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Get me out of "Auto"...please!
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Jul 30, 2014 14:34:29   #
GrandmaG
 
You must be an instructor! This is a great way to experiment.

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Jul 30, 2014 14:51:25   #
GaryS1964
 
I shoot mostly in Aperture priority mode and sometimes Shutter priority mode. One author I read recently says it's better to shoot mostly in Shutter priority mode. Then a post above said a pro shoots mostly in Auto mode.

My sister in law shoots always in Auto mode. She doesn't do anything fancy and gets good results. The only time she runs into problems is when she is in a situation Auto doesn't handle well like low light without flash. There are others.

IMHO the only reason to shoot in modes other than Auto is when you are looking for a particular result that Auto won't produce. But if 95%+ of your shots are in typical situations that Auto is designed to handle then shoot in Auto. Shoot in RAW for those occasions when Auto didn't get it right and then you can most likely fix it in PP.

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Jul 30, 2014 14:51:32   #
fotohouse
 
GrandmaG wrote:
You must be an instructor! This is a great way to experiment.


No, not an instructor. I do have experience training others though, just not in photography. I occasionally give a presentation for a camera club that I belong to as well as teaching my daughter and her boyfriend.

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Jul 30, 2014 14:51:35   #
GrandmaG
 
I shoot in RAW & Jpeg, so I have the choice to tweak a pic; but I am far from comfortable with it. Also, I probably need to upgrade PSE since I am still using v. 8. I'm studying PSE from a book on PSE 6!

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Jul 30, 2014 14:55:43   #
fotohouse
 
GaryS1964 wrote:
I shoot mostly in Aperture priority mode and sometimes Shutter priority mode. One author I read recently says it's better to shoot mostly in Shutter priority mode. Then a post above said a pro shoots mostly in Auto mode.

My sister in law shoots always in Auto mode. She doesn't do anything fancy and gets good results. The only time she runs into problems is when she is in a situation Auto doesn't handle well like low light without flash. There are others.

IMHO the only reason to shoot in modes other than Auto is when you are looking for a particular result that Auto won't produce. But if 95%+ of your shots are in typical situations that Auto is designed to handle then shoot in Auto. Shoot in RAW for those occasions when Auto didn't get it right and then you can most likely fix it in PP.
I shoot mostly in Aperture priority mode and somet... (show quote)


The main problem with auto is the camera does not know what the subject is and many shots need to be shot at a plus or minus on the exposure to maximize dynamic range. If you are talking snap shots then yes auto is fine and so is a camera phone. I use an ILC (interchangeable lens camera) for the control over the image it gives this control is only achieved when you get out of auto.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:00:56   #
fotohouse
 
It is good that you shoot RAW+Jpeg, as the RAW files will give you more latitude in adjustment. I use Lightroom for my editing (it is basically Camera RAW from Photoshop with a few extra features for workflow).

One way to reduce the red in someones face is to adjust the red channel in Camera RAW. It does not take much of an adjustment and too much can also negatively effect the image. I reduce it just enough to take out some of the rosiness.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:05:06   #
Cornman
 
GrandmaG, read the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, that is all you will need!

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Jul 30, 2014 15:18:01   #
photoman022
 
I cut my teeth shooting film starting in 1973. The aperture was set on the lens. The hardest thing in making the digital transition was learning where the button to set the aperture was! I read my instruction manual--but it didn't help. I finally looked up how to do it on youtube and asked, "how could I be so dumb?"

Learn how to set your aperture and then learn the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. The learn the "sunny 16 rule" and how it relates to aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Then practice, practice, practice.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:19:01   #
GrandmaG
 
I have noticed I have a problem with shadows behind the subject. Is there a way to get rid of it in RAW?

In picture #2, I did crop out the cupcakes for my final print.

Picture 3 was taken outside & was a spontaneous shot. I had the SB400 flash attached to my camera but I don't know if it fired. I know I was too low from the subjects. I did get another pic with both of them looking at me, but I still have the shadow problem. I thought it was a lighting issue, but stepping away from the background definitely helps.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:25:00   #
GrandmaG
 
Thank you. I think I had a demo version of Lightroom, but it seemed too complicated. I need to master PSE first!

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Jul 30, 2014 15:26:17   #
Sandie
 
First of all if you shoot in Aperature mode, you pick the aperture and the camera chooses the shutter speed or will tell you that the camera is open or closed too much to take a picture. Get on Aperature, put it on F8(usually sweet spot for cameras) and then shoot away letting the camera choose your shutter speed. Just be aware, your ISO will also control lighting so higher ISO will allow a faster shutter speed. SO if your grandkids are moving around or moving a little you want a fast shutter speed so you may want to use F5.6 instead of F8 OR you could choose your shutter speed and let camera choose the aperture. THAT will affect your depth of field so the kids look great(if you focus on them) but background will be blurred possibly if your camera chooses an open f-stop like 2.8. Conversely, if the camera chooses a closed down Fstop, F22 you could have lots of distracting background so most of us use Aperature priority or Manual where you choose everything, which is harder but it gets you to think about things like depth of field and clarity of focus etc. ISO is a CONSIDERATION and on nice day, keep at 100-200 and cloudy or dark days or evenings use a higher ISO but be aware that higher the ISO the more possibility of noise in photo. There is a GREAT teacher out there named Mike Milicia who teaches all of this( I am not related but did take a course with him) and find he seems to be able to explain this in a way people understand and he also does photo trips so.... could be a fun way of learning. Just saying.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:27:02   #
amehta
 
GrandmaG wrote:
When I "master" some manual modes, I'll need to invest in backdrops & better lighting apparatus. Any suggestions?

The first thing would be to get the flash off the camera for different lighting. Beyond that, there are many, many options. I think you might want to get a little more experience so you have a better idea of your needs, allowing you to make a more informed evaluation.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:28:11   #
amehta
 
grandmadeb wrote:
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

Very important piece of wisdom here: there is not one answer for all situations. Part of the learning is knowing which mode works best for which shots.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:28:54   #
PhotoPhred
 
Greetings grandmag. My first DSLR was the Nikon D40x and, of course I used it on "auto" for the first couple months. I then went to "P" mode. This allows you to set the ISO depending, on the lighting, a low ISO on a bright sunny day and a higher ISO late afternoon or darker interiors when you don't want to use the flash. I moved up to the D3100 and then the D5100 for a couple years. I now have the D7100, sold the D40x and the D3100. As I became more comfortable I started fooling around with "A" aperture priority and "S" shutter priority. But as someone above already mentioned, sometimes just set it to "AUTO" and take photos. The beauty of digital is the 'delete' button. You don't have to spend a lot of money in processing to find out you took a bunch of bad photos.

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Jul 30, 2014 15:34:18   #
GrandmaG
 
I've tried using the SB900 off the camera as a slave but apparently the SB400 doesn't work as a master. Maybe I need TWO SB900s? Or just other lights...

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