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.
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.
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 when 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
the 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.
I 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!!