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  1. #31
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    Really? I think using camera in manual takes more of muscle power than brain power but not much at all either one. A beginner should be able to go out and shoot after about 1/2 hour learning the basic. Understanding how a modern camera with all the bells and whilstles does its things does requires more brain power.
    Chan I'm sure it is easy for you. It has become easy for me too and I'm a huge fan of getting good exposures and understanding how the whole system works, it is a big part of the fun of my hobby. Still and yet, manually setting the camera requires more effort.

    It doesn't take even 30 minutes though for a beginner to get ready to take decent photos, just grab a disposable camera while getting groceries and start taking pictures of the world around you, it's as simple as letting the EI float as needed. Like Kodak said, "You press the button... we do the rest."

    It has taken years of thought and study and discussions and refinement to get my head around exposure/developing/printing enough to be able to explain the concepts simply and correctly (in most cases) to a beginner and to be able to use them effectively to refine my work.

    It took countless hours of playing with all the metering modes on my various and sundry cameras and with incident meters to be able to use each well, with precision, to find their limits with each film, to understand the exceptions, and to be able to apply what I learned with a touch of art and or abandon depending on the need of the moment, and then to print the negatives respectably.

    Still and yet, even with all my practice, setting camera exposure in real time in the middle of a shoot, is still a real distraction for me. It is a bit like a cell phone ringing in my pocket while I'm trying to compose a shot and I don't want distractions when I'm shooting.

    To mitigate these distractions if I'm using a manual camera like my 4x5 or RB, I do my best to make all the decisions about exposure before I start shooting. Typically pick three settings; backlit, cross lit, front lit.

    When I'm out with my F5 or F100 there is a flash on top of it a large percent of the time, keeping up with all the variables involved there manually becomes truly unmanageable, luckily the Nikon system does a darn nice job of it automatically. Again I set the basic priorities before I start shooting but I do have little tricks that I use to get the camera's automation to choose the exposure and focus settings I want, those tricks free me from thinking, doing the math, and spinning dials.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  2. #32
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    You learn exposure as you go along. Content is the hard stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    Bottom line is: if you don't understand and can use manual easily, you don't understand photography.
    Yes and yes.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  3. #33
    Truzi's Avatar
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    It's easy. The only hard part is learning how the three settings (ISO, f-stop, shutter) interact, and that is not difficult. Using a meter is also easy. Of course, that is the basic part. Being able to tailor the exposure for what you want or specific conditions may take some work - but to merely do manually what the camera is doing automatically is easy, and you will get results at least as good, if not better (barring mistakes). Once you have that part down (mimicking what the camera does), you can move on to getting better exposures than the automatic mode might for a given situation.

    Unless you have something that is entirely automatic, you are already 2/3 the way to manual.

    Think of it this way, if your camera has aperture or shutter priority, you are already doing most of it manually. You are already setting the ISO (unless the camera reads DX coding), and either aperture size or shutter speed. The camera is only doing one part of the exposure triangle mentioned in previous posts.
    Truzi

  4. #34
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    It's easy - use the FAST system: Focus, Aperture, Shutter, Think! And remember to press the shutter release...

  5. #35

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    In actuality I found that using my Nikon in one of the programmed modes to be rather bothersome. It's a PITA to change between modes when in the field so I usually leave it in manual mode.

    I was in a photo store (remember them?) and there was an elderly gentlemen talking to the clerk. It was rather obvious that his family had given him an expensive 35 mm camera for Christmas. The instruction manual was the size and thickness of a paper-back novel. He was having trouble with all the various automatic modes. This guy was basically an Instamatic camera person and I had the feeling that the expensive camera was destined to be put on a closet shelf and never used.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 01-25-2014 at 12:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #36
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    Guess I can't understand the problem as my first camera was a Brownie target Six-20 circa 1950 and my second was an Argus C-3 in the late 1950s. I even shot slide film in the Argus without a meter for the first year or so -- Kodachrome at ASA 10 anybody?! I mean, later in my life self cocking shutters were dazzing new automation!

    Anyway I believe even today some schools require a camera that can go fully manual for beginning classes. That's apparently with the intent that students gain some actual understanding of what's behind the automation. So now I have a broad range of camera technology at hand to keep up my "muscle" skills.

    Sometimes I think we are prone to over-think this stuff.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
    I fully agree with you. Learning to shoot photographs in automatic mode does not translate well into understanding the exposure triangle. Having no DOF preview limits the understanding of aperture size.

    I equate it to learning to drive a car. If you learn to drive on a standard transmission, it is very simple to transfer what you learned and feel fully comfortable driving an automatic. If, however, you learn to drive on an automatic, it still takes a lot of practice to feel comfortable driving a standard transmission. Many (most) folks never do make the transition.
    what's an exposure triangle? Ialways used a light meter or 'sunny 16' prior to that
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #38

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    Actually, I don't see any difference between setting everything manually and using an AE camera that gives you speed and aperture readings in the viewfinder, and an exposure lock feature. It gives all the information that you would get by manually doing things, and does it it a lot faster. If you really are a beginner then stop down metering is hard to beat because it allows you to visually see the effects of aperture adjustments and DOF.

    I use cameras w/ no meter, a manual meter, and AE metering every time I go shooting and I would much rather use the AE camera w/ exposure lock because it's not only faster, it frees my mind and eye to do the important stuff like focus and composition. It's pretty much the same as shooting a scale focus Retina that I have everything all set to before putting it up to my eye to shoot, but w/ AE I don't have to remember to preset the focus and lens/shutter settings.
    Last edited by momus; 01-25-2014 at 01:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #39
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    I,for one, are very happy with auto-ecerythingand my camera is set to it.now, I can finally concentrate in the image-making process and forget about the image-taking process.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #40
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with learning on an auto exposure camera. For the most part the Matrix metering on Nikons is right where I'd set it. When I use my Nikons they are almost always in Aperture priority mode. My film comes out exposed the same as when I use my manual spot meter on large format or the Hasselblad. So if a beginner can let the camera deal with the exposure while they focus on composition (which in my mind includes the aperture) I don't see anything wrong with that. Now fully automatic focus is another issue.

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