This next photo was taken in front of a window on a bright sunny day, so the light is natural and pleasant. The f stop is 1. The type of lens you use can make a big difference in the quality of your photos as well. Last year, I received a 50 mm fixed focal length lens for Christmas. This lens allows me to use a low aperture down to f stop 1.
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The other morning, I shot this photo of Janie dressed up for church:. The combination of this lens often referred to as a portrait lens and wonderful natural light from the windows in our game room allowed me to get some fantastic shots. Notice how the focus is on her eyes, and the background is nicely blurred. We had one of those this past week.
Plus, we had 7 kids to photograph, and it was next to impossible to get them all to stand still at the same time! I managed to pull off this photo with a f stop of 4. A faster shutter speed would have been better, but this was not possible with the amount of light in the room unless I used the flash. For gift opening, I gave up on not using the flash! If you must use the flash, turning up the ISO speed will increase the range of the flash, which helps to eliminate the dark background. This also allows you to use a higher shutter speed, which means a sharper image.
The downside is increased grain to the picture. But the best photos are still the ones with natural light. Not direct sunlight, but good ambient light. I just purchased a Cannon Rebel and use the auto settings. I would recommend just shooting in the other modes and experimenting with it! It does take some practice for sure. I am embarrassed to say that I was probably in auto mode for much of the first year that I owned my camera.
And yes, that camera will take better pictures than your point and shoot once you get the hang of it! I have a cannon rebel. I just starting taking pictures of the same thing in different setting. I am still learning but I am getting better pictures. I have been shooting in auto mode but I want to venture out into the other modes soon but the manual is so confusing to me.
This article is helpful and I am glad I cam across it and I also realized while reading it that I now need to get lens protectors, I had no clue. Happy Holidays!! This has helped me understand or begin to understand what im doing with my camera. Thank you so much. The first two photos were taken using the overhead r […]. Your email address will not be published.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. You choose it all! The other morning, I shot this photo of Janie dressed up for church: The combination of this lens often referred to as a portrait lens and wonderful natural light from the windows in our game room allowed me to get some fantastic shots. But what about less-than-ideal photo situations? I sharpened this photo slightly using picmonkey. Bad photo: too blurry because the shutter speed was not fast enough Good photo: If you must use the flash, turning up the ISO speed will increase the range of the flash, which helps to eliminate the dark background.
To wrap up, here are some troubleshooting tips: Too blurry? Increase the shutter speed. Because this camera has a larger sensor, I can take pictures in low light with a much faster shutter speed than my old camera. This makes a huge difference, especially indoors. Too dark? Slow down the shutter speed or lower the f stop number aperture. You might want to turn on the camera's histogram display look it up in your manual to verify that it's not too shifted toward the shadows or the highlights, unless you want that effect.
The guidelines for choosing settings are pretty much the same as those for shooting in the Shutter- or Aperture-priority modes. You need to figure out what that setting is for yourself, because you don't want to drop below it thoughtlessly. By "thoughtlessly," I mean you really have to concentrate to handhold effectively as the speeds get slower: control your breathing, brace yourself against something, make sure image-stabilization is enabled, and so on. The Internet is littered with rules of thumb about selecting shutter speeds depending upon the effect you want.
How to set up your dSLR for beginners
Those rules were more important in film days, when trial and error was impractical, time consuming and expensive. Today, you can usually figure out within the first few shots what setting produces the image you want. Choosing an aperture: Keep in mind that if you have a zoom lens with a variable aperture range denoted as say, an mm f3.
With a lens like that, on anything smaller than full-frame you don't have a lot of flexiblity. For everything but studio-type work, if you're going to shoot with an inexpensive kit lens and want the closest you can get to a set-it-and-forget it choice, I vote for f5. That will ensure snapshot-quality sharpness of most things you plan to shoot, and will keep the aperture from changing as you zoom. An alternative is to set it f3. If you want maximum sharpness throughout the scene and there's plenty of light, then f8 or f11 is a good choice.
Try to stay away from f16 or higher on inexpensive lenses and small sensors, since sharpness tends to decrease past a certain point as other laws of physics intrude.
If you have a fast lens that supports apertures of about f2. First, the wider you go the harder it is to focus accurately; the smaller the zone of sharpness, the more difficult it is to keep the camera fixed on the appropriate point.
This is especially true if you're depending upon autofocus. Also, cheap, fast lenses, like a typical 50mm f1. ISO sensitivity : If you're confident about the high-ISO sensitivity performance of your camera, you may want to leave this on Auto; keep in mind, however, that some higher-end cameras won't let you use Auto ISO in Manual mode. The ability to do so is becoming more popular in that segment, though, as a way to allow for constant exposures when shooting video -- it lets you set the shutter speed and aperture and vary the ISO sensitivity as lighting conditions within a scene changes.
However, as sensor size decreases, out-of-focus areas tend to become increasingly unattractive; increasing ISO sensitivity exacerbates the artifacts in those areas. As with the priority modes, the camera will always choose the lowest available option that matches your chosen aperture when set to Auto ISO. However, if you're going to use it, see if your camera has a menu option to set a prescribed range of values it can choose from.
That's especially important on the high end, since most consumer cameras don't do very well above ISO , regardless of what their specifications may indicate. If you plan to adjust it manually, you always want the lowest setting possible that gives you enough flexibility to enable you to choose other important settings. You can usually figure out within the first few shots what setting produces the image you want.
Just remember:. Just one: It takes a lot of practice before choosing settings becomes instinctive, which can slow you down in unfamiliar situations. That's why I like suggestion the "D'oh! Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Don't show this again. Photography dSLR tips for beginners: How to use Manual mode Take the leap: There actually are occasions when using Manual can be easier than automatic.
By Lori Grunin. Manual mode can seem a lot scarier than it actually is. Who can use it Manual mode is for anybody with a mode dial on their camera, physical or virtual, dSLR, interchangeable-lens mirrorless, advanced compact or even a phone with manual controls. When to use it As a Twitter commenter put it : "Real photographers use Manual mode, that way you tell the camera what you want, no surprises with automation. When you need to photograph the same thing repeatedly, using Manual mode is the fastest way to go.
For instance, when I first started shooting a particular night scene for camera testing, I'd repeatedly try spot metering off different places to get the exposure I wanted in Shutter-priority mode with fixed ISO sensitivity, since that's what I'm testing. Then came my "D'oh! Since each camera's a little different, I still have to tweak the settings, but it's still much faster.
dSLR tips for beginners: How to use Manual mode - CNET
When you're photographing under unchanging lighting. Why make the camera recalculate the exposure with every shot? And even though the lighting isn't changing, chances are the camera will still deliver different exposure choices for similar shots if you're using some form of auto. When the lighting is changing radically. Setting your shutter speed and aperture and allowing Auto ISO sensitivity to float the setting ensures your shutter speed and aperture will stay in the safe zones. Normally I don't recommend Auto ISO, but in very dark conditions you're going to end up with a high sensitivity anyway, so you might as well just end up with it automatically.
When the metering system delivers unexpected exposures. How many times has your camera produced an under- or overexposed shot based on its metering decisions, and you just keep retaking and retaking, hoping the next will be different? It's the definition of insanity, and I'll be the first to admit I've been there. When shooting video. In video, decisions about shutter speed and aperture have even more importance than with stills. How it works You set the shutter speed and aperture independently, and the camera meters the scene -- decides how much light is available -- and tells you if if the settings will produce an overexposed, underexposed or just-right exposure.
How to use it Turn the mode dial to the big "M". How to read the settings Shutter speed: "Shutter speed" indicates the amount of time the camera exposes the sensor to light from the scene. The exposure readout on a quick view screen. How to use the settings Changing the shutter speed and aperture values: On cameras with two dials, usually one on the front and one on the back, different manufacturers use different conventions for the primary adjustment dial. Now comes the harder part: understanding the relationship between the settings.