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Author Topic: Shooting in manual  (Read 5861 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2011, 02:37:50 PM »
I was forced to shoot in manual yesterday, too much backlighting was going to result in poor exposures, and it was much easier to use manual exposure.  I could have used exposure compensation, but I found it easier to use manual.

When your image has a high dynamic range well beyond the capability of the camera, manual exposure may be the best solution at hand.

Here is the first image, it was obviously exposed for the sky, and not the subject.  The second image was manual and overexposed the sky.  These are not post processed yet, I'll try later to adjust the sky a little in the second image.





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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2011, 02:37:50 PM »

kubelik

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2011, 02:39:34 PM »
I shoot manual these days for everything.  I've tried going back to shooting in Av mode when shooting wildlife, but even then I find it easier to lock a default setting in my head and mentally calculate how much latitude I need to compensate for in shutter speed or aperture.

when you're first starting off, I recommend using Av mode so that you're thinking about what aperture is right for the kind of image you're creating ... but at some point, you'll want to wrangle that last bit of decision making away from the camera and into your own hands.  from then on, it's very hard to shoot non-manual exposure for anything.

it definitely comes down to taking the extra step before you start shooting and figuring out what your light levels are, rather than blasting away and seeing how it all shakes out at the end.  if you just take a few frames to get acclimated at the beginning of your shoot, with practice you should be able to shoot through very dynamic conditions without having to step outside of manual exposure.

I shot manual the entire time during a trip to the Galapagos and was initially frightened that I might miss images because I would be tweaking settings ... but it turns out I've practiced enough, and I can't think of more than one or two shots I missed because I was swinging between a very dark area and a very bright area and mis-exposed.

Jedifarce

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2011, 12:11:01 AM »

So the question is, when do you find yourselves shooting in manual, or what situations require it? 

All the time (unless you're shooting something moving fast), whether it's for filming or photography, if you want to get your exposures and focus dead on you're going to want to film or photograph in manual. There's where you'll learn the most about your camera instead of the letting the camera do the adjustments for you, half the time if you let the camera figure things out it's doing it "wrong." Well, not wrong, just not as precise.

 Simple example is the auto focus, if you turn this feature on and you have something in the foreground and directly behind that something in the middle and behind that something else, the auto focus can't differentiate between the three layers or focal lengths. It's easier to switch to manual.

 Even auto bracketing isn't that appealing to me, with a little practice in manual you can achieve better exposure results for those HDR images.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 12:17:49 AM by Jedifarce »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2011, 02:03:54 PM »
So the question is, when do you find yourselves shooting in manual, or what situations require it? 

I think the key point is that with manual, you are in control.  If you preselect an aperture or shutter speed and just adjust the shutter speed to get the metered exposure, you're effectively doing what Av mode does, only slower (and vice versa for Tv mode).  So why do it at all, then?  Because if you start out doing it that way, it becomes easy to decide you want the image a little brighter or a little darker, and adjust on the fly for better (i.e. more desirable to you) results. 

Could you just get in the habit of applying EC routinely when needed?  Sure, that would work, too.  But M gives you the flexibility on how you apply EC - e.g. your subject starts moving facter so you want to increase shutter speed, vs. your subject goes into shadow so you want to open up the aperture a stop - in those cases, if you had to switch the camera from Av to Tv, you'd miss the shot, whereas the decision to change the exposure with your thumb vs. your index finger is a lot faster, and with practice it becomes automatic.
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Neeneko

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2011, 02:48:14 PM »
A couple more use cases which is the one I run into:

  • when shooting IR or UV.  Pretty much all of the camera's auto features become pretty much useless in those situations.
  • When shooting in near complete darkness.  Again, focus and metering are kinda useless there.

In fact, my biggest gripe with Canon is it's poor backward compatibility for manual focus lenses since I find I probably spend more time manually focusing lenses then using their autofocus.  Granted most lenses have that little switch that allows you to go manual, but it would be nice to not pay the premium for AF on lenses where I will probably not be using it.

onkel_wart

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2011, 03:06:24 PM »
for me it's quite simple: I always use manual mode, that way it's my fault if exposure goes wrong. and if it's right I know I'm the one who did it (and that's what I want: me taking the pictures, not some smart silicon chip inside the camera doing it for me)

for me it would be ok, if my 50d hat no program wheel on top...

neuroanatomist

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2011, 03:40:10 PM »
for me it would be ok, if my 50d hat no program wheel on top...

How ever would you manage to take portraits without Portrait Mode, or shoot action without Sports Mode?   ::)
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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2011, 03:40:10 PM »

EYEONE

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2011, 03:54:51 PM »
I have this discussion regularly with a photographer friend of mine (neither of us are pros). He, apparently, reads blogs from pro photogs all the time that say "Why would you buy a expensive DSLR and then do all the work yourself?" I've told him that I didn't buy the DSLR so it could do the work for me (a P&S will do that) I bought a DSLR for the imagine quality and the control. I wanted to be able to control everything.

From the day I got out my Rebel I shot in Manual. The only times I've gone into AV (and in 2 years I could count the number of times on one hand) when I prove to be too slow at the adjustments, but I like to think I'm pretty fast.

I might sound like a camera snob but I don't think the 5D Mark II should even have a full auto mode.
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onkel_wart

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2011, 03:55:08 PM »
for me it would be ok, if my 50d hat no program wheel on top...

How ever would you manage to take portraits without Portrait Mode, or shoot action without Sports Mode?   ::)

damn, where did I put the manual? does it really take portraits automatically? even if there's no one around? I have to check this... this could boost my output massively!

markIVantony

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2011, 05:41:08 PM »
Here is the first image, it was obviously exposed for the sky, and not the subject.  The second image was manual and overexposed the sky.  These are not post processed yet, I'll try later to adjust the sky a little in the second image.

My initial thought upon seeing the first pic would have been "oh, I should have used spot metering", rather than "oh, I should have used manual mode".   And possible, AE Lock.  I'm not a pro, but my experience has been that spot or average metering can solve many exposure problems.  Maybe I need to force myself to shoot Manual and see what the experience and results are like.  For example, I'll be shooting a baseball game on Sat.  Last week it was white pants with grey jerseys, and full sun.

markIVantony

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2011, 05:43:32 PM »
for me it would be ok, if my 50d hat no program wheel on top...

How ever would you manage to take portraits without Portrait Mode, or shoot action without Sports Mode?   ::)

I'm waiting for a wheel with the tick mark for "as the eye sees it". 8)

DJL329

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2011, 06:49:57 PM »
I was forced to shoot in manual yesterday, too much backlighting was going to result in poor exposures, and it was much easier to use manual exposure.  I could have used exposure compensation, but I found it easier to use manual.

How about spot metering mode?
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Aaron78

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2011, 08:12:53 PM »
I was forced to shoot in manual yesterday, too much backlighting was going to result in poor exposures, and it was much easier to use manual exposure.  I could have used exposure compensation, but I found it easier to use manual.

How about spot metering mode?

I find myself shooting in M mode all the time, but i do tend to change my metering mode rather than over/underexpose to get proper exposure. Whatever works best for the camera operator though....

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2011, 08:12:53 PM »

onkel_wart

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2011, 02:24:05 AM »
there's one point in favour of manual mode that is really important:
you can learn from the mistakes you make. the cpu will make he same mistake over and over again.

Joseph

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 01:33:04 AM »
I love shooting in Manual mode on my 1D :) It's all I use actually , no matter if it's fashion , weddings , nature , kids , anything - love it - it become extremely simple after doing it for just a short while !

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Re: Shooting in manual
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 01:33:04 AM »