Thursday, July 11, 2013

Help for a tyro

Instead of trying to be a 'photographer' why don't you simply be a 'snap shooter' and use the camera in full automatics. There will still be a few pitfalls even with this like how steady you hold the camera but if you get a run of good photos it should give you confidence in yourself and your gear. For people shots it probably has a face recognition mode which might be an option for you. When I bought a new camera recently, despite sixty years in this game, I set it to full automatic for the first days as I got the hang of it. Even in poor light auto ISO should adjust to keep things about right for you. Personally I now usually work at 400 ISO as I dislike autoISO and find it gives me an exposure to cope with most daylight situations.

Having found that the camera and you can take good shots then is the time to start playing with settings ... just one at a time to see what it will do for you in A or S mode [ Av or Tv] M is a long way down the track ...... otherwise the unlikely situation is back to the shop to check out the gear.

I hesitate to suggest this but it comes down to the 'photographer v. snapshooter' with regard to you trying to put the background out of focus with a large aperture but if you have a reasonably good editor it is so easy to do this in PP I never bother about trying to do it in-camera. I simply duplicate the file, blur the top copy/layer and then erase from it the areas I want to be sharp by revealing the sharp version underneath. Paint.Net or GIMP will do this for you and both are free downloads. Here at PN experienced photographers have told us they normally take portraits at f/5.6 to f/8. Further to Simon H ....imagine how much less DoF at wider apertures :-(

I have an f/1.4 lens but I cannot remember ever using it at that aperture.

For flash you should find the camera has a wonderful brain and will work it out for you if you use the 'on-board' and if when you find it is a bit strong go into the menu and cut the strength back, mine is usually set to minus one stop. The only drawback is that if people are looking directly at the camera you could get red-eye and the camera probably has a setting for this where it fire of several low flashes ahead of taking the photo to make the subject close their pupils. Although I discovered how to do syncro-sunlight work way back when it first became viable [ 1950's ] these days I leave it up to the camera and its on-board.

I used to be a photographer but these days I am happy to be a snap-shooter leaving as much as possible to the camera and I just pick the shots which really is what being a photographer is all about.

No comments: