Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Manual, I Swear!

When I was taking pictures of our pup Morpheus, I took most of the photos on the manual setting.  Can you believe it?  I know, I'm a bit shocked myself.

I was visiting with a photographer friend of mine (Laura at LHB Photography) and she showed me the light meter in my view finder.  In a quick and easy nutshell - and in a general rule of thumb sort of way, depending on what one of my settings are (fstop or shutter speed) I need to adjust them until the light meter is right in the middle.

I forgot that handy little trick when I took my first shot. And it seemed a little bright and washed out.
For my first shot, my shutter speed was at 1/8 sec, I had this at f4.5 and my ISO at 100 (focal length 34mm)

I quickly turned the dial which changes my shutter speed.  Obviously, in the wrong direction.
For this shot, my shutter speed was 1.0 sec, I had this at f4.5 and my ISO at 100 (focal length 34mm).
Having my shutter open for such along time let in a lot of light, and of course, shows a lot of movement. 

Noting my error, I quickly turned the dial the other direction to make my shutter speed faster and ended up with this.
For this shot, my shutter speed was 1/160 sec, I had this at f4.5 and my ISO at 100 (focal length 34mm).
Now this is way too dark.  This was shot at 4 in the afternoon for pete's sake!

Then because I had to get some photos for yesterday's post, I turned the darn thing back to auto and got the last of my shots from a fairly cooperative pup.

It's a balancing act between shutter speed, fstop and ISO, I just need to figure out what that balance is.  Another thing Laura used a lot were the words "It depends on what you're going for".  Now, up to this point, I've been happily surprised by the shots I create.  The reality is, it's all pure accident.  As an artist in so many other areas of my life, I need to start attaching my artistic eye to my photography.  To really visualize what I want the photo to look like, then find the settings to make that happen instead of just being "happily surprised" when something works out.

I think this was a good start.  Maybe this weekend, I'll take some time to really play with each of them for a while and see what I come up with.  I promise if I do, I'll share what I find!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

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