Thursday, August 4, 2011

I learned... Manual Mode.

Not so long ago I got brave (about my camera that is) and after reading only a few pages of this book, switched my camera over to manual mode.  I had LOVED the pictures I was getting from my new DSLR but I quickly got restless and wanted even better pictures.  I set the Fstop to 5.6 like he said and started to shoot.  I couldn't believe how easy it really was!

Here is one of my first attempts.  On auto my camera would generally be taking pretty dark pictures in this room.  I had my son stand by the window and I metered his face and... ta da!

(March 2011)
I couldn't believe that it actually worked!  I have been practicing in manual ever since and just this last month I went to visit my dad.  He said he had some lenses and I said, "Yea, but not for a Nikon."  He said, "Um, yes they are."

HE GAVE THEM TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe it? 

So right now I'm practicing on a lens that has a much higher aperture range (not sure if that is how you actually say it).  I love that I can get a blurry background now.  The only problem is that the lens doesn't really match up with the camera and it doesn't auto focus.  I'm really working hard trying to do everything myself.  The kit lens works better when I'm trying to get the kids on an outing but this new lens works nice when I can take time to figure it all out.

Here is a picture from just the other day.

(settings: ISO200, F2.8, ss1/2000)
This is a repeat from my last post but I love this one.  I don't think that it is completely in focus but I think that the blurriness makes it look soft.  What do you think?  What settings would have made this better?

To check out some other really great photos go here:
(who knows, you might be tempted to try manual mode too!)

Click it Up a Notch


  1. That is a great book! It's what I read to learn about metering too.
    I love this, how creative are you to make this gorgeous dress! I love the colours, the dress and the Hydrangea bokeh in the background.
    Yes, the focus fell on the sleeves I think, but it's dreamy and pretty. Your settings look fine to me, but that's a very narrow depth of field that may be hard to set manually on a moving child.
    I have a 50mm 1.8 for my canon, was pretty cheap for a lens. Don't know if there is anything equivalent for Nikon.

  2. I am amazed that you can work on this hobby with 5 kids! (I aspire to have several more :-)
    I wonder if maybe you could have slowed down your shutter just a little bit so her skin wouldn't be so dark, but then maybe the dress would be overexposed, so I'm not sure.
    Keep up the good work!

  3. Your doing great with your photos and sewing. I find creative outlets like photography and sewing keep me sane in my busy and full household. That is great your dad gave you some lenses. I'm not sure which Nikon you have but there is a 50mm 1.8 that will AF on some of the cameras. It is around $100. I have the d90 and it works wonderfully with it. It is the lens I keep on my camera most of the time.

  4. How lucky for you to get your dad's old lenses!!! Wow!! I'm also super impressed that you are doing it on manual focus. I know some older lenses require that. I love that second shot! The composition is very interesting and I love the DOF! Beautiful blurry background! I'm so happy you took the leap to shoot in manual mode :O) I agree with Martha that if you had slowed down your shutter speed just a little maybe 1/1600 it may have been a little brighter. But overall it's such a lovely photo!! Thanks for linking up!


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