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Thread: Manual V Auto

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    Member Filter's Avatar
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    Manual V Auto

    Hi all, I have been trying very hard to keep my camera in manual to learn the art. Taking photos at my local footy game I was constantly chasing settings to compensate for sunny periods & cloud. Am I setting my targets too high?? Do the pro sports photographers shot in auto or manual??

    Cheers Filter.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi Filter.
    You're stating your aim and hoped-for goal and asking a question related to that.
    By all means practise learning the art. I would suggest use the various modes to best advantage. So at a footy game, make use of some Auto mode
    to get the shot you want. You can learn what your camera does that way.In more leisurely shots, maybe switch to manual and practise that way.
    Am.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I always tell people to use an appropriate semi auto mode for more consistency, and to help in their learning.

    Shooting sports(face paced action .. not chess or lawn bowls!) to use Shutter priority.
    Shutter and Aperture priority modes are semi automated manual modes(irrespective of what other peoples opinions of them are!) as you still have to make decisions on certain aspects to achieve good exposures.

    That is, you still have to keep an eye on the exposure meter to get your shots right .. they aren't magic modes that do all the work for 'ya.

    What these modes do tho is to make life easier in that you have one(maybe two) controls to adjust, rather than all controls related to exposure.
    Your workflow will be more efficient.

    I see that your camera choice is a Canon 70D, and I don't know of the controls of this camera but I'm sure it has a 'quick exposure compensation' mode for it's two main control dials.

    So to learn 'the art' use an appropriate mode.
    (note that there is a distinction between auto and auto program modes too!)

    Most pro sports shooters will predominately use shutter priority for the reason that this is their priority in most situations. They require a specific shutter speed and allow the camera to choose aperture(and sometimes ISO) automatically.

    For more leisurely shooting try to stay with aperture priority mode, and if light levels are very low use auto ISO too.

    As a priority I think it's more important to come to terms with the cameras exposure metering system, to learn the art ..... and don't allow it to be too automated.
    If you don't use the cameras metering then of course manual mode is a more important aspect of your learning curve.

    I made a long thread about the basics of different metering methods ... HERE
    It is long and a bit convoluted, but your camera will have some of the metering modes I've described in that post.
    I've tried to describe the topic in a way that you could easily try it for yourself with your camera.
    I think once you have grasped the idea of what the metering system is doing, and using the appropriate shooting mode ... your exposures will be more to your liking .. and the endpoint of that is that you won't be caught out with the wrong settings(or that you won't spend any time adjusting settings to no real benefit).

    While I'm not a fan of manual mode, I don't think it's a good way to learn about exposure. I don't dislike manual mode, I use it for specific situations, but if you're using manual mode and relying on the cameras metering(ie. at the same time), you're not really using manual mode as such .. you're just making it harder for yourself to get the camera settings right.
    In effect, that particular workflow is more akin to using either Aperture, Shutter of Program modes with double the effort on your part.
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    AK's post sums up what I was going to say.
    Reread it a few times Filter, 'cause it has some sage advice.

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    Thanks all, I reckon I have been placed on the right track, lets see how it goes......

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