Recently, I got the feeling from your comments and emails that a lot of you have been systematically using the manual mode of their device, or even the manual focus. It’s a terrible ideaand let’s see why.
I’m not sure where that idea came from. Probably from a clever mix of people who say that ” when you’re a real photographer you do your exposure and focus manually. “those who worship Leica, and those who think it was better before, when we only had hand-held film cameras.
To be perfectly frank, I think it’s utterly ridiculousand I’m still very polite. Using the whole manual thing, I think you’re going to be mostly frustrate rather than progressand that you have better things to learn than guessing the ideal exposure parameters for a scene like this on instinct.
The M mode
Let’s start with the M modewhich seems to be used quite a bit, even by novice photographers. Who are then surprised that their photos are badly exposed.
So, yes, many of the big names in photography have used the whole manual. And do you know why? Because there was nothing else ! Cells that automatically measured exposure and allowed modes such as aperture priority or shutter speed finally arrived relatively late.
But today we have the chance to have in their hands, for a relatively modest price, systems capable of determining the correct exposure in order to deadly.
So you’re going to tell me:
Yes, but you’re still advocating not to let the device decide for us, won’t it limit our creativity to rely on the automatisms of the device?
Yes, I do, and that’s not going to change. (By the way, the system of the new Nikon J1 and V1 supposed to choose the best picture among a series for you is an aberration for me).
Only these automatisms, you still have the control through various mechanisms. It is enough to get to know. If you know you want this aperture and that’s it, I don’t see the point of determining the shutter speed yourself. At the risk of repeating myself, the camera’s exposure meter does this very well.
And if she’s wrong, you have 3 very simple tools to use that will allow you to do what you want in many cases:
With that alone, you can fix 99% cases where the exposure measurement fails on the first attempt. And these cases are still relatively rare.
So yes, sometimes the exposure meter can’t do it anymore, because the light conditions are too difficult. And in that case, I tell you on the contrary: don’t be afraid of regain power and switch to M mode !
It happened to me, but only in situations where it’s indispensable because my camera gets the brushes all tangled up. Typically in concert for example (and again, it’s not always mandatory).
Anyway, anyway, I don’t see any reason to complicate your life with it.. If you’re shooting in M mode, that’s time you won’t spend on dial your image, and you may well miss out on the watershed moment on top of that. And that doesn’t make you a “ under “photographer! If you want my opinion, what makes a good photographer or not, it is not the camera or the mode he used, it is the final picture. Point bar. How you do it, frankly, who cares?
So, yeah, back in the old days, we used to shoot some. manual focus. At the same time, there was no autofocus. And most importantly, have you ever looked through the viewfinder of an old silver reflex camera, even from a rather “mainstream” range? It’s gigantic, very bright and luminousThe viewfinders of our current reflex cameras, which do not represent 100% of the image, are relatively dark, in short, nothing to do with the viewfinders of our current reflex cameras, which do not represent 100% of the image, are relatively dark, in short, nothing to do with the viewfinders of our current reflex cameras, which do not represent 100% of the image, are relatively dark, in short totally unsuitable for manual focusing.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m quite happy to have a high-performance autofocus that allows me to focus quickly and precisely where I want in the image. Today’s systems are high-performancebut like all automatisms, you have to know the masterand you’ve got a hold on it. I’ve written about autofocus in the past, and more recently about manual collimator selection. With that alone, you will succeed 99% time to focus where you want.
So obviously, this system is not perfect, but compared to the tuning you would manage to do in manual mode, it is much better ! I don’t know about you, but me in the viewfinder of my 550D, most of the time I’m not able to see the sharpest part of the image precisely enough. I’m myopic ok, but I think for most of you it must be the same thing 😛
So in most cases, use autofocus…but with good reason. Personally, I will use manual focus in macrowhere the depth of field is so shallow that the sharpest part of the image is clearly visible, and in situations where I particularly have the time.
For example, if I’m making a landscape by quietly adjusting everything on my tripod, I can afford to activate the Live View, zoom in 10x, and focus manually, to make sure I get the best possible sharpness.
But in most photographic situations, you won’t get the time nor the capacity to use it properly. So trust autofocus, you paid for it dearly enough 😉
That’s it, all that to say not to be afraid of the manual, but especially not to make one… doctrine ridiculous who would want you to be a “real” photographer than shooting by hand. It is necessary to know how to live with the times (without falling into its shortcomings 😉 ) Shoot manually if you have any. needor for experiment. Not every day.
P.S.: If you like silver and you’re thinking of shooting me in flames right now, take into account that I’m also going to taste its joys very soon, I have to buy some pelloche 😉
And don’t forget to share the article! 🙂