I started the first half of this post yesterday with a little show & tell to demonstrate the basic “why” it is helpful to understand how to use the settings on your camera.
With the advance in technology, better cameras are constantly being introduced at a lower price point. Thus, the average consumer can now readily move up from a basic point-and-shoot to purchasing a nice basic DSLR. However, is there a point in owning a nice DSLR if you only shoot on “Auto”? The truth is if you use your DSLR on auto only, you aren’t unleashing the power of the equipment you have. It would be a lot like investing in a smartphone with a great data plan, but only using it to make calls.
Like I said in my Q&A post, I won’t be reinventing the wheel since there are too many amazing resources out there for that. However, my goal is to connect you with helpful answers. Even if you only have a point and shoot, or use your camera phone, a basic understanding of how your camera creates an exposure, can help you improve your photography.
Years ago, when I began the journey of breaking out of the “auto-cycle”, I read Bryan Peterson’s: Understanding Exposure. I still think his book is one of the greatest resources out there. It walks you through all aspects of learning to use your camera to create a good exposure.
Since not everybody is going to order and read through a book, there are also so many useful resources available online.
The Click it Up a Notch website is a great resource for learning to shoot in manual mode and improving your photography skills. It has so much information available in easy-to-understand language.
I also love Digital Photography School. It houses a wealth of information for photographers of all levels, but if you’re just getting started, it has a great Tips & Tricks section with “Tips for Beginners.”
One more thing that is completely awesomesauce is the availability of DSLR Camera Simulators. While the one that I knew about originally looks like it is converted to a pay/download option only, Canon has come along with an accessible free simulator here. The simulator is a fun way to play around with settings, while learning how they effect exposure.
Regardless of whether you shoot with a Canon, Nikon, or any other brand DSLR, the basic tenants of a good exposure remain the same. Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO make up the exposure triangle. When you wrap your mind around how those features work together to create the exposure you want, you will be well on your way to breaking free from your dependence on the auto setting.
If you follow Leila Photography on Pinterest, I’ve pinned these and other resources on my “Helping you get out of ‘Auto'” board. I will continue to add helpful pins to this board as I come across them.
Even with all of these great resources, I know that sometimes the best way to learn is hands on. So, I am considering a small hands-on class. If you’d be interested in more information on this class just contact me here and enter “DLSR class” in the subject line.
Did this post answer your questions, provide good resources, or just leave you with more questions? Leave your comments and let me know.