December 31, 2010

hello manual

OMG I actually turned the dial on my camera to manual yesterday.  I was trying to take some pictures in the morning, and it kept slowing down my shutter speed or throwing the aperture all the way open, making everything over exposed and blown out.  I was throwing a little hissy fit about it, when finally I was like, ok, so I know what I want my camera to do.  Why don't I tell it?

Now I am by no means claiming any of these photos are good, but the first two were shot in Tv mode, or where I am controlling the shutter speed and the camera is controlling the aperture.  It took a lot of photoshop editing to take down the highlights and open up the shadows.  Part of my problem is that Ry is really close to the light, and the white window seat reflects a ton on to her face.  My bad.  But the fact that she is pointing makes it super cute no matter what right?


I'm a horrible photoshop editor.  Horrible.  My pictures never come out looking the same because I don't pay attention to what I'm doing, just trying to make each picture look 'better'.  So it would be way better for me to get shots that turn out ok straight out of the camera.

I'm happy to report that the following pictures came pretty much straight out of the camera.  I did a little editing on the ones of me, because lets face it, I don't look so great in the morning.  I was trying to hide some of the mascara smeared on my face.  It didn't work :o).

 Chris wasn't paying attention.  Lame.

Ok on the photos with her and Chris, I did edit the levels, whereas the photos of Ryann and I, I only used the spot healing tool to clean up some of my mascara mess.  That was the only editing I did.  Which photos look better/more natural to you?

why oh why did I decide to take pictures in the morning?  
morning is not a good look on me...

Thanks to the fact that my house is filled with everything green, my photos all have a slightly green cast that I have a tough time getting rid of.  Anyone out there have any suggestions?

Seriously, why was I absolutely too scared to shoot in manual?  Even try it?  I've had this camera for 2.5 years.  I'm a dork.

6 comments:

Lindsay said...

The jump to full manual is always makes your heart skip a few beats:) So many things to think about but..once you have a general idea of what you're doing it sooooo much easier! I love shooting in full manual and rarely switch to program modes anymore.

Good job! The shots look very nice and natural. I'm no help with the color cast because we have one too - in yellow:) I've tried everything and haven't found a great solution yet.

Jeane said...

The pictures look really great! Awesome job!
It took me 2 years to go from auto to manual and I'll never go back :-) It's just such a HUGE difference.

About the green cast on the pictures... Use the white balance. I had the same problem in our kitchen (it's very blue and EVERY single picture looked blue and cold) so I read about how to adjust the white balance (which is super easy, just go to the manual setting in white balance and take a picture of a white piece of paper in the room where you are shooting the pictures) and the pictures started coming out perfect.

Hope this makes sense and/or helps.

Jeane

Amy said...

They look good!

Like what Jeane said, adjusting the WB will make a HUGE difference and it is easy to learn from the manual. I like to keep a piece of white paper around or with me so I can adjust it wherever I go. It's just the photographer in me.

Keep on shooting! :)

Anne Pendleton Photography said...

Looks good, Ash! You may or may not have learned this in Art History, but green is actually a fairly complimentary color cast to have on skin...I know it sounds weird, because I didn't really believe it when I first learned it either, but they used to put a base of green (called terra verde) under all of the skin on paintings...so, the green really isn't the worst as far as color casts go. Random fact...anyhow, I don't think you look bad at all in your morning pictures :)

Shefali Lindsey said...

I started shooting in manual last Spring, and it was the best thing for my photography business! Just keep practicing in manual, and you will get better. Before you know it, it will come second nature to you. You did a great job!

Meredith said...

Two things about shooting in harsh light conditions:

(1) Make sure you're using a very low ISO.

(2) Shooting in RAW gives you a lot of control over exposure when you're editing, and can help a lot with blown-out highlights.

As far as the green cast goes, setting your WB is a great start. If you end up forgetting and have a picture that you want to edit, this is a great tutorial:

http://www.becoming-mom.net/2010/12/27/photoshop-tutorial-selective-leveling/