Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It Is Easy To Be Hard

I decided to put the photo first so if you aren't into the camera talk and just want to look at the photo's you don't have to feel obligated to read about it. 

I call this one a "Happy Mistake". Now if you want to know why you have to read through the camera talk. Is that mean?

 The 50mm at 1/80th sec f1.7 iso 200

I'm all for doing things as easy as possible. However I am finding more and more I'm getting away from "automatic" in my picture taking. My format of choice is RAW image format. I rarely use JPEG (or JPG) anymore. You have to process each RAW picture you use but the effort is worth it to me. 
On your camera you will likely have some exposure settings called P (program) A (aperture priority) S (shutter priority) M (manual). I never have used P, well maybe a couple times, I rarely use S. My preferred setting is A. Having control of the depth of field is pretty important to me. Remember f1.7? I use M a lot more than I used to but am still pretty comfortable with A.
I never use automatic white balance anymore. It can be fooled if a certain colour dominates a scene. So automatic white balance could try to correct the nice warm colours of a sunrise or sunset.  I don't go so far as to custom white balance every time I bring out the camera. It would be another routine to start but for now I'll use the ones the camera provides. 
The flash I have can be used off camera and still be controlled by the camera. When I got that I thought it was the cats meow. At first I used it for everything and it was great. When I was taking some photos of Jenn the other day I was finding I was looking over at the flash with my eyebrows scrunched together more and more. Every time I took a photo the exposure was way off or if I got it right once, next shot was wrong. I am still not sure what I was doing wrong and I had enough right photos that I didn't worry about it. If someone had been paying me for that shoot it wouldn't have looked so good me fighting with my equipment. If I had just gone manual and dialed in the flash, once I got the setting right the exposure on every photo after would have been about right.

So manual will be the word of the week.  

Today's photo is from the shoot I mentioned with Jenn. The photo was dark and flat so I started working on adjusting the exposure. While I did I tried out different colour balances. The As shot and Flash didn't look quite right to me on this one. So I changed it to Automatic and it looked quite nice. 
Well, I guess automatic can have a place in my photography still. 

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