7th August 2013, 04:04 PM
Hello! I am trying to step outside my box...trying to get better shots. I have a Nikon 5100 and do not have a tripod. I took this shot on Auto...I'm trying to get a better pic. Any advise would be welcomed.
7th August 2013, 04:37 PM
Re: Total Newbie!
With landscape shots, it's frequently important to make sure your horizon line is actually horizontal. The best way is to keep an eye on whether you're level in the camera, but it can be easily corrected with post-processing.
The moon's long reflection makes me wonder if this shot would work better in portrait format (photo's long axis vertical). That might encourage the user's eye to follow the neat moonlight reflection up and down the shot. While a tripod is an excellent tool for landscape work, you can certainly live without one for a while. Everything from brick walls to dirt can become a nice, stable place to set your camera. I'd encourage you to find a large bean bag as a camera stabilizer - plonk it down on anything roughly horizontal, aim and settle your camera into it for nice, stable shots. Cheap and highly effective.
I also recommend reading through your camera's manual. That will explain how to enable lots of the settings we'll probably throw at you. For instance, if you can find a stable place to rest your camera, I would try setting it to aperture priority mode around f8 at ISO100 with +1EV exposure compensation. If that's all Greek, CiC has a good tutorial on the exposure triangle at this link.
In essence, there are three things which determine your exposure.
- Aperture: Every lens contains a pinhole whose size can be controlled by the user. Small pinholes (high f-stop numbers) give you deep depth of field (the depth of the in-focus area around your focus point), but let less light into the camera.
- Shutter speed: This is how long the sensor or film is exposed to light. Short shutter speeds have better chances of freezing images, but don't let the sensor gather much light.
- ISO: This is basically a multiplier for the light that hits the sensor. With ISO100 as the base, ISO200 will multiply the collected light by 2, ISO800 will multiply the collected light by 8, etc. The downside is that higher ISOs produce lots of noise - like a grainy layer of TV static over your shot.
All photography in any camera mode is about balancing these three factors to produce the desired exposure. A final note about exposure compensation: in Auto, shutter priority, and aperture priority modes (plus others, depending on your camera model), your camera will target what it considers an ideal light level across the image. However, the camera's opinion of the correct light level, and your desired look for the image, may be different. So you can use exposure compensation (expressed in units called "Exposure Values" or EV) to force the camera to make the image darker (negative exposure compensation) or brighter (positive exposure compensation).
My settings suggestions are aimed at creating a very long shutter speed (ten seconds or more). Long shutter speeds can make water appear very silky and ethereal, like this shot from the 123rf stock photography site. The positive exposure compensation is to try to collect a little more light from the surroundings to bring out details in the tree and shore line.
7th August 2013, 08:55 PM
Re: Total Newbie!
I'm starting to set a few things at aperture priority...just started today. I assume I try to straighten this in photo editing?
Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw
This photo is beautiful of the water...not sure about the exposure setting to get that silky look on the water?