Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Knowing your camera.

When I first attempted photography I was in high school. Maybe 10th grade. I didn't pay attention, didn't care to learn the tips or secrets of all that went into taking a great photo and I only took one class. I then never thought about it again until I had my son Wyatt and even then I didn't think about how to get a certain shot or what it all involved I just began to shoot. I shot what I saw with my point and shoot camera, I then began to blog, read and think about what I shot and then I bought my Sony A550 DSLR.

But does that mean once you get your DSLR you don't need to work at it? NO and NOOO! I want to stress that because I believe that to be a good photographer you First need to have an EYE for it. You need to be able look at something and see what others cant see. Can this be taught? maybe... but not likely.
Secondly you need to have the passion for it. you need to live eat and breath it. if that's not there then what's the point?
Third you need to KNOW your camera. Get off that AUTO mode and go manual. You will be happy that you did trust me.
Here is a little cheat sheet to help you plus ASHLEY already talk about how to go manual and I read THIS months and months ago which made me do it too.
I know how scary it can be to get off that Auto mode. it took me months after I bought my camera to make the switch. I was scared that I wouldn't get the photos I wanted or that they would turn out awful. I didn't trust my eye. But once I did... it was wonderful... the freedom I had! 
After you go manual make sure you know YOUR camera. their not all a like.
First I just want to state that I AM a Poor working mom who can not afford all the great lens or equipment that comes a long with being a photographer. All I have is my Sony A550 (any other Sony users out there? I would love to meet you. ha-ha!) and my 18-55 kit lens. THATS IT!
I refuse to let that make me not take the pictures I want to take...
If you read my BLOG you know that I LOOOOVE macro shots. Love 'em and by reading my camera manual and PLAYING around with my camera settings and pushing EACH button on my camera I have taught my self that I can take those macro shots I love so much...
SONY DSC                       SONY DSC
    These are completely SOOC.
My settings were 1/100 F5.6 ISO 400
How I got those two shots were by first adjusting my settings to what WAS best for the photo. (refer to the cheat sheet posted above.) Secondly, I had my lens as close I as could with out making it blurry or making the drops fall. Third, I have button on my camera that allows me to zoom in x1.4 or x2.0 I don't know if any other cameras have that. but its wonderful so I used that. Fourth, I first auto focused my shot then I went into the manual focus. (read your camera manual on how to do that for your camera. I believe its different for each one.) So it would allow me to actually snap the shot. That's it. I know if I had a macro lens I would have been able to accomplish this shot a lot easier/fast and might have had more detail but YOU don't need one as long as you KNOW you camera.
Here are some more recent shots I took using basically the same settings.
SONY DSC                        SONY DSC                       SONY DSC                       SONY DSC                       SONY DSC                       SONY DSC                       SONY DSC
So remember its not about the type of camera/lens you have. Its if you know how to use it, have an eye for it. plus a ton of passion... and GET OFF OF THAT AUTO MODE!!!!! DO IT! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!

button2  -Audrey from The Daily Wyatt


  1. Beautiful shots!!! And really....a wonderful post too!!! I've been off Auto for about 8 months now.......and it really makes a difference! (Except, possibly if I turn around and take a shot without re-adjusting....sometimes that's a bad surprise!)

  2. This was a great post to follow the go manual tutorial - I hope more and more people take that leap with their camera. Great stuff girl!

  3. You took those shots with a kit lens? WOW!! That's impressive. I was a Sony user myself! Sony A330. I LOVE him still! but now I have Deedee (Canon 7D) and I love her just as much, but I learned to NEVER underestimate a Sony DSLR! When I was traveling in Switzerland, it gave me some priceless shots! Awesome post! And I LOVE that cheat sheet! So helpful! The minute I bought my first DSLR I was shooting in manual because I like setting my own settings. Luckily I never got hooked on any other mode, lol!

  4. Word!

    Awesome tutorial mama!!! Great follow up to Ashley's.

  5. Great post! I just went manual so this is really helpful!

  6. I have seen many of your past photos on your posts and I would never have thought that you were just using the kit lens. Your photography and your eye is awesome. When I first got my Canon XSi I took a few lessons and I learned all about using AV. I usedit extensively until I took some more classes and learned how to use the manual route. Now I feel comfortable using either. It has taken a lot of practice thought. V

  7. Just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this! I was following a photography lesson and working on ISO and Shutter speed. I got the concept, but it just didn't sink in. Your article helped clear it up AND helped me squash the fear of Manual mode! I was able to get the shots I needed in Manual and finally grasp the concepts! Thanks to both of you for regular inspiration and motivation!

  8. GREAT post! Due to money issues, I have not yet graduated to my dream DSLR. It's nice to see posts like this because people think that once they obtain a great camera, they will suddenly become a terrific photographer. Eh, not so, my friends!!

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  10. I've been thinking about making the same cheat sheet! Thanks for doing the hard work for me, haha. I've been working in aperture or shutter speed priority because there's just so much to remember!

  11. Thank you for posting the cheat sheet. I am moving out of my comfort zone (auto) and am starting to learn how to use my Manual mode. This really helped out!!!!

  12. Thank you sooo much for this. The timing is perfect, as I am going to going to my first photography workshop through i heart faces this weekend....and really feel a bit intimidated by the level of photographers going. I know I need it to get to the "next level", whatever that is for me. It will be enriching, and having this cheat sheet in my camera bag will be wondeful. Thank you!

  13. awesome post I have a Sony A33 I love her! I just started using manual mode and it has been really trying but fun!

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  15. Thank you for this post. Your photos are just gorgeous!!

  16. thanks for the words of encouragement. i've forgotten all i learned in photo classes a dozen years ago, but i'm ready to learn again and get back into manual mode. the cheat sheet is just what i needed to remind me of all i had forgotten.

  17. thanks for your words of encouragement. i've forgotten all i used to know about using my manual mode, but i'm ready to learn again. the cheat-sheet is just what i needed!


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