Monday, January 16, 2012

Pug Mug: Adventures in Shooting Modes

Today I wanted to take a minute to show you a very basic difference between your DSLR's Full Auto Mode, Auto No Flash (Still fully automatic but you force your camera to expose the shot without a flash), and Manual Mode (you tell it how to take the picture). 

These are shown Straight Out of Camera (SOOC) and were shot in succession with a Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens.

They were taken in my bedroom in the late afternoon, on a cloudy, dingy day, but there was still plenty of light for a decent shot.  Not ideal lighting, but not terrible either.

Here we have Full Auto Mode, usually a green box etc on your dial.  As you can see, cameras are lazy.  They throw up that flash in nearly any shooting situation that doesn't take place outdoors in the sun.

DSLRs also have an automatic mode with no flash; no matter what the flash won't fire.  This mode is usually represented by a box with a flash lightning bolt with a line through it, etc.

I am pretty impressed with that one.  It opened up the aperture all the way, kept the shutter speed up at a comfortable spot, ISO isn't too high (the higher the number, the more grain in the photo). 

I was so disappointed in the full Auto results in the first photo, because there really was some decent light to harness in the room without a flash and- Come. On. I was shooting with an 85mm 1.8, Auto Mode!  You picked f/4?!  Honestly!!  And slowed down to 1/60?!?  Get your head in the game! 

Using Auto with no flash forced the camera to find the light in other ways, not just with auxiliary lighting.  Not every experience with this mode will be this good, but here in this light and with a good lens it worked pretty well.

And then, Manual mode-

I chose a wide open aperture, which I usually avoid unless the light isn't ideal, like right now.  I then boosted my ISO to 800 so I could get a nice and bright exposure at a speed of 1/125.  I like to stay at 1/125 or above for anything alive and moving, like people or pets.  I typically don't see unpleasing grain with increased ISO until 1600 or above, so I wasn't worried about that here.

You can see the most noticeable difference here in the clarity of Bacon's face.  A faster speed (he was sniffing and moving a bit) kept motion blur from being an issue, and my manually adjusted focal point gave emphasis to the right thing- his eye. 

If you're not comfortable leaving Auto mode, some DSLR models will allow you to adjust your focal point even in Full Auto- but some do not.  Consult your manual or Dr. Google to learn how to do this with your own particular camera.

Happy Shooting!

1 comment:

Eva said...

i like your photos! but i didn't understand all the camera verbage. haha. i experimented once with my camera with an increased iso but it was grainy and not bright enough. i will have to learn one of these days.