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Photography DiscussionThe Lazy Photographer

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St3v3M
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The Lazy Photographer

Post by St3v3M » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:55 am

I'm a lazy photographer, it's true, I didn't say bad, I can get a good shot every now and then so what I'm talking about is being lazy.

I have a tripod but don't bring it with me, I usually shoot in Program Mode assuming the camera knows what it's doing, and I don't check my shots so there are times I come home with blown skies, camera shake, and who knows what else, you're all so polite! It's not that I'm a bad photographer, just lazy, but with all that off my chest I've found something that works for me and wonder if it will work for you too. Even more so I wonder if you have tips like these that can help us all.

It's simple really, I went for a hike today and brought my tripod with me. I would typically keep it in my backpack thinking it takes too long to setup, is too cumbersome, and any other excuse you can think of. Today though I attached it to my camera and went for a walk. I hefted it over my shoulder like it I was toting a big 600, and at times held it to my side. The point is, it was already there, waiting to go. There were times I didn't want it, but having it attached like it was kept me on task and I used it! I actually used it!

One down so let's talk about the rest. Today I shot in two different modes, Program while I was on the move, and Aperture Priority when on the tripod. I set the ISO to 100, f/stop to 11, and used Exposure Compensation to keep my Histogram to the right, but not past. I controlled the camera, decided what I wanted it to do, and previewed the shots to make sure I was bringing home something I wanted. It didn't take that much longer really, a little maybe but what's really interesting is I stopped taking snapshots of everything and started making the pictures I wanted. It's amazing really when you stop to think about your work, it's like you focus in and it all makes sense.

Lazy is lazy, but when you think about it isn't it better to take a few extra seconds to make sure you have what you want? S-
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Post by PietFrancke » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:25 pm

LOL - that is too funny. Getting into rugged country all the time you do is anything But Lazy. You really should Gimp once in a while though, that HAS to be one of the biggest plusses to being digital (see.. we're not so nice after all). Look, one thing though, hiking and all is all about efficiency, I think you should figure out how to turn your favorite walking stick into something you could hook your camera to! Why have a flimsy tripod when you can set the camera on a rock? Awesome shot BTW!

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Post by minniev » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:51 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:55 am
I'm a lazy photographer, it's true, I didn't say bad, I can get a good shot every now and then so what I'm talking about is being lazy.

I have a tripod but don't bring it with me, I usually shoot in Program Mode assuming the camera knows what it's doing, and I don't check my shots so there are times I come home with blown skies, camera shake, and who knows what else, you're all so polite! It's not that I'm a bad photographer, just lazy, but with all that off my chest I've found something that works for me and wonder if it will work for you too. Even more so I wonder if you have tips like these that can help us all.

It's simple really, I went for a hike today and brought my tripod with me. I would typically keep it in my backpack thinking it takes too long to setup, is too cumbersome, and any other excuse you can think of. Today though I attached it to my camera and went for a walk. I hefted it over my shoulder like it I was toting a big 600, and at times held it to my side. The point is, it was already there, waiting to go. There were times I didn't want it, but having it attached like it was kept me on task and I used it! I actually used it!

One down so let's talk about the rest. Today I shot in two different modes, Program while I was on the move, and Aperture Priority when on the tripod. I set the ISO to 100, f/stop to 11, and used Exposure Compensation to keep my Histogram to the right, but not past. I controlled the camera, decided what I wanted it to do, and previewed the shots to make sure I was bringing home something I wanted. It didn't take that much longer really, a little maybe but what's really interesting is I stopped taking snapshots of everything and started making the pictures I wanted. It's amazing really when you stop to think about your work, it's like you focus in and it all makes sense.

Lazy is lazy, but when you think about it isn't it better to take a few extra seconds to make sure you have what you want? S-
Hi there Steve!
As you know from shooting with me, I'm lazier than you, seldom even remembering where my tripod is. I reluctantly drag it out for long exposures, but rely on IBIS for most normal shooting. If I've resigned myself to hauling the tripod about, like when I'm shooting running water, or some other place that seems to demand it, I often carry it with camera attached, over my shoulder.

My laziness is why I shoot primarily on full manual, which requires me to think about what I'm doing. In any kind of auto mode, I drift and forget and end up with all kinds of foolishness. My laziness is also why I like my mirrorless camera so much, so I can see in the viewfinder before I shoot what I normally couldn't see unless I chimped the result on the backscreen.

I admire what you're doing, and wish I could say I'm gonna change my ways but you know what they say about old dogs. My goal is to get to be a better lazy photographer by thinking more and developing more mastery of my camera.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by St3v3M » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:25 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:25 pm
LOL - that is too funny. Getting into rugged country all the time you do is anything But Lazy. You really should Gimp once in a while though, that HAS to be one of the biggest plusses to being digital (see.. we're not so nice after all). Look, one thing though, hiking and all is all about efficiency, I think you should figure out how to turn your favorite walking stick into something you could hook your camera to! Why have a flimsy tripod when you can set the camera on a rock? Awesome shot BTW!
It's good to tell the truth and I appreciate yours! My next step is Photoshop or is cousin GIMP, and I've used rocks before but this time I wanted to get a little up close and personal. And besides, the additional weight is helping me train for backpacking in the wilds!

You inspire me, thank you! S-
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:32 pm

minniev wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:51 pm
Hi there Steve!
As you know from shooting with me, I'm lazier than you, seldom even remembering where my tripod is. I reluctantly drag it out for long exposures, but rely on IBIS for most normal shooting. If I've resigned myself to hauling the tripod about, like when I'm shooting running water, or some other place that seems to demand it, I often carry it with camera attached, over my shoulder.

My laziness is why I shoot primarily on full manual, which requires me to think about what I'm doing. In any kind of auto mode, I drift and forget and end up with all kinds of foolishness. My laziness is also why I like my mirrorless camera so much, so I can see in the viewfinder before I shoot what I normally couldn't see unless I chimped the result on the backscreen.

I admire what you're doing, and wish I could say I'm gonna change my ways but you know what they say about old dogs. My goal is to get to be a better lazy photographer by thinking more and developing more mastery of my camera.
Hey there, hi there, ho there, I actually started doing this when I was there with you, with a monopod I think, then I forgot watched myself not like my images as much and came back to it when I wanted something nice. It's a process for me and while I'm still not brave enough to spend my time whittling away in Manual I'm working on it and am sure I'll eventually get there. I know how it just doesn't feel as comfortable as it could though when I'm on the move. In a similar idea though I'm learning the controls of my camera more and thinking less about the mechanics and more about the shot. Pre-visualizing is fun!

You've inspired me to be more, never change! S-
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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:36 pm

minniev wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:51 pm
St3v3M wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:55 am
I'm a lazy photographer, it's true, I didn't say bad, I can get a good shot every now and then so what I'm talking about is being lazy.

I have a tripod but don't bring it with me, I usually shoot in Program Mode assuming the camera knows what it's doing, and I don't check my shots so there are times I come home with blown skies, camera shake, and who knows what else, you're all so polite! It's not that I'm a bad photographer, just lazy, but with all that off my chest I've found something that works for me and wonder if it will work for you too. Even more so I wonder if you have tips like these that can help us all.

It's simple really, I went for a hike today and brought my tripod with me. I would typically keep it in my backpack thinking it takes too long to setup, is too cumbersome, and any other excuse you can think of. Today though I attached it to my camera and went for a walk. I hefted it over my shoulder like it I was toting a big 600, and at times held it to my side. The point is, it was already there, waiting to go. There were times I didn't want it, but having it attached like it was kept me on task and I used it! I actually used it!

One down so let's talk about the rest. Today I shot in two different modes, Program while I was on the move, and Aperture Priority when on the tripod. I set the ISO to 100, f/stop to 11, and used Exposure Compensation to keep my Histogram to the right, but not past. I controlled the camera, decided what I wanted it to do, and previewed the shots to make sure I was bringing home something I wanted. It didn't take that much longer really, a little maybe but what's really interesting is I stopped taking snapshots of everything and started making the pictures I wanted. It's amazing really when you stop to think about your work, it's like you focus in and it all makes sense.

Lazy is lazy, but when you think about it isn't it better to take a few extra seconds to make sure you have what you want? S-
Hi there Steve!
As you know from shooting with me, I'm lazier than you, seldom even remembering where my tripod is. I reluctantly drag it out for long exposures, but rely on IBIS for most normal shooting. If I've resigned myself to hauling the tripod about, like when I'm shooting running water, or some other place that seems to demand it, I often carry it with camera attached, over my shoulder.

My laziness is why I shoot primarily on full manual, which requires me to think about what I'm doing. In any kind of auto mode, I drift and forget and end up with all kinds of foolishness. My laziness is also why I like my mirrorless camera so much, so I can see in the viewfinder before I shoot what I normally couldn't see unless I chimped the result on the backscreen.

I admire what you're doing, and wish I could say I'm gonna change my ways but you know what they say about old dogs. My goal is to get to be a better lazy photographer by thinking more and developing more mastery of my camera.
I honestly see nothing wrong with laziness. I read years ago that Volkswagen deliberately sought out lazy engineers on the principle that a lazy engineer would figure out the easiest way to do something, making the process simpler and cheaper and the car easier and more fun to drive. (Gee. That sounds like cameras! :D )

Having spent many years working in film with only full manual cameras made me more appreciative of automation when it appeared. I had the bad luck to have my studio burglarized and my Nikons stolen with all their lenses. We were "between insurance" (failure to make a profit eventually finished us) so I had to replace them out-of-pocket. Nikons were prohibitive and I had no lenses so I managed a matched pair of Canon T-90s, which at the time were the top of the line for automation (except autofocus). I learned to love love love Program and Shutter and Aperture priority modes that were heretofore unheard of. The camera loaded and rewound itself. I was just nuts about those cameras...

Until digital. My earliest was a simple point and shoot and it could do more than any film camera I had ever owned, plus it had built-in stabilization (they all did by 2007). Compact after compact followed. Raw capture became possible. Lenses were really superb zooms, and any distortions were easily eliminated by Photoshop or Lightroom. I loved having everything in one camera I could drop in a pocket. Well, some of them... :|

I respect folks who work in manual, but I have very little use for it except on rare occasions. I learned and worked professionally in all manual, so my take on automation is how utterly freeing it is. Of course, I know exactly what I am doing from my long experience so I don't feel a need to use manual except when it will make a better shot. My go-to is usually Aperture priority with what I call "floating" ISO (just auto usually capped at 1600 but I'm not afraid to go higher). This allows me to wander around shooting whatever both indoors and out without really having to think much, which to me is the whole point. In my whole career the only thing that mattered was getting the picture. Nobody ever cared how. Shutter priority is also very useful and what I used to get Andi's tire swing pictures (I think those were all made at 1/400 and f/ and ISO whatever). Early autofocus was less impressive (late '80s?) but my new Sony A6000 is incredible, able to continuously focus and track a fairly violently moving subject. What's not to love? I think I already mentioned I could never have made those pictures with manual focus. The only way I can think of would be stop stop down to f/11 and hope DOF would cover, but then the fastest films of my day were usually ISO 400. The shutter would have been too slow. I could have shot rolls and been lucky to get 2 or 3 usable frames. My A6000 produced so many usable frames it was hard to edit. I had the sheer luxury of choosing on the basis of best expressions rather than technical issues.

I always know where my tripod is. It's in the car. Where it mostly stays. If I desperately need it, it will be too far so I will have to do a workaround. That's where shutter priority and auto-ISO are handy, and I always have a "stringpod" coiled up in the bottom of the itty-bitty case I carry. Of course when handholding I always have image stabilization on. If I use a tripod it's not unusual for me to forget to turn it off, smearing the shots! (N) I keep the tripod in the car in case I want to do something that is just not reasonably hand-holdable, like gold or blue hour shots, or if I wanted to do silky water. I am a sharp freak and if the ISO climbs too high the pictures get soft.

Min, you mentioned mirrorless because of full-time live view; that's exactly why I went mirrorless. My tiny compacts were basically mirrorless. My chunky Sony RX10 is basically a mirrorless. I had no investment in lenses but I stayed with Sony because I think they are cutting-edge in mirrorless and the A-series have the larger APS-C sensors (I think the next step up is full frame). I think mirrorless is the next big revolution since digital itself, and I have loved live view from the first. I can see through my finder exactly what I am getting. I can see the DOF in my finder. All the data I want can be put up in the finder (and any I don't want can be excluded). I understand and use the histogram, but being able to see right in the finder if the exposure is what I want is to me miraculous, as miraculous as the T90s were and as miraculous as that tiny Nikon L12 that started me.

I think that if you developing a good grasp of the exposure triad, know why you use a certain shutter (to either stop movement or emphasize it), know why you use a certain aperture (mostly to vary DOF), understand ISO (just relative sensitivity to light) and have some facility with post processing (which I consider essential but that's me), I see no good reason not to use automation. Once you can control the camera manually, you can control it automatically. EMBRACE LAZINESS! :cheers: :yay:
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:56 am

Charles Haacker wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:36 pm
I honestly see nothing wrong with laziness. I read years ago that Volkswagen deliberately sought out lazy engineers on the principle that a lazy engineer would figure out the easiest way to do something, making the process simpler and cheaper and the car easier and more fun to drive. (Gee. That sounds like cameras! :D )

Having spent many years working in film with only full manual cameras made me more appreciative of automation when it appeared. I had the bad luck to have my studio burglarized and my Nikons stolen with all their lenses. We were "between insurance" (failure to make a profit eventually finished us) so I had to replace them out-of-pocket. Nikons were prohibitive and I had no lenses so I managed a matched pair of Canon T-90s, which at the time were the top of the line for automation (except autofocus). I learned to love love love Program and Shutter and Aperture priority modes that were heretofore unheard of. The camera loaded and rewound itself. I was just nuts about those cameras...

Until digital. My earliest was a simple point and shoot and it could do more than any film camera I had ever owned, plus it had built-in stabilization (they all did by 2007). Compact after compact followed. Raw capture became possible. Lenses were really superb zooms, and any distortions were easily eliminated by Photoshop or Lightroom. I loved having everything in one camera I could drop in a pocket. Well, some of them... :|

I respect folks who work in manual, but I have very little use for it except on rare occasions. I learned and worked professionally in all manual, so my take on automation is how utterly freeing it is. Of course, I know exactly what I am doing from my long experience so I don't feel a need to use manual except when it will make a better shot. My go-to is usually Aperture priority with what I call "floating" ISO (just auto usually capped at 1600 but I'm not afraid to go higher). This allows me to wander around shooting whatever both indoors and out without really having to think much, which to me is the whole point. In my whole career the only thing that mattered was getting the picture. Nobody ever cared how. Shutter priority is also very useful and what I used to get Andi's tire swing pictures (I think those were all made at 1/400 and f/ and ISO whatever). Early autofocus was less impressive (late '80s?) but my new Sony A6000 is incredible, able to continuously focus and track a fairly violently moving subject. What's not to love? I think I already mentioned I could never have made those pictures with manual focus. The only way I can think of would be stop stop down to f/11 and hope DOF would cover, but then the fastest films of my day were usually ISO 400. The shutter would have been too slow. I could have shot rolls and been lucky to get 2 or 3 usable frames. My A6000 produced so many usable frames it was hard to edit. I had the sheer luxury of choosing on the basis of best expressions rather than technical issues.

I always know where my tripod is. It's in the car. Where it mostly stays. If I desperately need it, it will be too far so I will have to do a workaround. That's where shutter priority and auto-ISO are handy, and I always have a "stringpod" coiled up in the bottom of the itty-bitty case I carry. Of course when handholding I always have image stabilization on. If I use a tripod it's not unusual for me to forget to turn it off, smearing the shots! (N) I keep the tripod in the car in case I want to do something that is just not reasonably hand-holdable, like gold or blue hour shots, or if I wanted to do silky water. I am a sharp freak and if the ISO climbs too high the pictures get soft.

Min, you mentioned mirrorless because of full-time live view; that's exactly why I went mirrorless. My tiny compacts were basically mirrorless. My chunky Sony RX10 is basically a mirrorless. I had no investment in lenses but I stayed with Sony because I think they are cutting-edge in mirrorless and the A-series have the larger APS-C sensors (I think the next step up is full frame). I think mirrorless is the next big revolution since digital itself, and I have loved live view from the first. I can see through my finder exactly what I am getting. I can see the DOF in my finder. All the data I want can be put up in the finder (and any I don't want can be excluded). I understand and use the histogram, but being able to see right in the finder if the exposure is what I want is to me miraculous, as miraculous as the T90s were and as miraculous as that tiny Nikon L12 that started me.

I think that if you developing a good grasp of the exposure triad, know why you use a certain shutter (to either stop movement or emphasize it), know why you use a certain aperture (mostly to vary DOF), understand ISO (just relative sensitivity to light) and have some facility with post processing (which I consider essential but that's me), I see no good reason not to use automation. Once you can control the camera manually, you can control it automatically. EMBRACE LAZINESS! :cheers: :yay:
I try to make things as easy as possible and often wondered if I was lazy or smart, now I know I'm smart-lazy and that's okay!

And that's funny too about shooting Manual. I can see a little sign next to your gallery showing that says: Shot in Aperture and the audience is like, Oh...Too Bad, And I Really Liked That One Too... I think it's a choice if you know Manual great, but there are so other good choices for a reason. The best thing I've done though is getting out of Program. It wasn't a bad choice but now I'm thinking about my shots more and that's always a good thing.

I'm still struggling with the tripod too, I like being spontaneous, but I want to be a Good Landscape Photographer so I'm working on it and find the more I use it the more I'm getting used to using it. I need an L-Bracket too, but my ball head isn't an Arca Standard so I think I'll have to customize one for now. I'll post it when I get it going. I agree too about images being soft unless you meant them to be. So far it's ISO 100, f/11 and a ten-second timer. I'm learning hyperfocal distance too and know an easy trick there!

EMBRACE LAZINESS! S-
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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:04 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:56 am
I try to make things as easy as possible and often wondered if I was lazy or smart, now I know I'm smart-lazy and that's okay!

And that's funny too about shooting Manual. I can see a little sign next to your gallery showing that says: Shot in Aperture and the audience is like, Oh...Too Bad, And I Really Liked That One Too... I think it's a choice if you know Manual great, but there are so other good choices for a reason. The best thing I've done though is getting out of Program. It wasn't a bad choice but now I'm thinking about my shots more and that's always a good thing.

I'm still struggling with the tripod too, I like being spontaneous, but I want to be a Good Landscape Photographer so I'm working on it and find the more I use it the more I'm getting used to using it. I need an L-Bracket too, but my ball head isn't an Arca Standard so I think I'll have to customize one for now. I'll post it when I get it going. I agree too about images being soft unless you meant them to be. So far it's ISO 100, f/11 and a ten-second timer. I'm learning hyperfocal distance too and know an easy trick there!

EMBRACE LAZINESS! S-
I get a little PO'd when I hear people "diss" a picture if it wasn't made in full manual. To me that is beyond dumb. :x My main thrust is and always has been getting the picture. Who cares how? Now, that said, putting a camera in full auto and blazing away will not always "get the picture." The camera is dumb, too. It has no AI, cannot tell what it is "looking" at, what the dynamic range is, reflectivity, where should the focus point be, et cetera yada so forth. Someone once said to me that I wasn't "creative" unless I worked only in full manual. Say whAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa...? Look: of course you need to have some grasp of what you are doing and why. Trying to stop movement? You need a faster shutter. Need lots of (or little) depth of field? You need to control the aperture. Need to control both? You need to fiddle with ISO. That's all the law and the profits; the Exposure Triad. So let's say you are taking a landscape about, oh, ten-ish, sun out, maybe a little behind you (front light), ISO 100, you want good DOF so you select F/16... What should your shutter be? If you know the Sunny 16 "rule," it's 1/100 second: 1 over the ISO at f/16. Simple. Light from the side? Open 1 stop or shoot at 1/50. Backlit? Open 2 stops or shoot at 1/25. I used to teach this all the time in full manual analog days. I would also point out that in the earliest days of photography there were no light meters! The wet plate fellas had to be able to guesstimate to a high degree of accuracy. Sometimes there were little charts that gave hints, like if it were overcast (and by how much), but it was all educated guesswork plus development "by inspection" since the early emulsions were not sensitive to red light so they would have a piece of red tinted isinglass in the roof of the tent so they could see what they were doing.

I have often argued, sometimes strenuously, that it should make no difference whatever how you arrive at a "correct" exposure for a scene. 1/100 @ f/16 ISO 100 can be arrived at fully manually, or in shutter priority, or Aperture priority, or on the little green camera icon. If the light does not change then the exposure should be the same and who cares?

The key is having enough experience to have a pretty good idea what that exposure should be. How you get there is immaterial. Manual is no more "creative" than any other means of arriving at the "correct" exposure (and I put that in quotes because it can vary depending).

My personal go-to is usually either aperture or shutter priority with "floating" (auto) ISO. When I worked I shot a lot of PR-type stuff, fast-breaking no time to think stuff, "f/8 and be there." And we did use f/8 a lot, guesstimating distances to focus on a plane in space and wait for the subject to arrive at it. We knew when we needed to adjust the shutter, use the flash or not, all that stuff was up Inna head, stuck there by long training, a kind of organic automation. With that kind of training and experience I (just me) see not one thing wrong with relying on automation. If I'm shooting Andi I've usually run the shutter up to 1/100, maybe 1/200 or more depending on what she's doing. I'm shooting short bursts, usually 3. My ISO is "floating" but "capped" usually at 1600 to hold the noise down. I don't especially care where the Aperture goes so long as I can keep focus on her face, which is why I have the autofocus on continuous and tracking. That gets me the picture. Sure, I could do all of it manually the way we used to, but why?

I am not saying that beginners can just put the thing in auto and burst. It's the old joke about the blind squirrel occasionally finding a nut. To get "creative" you do need to understand what you are doing, know the rules so you can break them, yada so forth... But to turn one's nose up at a good picture because some automation was involved in making it? Are you kidding me? That's Elitist with a Capital E! (N)
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Post by St3v3M » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:53 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:04 pm
I get a little PO'd when I hear people "diss" a picture if it wasn't made in full manual. To me that is beyond dumb. :x My main thrust is and always has been getting the picture. Who cares how? Now, that said, putting a camera in full auto and blazing away will not always "get the picture." The camera is dumb, too. It has no AI, cannot tell what it is "looking" at, what the dynamic range is, reflectivity, where should the focus point be, et cetera yada so forth. Someone once said to me that I wasn't "creative" unless I worked only in full manual. Say whAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa...? Look: of course you need to have some grasp of what you are doing and why. Trying to stop movement? You need a faster shutter. Need lots of (or little) depth of field? You need to control the aperture. Need to control both? You need to fiddle with ISO. That's all the law and the profits; the Exposure Triad. So let's say you are taking a landscape about, oh, ten-ish, sun out, maybe a little behind you (front light), ISO 100, you want good DOF so you select F/16... What should your shutter be? If you know the Sunny 16 "rule," it's 1/100 second: 1 over the ISO at f/16. Simple. Light from the side? Open 1 stop or shoot at 1/50. Backlit? Open 2 stops or shoot at 1/25. I used to teach this all the time in full manual analog days. I would also point out that in the earliest days of photography there were no light meters! The wet plate fellas had to be able to guesstimate to a high degree of accuracy. Sometimes there were little charts that gave hints, like if it were overcast (and by how much), but it was all educated guesswork plus development "by inspection" since the early emulsions were not sensitive to red light so they would have a piece of red tinted isinglass in the roof of the tent so they could see what they were doing.

I have often argued, sometimes strenuously, that it should make no difference whatever how you arrive at a "correct" exposure for a scene. 1/100 @ f/16 ISO 100 can be arrived at fully manually, or in shutter priority, or Aperture priority, or on the little green camera icon. If the light does not change then the exposure should be the same and who cares?

The key is having enough experience to have a pretty good idea what that exposure should be. How you get there is immaterial. Manual is no more "creative" than any other means of arriving at the "correct" exposure (and I put that in quotes because it can vary depending).

My personal go-to is usually either aperture or shutter priority with "floating" (auto) ISO. When I worked I shot a lot of PR-type stuff, fast-breaking no time to think stuff, "f/8 and be there." And we did use f/8 a lot, guesstimating distances to focus on a plane in space and wait for the subject to arrive at it. We knew when we needed to adjust the shutter, use the flash or not, all that stuff was up Inna head, stuck there by long training, a kind of organic automation. With that kind of training and experience I (just me) see not one thing wrong with relying on automation. If I'm shooting Andi I've usually run the shutter up to 1/100, maybe 1/200 or more depending on what she's doing. I'm shooting short bursts, usually 3. My ISO is "floating" but "capped" usually at 1600 to hold the noise down. I don't especially care where the Aperture goes so long as I can keep focus on her face, which is why I have the autofocus on continuous and tracking. That gets me the picture. Sure, I could do all of it manually the way we used to, but why?

I am not saying that beginners can just put the thing in auto and burst. It's the old joke about the blind squirrel occasionally finding a nut. To get "creative" you do need to understand what you are doing, know the rules so you can break them, yada so forth... But to turn one's nose up at a good picture because some automation was involved in making it? Are you kidding me? That's Elitist with a Capital E! (N)
I say we put our brains in full manual and our camera modes where they belong! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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