Saturday, September 1, 2012

Five weeks before Dewey

While thumbing through pictures I took at Dewey last year I spend some time looking at those I took at sunrise. I'll share this particular one of beach grass that I took on Monday morning, a few hours before I left:

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That smudge on the left is a bird that flew by.

I'll mention that the camera was set on Program mode, where the camera sets the shutter speed and aperture for you. Sometimes you'll read about never using Program mode -- that it's better to use any mode (Shutter, Aperture, or Manual) other than Program. To be honest, I'm amused when some people are so strident about this. All I care about is that I get the picture that I'm seeing in my mind. I've used cameras long enough to know the capabilities of each mode, and why you'd want to use any of them. But when you have light changing so quickly as you do during a sunrise or sunset, I don't want to waste time thinking about settings -- I want to concentrate on what I see in my viewfinder.

Yes, you should learn what each mode can do for you, because Program is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. But you're not a loser if you use Program.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm VR zoom; program mode; camera set shutter speed of 1/80 second at f/4.5 at ISO 400; auto white balance; normal JPG.)

16 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous shot! I'm so bummed about not going to Dewey this year. I know you'll have tons of fun there!

    I use program mode a lot, because I'm a coward, and also because sometimes I just don't have to time to figure out what it is I need to fiddle with. I know I need to spend more time playing with it, but I never seem to find the time. You always make it look so easy, though! :P

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    1. i'm sorry i won't see you and bunny at dewey. maybe next year?

      i've used aperture-priority a lot recently, especially when i do sessions, because i tend to focus on a greyhound's face and eyes, and nothing else (which i sometimes regret because i don't think to include the entire dog -- so my shots tend to be repetitious).

      but, like you, i use program mode a lot, too.

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  2. I'm guilty of sometimes using program mode. I'm not always looking for the serious, absolute perfect shot. And sometimes I don't have time to screw around with settings if the perfect shot is right in front of me. It's not always accurate, but usually my camera does a pretty good job.
    Shhhh....don't tell my photo professors that!

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    1. bwahahaha! your secret is safe with me, brie.

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  3. Sometimes getting the shot is more important than getting the perfect shot, and to me, that is what Program is for. Also, I tend to use Program in difficult lighting situations. Then I look at the information about the picture, and use what Program chose as shutter speed and aperture as my starting points when I switch to a different mode. Since I am still learning about my camera, I find that it helps a lot to do this, since it gives me at least the general idea of where to start out.

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    1. i agree with looking at the exif data like you have, and making your adjustments accordingly. i even keep all the bad pictures i've taken (so, so many of them!) because i need to remind myself what i did wrong so i'll do better next time.

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  4. Beautiful picture. We have a new Leica and we haven't managed yet to get past program mode but as we have never had a proper camera before it is a God send. Have a great Sunday.
    Best wises Molly

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    1. have fun with the leica! if your experience has been limited to just point-and-shoot's you should find it easier to get the shots you want with the leica that you weren't able to get previously.

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  5. Getting the shot you want is what's important. Had a couple of friends over for Labor Day weekend. We all have Canon 7D's with similar lenses. As we discussed our setups, we realized that we all had different things we did manually versus auto.

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    1. it's interesting to learn what things work for others, and why. whatever works for you to get what you've pictured in your mind's eye.

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  6. I've never been to Dewey, but I am hoping to make it this year (just for the day on Friday though...and without my pups...since I will be in MD the week before for meetings for work). Anyway, great picture as always. I think I need to use Program mode more often since I try setting everything myself and usually end up messing something up! :)

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    1. well, angela, if you happen to go for one day get in touch with me. i'm sorry that buford and puddin won't be there; they would have a lot of fun in the sand and surf.

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  7. As one of the '7Ds' at Gyeong's party..I am still learning a lot about mine but we all have different styles and use different settings. But I haven't ever used Program..I think I will give it a try. Looking forward to Dewey photos.

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    1. i hope to get some good photos again. of course, for the last three years that i've gone to dewey the weather has been so good. funny thing is i usually hope for a few clouds just to make things a little interesting. cloudless skies are a bit boring for me. but i've been fortunate that at lease one sunrise has had some clouds that made it spectacular.

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  8. Have a great time at Dewey! We hope to make it back to that event one year. :)

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    1. thank you. i hope the weather will be good like it has been the past three gatherings. hope to meet you there in the future.

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