Monday, 22 June 2015

Camera Challenge 5 - Going fully manual

Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015The Camera Challenge set this month by Katy at the Littlest Thistle was to take photos in manual mode. That means setting ISO and shutter speeds, and aperture value manually, without using any of the pre-set modes, which is what we have done so far.

Part 1  Landscape

The first one I took was totally black - completely off the scale! But keeping ISO speed and aperture value constant I fiddled with the shutter speed until I had the pointer in the middle of the scale in the view finder and the result is two reasonable photos:

Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol, UK

The faster shutter speed in the second photo has resulted in a slightly darker photo, which I find more pleasing to look at, although the first is more true to reality as it was a very bright and sunny afternoon. How do we decide what is over, and what under exposed here?

Just round the corner from the first two photos I took some of the church. Again the ISO speed and aperture value are constant but the small difference in shutter speed caused the second photo to be darker. In this case the result is more realistic than the first, because the church itself was in the shadow of some large trees to the left of the picture. Unfortunately, my facing west north west was not a good position at that time of day, hence a strange sun-spot on the photos.

Part 2  Willing Subject

The second part of this month's challenge was to photograph a willing subject. Keeping ISO speed and aperture value constant I took three photos. The first one I consider to be good.
 But having taken it I realised the white balance was set on shade, whereas it should have been cloudy.
Instead of changing the setting to cloudy or automatic, however, I changed to custom without setting the colour values at all, just to see what would happen! And took the photo again with the same light settings. Result: brighter jersey and teeth.

And then again with a lower shutter speed. Everything is marginally lighter.

I don't think there was much point in setting to custom without setting white balance values in the menu. I didn't try it yet, but I expect setting white balance on automatic would have produced the same result. I must be getting the hang of this though, as the dial twiddling, button pressing part of getting a good shot is getting shorter! That should please my family ...

"Haven't you finished YET? Who said I was a 'willing subject'?"
There is a third part to the challenge: fast moving subjects, but I haven't seen any I could photograph. I hope this week to be able to take photos at a sports event.

I'm linking up to The Littlest Thistle. Go and visit there and see what other participants in the challenge have done this month.

Happy snapping!



Katy Cameron said...

Lol, I love your willing subject :oD

So with the first 2 photos, a lot will depend on what you were metering on how it decided what was 'in the middle'. That was a bonus post a wee while ago, but basically if your metering is predominantly set on a dark object, for example one of the dark cars in the first photo, or the dark church windows in the second, it will get the impression that everything is dark out, so it thinks the optimum 'in the middle point' will require a slower shutter speed, and hence making everything a bit too light (aka 'blown'). On the flip side, if the metering had been looking at a very light object, then it would have suggested too fast a shutter speed, and everything would have been too dark. With landscape and sports photography it's hard to get the metering on a perfect mid grey colour, as there's often quite a variation in tones across the photo. In portrait or still life setups you can set it much more easily as you have kind of a captive audience, or you can use a grey card if you want to be totally precise. For landscapes and sports photography I often take a test shot to see how things come out, and adjust accordingly, so don't worry about the extra pics, and after all, in digital it's free :oD

Glad to hear things are coming more easily now, long may it continue :o)

Celtic Thistle said...

I love your subject for the portrait shots, what great photos they made :) know what you mean about the family being pleased that you are getting quicker too !

Ruth said...

Animal makes a great subject - looks like he was on his best behaviour for you!

Jo Ferguson said...

You've inspired me to take my setting off manual and just go for it. Great photos!!!