Newbie Questions: Round 3 (i think)

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kristycoulter1's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 05/20/08
Posts: 625
Newbie Questions: Round 3 (i think)

I can't believe I've let so much time pass without really shooting anything. Some new questions below and will also post some pics.

1. Is it cheating to shoot in M but use auto-focus? I'm having such a hard time thinking about all the different settings and adding having to focus on top of it is just too much.

2. I'm still tring to understand my settings... but I seem to only shoot at the highest F-stop I have and can't understand why I would want to let less light in. Maybe it's because I tend to be shooting in the house or on cloudy days. Can you share comments on when I'd want to lower my aperture?

3. As mentioned I tend to be shooting indoors.... maybe because it's been cold. Is it just impossible to get enough light inside to shoot w/o a flash? Is there a way to take good pictures at indoor venues? (like last week we went to the circus and I had no idea what to do)

4. Remind me, how do I see what my settings were when I'm on flickr?

Ladybugsteph's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

1 - I rarely use manual focus. Only if auto focus is having a hard time locking on.

2 - What is you AP set to? One of the main functions of the AP is decide how big or small of a depth of field you want (how much of the subject you want in focus). The lower the number (the more open the AP), the less you're going to have in focus. A higher number will cause more of your scene to be in focus. When you're photographing multiple people, you're going to want to have a higher number so you don't have one person in focus, and another out of focus. ALSO, the lower the number, the more light you're letting into your camera. I was amazed how much more light my 50mm 1.4 lens let into the camera when I got it. I really felt like a whole new world was opened up to me. I can now take photos during the day inside my house and I'm able to get them properly exposed.

3 - Sometimes it's very hard to get enough light in. It all depends on your camera. My camera (Rebel XTi) will only allow me to raise my ISO to 1600. Many cameras have more ISO options, thus giving you more light in your camera. As I said above, lenses also can have an impact on how much light is let in. I own a speedlite, and it's been great for me for my snapshots. I do use it occasionally for an indoor shoot with the kids, but I mostly do portraits outdoors right now.

4 - When you're viewing the photo, click on "Actions" then "View Exif info".

Hope that helps!! Smile

KatieWillis's picture
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

I think Stephanie covered most of it!

A couple things I'd add...

1. I don't think you can ever 'cheat' when taking pictures. There is so much more than the settings when it comes to taking good photos, IMO. Composition, story telling, ect... But, that being said I only use auto focus- it's just not something I'm comfortable controlling right now. I use manual settings for everything else.

3. I sit with my back to our sliding doors in our kitchen or the big windows in my boys room to get shots of my boys inside. It's where there's the most light coming in our house.

Muddee's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

1) I asked a very similar question a few months ago, it seems that there is no issues using AF most of the time. I find there are situations where manual is better but for the most part I use auto.

2) Play with the F-stop its really the best way to understand it.

I haven't read it all the way through but the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson really gives you a good understanding of the funcitionings of a camera. I'd suggest either borrowing it or buying it.

3) It is a tough one without a speedlight, you have to figure out what time of day and what rooms are best to shoot in. My house my kitchen is the best for lighting but I can make the living room/office area work by opening up the curtains.

tialee80's picture
Last seen: 10 months 2 days ago
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Stephanie, Where were you 2years ago when I was reading every Scott kelby book I could find over and over again!
The only thibgs I would add.
I have read that it is better when shooting with a macro lens to use manual focus. That is the only time I use it.
I know you said you are inside alot but when it is too bright you will have to use a smaller fstop. Also, an fstop of f/22 can make a cool star effect when pointed at the sun or lights.

TracyF's picture
Last seen: 55 min 36 sec ago
Joined: 08/14/06
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Popping in quickly just to say that you may enjoy reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure", as it will help you to understand a lot better the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, and how to use them collectively to get exactly the type of image you want, properly exposed.

kristycoulter1's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 05/20/08
Posts: 625

Thanks guys so much for all your helpful comments.

I did get Understanding Exposure last month (I think based on comments from my first post of questions) and have been reading / re-reading, At this point I think I need more experience shooting so that when I read it makes more sense!

Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 07/30/06
Posts: 835

The other girls pretty much covered it. I was only going to add that sometimes auto-focus wont focus on what you want (e.g. focuses on hands instead of face.) You can keep trying to refocus or, on some cameras, you can select the focus point. This can be useful if taking several photos with the same composition / point in focus.