Saturday, January 7, 2012

{Finally} Learning to Use my DSLR - Manual Mode

I finally found a very small amount of time to play with my camera some more and take a few pictures in manual mode.  It wasn't quite as scary as I was expecting it to be, but it is a bit tricky.  I can tell that it will take some getting used to, but I'm really looking forward to practicing with it more and feeling more comfortable shooting in manual. 

I tried to drag my almost 4 year old out back with me one day so that I could try taking her picture in manual.  I knew that it wouldn't be easy because she's my one kid that always looks in the opposite direction of the camera when I say, "smile!", but it was worth a shot.  In the first picture I was just trying t get my aperture and shutter set to the right settings so that my picture wouldn't be over or under exposed.  It took metering a few times and playing around with it, but I eventually got it right.  This one was perfectly exposed. Yay!  I love the bright colors in it thanks to her shirt, headband and Pretty, Pretty Princess jewelry.
f/10, S: 1/125 sec., ISO 400

I realized that I was running short on time, so I decided to switch to subjects that stand still on their own because I wanted to try using manual to shoot up close, like I would want to for portraits.  I'm really happy with how the aperture worked for me on this next picture because the leaf, {which isn't even a very pretty one, ha!}, is clear and crisp and the background is nice and blurry, so your attention is automatically drawn to the leaf.
f/5.6, S: 1/160 sec., ISO: 400
I used the same exact settings for this last one of our little dear statue that sits in our planter.  He was here when we moved in and I've grown attached to him.  I call him Van Gogh because he's missing part of his ear.  Is that distasteful?  Any-who, in comparing this to the picture of the leaf, it is a good example of how having the background farther away from the subject helps it to blur more, and having it closer keeps it in slightly better focus.  I hope that makes sense!
f/5.6, S: 1/160 sec., ISO: 400

I didn't think the shots were too bad for round one of shooting in manual.  I want to venture out though and find some fun subjects to practice on.  Or maybe I'll bribe my 6 year old to sit still long enough for me to get some good practice time in with her!

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