Full Manual Mode!

I am pretty dang excited about my new camera. You can see the story of why I upgraded from a point-and-shoot to a dSLR in my previous post. I have been practicing and experimenting ever since I got it. I picked up books from the library on how to understand all the exposure controls. I certainly knew what the controls meant but I had no idea how to set them together to get photos to be well exposed. I had a smack-myself-on-the-head moment when I realized there was a light meter display right inside my view finder. Well sheesh, that just makes things too easy now doesn’t it! Once I had that figured out I was playing and playing and playing with changing aperture vs. shutter speed vs. ISO.

I have this book to thank for making some of these settings easy to understand.

I was/am really a newbie and did not know where to even begin setting the exposure controls. This book explains things for the absolute newbie but is easy enough to follow to skip things that are already known. Most of the other books I checked out from the library, while beautiful, already assumed basic camera operation knowledge. The Dummies books bug me with their over abundance of puns, but when you need to start with the very basics this book is a good thing.

So here are some of my first photos on full manual. All photos are straight from the camera and have only been adjusted for file size.

1. First real attempt at manual mode. Started with bright indoor photo with natural light. This is our cat Adam and I love to watch him bask in the sun.

2. This is my 4-year old. The one who broke my point and shoot. At the time I wasn’t sure whether to feel mad or not. Now I just feel thankful that it brought me to a new camera. In this photo I’m working on composition and depth of field. I love seeing her little bike back there just waiting for her to get that helmet on.

3. More depth of field. I was actually trying to get her fingers in focus and her face in the background. I think I know how to recompose my shot to get it to work how I intended. But I don’t know if I would want to. This shot came out really well with her little eye peeking out.

4. Yet more depth of field. This is why I wanted a dSLR in the first place. I wanted to capture more artistic photos and not just plain-old snapshots. Remember that dog I told you we dog-sat in my last post? This is the very creature! I wanted to get more of my daughters face in this one, but sometimes it is hard to get a good shot with pets and kids all at the same time. A less than perfect shot is better than none.

5. Okay, this was the scary shot in full manual. I was indoors in very dim lighting shooting a photo of my friend’s daughter. I was sure it would be horribly under exposed and/or blurry and/or grainy. It was a little blurry but really not bad for my first try! Next time I would open up the aperture more (I think I had one more stop available) in order to get a faster shutter for less blur. I don’t think I would touch ISO as I was at 800 already.

6. Here is little miss again. But in better lighting. Still a bit underexposed I think.

6. And my final shot of little miss’s mom and her expected twin brother’s. This shot could use some cropping for composition to eliminate too much dead space behind mom. But I got enough of the shot to allow me to crop it later.

Thanks for sharing my photo adventure with me. I am really excited about unlocking the power of this camera!

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