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novice manual experiments


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One of the great things about digital photography is that you can shoot and see the fruits of your work very quickly, learn from it and try again. In days of yore with film you could wait weeks to have your shots developed (unless doing it yourself) and invariably by that time had forgotten your settings or what you were trying to do :?

Only advice I would give you on these first shots Jill is if hand holding use an aperture that will give you a higher shutter speed to ensure the possibility of camera shake is negated, assuming of course you were shooting hand held.

3. ISO800 F/32 1/25 44mm - Even with the ISO wound up a shutter speed of 1/25 is very slow if hand held; you obviously were not on the 'pop' the night before :naughty: If a tripod was being used ignore my comments :oops:

Best way to learn is as you are doing experiment, shoot, and learn from the result.

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hi perry

if i werent in norfolk, the cromford area is my second choice and not just because of

the denby pottery.

the tripod was a bridge. :dance

i was hoping that you lot would ruthlessly pick them to bits so that i could learn

something please :bow

so far ive gathered, the larger the F stop number the smaller the hole and the more need

for a tripod and a larger F stop number helps with depth of field.

for all these shots i set the camera on AV and changed the F/stop setting.

i do not have the technical eye yet to say what is technicaly good or bad in a shot.

i flatter myself that im not too bad at framing a shot on the whole.


ISO 800 F/22 1/15 20mm

ISO 800 F22 1/8 43mm



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Hi Jill

Sorry, I won't pull your pics to pieces as one mans meat is another mans poison etc. However, from a technical point of view you will notice that even though your first two shots have aperture settings (F/stops) at opposite ends of the scale, the depth of field isn't hugely different, with only slight blurring of the focus on the distant objects even at F7.1. This is mainly due to the focal length of 55mm, and you can exagerate how much blurring there is in the background ("compress the depth of field") by taking a few steps back from your subject and using a zoom lens. This is why some portrait photographers use zoom lenses and stand further away from their subjects.

The amount of light the camera needs to take a balanced exposure is a set amount (as a rule anyway) for each ISO setting. As the aperture gets bigger and lets in more light, so the shutter speed gets faster to limit the time the light has to get in through the lens to compensate. Therefore as a summary of f/stops:

1. Bigger number = smaller hole = slower shutter speed = more depth of field (more distant objects in focus)

2. Smaller number = bigger hole - faster shutter speed = less depth of field (more blurring of background)

The thing to remember when using the camera in Av mode, is to check the shutter speed the camera is selcting. If the ISO setting is on automatic, the camera will also set this higher (ie. make the sensor more sensitive to light) if you are using small apertures (big f numbers) to compensate and to try to avoid camera shake. This can produce a grainy image though.

I like the bridge shots, although you have got a little lens flare on the one showing the sun, which is pretty unavoidable when shooting into the sun. I think for the close-up bridge shot I would have maybe tried laying down on the ground and shooting looking up a bit, though this is physically easier for some than others!

Sorry if I've rambled, but from a simplistic viewpoint there really are only two controls on a camera; shutter speed and aperture size. There are obviously others such as the ISO setting, but these only help these two main settings. If you can master these two, it makes it easier for you to look at a scene and determine how you want the photo to look.

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Okay, there is one thing which jumps out at me here.... did you also change the white balance preset (or was it set to Auto)?

Reason for asking is that ISO200 shots have a completely different colour cast from your ISO800 shots. After the sheep shots I thought it might just be an aberation but it repeats exactly the same in the second set of three. Curious. Now upping the ISO will dial up the sensor's sensitivity to light but it will also reduce the colour depth and dynamic range that the camera is able to capture but even so I am quite surprised at the huge difference in colour cast between what is only really two levels of ISO apart.

I don't need to add anything on the subject of depth of field / aperture because it's been well covered already but one thing which is also noticeable is that the shots taken at extremely small apertures are very soft by comparison to those at middling apertures (f7.1 to f13 or so). This is a known issue with lenses as beyond this point defraction sets in and softens the pictures. Most lenses decrease in sharpness quite substantially above (i.e. smaller than) f16 and are generally in a sweet spot at around f8.

Of course in real terms, when you're printing images, it might not make that much difference, especially at smaller sizes - but it might be an idea to leave f16 and higher on the shelf unless you really need huge depth of field. I assume you're using the Canon 18-55 IS lens which I understand is a big improvement over its predecessor (the one on my work EOS400D is hopeless), plus has IS so you can crank the shutter speed down a couple of notches. I agree with Perry that you want to steer clear of low shutter speeds as a general rule and probably 1/30-1/45 is as slow as you should go at shorter focal lengths (this will increase significantly once you start zooming in). That said, as you have the IS version of the lens, or at least I assume you do, you might be able to push this down a bit. I have been able to hand hold shots as slow as 1/8 when hand held with IS turned on. Probably best not to make a habit of it though.

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I once read a rule of thumb to apply with shutter speeds and hand holding. Just make sure the shutter speed is faster than 1/ the focal length. In other words if you are using a lens at 50mm, the shutter speed should be no slower than 1/50, but for a shot using a zoom at 200mm, make the shutter speed not less that 1/200. Obviously with IS lenses, this can be reduced as Simon mentions, and the steadier you are at holding the camera the better.

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hi simon

did you also change the white balance preset (or was it set to Auto)?

how do you do that.

as far as i know, all i did was to turn the dial on the top right from auto to AV then turn the

wheel on the top right to change the F/stop.

yes i have the lens that came with the camera 18-55.

i was wondering why some of my piccies have that yellow tint and how to stop it.


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Jill, on the back screen and on the rh side you should have AWB in a box, this is auto white balance set if this is not visible , just off the side of the screen is a button marked WB just press this and it will bring up a list of settings for you to chose. If you have the wrong setting this may be giving you the yellow tinge. Dont forget to press the SET button after you have highlighted the chosen setting

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Jill said

how do you do that.

Tut tut Jill RTFM ;)

Manual here: http://snpi.dell.com/sna/manuals/A1761803.pdf

See page 90 you can customise your White Balance but if you set it to AWB (Auto White Balance) the camera will make the adjustment. To kick off with it is probably best leaving it set here while you get to grips with other aspects.

BTW what setting are you using on the Dial on the top? Presume you are using M (Manual) from the title of the thread. As an experiment why not carry on with a manual selection take your shot then take the same shot in P (auto) where the camera will set all aspects compare the settings and final results. I would not recommend P ongoing as this limits creativity but it will allow you to see what the camera is choosing against your manual settings.

I would then move to setting the aperture and allowing the camera to set the shutter speed.

I agree though the KL shots are good

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hi perry

Presume you are using M (Manual) from the title of the thread

I would not recommend P

im using the setting AV and a greeny blue oblong symbal.

manuals were never my forte which is why i never attempted an OU course of any kind.

hi colin

camera now set to AWB as it was on a little cloud symbal,

thanks and ive now sussed how to set the ISO to :clap

what does ISO mean ?

im sorry if im being lazy but i know you lads can explane it better than a manual :clap:teddy:

the 1st picky is of a duckling just behind mum and dad but you have to click to see it.

the second was my favorite due to the busyness and colour.


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Guest chriscraft

hi jill

liked the 2nd and 3rd shots of the nets,because that,s what we are supposed to look at,didn,t like the third as too busy,half a boat her half a boat there,one full boat with the rest in background would be more to my taste,

the first shot is quiete clever as my first thought when saw it was,what the hell is that in the river,if that was your intention it worked!!,

anyway well done keep it up!!

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Guest chriscraft

hi jill ,

personaly like these better,there,s a great opertunity in the first picture,in better weather,of the old wooden boat in the background,would make a nice study,old and new :clap

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