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The thoughts behind shooting in Manual

Last week I spoke about how you can use FULL AUTO to learn how to shoot manually. This week I wanted to answer a few comments that were made on last weeks post. Some people were saying that its a bad idea to “chimp” or check the back of your camera often. I fully agree that chimping is bad if you are going to shoot a picture and look every time.

What I was saying about looking at your screen is to use it like we used to use light meters and polaroids. We have a screen we might as well take advantage of it. I recommend using the screen to get your exposures locked in, checking your composition and my main thing FOCUS. Most times that I am looking at my screen I am zooming into the image to make sure I am tack sharp. The old world film mentality needs to change, there is nothing wrong with using the new tools that we have to our advantage. Just don’t look at your screen after every single shot.

Another comment that was made is that I am wrong for not using my light meter and just using the screen to set my exposure. I fully understand how my light meter works and I use it all the time to see what is going on with my light. Secondly after shooting for some many years I have a feel for when light changes which allows me to tweak my settings without looking at the light meter.

You can also start to get a feel for your settings. This is what I recommend, look at the light meter in your camera, dial in your shutter speed and F stop until the needle is right in the middle of your meter. This is telling you that the average of your scene is going to be properly exposed at your current setting. This is true sometimes and other times it may be a false reading. But for now get the needle lined up and take a few shots. Observe what is happening on your screen. Do you have blown out areas or are there ares that are way to dark. Could the exposure be right on but a cloud just rolled into the scene?

Once you have a base setting for a scene you just have to feel your situation out, if the light changes what can you do to make sure your settings are going to be right? Should you look at the meter or should you get into the habit of making those changes instinctively. If light goes up or down what should you do? If the sun comes out your going to want to speed up your shutter speed, you could drop your ISO or you could raise your F stop. All of those changes are going to cut back on the amount of light being let in. If you loose light you would do the exact opposite of what I said in the sentence above.

This is just one of the first videos where I am gong to go into detail about how to understand light.