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Thread: Newbie Mistakes. Know your settings and check your preview images.

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    As smooth as hessian undies
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    Newbie Mistakes. Know your settings and check your preview images.

    Just spent an hour on the mountain behind my house with the camera still stupidly set to maximum positive exposure compensation (left over from some night shots at ANZAC Dawn Service), and followed that first newbie mistake with a second one (that would have solved the first one) by not checking any of the preview images as I was shooting. I'd have seen immediately that they were over exposing on the very first shot had I been checking the previews.
    Everytime I think I'm getting somewhere I do something so totally stupid. EIGHTY FOUR SHOTS all blown to hell. It sounds like a lot for an hour on a hill, but I was getting the dog to run towards me, and using high speed drive, so was cranking out about 10-15 shots at a time.

    So. To other people new to photography, please learn from my pain. Know what your camera is set to, and check images on the preview screen after taking them to see if you need to change anything.
    Now to go smack myself upside the head and berate myself for a few more hours.
    Canon EOS 60D ..... EFS 18-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS - 430 EXII Speedlite - "eBay special" Remote Control Unit - Manfrotto 190XPROB w 804RC2 head.

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    Just took half the indoor photos of my daughters baby shower on ' shade' white balance lol

    Finally I looked and realized, so got a few ' proper ' ones




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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    It's not simply about just checking your camera setting per se .. what's actually important is to review the viewfinder information.

    I once nearly shot a series of landscape images all at ISO3200, as I had set the camera set to Auto ISO the night before .. my min shutter speed was set to 1/30s.

    Next time a few days, or maybe weeks, later I'm out shooting landscapes and it wasn't dark, but it wasn't bright either .. images should have been approx 1/5s or so at f/11.

    Being too busy concentrating on composition, I neglected the rest of the viewfinder info, that showed shutter at 1/30, and ISO @ 3200 instead noting the important stuff like the amount fo exposure compensation I want and so on.
    Before I clicked the first image, I then noticed the shutter speed to be a bit high for the conditions .. polariser on and grad filters stacked .. 1/30s!!
    Then the penny dropped and I checked ISO setting.

    Exposure compensation is usually indicated via a bar graph in most viewfinders along the bottom edge.
    It should always be something to note as an indication of expected exposure, irrespective of metering mode used. Mind you it's only something to take notice of ... not necessarily an indicator to live by!

    If your camera has the ability to use a quick compensation style mode of operation, where lets say you set the camera to aperture priority and set exposure compensation via the shutter dial, then this is a good way to control the camera.
    Using the exposure compensation button is tedious and slow by comparison.

    Not that in Manual mode exposure compensation doesn't actually work, UNLESS you have set ISO to Auto ISO. In this case the automation of ISO value will then allow the camera to compensate exposure even in manual mode. Exp compensation mode in this instance will simply automatically bump up ISO to suit the required exposure setting.
    It's in this situation, is where it's hard to know where the camera settings are at, as there is no indication of exposure compensation set in the bar graph in the viewfinder!!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
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    I can't say I've made that particular mistake........yet. Though I won't tell you how many times I've left home with my camera, tripod, filters etc...gone "click" then ........left the memory card at home in my laptop! Luckily it's only ever been just down the road....but!



    Adam Brice

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Kerrie, as long as you shot in raw file mode, the actual WB value used in camera has no real significance..... other than, it makes post processing easier once the images are on the PC.

    if you shot in jpg mode, then .. well ... your images are simply going to be 'a bit yellow'

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    Sunrise Chaser
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    Shoot manual , You know where your at After each shot check the histogram on the LCD , In manual you dont have to worry about exposure compensation , Set your ISO , Aperture, And adjust your shutter speed to suit using the light meter in the view finder to get the right exposure . Easy Peasy
    Last edited by William; 28-04-2012 at 3:30pm.
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    we all do things like that.
    the hill is still there so you can go up there again.
    and Hey, you got some fresh air and exercise. can't be all bad
    cc and enjoy

    Photography is painting with light

    K7, Pentax 18-250mm zoom, Pentax 100mm macro, Sigma 50-500mm
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    ..... In manual you dont have to worry about exposure compensation , Set your ISO , Aperture, And adjust your shutter speed to suit using the light meter in the view finder to get the right exposure . Easy Peasy
    Easier said than done tho William.

    In quickly changing lighting conditions, this is a sure recipe for blown out or massively underexposed images.

    Some conditions mean that you may need to adjust exposure by more than say five stops, by simply turning and looking the other way.
    If the usual camera set up is that you set the control dials to adjust exposure by 1/3 increments .. in the time it takes you to adjust shutter speed by 15 rotations of the command wheel, or similarly on the sub command wheel, the moment has surely passed you by.

    many professional photographers have probably have this happened to them at some point in their past, and many will have converted to one of the semi automated processes to eliminate this situation, or minimise it to bearable proportions.

    The alternative is to set the camera to increment by 1 Ev per adjustment click stop, but then you miss out on the trivial 1/3 and 1/2 stop adjustments ability... so you either lose or you lose!

    I myself rarely use Manual mode, and don't really miss all that many opportunities.
    In fact the only time I use manual mode is when I'm not shooting from the camera directly .. as my D300 doesn't have a viewfinder curtain to stop light affecting the exposure.
    Not blocking the viewfinder and using a semi auto mode is a recipe for disaster!

    I'm sure that a camera like the 60D has an indicator graph to alert the user to the level of exposure.
    It's a matter for the user to be aware of this, and all other relevant info in the viewfinder or top LCD display or wherever else.

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    Member zman's Avatar
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    just hit the info button to check all the settings in a glance beforehand

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    Yep, it has a bar graph that shows the exposure compensation, but a fast running dog, that won't do anything the way you want him to or expect him to, meant I never really took the time to look at the info in the viewfinder. Beginner errors.
    I had cranked out the exp compensation the other night at the dawn service, as all other settings maxed out still weren't quite getting the exposure with such dark conditions, so tried that as an extra boost to the exposure. It actually seemed to work to help draw out a bit more in the darkness. I just didn't change it back.

    Shooting with "Shade" would be able to be adjusted later if you shoot in RAW, but these were too overblown to be saved.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Beginners mistakes are completely understandable.
    I used to hate the D70s in not having an ISO indicator!
    Set it to a high ISO the night before, and pack the camera away, and you had no idea that it was still set to 800 the next day for those perfectly lit landscapes!! Images all shot to pixel hell.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ezookiel View Post
    .....
    I had cranked out the exp compensation the other night at the dawn service, as all other settings maxed out still weren't quite getting the exposure with such dark conditions, so tried that as an extra boost to the exposure. ...
    Sounds like you were using matrix(or evaluative) metering?

    William is partly right tho with his comment about going manual. But I'd have shot the Anzac dawn service in manual mode, more so that the hill top dog chasing episode.
    The dawn service would have sustained a more stable, or less varying exposure value, so in manual mode, you could have got away with maintaining a similar shutter speed without too much variation in the aperture value.

    I've chased dogs too. But the dogs I've chased all seem to love running from direct bright harsh full sun, into a dark dingy light draining black hole of a forest(my dad's large front yard)... without Aperture priority, on such a fast moving subject, there'd be no way to use manual mode efficiently to capture his jet black coat with any detail at all.
    Exposures went from f/2.8 and 1/60s to 1/500s and f/4 in literally an instant.
    This lil pooch, is too full of beans to casually capture the occasional snap here and there .. 6fps for a full 5 sec is not enough to guarantee a single sharp image sometimes!
    Of course when the grand kids aren't up there, he's just the typical lazy, chair warming canine... as they all tend to be.
    But add four hyper kids, all wanting his affection ... and pooch is lapping it up!!

    I suppose a good way to have the review screen working .. and only because this works for me, is to have the small image plus histogram plus camera settings info screen as the playback default.
    That's just something I've come to get used too for the past so many years.
    I've recently taught my brother, who is not only greener than green in terms of photography experience, but doesn't really have the same level of interest in it as we do.. he seems to just want to take better snaps(than he used too).

    BUT!! .. there's always a but. He came to me the other day, and I've explained to him my reasons for using this particular screen for playback.
    It's good to see what the actual shutter speed, ISO and aperture value(camera info) plus a histogram as well as a small rendering of the actual image.
    He has no idea what the histogram means, other than what to look for as I've described it.
    And then his comment was that .. "now I understand it a bit" .. he's getting the idea behind keeping shutter speed up as much as possible, watching ISO levels, and adding a small dose of exposure compensation to give high ISO images a small brightness boost to minimise noise levels.

    His comment at the end made me laugh due to the self deprecating implication of it.

    he said, "now I know why you photo geeks go on about shutter and aperture and DOF and stuff .. it's starting to make a bit more sense and my photos are looking better

    "So!!" I replied "now you're a photo geek too huh?"

    Basically it all makes sense in the end .. all you need to do is to work out a method that makes sense to you as you shoot.

    Here's another 'newbie' error I still get caught out on:

    Lens hoods. Most of my lenses I can generally use without a hood, except the Tammy 70-200/2.8. This lens generally needs the lens hood. It can flare up more easily when the sun is out than all my other lenses.
    Newbie mistake!! As I tend to leave my lens hoods reversed most of the time, I almost always forget to set the 70-200 with the lens hood always the right way on!
    Without fail, I'll almost certainly get some loss of contrast in the first few images.
    Nothing I can do about it .. just a typical workflow problem.

    The last time I used the 70-200 tho I did have time to set myself up. Mounted lens about 10-20 mins before I wanted to use it(on a small bird) .. and of course the lens hood was initially forgotten, but as I had some time before I actually shot it, I eventually remembered to put it on properly.

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    Look at it this way Ezookiel, at least you weren't shooting film . I've tried to get into the habit of resetting the camera to my "standard operating environment" when I put it back in the bag, and also running through a bit of a mental checklist when I get it out. Doesn't seem to work all the time though ...


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    I wasn't in manual on the hillside with the dog, I was in "P" for some of it, and "Av" for the rest of it (mostly Av).
    I'm not up to using manual too often yet. Especially not in a changing environment. I did use it for some night time pano's the other night, but had all the time in the world, was on a tripod, and in an environment that wasn't changing. Not to mention that I HAD to use Manual to stop the camera constantly trying to wreck the shots with weird settings (seems that distant city lights in a totally dark environment, confuses the camera as to what to do).

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    Another thing that can be useful in the field, is the histogram you can display on the LCD of each taken photo.

    Understanding and knowing how histogram's work, and then coming to grips with what you need to do to your camera settings to get a good histogram is an invaluable tool.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...stograms.shtml
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...se-right.shtml
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Recently started a shoot where my camera was in Manual mode but my brain was in Aperture priority (which was a bit odd as I had to press and extra button to adjust the aperture but I still didn't realise). Happily took a number of photos before realising and was able to redo some of them in the correct mode.

    However probably what would have been the pick of those taken was one where a butcher bird obligingly posed on the back of a bench. Have used Camera Raw to improve the exposure but now have a lot of noise so will go back and start again.

    Hopefully lessons hard leaned will be the ones that stick.

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    I have made so many mistakes with white balance settings as well as other settings and have gotten some VERY noisy photos. I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to settings.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDee View Post
    I have made so many mistakes with white balance settings ....

    Jay, as long as you're shooting in raw mode, you can't make a mistake with WB .. ever!

    Well I say ever, but there are very few weird conditions where it's difficult to redress the WB setting, but these don't apply to normal shooting.
    If you shoot raw, you can always re set WB to a more appropriate setting, even in the weird situation I fleetingly referred too before.
    It just takes a small amount of extra work later, rather than at the time of shooting.

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    For the love of what I see.
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    Been there. Done that and still sometimes forget to check.
    The worst for me is that I normally shoot sport and have recently got dragged into landscapes so the lessons tend to stick a bit harder as the mistakes, like yours, are total.
    Peter.

    Some of my photo's are at www.peterking.id.au

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    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban lostdot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Shoot manual , You know where your at After each shot check the histogram on the LCD , In manual you dont have to worry about exposure compensation , Set your ISO , Aperture, And adjust your shutter speed to suit using the light meter in the view finder to get the right exposure . Easy Peasy
    i love the theory, will be putting it to use more often

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