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Well, duh … lesson learned

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    With digital cameras, the number of combinations and permutations of settings has gone through the roof.

    When I took photography in college (shortly after the Civil War), you had aperture, shutter speed, choice of film, and choice of lens; that was it. And you needed to be a Jedi Master to have a precise idea of the results you would get when you clicked the shutter.

    With digital cameras that offer a high degree of user control, you have aperture, shutter speed, ISO, choice of lens (or focal length, in the case of a zoom), plus drive mode, metering mode, focusing mode, creative effects, and so on. Some are controlled software settings; others by hardware switches. The settings can be hard to keep track of.

    Hold that thought for a moment.

    I arise very early most mornings, do a few chores, and take care of a couple of things that I deem necessary for my physical and spiritual health. After that, I usually read or experiment with my cameras, testing various settings to make sure I know what they do.

    Yesterday I was admiring the heron photos taken by The Smoking Camera (here https://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=30158 ) when I thought I would re-check the image degradation effect of extended digital zoom on my FZ200. I intended to take a picture of our bird feeder at full optical zoom, full iZoom, and full digital zoom and compare the results at 100%.

    So imagine my dismay when the FZ200 refused to focus on the bird feeder outside the window but instead focused – no matter what I did – on the dust on the window pane. Muttering Dark Things under my breath, I was about to send the camera into manual focus mode when I noticed that I had left it in Macro mode when shooting a flower the previous day. I switched the camera to normal autofocus mode, and all was well.

    The moral of the story – for me, anyway – is that if you have a normal setup that you typically use, and you switch out of that “normal” setting for whatever reason, be sure to return your camera to “normal” mode before putting it away.

    Of course, if you are really sophisticated, you could actually check your camera’s setting before you take that first shot, but that’s way above my level of typical suaveness.

    Cheers, Jock
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Amen, brother. I've done this this so many times I could scream.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    me too......all.....the......time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    everyday all day
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    my camera was set to exposure bracketing from the night before to try an HDR sunset (feel free to cringe if you must, but the dynamic range was WAY past would could be captured in a single exposure) when I started to walk through the woods yesterday hoping to shoot some bug macros. All of a sudden a fawn who was bedded down nearby got spooked and bolted. She stopped about 50 yards away and looked back. I slowly raised the camera to my eye and extended the lens to maximum zoom (1000mm, baby) and was shocked when the camera fired off 3 consecutive shots at different exposure settings. Doh..... I forgot to turn off the exposure bracketing. So I got this nicely composed shot that is too dark......
    14482524549_e5ff3f1cdf_b. DSCF7281 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr


    and this one that is overexposed (and blurry because of the longer exposure....or maybe me moving the camera because I wasn't planning on a burst of 3 shots.....LOL)
    14669239375_9fb98dcee7_b. DSCF7282 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    I feel for you guys - I run into the same problems all the time. Thankfully the X100 isn't loaded with too many features.
    Luke, that first deer shot is very nice indeed - definitely worth brightening up the shadows a bit and make it a real keeper!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Nevertheless, I like the one that is dark!

    Cheers, Jock
     
  8. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    No question Luke. Pretty shot. What is your superzoom of choice?
     
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm using the Fuji HS50EXR. For me, it's a good compromise of IQ and reach. When I was more into IQ, I was carrying around a DSLR with a monstrous 5 lb lens. The photos were dazzling, but so was the price tag...and the weight...and the reach was still only half of what I have now. So I just don't even consider IQ anymore. Do I wish the photo was "better" looking? Of course. But it can't be unless I want to spend a few grand and look and carry around a set-up that looks like this.....
    10042058944_d3e3b8b4ac. DSCF0004 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

    If I were a better shooter, or had more time, or wasn't a middle-aged weakling, or had more money, my choice might be different. But for now, I'm pretty happy with the trade-offs (although when the Nikon v1 gets here, I may have to find some place I can rent that new 70-300:daz:)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    i took my rx1 out once on watercolour or illustration mode, i forget which, and didnt realize until i got home that all my shots were cartooony :D
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    i STILL think the nikon 1 cameras have a cool look to their photos
    its like built in clarity grit, or something... i always like the photos i see in the n1 threads!

    i just recently saw someone talking about that 70-300 lens!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    psssst...... it's on the front page. But don't tell anyone.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I was at an event on the weekend where I had been shooting with an f1.8 lens using Auto ISO with the minimum shutter speed set to 1/1000sec. To take the image below I quickly switched to a (slow) telephoto zoom but failed to change the Auto ISO setup. Acknowledging that I also should have tried to compose the image better relative to the background, the end result is an exposure of 1/1000sec and ISO 2500 which probably should have been more like 1/250sec and ISO 640.

    Lesson to be learned: pay attention to all those numbers on the bottom of the screen before pressing the shutter.

    14464733767_09fda7dbfa_b.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    559
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I took my camera out onto the streets of New York last summer and convinced myself for a while that it had locked up and was refusing to take pictures at all.

    In truth, I'd left it set to self-timer mode from the previous evening and couldn't see the flashing green light to tell me it was waiting 10 seconds before taking each shot. I took several pictures of passing legs and feet before I figured it out.

    -R
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    OH! mebbe that was it! :D
     
  16. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Since my purchase of the EM5 I always leave my camera on manual and I always forget to check the ISO, thank goodness for RAW and LR !
     
  17. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    well, a single digital exposure perhaps ... you do have a device now for very wide dynamic range photography ...