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Thread: Donald - Where have you been all my life

  1. #1

    Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Being a lazy cus I have always used aperture priority (Av) mode with EV compensation mode except for indoor flash. Every time I experimented with manual I felt as if I had lost control. Over the last couple of weeks I have been looking at Donald's work and taking note that he always uses the camera in manual. Well, inspired by this I forced myself to use manual only for all sorts of shots. And, do you know what I have not looked back. After the initial 'panic' of riding without stabilisers it all fell into place. The amount of control over exposure is unbelievable.

    Now all this probably sounds a bit obvious and I probably come across as being a couple of slices short of a loaf but I could never see much point in straying away from what seemed to be a perfectly good system. The garden shots I took at the weekend and posted under 'A stroll in the Garden' and the 'Credit Crunch Bluebells' are all just about straight out of camera. For the first time I was at a loss because there was so little PP to do.

    So for those of you who are still spinning that mode dial to Tv, Av, P or green box listen up. Switch to M, persevere, curse, kick the cat but after very little time you will be taking far better and more consistent photographs.

  2. #2

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Being a lazy cus I have always used aperture priority (Av) mode with EV compensation mode except for indoor flash. Every time I experimented with manual I felt as if I had lost control. Over the last couple of weeks I have been looking at Donald's work and taking note that he always uses the camera in manual. Well, inspired by this I forced myself to use manual only for all sorts of shots. And, do you know what I have not looked back. After the initial 'panic' of riding without stabilisers it all fell into place. The amount of control over exposure is unbelievable.

    Now all this probably sounds a bit obvious and I probably come across as being a couple of slices short of a loaf but I could never see much point in straying away from what seemed to be a perfectly good system. The garden shots I took at the weekend and posted under 'A stroll in the Garden' and the 'Credit Crunch Bluebells' are all just about straight out of camera. For the first time I was at a loss because there was so little PP to do.

    So for those of you who are still spinning that mode dial to Tv, Av, P or green box listen up. Switch to M, persevere, curse, kick the cat but after very little time you will be taking far better and more consistent photographs.
    My cat is so big I'd break my toes! You promise? If I switch to M, persever, curse, kick things.... I'll be taking better pictures? Promise?

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    My cat is so big I'd break my toes! You promise? If I switch to M, persever, curse, kick things.... I'll be taking better pictures? Promise?
    It's a sure-fire certainty, but you've got to go through the cussing, kicking phase first.

    The only reason I started using Manual, got used to it and never do anything else, is because some guy called Southern posted a message just after I joined the site saying something like 'master the ability to shoot in Manual mode'. I thought he sounded terribly clever and knowledgeable so thought I'd better obey if I wanted to be a real photographer!

    But the interesting thing that the good man above says (no, not Him .... Steve), is about the amount of PP work required. On the most recent stuff I've being doing (which I've still got in the 'Latest Stuff' section of my website), which I think is amongst the best work I have produced, I have hardly done any PP apart from the B & W conversion. What I'm particularly pleased about, is that I've been setting myself some reasonably difficult, I think, exposure challenges and I now feel that I am, at long last, getting on top of the art of exposure.
    Last edited by Donald; 19th April 2011 at 09:59 PM.

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    I use both Aperture Priority and Manual, but of late have been only using manual using the zone system, which in some ways is quite complicated and convoluted, but in other ways, so damnably simple you wonder why you didn't do it in the first place...and shooting zone in digital is quite different from shooting zone in film as in practice, you shoot for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they will...I have not quite mastered this process but I find it is mostly because I keep tripping over figuring out if I am in film or digital....it will make a sane man truly crazy...bleah-de-bleah--de-bleah

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    ... but in other ways, so damnably simple you wonder why you didn't do it in the first place...
    That's another good point. It's what you get used to.

    I would find it incredibly difficult to shoot in Av or Tv, just because I'd have to operate at a much more conscious level in terms of what I was doing. I know what Exposure Compensation means, but I've never used it. So it would be harder work for me to think through the steps I'd need to execute than it is to be spotting my tones in the scene and setting shutter and aperture manually to expose accordingly.

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    That's another good point. It's what you get used to.

    I would find it incredibly difficult to shoot in Av or Tv, just because I'd have to operate at a much more conscious level in terms of what I was doing. I know what Exposure Compensation means, but I've never used it. So it would be harder work for me to think through the steps I'd need to execute than it is to be spotting my tones in the scene and setting shutter and aperture manually to expose accordingly.
    Okay... if I learn to shoot in manual it will be easier and I won't have to be as conscious. You've won my heart, Donald.

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    I use both Aperture Priority and Manual, but of late have been only using manual using the zone system, which in some ways is quite complicated and convoluted, but in other ways, so damnably simple you wonder why you didn't do it in the first place...and shooting zone in digital is quite different from shooting zone in film as in practice, you shoot for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they will...I have not quite mastered this process but I find it is mostly because I keep tripping over figuring out if I am in film or digital....it will make a sane man truly crazy...bleah-de-bleah--de-bleah
    You lost me at, 'zone system'. but you got me back with the 'simple' part. The part that I'm realllllyyyyy confused about is the part about making a sane man truly crazy... what sane man are you referring to?

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    I'm sorry I cannot figure out how to multi-quote in one response... now, it's all making sense as to why I need simple, isn't it?

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    I'm sorry I cannot figure out how to multi-quote in one response... now, it's all making sense as to why I need simple, isn't it?
    Just type [ q u o t e ] (without the spaces) at the beginning of the quoted text
    and then type [ / q u o t e ] (without the spaces) at the end of it
    Easy huh?

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Damn you all!
    Just as I thought I was getting clever using Av and Tv modes and refusing to use the 'green box', now you come along and tell me that I should go manual.
    There's my Easter weekend gone now - I'll have to go and practice (once I have re-read the tutorials)!

  11. #11
    rob marshall

    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Well, if you are up for trying things that you are not used to.... (long silent pause....) you could try switching to spot metering. It doesn't make all that much difference to landscape shots, but floral subjects with spot can produce some very dramatic results due to the often intense local changes in exposure settings. It's like everything else in life, you pootle along nicely on preset parameters, and before you know where you are you are 60 years old and running on auto-pilot, cruising to an early death of boredom. So yeah, reach out and experiment.

    Now, where did I put the scuba gear and ginger flavoured cond.....

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    I'm sorry I cannot figure out how to multi-quote in one response... now, it's all making sense as to why I need simple, isn't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Easy huh?
    Another technique I like to use, that helps to maintain the original author and post links in the quote is to open a message reply in a new tab (or window if that's your weapon of choice), then back in the original thread tab click the 'reply with quote' link which provides the quote with the author and post ID # info. Copy, paste, repeat.

    You can also build that info manually, but might as well make the computers do the work until they rise up and become our new overlords.


    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Now, where did I put the scuba gear and ginger flavoured cond.....
    Let me know when/where you're going diving, and I'll meet you there....

    - Bill

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenM View Post
    Damn you all!
    Just as I thought I was getting clever using Av and Tv modes and refusing to use the 'green box', now you come along and tell me that I should go manual.
    There's my Easter weekend gone now - I'll have to go and practice (once I have re-read the tutorials)!
    It's a bit like turning the thumbscrews - just when you're starting to get comfortable, someone throws in another twist.

    The reality, for me, is that you use whatever means you know and can apply, to get to the end result. I happen to know how to use, and feel comfortable with, shooting in Manual. Now if you look at, for example, Steve's (Wirefox's) work and that of Peter Ryan (anyone heard from Peter lately?) as but 2 examples, both of whom do shoot/have shot in Av , I don't think anyone is going to suggest that you can only produce the highest quality work if you shoot Manual. That's just nonsense.

    It does give you some options and I enjoy it.

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Well, I like learning new stuff, and am never happy until I get better at what I do. So as I'm relatively new to this I have less to unlearn so it may be a good idea to get used to the dreaded 'M' button.
    The way I see it is if you learn the difficult way to do something, then you have a better understanding when in semi-auto modes.

    In fact last week while on holiday, we took our 40 year old inherited Zorki4 with us. Now that is a camera than forces you to use manual! It doesn't even have a light meter built in...

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Easy huh?
    Thank you, Colin. Please do not ban me if I fail at first. I will do my very best.

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    Thank you, Colin.
    You're welcome Mary

    Please do not ban me if I fail at first.
    As if we would ever do such a thing

    I will do my very best.
    It's all we can ever ask!

  17. #17
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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    I only ever used manual; when they bought camera's out they didn't think of Av or Tv mode, but it can be a right difficult job trying to catch a bird taking off, or tracking a racing car. But that is what photographers used to do.

    In fact I tried to use Tv once and found I didn't know how, but once I found that you have to go into the menu to set disable override, I quite enjoyed the lazy laid back experience.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Steve also makes a very good point immediately above: What is the subject matter?

    My sort of photography is well suited to Manual shooting.

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    Sigh
    Just when I thought you were dragging me, kicking and screaming, in the right direction with AV and TV, you all went and upped the ante. You techno whizz kids have totally lost me. Although once again Donald has taken to the lists and added his steadying voice of reason. So, I am off to the sit on the side lines, to watch, look and learn.
    Cheers
    K

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    Re: Donald - Where have you been all my life

    I started shooting in 1948 with a box camera. Then I graduated to one with aperture and shutter adjustments, with the appropriate shudders and shakes as I figured it out. Later it was interchangable lenses. Then came zoom lenses. Here we go, again! Somewhere in there they started building the light meter into the camera.

    Then, when I got back into photography somewhat seriously, the beasties were all automatic, semi-automatic or manual. I had to train myself all over again to think of it as a box camera, after so many years of having control over my shots.

    NOW YOU TELL ME! I should have just stuck to my old ones? Sheeze!



    Pops

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