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Photography DiscussionMy new challenge: shooting in manual only.

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Matt Quinn
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My new challenge: shooting in manual only.

Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:03 pm

A few posts back, Steve mentioned that he shoots only in manual. Today, my copy of "Understanding Exposure" arrived in the mail and I skimmed a few pages, noting Bryan Peterson's suggestion to shoot in manual. So here goes.

These are shots of Maureen's statuette of, obviously, Cinderella.

All suggestions are welcome. My eyes are not as sharp as once they were, so this is really going to be a challenge.

Matt

Number 170, is sooc.
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Numbe 169, is after some pp in Lightroom and PS.
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Number 168 is after using Silver Effex.
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Post by Duck » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:03 pm

Bryan Peterson's book is probably the best on the subject. Just so you know, shooting in manual doesn't mean you have to focus manually too.

It may seem daunting and frustrating at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll never go back. :)
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Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:37 pm

Duck wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:03 pm
Bryan Peterson's book is probably the best on the subject. T so you know, shooting in manual doesn't mean you have to focus manually too.

It may seem daunting and frustrating at first, but free you get the hang of it you'll never go back. :)
Ahah! Thanks Duck. Didn't know that. Always learning here. Matt
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Post by minniev » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:23 pm

It is preposterous for me to try to discuss images while I am blind as a bat, since I had cataract surgery yesterday.
BUT - I echo Duck's sentiment that you don't have to use manual focus to shoot in manual. I'd be in deep trouble with manual focus, though I do keep my autofocus set to accept manual adjustments, and those I only do with the subject enlarged on the EVF for reasons of vision. I do, however, shoot 90% of the time in the M mode where I control aperture and shutter shot by shot, and same with ISO, though I sometimes use auto ISO for dam birds and grandchildren on the run.

I'm not sure about Cinderella and she may be a victim of my foggy vision, but it looks like you got focus on her head but she might have benefitted from a greater DOF so that more of her faceted skirt would have been in focus too. But there are always tradeoffs anyway.

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Post by Steven G Webb » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:47 pm

Echo: What Duck said regarding focus. 35mm and medium format film cameras had focusing aides in the viewfinders those are absent in today's digital cameras. The smaller and less brilliant crop sensor viewfinders are difficult to manually focus than full-frame models. All that said, I have a 105 mm macro lens that is totally manual so using it requires focus, aperture along with shutter speed be manually set. I enjoy using it and learning how to photograph macro projects.

As far as suggestions go: The rule of reciprocity coupled with the Sunny-16 rule can be huge helps. I'm sure you know these but for any reader following along I'll add. On a sunny day f-16 and the reciprocal of the ISO will provide correct exposure. In other words using ISO 100 f/16 and a shutter speed of 100 ought to ballpark you into the correct exposure. Don't want f-16? 1/100th too slow? Reciprocity to the rescue. Mathematically you can calculate how to get the same exposure value by changing the settings in tandem.

In high school I wasn't good in math and physics on any level was above me. Hard to believe how much I use both nowadays.
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Post by Steven G Webb » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:52 pm

minniev wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:23 pm
I'm not sure about Cinderella and she may be a victim of my foggy vision, but it looks like you got focus on her head but she might have benefitted from a greater DOF so that more of her faceted skirt would have been in focus too. But there are always tradeoffs anyway.

You probably should pay little attention to me for at least a month.
More trade-offs: The aperture is one area for addressing the depth-of-field. Another is focal length and camera distance. If you can back up physically you can add some depth, if you can do that and use a longer focal length you'll add even more. You could also focus stack in Photoshop but that's another kettle of fish.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:34 pm

minniev wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:23 pm
It is preposterous for me to try to discuss images while I am blind as a bat, since I had cataract surgery yesterday.
BUT - I echo Duck's sentiment that you don't have to use manual focus to shoot in manual. I'd be in deep trouble with manual focus, though I do keep my autofocus set to accept manual adjustments, and those I only do with the subject enlarged on the EVF for reasons of vision. I do, however, shoot 90% of the time in the M mode where I control aperture and shutter shot by shot, and same with ISO, though I sometimes use auto ISO for dam birds and grandchildren on the run.

I'm not sure about Cinderella and she may be a victim of my foggy vision, but it looks like you got focus on her head but she might have benefitted from a greater DOF so that more of her faceted skirt would have been in focus too. But there are always tradeoffs anyway.

You probably should pay little attention to me for at least a month.
Cataract surgery in my future as well, Minnie. Then I'll be able to see in the shadows. I hand held the camera since there was no way to wiggle the tripod and I focused on the slipper and used a wide open aperture to blur the curtains. I agree that a greater dof would be attractive and I might try that tomorrow if I move her without dropping her. (Remember the Scotch glass?) Thanks for the suggestion. Matt
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:08 pm

minniev wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:23 pm
It is preposterous for me to try to discuss images while I am blind as a bat, since I had cataract surgery yesterday.
BUT - I echo Duck's sentiment that you don't have to use manual focus to shoot in manual. I'd be in deep trouble with manual focus, though I do keep my autofocus set to accept manual adjustments, and those I only do with the subject enlarged on the EVF for reasons of vision. I do, however, shoot 90% of the time in the M mode where I control aperture and shutter shot by shot, and same with ISO, though I sometimes use auto ISO for dam birds and grandchildren on the run.

I'm not sure about Cinderella and she may be a victim of my foggy vision, but it looks like you got focus on her head but she might have benefitted from a greater DOF so that more of her faceted skirt would have been in focus too. But there are always tradeoffs anyway.

You probably should pay little attention to me for at least a month.
So glad you are getting successful cataract surgery (will you do both eyes? They usually do them only one at a time, just in case). Any surgery carries risk no matter how routine, but photographers really have to be able to see (although I have heard of one who is legally blind so there's that).

So MANUAL. I think working in full manual is probably still the best way to learn photography. Back in MY day (hharrrumph 8): ) it was the only way to learn because there was no automation. One of my first cameras was, to me, a YUGE deal on account of it had a through-the-lens (TTL) light meter! :S But we still had to learn the hard way, and when I had my studio I switched off among almost a dozen different cameras, each one specialized for something, and I had to be able to work them all almost automatically, and I did, because there was no other way.

On the other hand, I have long argued that once you know what you are doing manually, I see no good reason not to use automation. I only use my cameras in manual when I am shooting a very static setup. I shot some flowers in a vase that way. I use manual when (to me) it makes sense, but the rest of the time I usually choose between shutter and aperture priority, depending.

Manual focus is another matter. I hated the earliest autofocus. It was slow, clumsy, tended to "hunt"... It was awful so I rejected it utterly for years. But modern autofocus is far faster than I could ever, ever focus manually even when I could see), and if you are in the right mode it will nail it! For static stuff I was manually focusing with the red lines and magnification and yada so forth and discovered that it was faster and more accurate to just put the thing in spot focus and place the focus point on the most important thing. I do freely admit that I also love love love live view because I can preview the exposure and the depth of field with greater accuracy than I ever could with a stop-down lever. You were, like stopped down? Dark? Can't see much, much less how much DOF you have? :D FuhGEDDAboudit!
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Post by Duck » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:29 pm

Here's a cheat sheet I made based on one of my lectures.
6 Step Exp Cheat Sheet.jpg
I know this seems like an oversimplification out of context of the lecture.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:55 am

Excellent cheatsheet Duck! (OK)
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.)

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