March 8, 2010

Photography 101 - In Camera Settings

Today is the start of my Photography 101 series.
I'll try to do a post once a month about general photography questions you might have.
Answers will be directed to people owning DSLR (digital single lens reflective) cameras.
I'm not the most knowledgeable or experienced photographer in the world but I do know some things and if this helps anyone then yay!!

Today's topic: In Camera Settings
Do NOT be afraid to use them!
The idea behind great photography is to take an awesome picture that doesn't need to be touched up in photoshop, lightroom or any other editing software program for that matter.
I'm also assuming that you already know how to shoot in manual mode and not auto.
If you do not know how to shoot in manual and would like a photography 101 post about how to do that, shoot me a quick email or leave a comment and I will do that for you.

Okay.....all of the following photos were taken in a shaded area with the exact same lighting and settings.
They were as follows:
Focal Length:  50mm
F-stop: f/1.8
Exposure time: 1/125 sec.
ISO speed:  ISO-200

Secondly, it's VERY important to know your camera
The first 6 months I had my camera I think the owner's manual was like my Bible.
If you don't know your camera that well I strongly encourage you to go grab your manual....I'll wait.......
..................... it? Here we go
On your Nikon camera go to
Here you'll see your options of normal, softer, etc.
If you're using a Canon camera, here's what I could find on my hubby's camera
SCROLL TO THE RIGHT TO THE SECOND CAMERA ICON (I don't have his manual so I don't know what the option is called)
Scroll down to PICTURE STYLE
There you can pick various settings, I played with it a bit and did NOT get the results like I did with my Nikon. Sorry Canon users this photography 101 lesson apparently is not for you :(
On with the lesson....
Here's the straight out of the camera shot
No editing has been done on this photo
Then I changed my settings to portrait
I didn't see "that" much of a difference with this setting
On to the softer setting
I loved this setting, I think it would be so nice for elegant bridal portraits or newborn photos
Then we have Vivid
I really like the subtle extra punch that was given with this setting
So I tried the more vivid setting
And wow!! Too much for a portrait but this would be awesome for detail shots
And then there's good ol black and white
I loved this, I would touch this up a bit of the contrast in photoshop for a final proof for a client.
But overall I did like the results.

Here's all the photos side by side so you can get a better idea of the differences

And that's today's lesson.....any questions leave here in the comments section and I'll reply accordingly :)
Happy Monday!


Tara said...

I thought you had a canon???

Christa said...

My hubby has a Canon Rebel, but I'm a Nikon girl. I think both are great cameras but for me I prefer the grip/feel of the Nikon and I find it more user friendly with the dials to set aperture/shutter speed.
Are you shooting with Nikon?

Tara said...

Nope...I shoot with a canon!

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