Camera basics starting with auto

With everything in photography there is a fine line between right and wrong! and this is just my way of seeing things

Now having said that there is also a basic standard that we should work to! And once you have the basics you can then burn the rule book and get creative.

This first part of tech Thursday is going to be about stepping into the world of “auto” not a big favourite but the best place to start!

Auto setting on a Sony a7iii highlighted in green

The above image is set to p but auto would need to be selected

Setting a camera to auto will be one of the simple ways to start out in photography. This is the setting that most new photographers will look at just so they can get used to holding a camera and honestly Start playing about with taking images of everything from family cars plants and so on.

Auto is exactly that! It automatically sets the camera to give what the camera believes to be the best mix of iso, aperture and shutter speed. This is known as the exposure triangle all setting use this triangle but each setting may use it in different ways

Auto has it’s down sides though, to me this is that there isn’t any room for being too creative. With the settings like bokeh with the blurry background or low light moody shots!

This is because the camera will pick from all the light and dark points and come up with a mathematical equation this will then automatically set the iso aperture and shutter speed to give what it thinks is best! with the amount of light hitting the sensor

This can result in some good and bad results.

For example, if you are taking a picture of black car against a bright backlit skyline with a lot of white clouds the camera will add everything together over all the sensors pixels to try and get 50% grey now if there is more white than black in the shot the camera will nine out of ten times under expose the dark colours this would then result in the image of the car looking more of silhouette shot than a photo of a well exposed car and sky.

Now on the other hand, if the camera takes in the darkest points of the black car, the result will be the opposite the sky will become blown out over exposed leaving next no details of the clouds but this time the car should be pretty close to good exposure.

There is also a number of annoying factors such as the auto setting may use an iso that induces a grainy effect to the image as the higher the iso goes the more grainy an image will become! And this will lower the clarity of the finished image.

Also if there is movement in the image the camera doesn’t take this into account in auto so it may choose a shutter speed that’s slow so could result in blurry images

I’ve had images where the camera sets the aperture to f6.3 iso of 800 and a slow shutter speed this then had a grainy look but also had blurring… its okay if you want to capture a still object but not great for movement!

Upside to shooting auto is that you can get shooting right away without to much knowledge of the bigger details of the camera

This was where I worked more on Composition. Working out where in the frame to place the object or subject as this is a good thing to learn as soon as possible. I will go into the rule of thirds in a later post but just filling your frame and moving the subject left right up Down will give you a feel for what can be achieved and what looks good to you!

Also depending on the camera you’re using and the lens images and setting will be different

So go try set you camera to auto and take a few shots see how you get on!

This post is just simple outline over the next few weeks more posts and a deeper understanding of this setting will be posted

Follow for next weeks post

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