Don’t fear the “M”!

02 Sep

I’m continuing to sharpen my skills in learning the different functions on my camera and avoiding the Auto function completely. You’ll remember that I’m taking online classes via shootFLYshoot this month. Well, I’m already zipping through Photography 101 and relearning the things I used to know about ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

I’ll give my full review later of the online classes, but suffice it to say that I’m learning a lot about how to manipulate my camera and take the shots I want without using a flash. {I despise using the flash on my camera, because it always seems to cast a light in the photo where I don’t want one or even make the scene look a bit yellowed if I took the shot indoors.} Although Photography 101 and 102 are considered to be for beginners, I think there are a lot of points that Kevin and Josh make that serve as great tips or reminders for intermediate photographers as well.

So, to give you an idea of what I’ve been working on this weekend, here are two sets of photos I took with the info below each one. You can really see how changing the ISO, aperture and shutter speed just slightly really makes a huge difference in how the photo turns out. {None of the photos below were edited post-shoot.}

ISO 3200, f/5, 1/10

ISO 3200, f/5, 1/10

ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/8

ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/8

If you look closely, you can see clear differences in the two photos. Neither was taken using a flash, and it was pretty cloudy outside with little natural light in the room. If I were shooting on Auto, this would not have been possible, and my camera would have screamed at me to use the flash. Instead, I adjusted the ISO to 3200 (perfect for those darker days indoors) and played with the aperture and shutter speed a bit to make sure I could let in the right amount of light to capture the shades of green in the yarn. You can even see a difference in the brown shade of the basket.

The top photo is also not as clear as the one below. The strands of yarn and the word “COLORS” in red are a bit blurred in the photo above, while the ones below appear more defined. The color is a deeper shade of green in the below photo as well. You can see that I didn’t change the aperture or shutter speed that much.

I also managed to take a few photos outside yesterday, as it was an incredibly beautiful day. This was just before the sun started to set on a lake near our home. This time I left the shutter speed alone and changed the ISO and aperture from one shot to the other.

ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/200

ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/200

ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/200

ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/200

Although some might think the first photo of the lake is overexposed, I really like the sunlight coming from the top of the frame through the clouds and reflecting off the water. The entire photo seems to have a warmer glow than the one below, and all I did was change the ISO from 200 (bottom photo) to 100 (top photo) and the aperture. The shutter speed is the same in both images.

If there’s anything I’m learning from these online classes and getting to know all the functions on my camera again, it’s the top tip from Kevin and Josh (the cool guys over at shootFLYshoot). And that is to not fear the “M”! Thanks for following me on my photography adventures. I am realizing more and more my need to upgrade soon to a DSLR that will do much more than my current camera, but for now, I’ll continue to learn more about technique and application before I fork over that kind of change. This camera works well for what I’m doing right now (after all, it has allowed me to take this one and this one…plus many more), but I know that if I want to continue to sharpen my skills with this hobby, I’ll need to make the investment to have a better range of options for taking beautiful photos.

Do you use the Manual function on your camera more than Auto? What’s your camera of choice for the type of photography you shoot?

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Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Photography


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