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Thread: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

  1. #1
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Does anyone have any tips or step by step helps to learning to shoot in full manual mode? This is new for me and I'm not quite sure how to start.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    One thing that helped me get started shooting in manual is......I was used to shooting in A or Av for some.....while in this mode have a look at the #s, set the camera to reflect these same #s in manual and adjust slightly one way or another in small increments taking photos as you go. This way you can get an idea of how those adjustments will effect your photo. Either look at your exif data or keep track as you go.

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    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    What other modes have you try other than full Auto, Do you understand what Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO mean and what they do and also what is exposure which is the most basic element of photography and If you want to be a good photographer you need to know this.
    All of this is not hard to understand there are tons of tutorials on the web as well as here on this web site. One fact is most photographer hardly ever use full manual most shoot is AV or Aperture Priority mode. Aperture priority mode allows the photographer to choose the aperture and the ISO, but lets the camera find the corresponding shutter speed to achieve a correct exposure.
    The reason that this is the best mode for all-around photography is that the photographer can pay attention to depth-of-field without being distracted by shutter speed when it isn’t as important.
    Tell us more about your experience level and maybe what your planning to shoot mostly.

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    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Melkus View Post
    What other modes have you try other than full Auto, Do you understand what Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO mean and what they do and also what is exposure which is the most basic element of photography and If you want to be a good photographer you need to know this.
    All of this is not hard to understand there are tons of tutorials on the web as well as here on this web site. One fact is most photographer hardly ever use full manual most shoot is AV or Aperture Priority mode. Aperture priority mode allows the photographer to choose the aperture and the ISO, but lets the camera find the corresponding shutter speed to achieve a correct exposure.
    The reason that this is the best mode for all-around photography is that the photographer can pay attention to depth-of-field without being distracted by shutter speed when it isnít as important.
    Tell us more about your experience level and maybe what your planning to shoot mostly.

    I do understand aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure. I usually shoot in Aperture Priority (Nikon). The reason for shooting in full manual mode is that I want to experiment with a Lensbaby lens and my particular Nikon body only works in full manual mode with Lensbaby. Looks like some all around experimentation is on the horizon for me.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by MajaMolly View Post
    I do understand aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure. I usually shoot in Aperture Priority (Nikon). The reason for shooting in full manual mode is that I want to experiment with a Lensbaby lens and my particular Nikon body only works in full manual mode with Lensbaby. Looks like some all around experimentation is on the horizon for me.
    One method to try with your camera is using the sunny 16 settings and work out your deviations from there.

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    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    One method to try with your camera is using the sunny 16 settings and work out your deviations from there.
    Thank you for that idea. I'll absolutely try that.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Get yourself a handheld light meter ! You can buy a new model or just look on the antique and used market. ( An advantage of new is some models provide the ability to measure flash exposures ) Either way, for manual shooting, you need a way to determine the exposure. If you want to work towards fine exposure control, get a narrow angle spot meter which will let you meter off individual scene elements. A quick google for the "Zone System" will provide pointers on this.

    I do recommend that what ever meter you get, Make sure it an measure incident light which can provide a more accurate exposure not biased by the color of brightness of scene elements.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Or may be you can use camera's in-built light meter, to begin with?

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    Get yourself a handheld light meter ! You can buy a new model or just look on the antique and used market.
    If you go for a used meter, just make sure it uses batteries which are still available. Donīt ask how I know.. ;^)

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Hi Maja, why not put on the closest lens to the lensbaby, note the settings, swap to the lensbaby and start from there?

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    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Maja, why not put on the closest lens to the lensbaby, note the settings, swap to the lensbaby and start from there?
    Thank you, Frank. That's a great tip.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Personally, I have little interest in shooting manual unless one of the semi-auto modes is giving me problems. In that case, I just use Kentucky windage to adjust away from the problems. But an oldie but a goodie page on shooting with manual exposure is: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm And remember, chimping is your friend...

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Hi Molly,

    After I received my D90 I shot on the presets for just a day or two, then after learning
    about RAW images and reading through the tutorials here on CiC, I switched to full
    Manual, and haven't looked back since. I do use Aperture Priority on occasion when
    shooting indoors and using the SB-900 (on camera) as a fill-flash, but otherwise all
    of my images are shot in Manual mode.

    I started learning Manual by setting up a subject on my back deck, and then shooting
    the subject at various f/stops and shutter speeds. After a bit you begin to learn what settings
    to use for a given situation. As Tom said above, CHIMPING IS YOUR FRIEND.

    After I take a pic, if I am unsure of the settings for the exposure I'll include the Histogram
    with the image on the review screen, as then you can see just where you are, and if you
    are blowing the highlights by overexposure or underexposing the image you can adjust
    shutter speed, ISO and f/stop to "dial-in" the best exposure for that particular shot.

    Practice, practice, practice....and then practice some more. Just go out and shoot random
    pics of "whatever", and learn from each photo you take. In a short time you'll be getting
    good exposures and setting up the camera for each shot will become 2nd nature. Take a shot,
    check the exposure (chimping) and then do it over and over till you can make your camera
    capture the image you desire.

    You'll end up deleting lots and lots of undesired images, but you'll learn from every one, good
    or bad.

    See my signature line if you get frustrated...

    Mike

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by MajaMolly View Post
    Does anyone have any tips or step by step helps to learning to shoot in full manual mode? This is new for me and I'm not quite sure how to start.
    Molly,
    Your camera is not Pentax, I am guessing? Or is it, by any chance?
    If it was - you'd have that little round green button in a convenient place on your camera, which helps you in manual mode very-very much. You just need to push it once while in manual mode, and your camera sets aperture and shutter for what it "thinks" is right. It's a good starting point. Then you have one wheel for the aperture, and another one for shutter. I think it's the easiest manual mode ever. I use it all the time.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    I'm shooting a D7000 in full manual (unless I am shooting something moving rapidly, then it is generally shutter priority). In general, I make all my initial decisions based on what depth of field I desire in the shot. Once at that point, I set up for spot metering, meter for the brightest spot, set the aperture, then dial forward or back to the shutter speed which will work for the scene.There are always instances which require making compromises to aperture, but in general, this tends to work real well. It is just as easy to set shutter first, and work the aperture, again depending on the action, dial to and fro to get the second number.
    Last edited by MiniChris; 29th December 2011 at 12:18 AM.

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    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    I'm shooting a D7000 in full manual (unless I am shooting something moving rapidly, then it is generally shutter priority). In general, I make all my initial decisions based on what depth of field I desire in the shot. Once at that point, I set up for spot metering, meter for the brightest spot, set the aperture, then dial forward or back to the shutter speed which will work for the scene.There are always instances which require making compromises to aperture, but in general, this tends to work real well. It is just as easy to set shutter first, and work the aperture, again depending on the action, dial to and fro to get the second number.
    The in-camera light meter does not work with the Lensbaby and my camera body. So, I'm guessing it's just making an 'educated' guess and trial and error?

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    The, I guess an external meter would be a good plan. Many old 35mm cameras such as the Pentax K1000 have excellent meters in them. I used one for years before acquiring my Pentax Spotmeter. I took some resetting of the meter's range to a zone range, but in the end, I was able to produce quite acceptable images.

  18. #18
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    The, I guess an external meter would be a good plan. Many old 35mm cameras such as the Pentax K1000 have excellent meters in them. I used one for years before acquiring my Pentax Spotmeter. I took some resetting of the meter's range to a zone range, but in the end, I was able to produce quite acceptable images.
    I think I'll be looking for a used meter. Thanks.

  19. #19

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Using the histogram is probably moe useful than an external meter with the lensbaby. I'm guessing that you are tripod mounting the camera and then fiddling with the lensbaby to get the composition right? At that point you can try different shutter speeds and check the histogram to see which way to go. If you were shooting in a "from the hip" style, like street photography, you'd not get another chance at the shot, so an external meter would be useful. With the lensbaby, you're more likely to do a static setup shot and have plenty fiddle time.

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    Re: Shooting In Full Manual Mode

    Hi!
    Practice, practice, practice is one of the main keys. However documentation adds much to the practice. I never look at my pictures till I get home. Believe that the picture you are taking is the best ever. When you inspect them at home you can check the results against the notes that you took about the setting or event. What the weather was like and other lighting factors. It will not take too long for you to develop a style that satisfies your needs and artistic tastes.
    Tim

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