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Camerajunkie
08-09-2008, 12:41 PM
So, I've read the D50 field guide, I'm working through the CLS Field Guide, and I bought Understanding Exposure and am working through that too.

I'm also trying to practice more and more. I tend to use Aperture Priority because I like to control the bokeh effect and if I'm not shooting water, I'm not quite sure how the shutter speed would come into play unless it was a low light condition with a tripod. (Right?)

I FINALLY figured out a few years ago that my brain has difficulty functioning in certain ways. I never could do a story problem in math. I'd read and read it and just not understand what I was supposed to do with the numbers. I had similar problems with science and all the damn formulas. Believe it or not, I figured this out when I taught myself to crochet and had to have H read the book and "translate" what it said, then it all clicked. I couldn't just read the book myself. (I tried several times.)

I'm having the same problems with the photography books and the technical aspects of photography. If I have "do this, then do this, then do this and this results," I'm good. If it's more abstract, my brain just freezes.

So, I thought I'd turn to you all and ask what settings you use the most. If you also could tell me what conditions those are under, I'd appreciate it. Maybe if I can understand a thing or two about how to pick all three, it'd help. I think I'm getting it, I just would like to be sure.

ColColt
08-09-2008, 01:10 PM
I'm also trying to practice more and more. I tend to use Aperture Priority because I like to control the bokeh effect and if I'm not shooting water, I'm not quite sure how the shutter speed would come into play unless it was a low light condition with a tripod. (Right?)

So, I thought I'd turn to you all and ask what settings you use the most. If you also could tell me what conditions those are under, I'd appreciate it. Maybe if I can understand a thing or two about how to pick all three, it'd help. I think I'm getting it, I just would like to be sure.

If you want to freeze running water, 125 or 250 should do nicely. If you want to show the "flow" I'd use a tripod and maybe 1/4 second or slower...depends on the effect you want as different speeds provide different effects. I don't "shoot water" so have no setting to give on that. I'm more inclined to use shutter priority in general as I want a sharp photo and have discovered I need about 125-250 to attain that when using a focal length over 100mm. If I'm more concerned about DOF, I'll use f8 and just double check the speed to see if it's within the 125-250 I like to shoot at. I'm not sure that answers any of your questions unless you want to elaborate a bit more on specific situations other than water.

BTW-What do you consider abstract?

K1W1
08-09-2008, 04:23 PM
Shutter priority is handy for sports and moving objects. Anywhere between 1/320 for relatively slow moving things through to 1/500 for motorcycles or cars at speed work well with correct panning.

Camerajunkie
08-09-2008, 04:55 PM
Col, more abstract is where it's not a straight forward series of steps. It's more about how my brain reads things then it is anything else.

I appreciate the suggestions so far. Basically I need help "translating" so it clicks in my head. Hubby is going to read with me and help but this is working too.

Camerajunkie
08-09-2008, 11:01 PM
I hope y'all see this question tacked on in here.

How do I handle metering for the white wedding dress and black tux in outdoor shots? I've got my metering on centerweighted and I can lock the exposure, but that seems like a lot of work for each and every shot. (You have to hold the AE-L, AF-L button down the whole time on the D50?)

I went to a lighting seminar and saw about custom white balance but the guy was using a Canon so I'm not sure how to set it in MY camera. Would that even matter with the wedding? Or do I need to do something different? Any help would be appreciated greatly. :)

My sister's suggestion is to buy an expodisc?

rawpaw18
08-10-2008, 05:05 AM
J,

You can set your ae-l/af-l button to a couple different settings. I use mine for just AE lock only, this way once the exposure is set you can recompose your shot. It keeps that exposure set til you either push the button again or turn your camera off. You do not have to keep it pressed down the whole time.

Centerweighted for black and white in the same scene is fine, I would try to get the white detail more so than the black if you had to go one way or the other. Your eyes expect a little less detail in black(shadows) then something that is lighter. You do not want to blow out the whites, check your histogram.

K1W1
08-10-2008, 06:31 AM
You can set your ae-l/af-l button to a couple different settings. I use mine for just AE lock only, this way once the exposure is set you can recompose your shot. It keeps that exposure set til you either push the button again or turn your camera off. You do not have to keep it pressed down the whole time.

Same here.
Don't use the AE-L/AF-L button that much but it's easy to point to what you want to expose then put your thumb on the button to maintain the exposure while you recompose.

ColColt
08-10-2008, 10:01 AM
I remember doing three outdoor weddings and feel for anyone having to shoot in 85-95 degree weather. I never had a problem properly exposing the bride/groom in an outdoor setting. I assume as in film cameras, the digitals still read a grey card, so to speak. If you're in doubt about exposure, the beauty of the digital is you can readily check the exposure when you preview that shot. If you can mimic the shot again, I'd use exposure compensation if necessary. A lot depends on how close you are to them. In a 3/4 length portrait of the two of them, the meter should do fine. If you preview and it looks too dark, open up about a stop or so. If they are in the sun or shade, meter on the grass(a beautiful 18% grey card) as long as they're in the same light. Don't meter on grass in the sunlight while they're standing three feet away under a tree in the shade. The camera will underexpose them by maybe two stops if you do. The difference between sunlight and shade can be 2-3 stops. BTW-dirt is a pretty good grey card as well.:)

Intending not to bore anyone but, if you're doing a bridal portrait outside remember that white dress reflects a lot of light...about 2-3 stops more than grass(grey card). You'll invariably get a grey dress and an underexposed face unless you compensate for that if the meter is seeing mostly the white dress. Hope all this wasn't confusing. I still think in terms of film cameras a lot so maybe someone can interpret what I'm trying to say with digital terms.

Camerajunkie
08-10-2008, 10:29 AM
These suggestions are awesome, thanks! H has been reading the Understanding Exposure book and talking to me and metering is really beginning to click for me. I feel like such a doofus. I very much appreciate your time and expertise.

ColColt
08-10-2008, 02:25 PM
Time I have plenty of but digital expertise must go to others who have been using DSLR's much longer than me. I'm still learning myself. Another avenue you may want to consider is the use of flash. I don't know how the SB-600 or 800 would work outdoors as I've never tried it but, I suspect it could be another answer to your dilemma and no doubt provide great exposure under various conditions...especially if your subject(s) is back lit. If you want to use available light only, DSLR's should provide you with a great percentage of properly exposed pics, more so that the film cameras of "yesteryear" as they required a good understanding of exposure and how the camera/film saw light and measured it.

People use to bring slides and color photos to work and ask me why the snow looked grey and their kids were underexposed...just a matter of understanding how the camera read the snow. The camera sees everything in the world as a middle shade of grey, hence the grey card. It tried to make all scenes 18% grey. I began shooting slides and B/W film. Slides were a good teacher as what you shot was what you got-no lab could correct exposure errors with slides. I learned to get properly exposed shots of kids in snow was to meter the snow, open up about 2 1/2 stops more than what the meter recommended and recompose and shoot. Perfect shot every time. You have to experiment as well as read to get it all down. Shoot and keep notes was the key to me understanding exposure.