3/52: Straight out of camera is this week’s assignment. No editing or post-processing allowed. The goal is to get the image as close to “correct” as possible without relying on editing software to do it for us. If you typically shoot in “automagic” mode, use this week to explore the manual adjustments of your camera. As the photographer, you make the decision on settings according to your artistic expression and vision rather than letting the camera do it for you. If you’re not ready to jump in and do the hokey pokey with the exposure triangle just yet…at the very least make use of the aperture priority (Av) and/or shutter priority (Tv) modes, instead. Don’t forget about white balance, either. Get it off of “Auto” and select the correct settings for your environment. While automatic mode might get the white balance pretty close shooting outdoors…indoors is an entirely different beast all together. Use the “Live View” when selecting your white balance (tungsten, fluorescent, shade, daylight, cloudy, flash) to see what the effect overall will be. If the camera has the ability to change the color temperature (Kelvin) manually, explore that option, as well.
For those who are unfamiliar with what either of the priority modes really are, I’ll give a brief run down. Aperture Priority (Av) and Shutter Priority (Tv) modes are as simple as they sound. While using Aperture Priority (Av) mode, the selected aperture will take priority and the camera will then take care of the other two aspects of the exposure triangle by selecting a shutter speed and ISO (camera sensor's sensitivity to light) to create what it determines to be the correct exposure. When selecting Shutter Priority (Tv), the photographer can select a desired shutter speed and the camera will then select the appropriate aperture and ISO to create what it determines to be the correct exposure. Don’t always rely on the camera to do this. Utilize the histogram to see where the shadows and highlights fall and adjust accordingly. If the histogram is showing all the data is being pushed to either end and you’re finding detail is either being lost in the shadows (underexposed), or blown out in the highlights (overexposed), adjust either the aperture or shutter speed to compensate. Take your time, get everything the way you want it, and above all...have fun!
TIP: Spend some time to ponder the thought process behind creating an image before you press the shutter release. Ask yourself why you’re creating the image to begin with? What is the story I am trying to tell, and how am I going to tell it?
Recommended Viewing: Exposure Triangle