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Get me out of "Auto"...please!
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Jul 30, 2014 06:24:39   #
Nightsky Loc: Oak Ridge, NJ
 
SharpShooter wrote:
Geez, I think you just described the Auto Mode!! :lol:
SS


So true - :D

There's been loads of good advice posted here. Take your time and learn your camera and exposure while enjoying it. Bryan Peterson's book (Understanding Exposure) was recommended - I'll second (or third) that.

For me I try to shoot manual all the time - it gives more consistent results. But I grew up using a pencil and paper for math problems, and I learned photography with a Speed Graphics 4X5. Once you really grasp the exposure triangle then perhaps you won't want the camera making those decisions for you.

Best of luck - and remember to keep shooting - after all, the 'film' is free.

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Jul 30, 2014 06:24:49   #
kpassaur Loc: Valrico FL
 
Db7423 wrote:
First, welcome to the Hog, GrandmaG. Only thre basic things to understand when you are out of auto and in full manual mode: aperature, shutter speed and ISO. Getting a grip on how they work together to get a well exposed photo isn't hard once you understand these three and what they do and how they relate one to the others. A book that will make this easy to understand is "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. This book is an easy to read and well illustrated. About $20 at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Get it and unlock the mystery. ;)
First, welcome to the Hog, GrandmaG. Only thre ba... (show quote)

I agree with this, perhaps read a couple of different books so that the relationships of shutter speed, aperture and ISO sink in. Then read your camera manual cover to cover. This is what most people never do and they are just cheating themselves. Cameras have tons of options all for a reason. You don’t need to know them all, just that they are there.
Then do the second thing no one ever does which is test it for yourself. Try different apertures and ISO and shutter speeds. In other words learn your equipment. It really doesn’t take long to do so.

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Jul 30, 2014 06:32:51   #
wsherman Loc: New York
 
Practice makes perfect. Shooting in any mode other than auto gives you the creative freedom to get the pic that YOU want not the pic the camera wants.

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Jul 30, 2014 06:40:11   #
grandmadeb Loc: illinois, usa
 
I am also like you. I shoot in auto. because I want a good shot of the grandgirls. but yesterday I went to our local botanical gardens and just experimented with f-stops. I agree with using the same subject and tripod and just trying different settings. I am going to do that because I want to shoot manual but am afraid of missing the shot. good luck. deb

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Jul 30, 2014 06:50:14   #
BboH Loc: Catonsville, MD, USA
 
GrandmaG, what you need to do is first, get a general understanding of the settings: P,A,S,M.
Then, instead of reading in your easy chair or while watching TV, take your camera and try out the various settings while you are setting there. You are just taking images of your room, no pressure to get something to save or look at with others - just something for you to look at as you play with your settings.
Just say to yourself "Gee, I wonder what it will look like if I..."

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Jul 30, 2014 06:52:21   #
pithydoug Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
 
Get Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Expose" and you will be shooting manual or in a bias mode in about three chapters. If you're lean on cash stop in at a Barnes and Noble and simply read it there. Not just words but solid pictures to prove the words.

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Jul 30, 2014 06:54:09   #
Erv Loc: Medina Ohio
 
HI GG! What Jerry said and also, go out and get a light meter to help you figure out lighting. They are pretty easy to use. Just point it at what you want to take and then set up the camera. They are the mainstay of the old days. And work great to get you in the ball park for your Grandkid shots.:):)
Erv


GrandmaG wrote:
I've had the D5000 Nikon DSLR for several years and I still use mostly the automatic settings. It seems I'm always in a hurry to get pictures & don't (or can't) take my time with them. I have 3 lenses, 2 speedlights, and a polarized filter.

I mostly use the 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6G lens that came with the camera and my SB400 Speedlight. I use my 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G when on vacation. These 3 items, the filter, & the cords fit nicely in my small tamrac bag (plus the camera body, of course). The SB 900 speedlight and the 35mm 1:1.8G lens mostly stay in my other camera bag at home. I've only used them a few times. I love the quality of the pictures and the fact that there is no lag time, plus I can take a burst of photos to catch just the right expressions on my grand children's faces. I have played around with RAW photos a bit and edit some photos in Adobe PSE 8.0. I would love to learn how to use more of the features of my camera so I can take professional looking portraits and group shots.
I've had the D5000 Nikon DSLR for several years an... (show quote)

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Jul 30, 2014 07:04:42   #
avemal Loc: BALTIMORE
 
As mentioned before, I was in the same situation and using YOUTUBE WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED. Type in your camera model & shooting in manual mode. A world of info. will be at your hands. Check out Sergio Ramelli PHOTOGRAPHY IN SIMPLE WORDS. It is the best & easy to understand. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jul 30, 2014 07:06:02   #
pithydoug Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
 
Erv wrote:
HI GG! What Jerry said and also, go out and get a light meter to help you figure out lighting. They are pretty easy to use. Just point it at what you want to take and then set up the camera. They are the mainstay of the old days. And work great to get you in the ball park for your Grandkid shots.:):)
Erv


Why would you want to get a light meter when the camera has one built in?

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Jul 30, 2014 07:19:58   #
Erv Loc: Medina Ohio
 
They are good to teach you the lighting around you. And for portraitures. An easy learning tool.
Erv

pithydoug wrote:
Why would you want to get a light meter when the camera has one built in?

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Jul 30, 2014 08:15:01   #
RWR Loc: La Mesa, CA
 
Erv wrote:
They are good to teach you the lighting around you. And for portraitures. An easy learning tool.
Erv


I understand your point, Erv, and use a hand-held meter myself with my meterless medium-format film cameras, but I think a beginner is better advised to learn with the in-camera meter. Transferring settings can add an unnecessary element of confusion and prove more a hindrance than a help.

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Jul 30, 2014 08:29:09   #
AndyCE Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
 
Mogul wrote:
By the way, GrandmaG, congratulations on on of the best thread titles I've seen in a while. I'm serious; it sure beats a thread titled, "HELP!"......


:thumbup: :thumbup: Or the dreaded which is better...
Andy

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Jul 30, 2014 08:35:15   #
Nightsky Loc: Oak Ridge, NJ
 
Erv wrote:
They are good to teach you the lighting around you. And for portraitures. An easy learning tool.
Erv


And it should be noted that your in-camera light meter measures only reflected light, and can be easily fooled into exposing for the wrong part of the image. Especially true when your subject is in shadow and there is a sunny or light colored background.

Light meters can also measure incident light, which is essential for flash photography in studio. You can of course if your using a matching camera/flash system use the TTL / ETTL function and allow the camera to control the flash. For more reliable results a light meter will allow you to adjust your flash power for your chosen exposure. That way all the shots in the series are the same with the exposure you chose, not the one the camera picked.

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Jul 30, 2014 08:41:45   #
RWR Loc: La Mesa, CA
 
[quote=Nightsky]And it should be noted that your in-camera light meter measures only reflected light ... [quote]

What do you think you get with an Expodisc on the lens?

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Jul 30, 2014 08:45:22   #
minniev Loc: MIssissippi
 
GrandmaG wrote:
I've had the D5000 Nikon DSLR for several years and I still use mostly the automatic settings. It seems I'm always in a hurry to get pictures & don't (or can't) take my time with them. I have 3 lenses, 2 speedlights, and a polarized filter.

I mostly use the 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6G lens that came with the camera and my SB400 Speedlight. I use my 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G when on vacation. These 3 items, the filter, & the cords fit nicely in my small tamrac bag (plus the camera body, of course). The SB 900 speedlight and the 35mm 1:1.8G lens mostly stay in my other camera bag at home. I've only used them a few times. I love the quality of the pictures and the fact that there is no lag time, plus I can take a burst of photos to catch just the right expressions on my grand children's faces. I have played around with RAW photos a bit and edit some photos in Adobe PSE 8.0. I would love to learn how to use more of the features of my camera so I can take professional looking portraits and group shots.
I've had the D5000 Nikon DSLR for several years an... (show quote)


From one grandma to another:
Yes, learn to get off auto. I was where you are a few years ago. Auto will still be there when you need it, and I sometimes still fall back on it, but I shoot mainly on M.
I'll tell you what helped me, but that doesn't mean some other method (many have been described here) won't work better for you.
1. Get a good basic book that describes how exposure works and read it, more than once, practicing and taking notes as you go.
2. Take photos in Auto. Look at the settings your camera chose for those you like and those you don't and determine what worked and didn't work. Use your camera's special auto settings such as "children" and "sunset" that you like and do the same. Take notes.
3. Take a series of photos in Manual with a stationery subject, changing one setting at a time and paying attention to results. Take notes.
4. When starting to shoot grandchildren and animals in non-auto, try Shutter priority first. Experiment to see how fast you need to go to catch them. With landscapes and flowers, try Aperture priority first. Take notes.
5. While I was doing all this, I kept my ISO on a standard setting, usually 200, so it didn't confuse me. Once I got shutter speed and aperture under control, I started adjusting ISO.

You'll soon get where you can predict what settings you need for what shots. As you journey, continue to ask here as needed. There are many of us who have weaned ourselves off of auto to get more control of our photos.

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