Auto Versus Manual Settings on Your Camera
It may seem easier to just put your digital camera on auto and let it take photos for you. However, there are many things you cannot do when you have a camera set to auto. It also makes it more likely that you will not pay as much attention to your framing. So why should you turn that auto button off and when it is it a good idea to leave it on?
For many photographers automatic settings are like a safety net. Unfortunately, this can make for lazy photography and it is much better to try manual settings as it will give you a better idea of how your camera works. You might also want to try the auto setting to give you an idea of how you can alter the shot to make it better.
Shooting Unique Times
If you have your digital Canon, Sony or Olympus digital camera on you during sunset or sunrise you may want to leave auto off. Having your own unique settings and focus can allow you to capture the time of day in a more brilliant way. This might include putting the focus more on an individual subject or even having the subject out of focus for more of a silhouette effect.
However, if you want to play it safe and time is of the essence a few shots with the auto focus can make things easier. Modern cameras will have a great auto focus function which will adjust according to the changing morning or afternoon light. So depending on how you want to capture those special hours towards the end or the start of the day will depend on how you use your camera’s settings.
Shooting Unique Locations
Unique locations provide a great opportunity to leave the auto functions on your camera turned off. Setting your own ISO and focus will allow you to customise your shots and get more unique results. A great effect is shooting with a low ISO with subjects such as waterfalls.
Shooting with a low ISO will mean your camera will have a slower shutter speed which will also give your photos more detail. This removes any ‘grainy’ effect from your pictures and you get waterfall shots worthy of a professional. Take a few experimental shots with different ISO settings to make sure you have it set correctly.
One of the best ways to get around using auto settings on a camera is to just play around with different functions. Slow ISO has already been mentioned but different focus and other options not available when you have it on auto are also fun to play with. You may want to try both auto settings and manual settings to figure out how you can use both to great effect.
In summary, auto settings make it easier but if you want to try something different then you really have to play around with your own settings. Many DSLRs will also allow you to save particular manual settings if you have ones you use a lot. It is also a good idea to do some study on what the different camera settings can actually do as this will give you a better idea of when using manual settings is optimal.