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Need some book suggestions (Aperture, ISO, and shutter speed)
I'm having a hard time figuring out which one of these options I need to change in order to get the right brightness in pictures. I got my first DSLR (450D) yesterday and started messing around in auto mode, but I found out that the autofocus tends to not lock on where I want it, so I started tinkering around with manual mode..

I'll take some pictures under the desk lamp here and see that they are really dark, so I change the shutter speed and aperture and get them to look decent to my eyes (which may still be bad, I'm new to everything manual here and don't know what looks good) but I'm not sure when I should change what..

Generally if a picture is dark (stationary object, not motion) which setting should I change first, aperture or ISO? From what I read they kind of go in conjunction and you can achieve the same results with different, albeit equal, changes..

I guess I just need some good books that explain these three things in detail. Right now I'm taking 5-6 shots just to get the brightness right, I'm guessing as time goes by I'll know instinctively, or maybe not. Since I got my 450D yesterday I've taken almost 400 pictures but I still feel slightly lost..

Also, when I do macro shots I should zoom all the way in with the lens and move the camera back as needed, right? With my P&S it was the opposite, I had to zoom all the way out and physically get close to the object for a macro, but my 450D never locks on that way...

Comments (9)

Thanks..

I'm just messing with the kit lens and took a picture of the moon here:.

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With my P&S all I ever got was a very bright white dot, so this excites me already and makes me wonder what I could do with a good telephoto lens..

Am I right in assuming that for brightness, the main things you want to change are the ISO and shutter speed?..

Comment #1

Jfindon wrote:.

I'm having a hard time figuring out which one of these options I needto change in order to get the right brightness in pictures. I got myfirst DSLR (450D) yesterday and started messing around in auto mode,but I found out that the autofocus tends to not lock on where I wantit, so I started tinkering around with manual mode..

I think you are confusing two things here, manual focusing and manual exposure. For manual focusing you set the lens to MF, but you can still have automatic exposure..

I'll take some pictures under the desk lamp here and see that theyare really dark, so I change the shutter speed and aperture and getthem to look decent to my eyes (which may still be bad, I'm new toeverything manual here and don't know what looks good) but I'm notsure when I should change what..

With manual exposure, M on the mode dial, you should use the meter gauage in the viewfinder, the needle should be centered for a correct exposure. But for very bright objects the meter will be fooled, so you would want the needle to the right, for darker than usual objects, you would wan the needle to the left..

Generally if a picture is dark (stationary object, not motion) whichsetting should I change first, aperture or ISO? From what I readthey kind of go in conjunction and you can achieve the same resultswith different, albeit equal, changes..

Generally you would set the ISO by the ambient light shooting conditions. In bright daylight use ISO 100, in dim, indoor conditions bump it up to 400 or 800. In creasing the ISO will increase the noise in the shot, so you wan the lowest ISO that will give you a satisfactory shutter speed. It isnt usual to change the ISO unless the shooting conditions change..

Why not try a semi-automatic mode, such as Av. In this mode, you set the aperture for your depth of field, and the camera sets the shutter speed to give you the correct exposure. If the camera sets a shutter speed that is too slow for you to hand hold, then adjust the aperture or ISO until you get a reasonable shutter speed. If the camera is fooled into under or over exposing, then use exposure compensation to adjust. Av is an easier mode to use than M, but it will give you more control than the fully automatic modes..

I guess I just need some good books that explain these three thingsin detail. Right now I'm taking 5-6 shots just to get the brightnessright, I'm guessing as time goes by I'll know instinctively, or maybenot. Since I got my 450D yesterday I've taken almost 400 picturesbut I still feel slightly lost..

Try Understanding Exposure: http://www.amazon.com/...s-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003/ref=pd_sim_b_title_1.

Also, when I do macro shots I should zoom all the way in with thelens and move the camera back as needed, right? With my P&S it wasthe opposite, I had to zoom all the way out and physically get close.

To the object for a macro, but my 450D never locks on that way. For macro shots you would need a macro lens. For close up shots, generally yes, if you are using a zoom lens then you would zoom in to the telephoto end of the lenss focal length..

Brian A...

Comment #2

Thank you. I knew about the manual focusing and whatnot, I was just using that as an example of why I started messing around in manual mode, because it doesn't auto focus well for some things..

I'll probably buy that book tomorrow, meanwhile I'll just keep experimenting. I honestly didn't even know what that meter at the bottom was for, I didn't get that far in the manual yet  So the meter is affected by the shutter speed?..

Comment #3

Jfindon wrote:.

Thank you. I knew about the manual focusing and whatnot, I was justusing that as an example of why I started messing around in manualmode, because it doesn't auto focus well for some things..

You can change the focus points. Many people prefer to use only the center point. You can auto focus with the center point, press the focus lock button, then recompose the picture retaining that focus..

I'll probably buy that book tomorrow, meanwhile I'll just keepexperimenting. I honestly didn't even know what that meter at thebottom was for, I didn't get that far in the manual yet .

Yeh, the manual isnt great, but it is a start..

You will learn more about exposure using M, but it is complex place to start..

The meter at the bottom mimics older cameras which actually had a needle that moved across a scale. It is good to remember that the meter is attempting 18% grey, which approximates a light skin tone. If you have subjects that are darker than that it will overexpose, if you have subject that are light then it will underexpose  you have to compensate for this either in manual mode or using EC (exposure compensation) in the auto and semi-auto modes, unless you want that white wedding dress to come out grey, or the black cat in the coal cellar to look like a grey cat in daylight. The camera meter has no idea what you are shooting..

Good luck and good shooting,Brian A...

Comment #4

Any reasonable basic book on photography will give you a good understanding of all the issues you touch on. I only hope you realize that by seeking answers to the questions you ask you are opening a whole can of worms, and to master exposure and composition is a lifelong learning experience..

For what it's worth, in terms of exposure, as you have pointed out, there are just three parameters that you can manipulate to get the "correct" exposure - ISO, aperture and shutter speed. In other words there is a number of different combinations of parameter that will yield the same exposure but the "look" of your image will depend on which particular combination you choose...

Comment #5

Jfindon wrote:.

I'm having a hard time figuring out which one of these options I needto change in order to get the right brightness in pictures. I got myfirst DSLR (450D) yesterday and started messing around in auto mode,but I found out that the autofocus tends to not lock on where I wantit, so I started tinkering around with manual mode..

That's Manual Focus.

I'll take some pictures under the desk lamp here and see that theyare really dark, so I change the shutter speed and aperture and getthem to look decent to my eyes (which may still be bad, I'm new toeverything manual here and don't know what looks good) but I'm notsure when I should change what..

Generally if a picture is dark (stationary object, not motion) whichsetting should I change first, aperture or ISO? From what I readthey kind of go in conjunction and you can achieve the same resultswith different, albeit equal, changes..

That's Exposure Adjustment.

I guess I just need some good books that explain these three thingsin detail. Right now I'm taking 5-6 shots just to get the brightnessright, I'm guessing as time goes by I'll know instinctively, or maybenot. Since I got my 450D yesterday I've taken almost 400 picturesbut I still feel slightly lost..

Try this interactive camera tutor to show you instantly the effect of changingISOApertureShutter Speed.

Http://www.dryreading.com/camera/index.html.

Also, when I do macro shots I should zoom all the way in with thelens and move the camera back as needed, right? With my P&S it wasthe opposite, I had to zoom all the way out and physically get closeto the object for a macro, but my 450D never locks on that way..

Either way might work. What lens are you using, what distance do you get down to, what size thing are you shooting at?.

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Anandahttp://anandasim.spaces.live.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #6

Give this a try. Well written and easy to understand Much better than many books I've purchased..

Http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=414088.

Good luck..

Canon XsiCanon 17-55 IS kit lensCanon 75-300 ISCanon 50mm 1.8Vivitar 2x ConverterCanon 430EX Flash (one week old now II is released)..

Comment #7

That is a really good picture of the moon. The first of many excellent photos you'll be very happy with I'm sure..

Jfindon wrote:.

Am I right in assuming that for brightness, the main things you wantto change are the ISO and shutter speed?.

To change brightness you can set any number of combinations of ISO, shutter speed and aperture to create a specific exposure value. In addition to controlling brightness each of these factors has a "side effect". ISO (generally should be kept as low as possible) adds noise, shutter speed effects how motion (waterfalls, sports etc) appears and aperture how much of the photo is in focus (referred to as depth of field)...

Comment #8

Jfindon wrote:.

I'm having a hard time figuring out which one of these options I needto change in order to get the right brightness in pictures. I got myfirst DSLR (450D) yesterday and started messing around in auto mode,but I found out that the autofocus tends to not lock on where I wantit, so I started tinkering around with manual mode..

I have a Nikon d50. In auto mode the camera focuses on whatever is closest to the camera. That maybe the case with your camera as well...

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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