Auto Mode – Week 2

The theme this week for our p52 over at Clickin’ Moms was a continuation of last week, yet this week we needed to come out of auto mode and make the same image. In essence, fulfill our vision in camera by taking it out of auto mode to make the matter of processing less.  This was a lesson in why we shoot manual, but along the way we also learned something about our own style.

I am going to give you both images again but this time with their settings.

Week 1 – auto
18mm ISO-200 f/3.5 1/2000
Week 2 – manual
35mm ISO-100 f/22 1/125

Now, I had to use a different perspective (and people) because I sent back the lens I used the first week to Borrowlenses, so I was using a longer focal length (18mm in week 1 and 35mm in week 2) so where I am standing is different. Then, daylight savings hit so we caught the sun later in the day – which I didn’t mind :) Pretty sun!

Totally different settings, right?

What are the choices I made that were different from the choices my camera made?

Besides the different focal length, I went to a lower ISO even though it was darkening quickly and already darker than the first photo. With the second photo, I wanted full color in the sky without blown highlights, and since the sun was in the frame, it would be easy to blow them (only white appears with no detail).  I had a slower shutter speed because I chose ISO first.  In hindsight I could’ve gone to 200 on the ISO but the ss wouldn’t have been that much different, but the ss was dramatically different than the first because much aperture was much higher.

The aperture is much higher in the second because I wanted a sunburst with rays which you get through a closed down aperture.  So, f/22 was it.  Since I knew it would be a silhouette I went up as high as I could.

If I could have used the 18mm I would have in the second but it wasn’t an option.  I just love the sweeping landscape it provides, and I believe it would have been stronger in composition. 

Other than that, I shot underexposed because I knew I wanted to get a silhouette.  Auto mode exposed for the tree and my subject (my mom) because it likes to grasp everything around it in focus and expose properly.  Silhouettes call for correct exposure on the sky and underexposure of the subject (my husband and daughters).

I believe exposing for them in this instance would have distracted from the pretty sky and even distracted from their interaction.  The silhouette clearly explains their closeness while displaying the pigtails and ponytails set against my husbands much larger body, and I wanted to demonstrate that.

To me, I was focusing on the beauty of the moment the three of them were in together.  I could create a beautiful landscape sunset but at the same time create an image of my family intertwined within that landscape.

What I loved about this exercise is I had a vision and went to fulfill it.  These days I’ve started shooting with more vision and it tells me I am progressing in developing a style and progressing in my photography.  This was an awesome exercise that required we dig deep and question why we choose the settings we do.  What goes into our decision making process.  From that we can learn a lot about our own shooting style.