus. To photograph clouds I meter from the cloud I want to emphasize and since it is generally bright white compensation will be necessary otherwise it will turn out gray in your final shot. If the cloud is dark gray I follow the meter.
For stability and composition I like to use a tripod. As it has been said, for birds you want a fast shutter speed.
Aug 20, 2016 10:11:47   #
R.G. (a regular here)
 
The SX500 has a very small sensor, which means the apertures go from small to very small. If it was my camera I'd probably set the aperture at f/5.8 as the standby setting, then I'd learn about what situations would require a different f-stop. For example, if your first shot had something really close in the foreground you'd probably want the smallest aperture your camera can give you (I suspect that it maxes out at f/8). Alternatively, if your second shot was taken in poor light, you'd want the aperture to be as wide as possible, to enable you to keep the shutter speed high and/or the ISO low.

Much depends on how far you want the depth of field to extend either side of the focus point. That's a main factor in shot #1 but not so much in shot #2 (deep enough for the bird is fine).

Another factor is how far away the focus point is. The farther away it is, the deeper the DOF (with a distant focus point, even a wide aperture might give sufficient DOF). In addition, if the focus point is far away and you have stuff close in the foreground that you want sharp, you'll be looking for a very small aperture (i.e. a high f-stop).

As you can see, much depends on how far away the point of focus is, so you should always be mindful of that point. And of course, much depends on how deep the DOF needs to be. Those two factors are the main ones to watch, and the good news is that it's usually easy to spot when a wide or a small aperture is going to be required. With your camera, f/5.8 is achievable at all focal lengths, and it's a good middle-of-the road value to use as your standby value. It's also probably in or close to the lens's sweet spot.

Once you have the skill of spotting when aperture is going to be critical, you could leave the aperture setting at f/5.8 as your default setting, which allows you to concentrate on shutter speed. With your aperture setting sorted out, you can then play off shutter speed against ISO, which will probably mean keeping the ISO as low as possible by keeping the shutter speed as slow as possible. Learning what shutter speeds you can get away with is just a matter of practice and learning by experimenting (or looking at what others do). If the camera is hand-held, the main factor is focal length - the more zoom you're using, the faster the shutter speed needs to be. The other main factor is subject movement. If anything in the frame is moving you should think about what shutter speed might be required. The closer things are and the faster they're moving, the faster the shutter speed that you'll need.

To work your way up the learning curve that I've just described, you could work your way through Aperture priority and Shutter priority, then on to using Manual with auto-ISO. Then you could progress on to subjects like hyperfocal distance and exposure compensation, but things like that wouldn't be described as basic.

I would recommend using mostly the Evaluative metering mode, leaving it there for most of the time and finding out about what times centre weighted or spot metering might be more appropriate (very specific situations).

Hope there's something there that helps.
 
Aug 20, 2016 11:48:07   #
boberic (a regular here)
 
Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error. Take the camera off auto an shoot aperture priorty. The nice thing about landscapes is that they don't move much so shutter speed is less of a concern. Choose a tight F-stop say F-8 or 11 so to have good DOF. Start with a ISO of 1 0r 2 hundred. Take a number of shots at various settings. In other words Bracket. Hope this helps.
Aug 20, 2016 13:25:14   #
Madman (a regular here)
 
nan123 wrote:
Trying to stop depending on the auto mode and learn P mode and AV mode, What ISO and f stops settings would you have used to make these photos better? I am using a canon sx500. Especially want to know what the best settings for taking photos of clouds.


My first suggestion to you is to do a search for the 'Sunny 16' rule to get a basic understanding of exposure. You will see that your exposure settings for the two photos presented are the opposite of what they should be. If necessary, look up 'Depth of Field' also.

The scenery photo needed a smaller aperture (higher number) for better depth of field, not a high shutter speed.

On the other hand, the second shot of the hummingbird needed the fast shutter speed, not greater depth of field.

If you have other questions, just ask.
Aug 20, 2016 14:58:00   #
Duckfart
 
I would try using HDR for the first shot to bring out the shadow details and soften the sky a tad.
Aug 20, 2016 17:14:09   #
Meives
 
First you can go back after you post and name or number pictures for discussion. I would have used HDR. This makes the shaded tree area brighter and sky darker to lesson contrast. I will post you current camera specs for the first picture.
Many set the ISO to 100 when your camera can do well with 800 or 600. This would allow your aperture f stop to tighten down to f 11 or f 16 and this gives a better DOF (depth of field). Your composition makes a nice picture. David


Aug 21, 2016 17:41:46   #
rpavich (a regular here)
 
I would recommend buying Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure." It's pretty inexpensive and until you understand exposure you won't be able to make the kinds of decisions you want to make.

As for your two pictures; there's nothing wrong with the landscape one, it's pretty well exposed and everything is in focus, the hummingbird shot is ok too, it's just a bit blurry or not quite sharp because it's TINY and it's hard to resolve tiny stuff no matter how good you are or how costly your gear. Filling the frame is a good lesson to learn and not racking out the zoom helps keep things sharp too.

Anyway...check out that book, it's a good starting place.
 
Aug 21, 2016 19:14:45   #
nan123
 
camerapapi wrote:
For landscape photography use a small lens opening to get most of the subject in focus. To photograph clouds I meter from the cloud I want to emphasize and since it is generally bright white compensation will be necessary otherwise it will turn out gray in your final shot. If the cloud is dark gray I follow the meter.
For stability and composition I like to use a tripod. As it has been said, for birds you want a fast shutter speed.


Thank you for your input, I am afraid I do not know what meter means.
Aug 21, 2016 19:15:26   #
nan123
 
Thank you I will check that out
Aug 21, 2016 19:16:29   #
nan123
 
stillducky wrote:
Manually focus your lens to its true infinity on the clouds. HDR works well.


Sorry I do not know what HDR is
Aug 21, 2016 19:20:07   #
nan123
 
boberic wrote:
Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error. Take the camera off auto an shoot aperture priorty. The nice thing about landscapes is that they don't move much so shutter speed is less of a concern. Choose a tight F-stop say F-8 or 11 so to have good DOF. Start with a ISO of 1 0r 2 hundred. Take a number of shots at various settings. In other words Bracket. Hope this helps.


Bracket???
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