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Thread: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

  1. #1
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    FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    I took a photography course a few years ago in college, and have had my DSLR for about 5 years, and between school and work, etc. I haven't had the time to use much more than the AUTO and other pre-set modes on my camera! FINALLY, I have managed to get a bit of a refresher course and playing with my camera the way I should have been taking pictures all along!

    Nikon D50, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 800 (the on thing I forgot to change!), Shutter speed 1/20sec. , Aperture 1.8

    ANY and ALL critiques and criticism is welcome! Anything that will help me improve my final output!

    FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Hi Veronica,

    Are you aware of the relationship between focal length & shutterspeed to minimise camera shake?

    Basically it says "the shutterspeed should be at least the reciprocal of the focal length", so if you're using a 50mm lens you'd want a minimum shutterspeed of 1/50th - but wait, there's more! - if you're using a crop-factor camera (like the D50) then you need to multiply the minimum speed by the crop-factor, so the minimum recommended speed for hand holding (with a 50mm lens) is 1/80th - and you shot at 1/20th ... and to my eye, it looks like there might be a bit of camera shake in there. So unless you're using flash, in these conditions you'd need to up the ISO to around 3200.

    Other than that, it looks like a nice candid snap - although personally I'm finding the bright yellow background a bit distracting.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Quote Originally Posted by veroneeka View Post
    I took a photography course a few years ago in college, and have had my DSLR for about 5 years, and between school and work, etc. I haven't had the time to use much more than the AUTO and other pre-set modes on my camera! FINALLY, I have managed to get a bit of a refresher course and playing with my camera the way I should have been taking pictures all along!

    Nikon D50, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 800 (the on thing I forgot to change!), Shutter speed 1/20sec. , Aperture 1.8

    ANY and ALL critiques and criticism is welcome! Anything that will help me improve my final output!

    FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!
    Hi Veronica,

    Welcome to the group. The high ISO didn't hurt the image too much, but there is a certain amount of blur, perhaps from the model moving. Have you compared this image to what you would have achieved in AUTO (children or portrait) mode, which usually sets parameters at ISO200, f/4?

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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    The high ISO didn't hurt the image too much
    Don't be afraid to use high ISOs ... so long as the image isn't under-exposed - and so long as the image isn't excessively cropped - you really won't be able to see the noise in the final image (especially after down-sampling). The alternatives often mean exemely low shutterspeeds (risking camera shake) and/or wide apertures (risking too shallow depth of field) ... both of which will degrade an image a lot more than high ISO noise.

    In this case, if Veronica had used F4 @ ISO 200, the 1/20th of a second (which already should have been 1/80th to minimise camera shake) would have dropped to around 1/4 of a second (or 20 times slower than ideal).

  5. #5
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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    I am thinking the blur was due to the fact that I was hand holding the camera and used a 1/20 shutter speed... not quite as steady as I would have hoped! I didn't try using the pre-set modes, but thank you for that suggestion. Next time I am messing around, it is probably a good idea to start by comparing the settings the camera would use in the pre-set modes and comparing them to my own, and adjusting them in manual to get the desired effect.

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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Hi Verinica,

    The short answer is - for shots like this - you really need to be using flash, if you want to avoid camera shake and still have a good depth of field, although a tripod would helfp a lot, so long as the subject wasn't moving.

  7. #7
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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Thank you both for the input! I did purposefully use the 1.8 aperture, because I wanted to experiment with blurring the background, I think in that lighting situation, after reading your advice, I probably would have ended up with a better quality image (less blur in the portrait portion) if i would have used a higher shutter speed and a flash, since it was a bit dark in the house. I was just using the light coming in from the window, but it was a hazy/rainy day outside!

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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    This is another image I shot purposefully playing with depth of field.

    Here again, I shot with a Nikon D50, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens... the 50mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 200, Aperture f/4, Shutter speed 1/800.

    I think in terms of composition this wasn't the best, and could probably use a little bit of cropping to make it more appealing?

    FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Quote Originally Posted by veroneeka View Post
    This is another image I shot purposefully playing with depth of field.

    Here again, I shot with a Nikon D50, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens... the 50mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 200, Aperture f/4, Shutter speed 1/800.

    I think in terms of composition this wasn't the best, and could probably use a little bit of cropping to make it more appealing?

    FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!
    Veroneeka,

    I only mentioned those parameters (f/4, ISO 200) because it is what my Nikon sets for child portraits, I wanted to see if you saw an improvement by going to manual settings and why you chose the settings you did. You mentioned that ISO was unintentional, also for the child portrait you want settings that flatter the skin tones. The lower ISO chosen for this foliage shot is fine and could probably be lowered to ISO 100 if your camera is capable. If you are isolating a particular leaf then f/4 should work but if you want overall sharpness increase your aperture setting to f/11. The f/4 you chose does give DOF but with a background similar in color to your point of interest it doesn't get the same effect it would have if the background had been a complementary color. Keep having fun.

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    Re: FINALLY playing with Manual Mode!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Don't be afraid to use high ISOs ... so long as the image isn't under-exposed - and so long as the image isn't excessively cropped - you really won't be able to see the noise in the final image (especially after down-sampling). The alternatives often mean exemely low shutterspeeds (risking camera shake) and/or wide apertures (risking too shallow depth of field) ... both of which will degrade an image a lot more than high ISO noise.

    In this case, if Veronica had used F4 @ ISO 200, the 1/20th of a second (which already should have been 1/80th to minimise camera shake) would have dropped to around 1/4 of a second (or 20 times slower than ideal).
    How'd you guess high ISOs do frighten me, although they do add a bit of light to most subjects.

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