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Thread: Not enough time to change manual settings

  1. #1
    Member mkemp11's Avatar
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    Not enough time to change manual settings

    I am a beginner photographer.

    I have learned how to set the ISO and the white balance. I am learning about aperture.

    But unfortunately, I do not trust myself whenever I have to take photos that are important, and inevitably rely on the automatic setting. (sometimes I have time to fiddle around with the camera - but for video for instance - it's really scary shooting with anything that's not automatic in case you screw it up)

    I've been using the Canon Powershot A480 for my shots because it's cheap and easy to use. What suggestions do you have regarding 'fast tips" to make me more 'pro'.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi mkemp11. Welcome aboard. You'll learn a lot more here, for sure. Unfortunately, though, your camera doesn't seem to have many Manual features. Are you changing aperture in P mode? I had a look here at the specs. Am.
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0901/09...a480.asp#specs
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    practice! Once you are more used to your gear, you will change settings without even consciously thinking about it. It will just happen! The only way to get to that point is practice, practice and more practice.

    I often change shutter speed and aperture without even looking at the LCD. I know how many 'clicks' I need to turn the wheel to go from say 1/100th of a second to 1/500th. You also have the benefit of being able to see the settings in the viewfinder, so try and get used to using those (if available on the powershot), cause then you don't need to stop viewing the scene to look at the lcd to change the settings etc.
    "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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    It's all about the Light!
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    G'Day & Welcome - lets see some images in the main forums and have fun!

    Practice!
    Try taking shots that are not just snaps - eg. landscape where you have time to set it all up and try different settings.
    Use Av rather than full manual - work on controlling your DoF at first.

    Take your time!
    Maybe have a look at the New to Photography forum and the Learning Plan.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Use the camera more, get used to the settings, learn how to read the displayed image for checking composition and learn how to read the histogram to check exposure.

    Practice, practice and practice some more.
    Ray

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    Member Mat's Avatar
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    As with all the other posts... Practice...

    As Kym said Av mode. This will give you more feel to the DOF. Just be careful if you are using a low ISO and a high f-stop as you may have a long shutter time that could blur your images if you are shooing hand held.

    Try to absorb the camera by holding it at every chance and get to know the settings without looking, even when watching TV.
    Mat.

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    I agree with everyone else.
    Practice.
    It took me two years to take my camera off Auto and another year to get comfortable with the rest of the settings. Then I went and bought a new camera and now start the process again.
    It all takes time and practice.
    For me. By all means use auto if time is against you but then take the time to practice with the other modes and in no time you'll suddenly find you are not using auto at all.
    Peter.

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

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    Yeah it's gonna take some time for it to come.
    I'm opposite to the norm...I find playing in manual more entertaining.
    The method I use is by taking several shots of the same comp, making note of the pic number and the settings I've dialed in. Then when viewing them in your own time (PC), you'll be able to tell whether your heading in the right direction or ...make more notes on alternative settings to try next time.
    Keep going, you'll get there.

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    Member alba100's Avatar
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    I'm new to DSLR - 3 months - and found it like learning to drive- then I didn't have enough arms/ and or /legs to do everything- now I don't have time to think of everything. I was touring while teaching myself about my camera, so many shots were 'on the grab' To help me I set my exposure to 1/125th as my default, then my only variables were aperture and perhaps ISO, which I could generally cope with.

    When I, or my subject, was static, I could think about full manual.
    When I had the time I took the same shots on Manual, TV and Auto - it was interesting to compare them - so I am walking into Manual settings instead of Jumping

    dan

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    As with everyone above, practice practice practice.. not only will you be able to improve your skill, you would be able to memorise your camera dials and functions.. it may be more difficult with the A480 compared to a DSLR but practice will make it so much easier..

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    Member dervish's Avatar
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    i find manual difficult, as i'm often on av and when switched to manual i struggle and usually only after a couple of shots before i get what i'm after.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dervish View Post
    i find manual difficult, as i'm often on av and when switched to manual i struggle and usually only after a couple of shots before i get what i'm after.
    Considering you joined in 2008, may I respectfully suggest if you interacted more on AP, posted photos etc, you would find that your skills would increase, thanks to the feedback.

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    Hi Guys

    Perhaps you need to clarify for yourselves why you feel the need to use manual settings.

    In most instances Aperture Priority or Shutter Prority will render a good exposure. That is, you set one of the exposure variables (shutter or aperture) the camera makes a calculation and sets the other variable to achieve what the camera considers a good exposure.

    There would then be 2 main reasons to switch to full manual;
    1 - if you disagreed with the cameras calculation and wanted the image lighter or darker.

    2 - the aperture/shutter combination is varying each time you re-compose due to the light being uneven across the scene/subject and you want to be sure of the same shutter/aperture combination for each shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkemp11 View Post
    What suggestions do you have regarding 'fast tips" to make me more 'pro'.
    My advice:

    Learn about all the manual settings your camera has but don't get caught up thinking that Pros ALWAYS use full manual modes!

    Whilst some Pro photographers will get up on their box, beat their chests and announce that anyone who uses automatic features of a camera is not a Pro photographer, a real Pro photographer understands how the auto/semi-auto modes work, their limitations and when it's advantageous to use them mode instead of full manual.

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    Member jasevk's Avatar
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    I can't add anything more that hasn't been said! I agree, putting yourself in a situation where it's ok to make mistakes until you build confidence is the best way to go
    Living the dream...

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    I can only speak about my experiences as a new user. As said above practice is the key a lot of it and look at the tips and suggestions regarding settings and other resources available on this website it will keep you buzy for a while. I remember my first pictures with my canon 500d I did not k ow what I was doing but I still practiced and posted on the site for critiques to comment I guess this is how I learn because I did not know what to look for in a shot and how to improve it. I think now I can take pictures which are not the best but good. Just get out there and practice.


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    Canon 5D Mark II, 7 D Lens Canon 24-105mm L Canon 16-35mm II L Canon 100mm Sigma 10-20mm Canon 50mm 1.8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dervish View Post
    i find manual difficult, as i'm often on av and when switched to manual i struggle and usually only after a couple of shots before i get what i'm after.
    Really, when you think about it whats the difference between shooting Av and manual?

    Both require you to choose the aperture.

    The only difference is that you then have to alter the shutter speed according to what the light meter tells you.

    It doesnt require any extra thinking or skill. Just takes a bit longer.

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    I personally think it's important to understand manual use of the camera before you play around with the other settings. At least then you get a good grasp for the times when you should be using manual. And you understand the settings of the priority modes better.

    Just my humble opinion :-)

  19. #19
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Againstme View Post
    Really, when you think about it what's the difference between shooting Av and manual?
    Av, Tv, etc can be considered semi-automatic (or even semi-manual) as you manually control one or two parts of the exposure triangle.
    Read this: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=24290
    And this: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...944#post238944

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandi View Post
    I personally think it's important to understand manual use of the camera before you play around with the other settings. At least then you get a good grasp for the times when you should be using manual. And you understand the settings of the priority modes better.
    Just my humble opinion :-)
    No! While the goal of understanding full manual is correct , the way to get their needs to be incremental.

    Why? Its information overload!
    There is so much for new 'togs get their head around in the beginning.

    From the above link:
    The learning plan is designed to help members acquire the fundamentals of photography in a sensibly structured manner, one key element at a time.
    This approach avoids information overload.

    The learning plan is also very practical in that it asks those participating to post images and get feedback
    (constructive critique a.k.a CC) whereby they can quickly improve their skills.

    1. We start with the camera in full auto (with fixed ISO sensitivity of 100 or 200, and JPEG mode) while learning to hold the camera and compose shots
    2. We then progress to Aperture Priority (with fixed ISO) while learning Depth of Field (DoF)
    3. We add Shutter Priority to the skills (with fixed ISO) while learning movement control
    4. Once the above are understood we process to changing ISO (100 thru 1600) using mainly Aperture Priority while learning about sensitivity and noise
    5. The participant is now ready to use full manual control of the Exposure Triangle (ISO sensitivity, Aperture, Shutter speed)
    6. We advance to control of white balance using raw mode instead of JPEG
    7. Finally we add other aspects such as flash, stabilisation (tripod) and other creative options

    The above sequence provides a sound base to further explore the joy of photography.
    Most 'togs prefer to use Av, then manual, then other mods - refer to the polls we have done on the subject.
    See: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=13627

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