Archive for January 6th, 2014

January 6, 2014

Full Circle on Off Auto

Or more like 270 degrees (Sorry, lame math joke to fallow)

Confession: If I am still blogging one day, when I am old and gray, my header image will be Willow Tree Anniversary figurine in front of our first full family photo.

I have learned a lot when it comes to my camera.

I know that I need a shutter speed of at least 1/320 using my 35mm lens to freeze water. That corresponds to about a 1 / (10 x FF).

I know that an F stop of F/2.8 is about as wide open an aperture as I can get when shooting a close up of Nicole and wanting to get her whole face in focus. F/4 is better.

I didn’t know those things back in February when I went off auto. And yet, I find trusting myself with my camera more difficult now than back then. One of the problems with practice is start to get a more critical eye. The more proficient you get with a skill, the more you can spot at amateur. My previous self? Such an amateur.

One of the major mistakes I made was over correcting the lightness meter. I mentioned before in my off auto post that the camera’s metering light is too dark. One step on the light side looks nice, but I have some 2 and 3 steps that look a bit flight. I’m under the impression that as long as they aren’t blown out, I can fix them in post processing – I just have to learn how!

In August I switched from full manual, to aperture priority. Aperture priority is when I set the F-Stop (controlling the aperture) and the camera chooses the optimal shutter speed for that F-Stop. While I’m not setting the shutter speed directly, if the shutter speed is a little too slow, I will up the ISO so the camera selects a better one. I think of it as 3/4s manual since I’m fully controlling the F-Stop, and influencing the shutter speed but not fussing with it much. (Annnd, we’re back to that math joke: 3/4s a Circle = 270 degrees.)

I suspect as time goes on I will continue to bounce back from Auto to Manual. Auto (or at least semi-auto) is a useful crutch for learning by letting me focus on one element of Photography at a time.

I feel like a broken record with regards to ISO. I know high ISO is not that bad, yet, I still fear the high ISO. I wish there was a ISO anti-priorty mode on my camera. Let me set the F-stop I need to get the right depth of field, and the shutter speed to get the right amount of freeze. The camera can figure out which ISO is needed to make it work. Maybe then I can finally get over my mental block.