Through the Looking Lens: No 2

I now own my third DSLR.  I got to know the second one very well, but since swapping brands so that myself and partner can duly share lenses, I’ve been lazy about getting to know the third.   You’re familiar with my unimaginative use of derivatives from brands to name bikes, Suzu, Yami, Suzi – same with the camera, let’s call it Niki.

This example will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.  Niki has a circular wheel that changes the camera modes from fully manual to fully automated.  I have it almost always on the semi-automatic aperture priority mode, indicated by an A.  That means, I only make a decision about the volume of light I want to let in and the camera does the rest.  It also means I have control over the depth of field of the image, i.e. how out of focus the foreground and background elements are.  Sometimes I turn that wheel to S, shutter priority mode.  This means I only have to make a decision about how long the shutter lets in light for.  This also means that I have control over motion blur, i.e. if I take a photo of a moving motorbike, I can choose to freeze it in time, or make it look like it’s moving.

But the wheel has other modes I never use.  I avoid M, manual mode as that’s too scary, auto mode, as that feels like cheating, and the two which say U1 and U2 as I have no idea what they do.

The Challenge


This week it’s time to get to know your camera.

Photograph the same subject using each of the different modes on your camera and compare images.

If this doesn’t apply to your camera, then try to learn something new about your camera’s functions.

Challenge Response


I found a rare January rose looking somewhat lonely and decided to make it the subject for this project.  The aim was to get to know the different modes and how they work on the camera, so I didn’t focus too much on composition until post-processing.  Apart from some cropping, the photos are straight out of the camera.


This shot was taken using the fully automatic mode.  It gives an idea of the ‘real’ light conditions of the day:  dull, dreary, grey and cold!

The next two shots are taken in semi-automatic modes, shutter and aperture priority. You’ll see they are more underexposed.  I’ve since learned how to correct this using the camera’s light meter.  There are other means of adjustment too, such as changing the shutter speed and the aperture settings.

I somehow didn’t manage to save the exif data for this image camera-modes-project-4when editing the text, but this was taken using shutter priority mode with a speed of about 1/2000s.  Lowering the speed would have allowed more light to enter the camera and improved the shot, although I have to say that I quite like the blacker background.






A little more detail is obtained here, with a slightly   slower shutter speed using the same aperture.





The photo below was taken using programme mode.  I’ve learned this gives you priority over the ISO setting.  This means you can dictate how sensitive you want

camera-modes-project-2the light sensor to be.  It’s somewhat insensitive in this photo with an ISO of 100, but the camera did its thing, setting the shutter speed quite low to compensate.

And I had no idea what ‘P’ on the dial meant before!

I’ve also discovered the Effects mode.  If I delve a little deeper, I have various effects settings on the camera.  As black & white is the default, I utilised that particular effect.

camera-modes-project-1I learned that the mysterious U1 and U2 modes stand for user programmable.  This means you can input some favourite settings for frequently photographed conditions and save them.  I’ve not quite figured out the programming bit.  That’s for another day.

And finally, I braved the scary manual mode to produce the final photograph of the project.  I’m quite surprised by the result.

Pick of the Day:


Let us know if you learn something new about your camera and share your best results!!


16 thoughts on “Through the Looking Lens: No 2

  1. What a great exercise! I toggle between full automatic and full manual… rarely bother with any of the other options. The one that I can never remember is the auto-flash… or, how to turn it off. I’ve re-read it bunches of times but virtually always forget immediately.

    On trick I learned in a class: Setup the camera for an exposure that lasts as long as you hold down the button. Point at and focus something… press the button.. then move the camera with the button still pressed… zigzag, swirl, whatever… release the button and see what you got. It’s a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is fun! I did that last year, while driving in a car also, got some quite good effects. Have you tried light painting? More or less same principle, long exposure with camera on tripod (or cushion or whatever) and then pass a source of light over the subject. Really adds depth to still life photography. Something I have learned is how to overcome the problem of being really slow in getting the focus point just right – hold down the button halfway and focus on the subject, keep holding it there and recompose, your subject still remains sharp. You probably know that already, but it was a revelation for me!!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I managed with a cushion on a chair with my first efforts, do you have a remote? That helps, so you don’t have to touch the camera, just focus on spreading light around the subject. You can even walk in front of the camera and it doesn’t pick you up on the sensor (as long as no light is reflecting off you) – it’s fun – do have a go!!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to have to try and get Drollery interested in dragging his camera out and getting to know it since he’s going to see some magnificent scenery this fall (unless Trump bans travel between here and Britain!). Interesting array of pictures. I like the third one up from the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. New post up!! :(( Better than last one, but no joy. Tell him about Shaw Academy – it does a Freebie “diploma in photography course” – they do try to get you to sign up to later courses, but I recommend it, if he’s chilled about a sales pitch. It’s 12 lessons that you can do in your own time, or attend live via webinar. It seems to have huge international reach. I’ve got quite a lot out of it.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s