- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 26, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118172876
- ISBN-13: 978-1118172872
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Auto Mode: A Guide to Taking Control of Your Photography 1st Edition
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From the Author: Taking Better Photos of People
Have you ever wondered, "Is it my camera or is it me?" Odds are you have been frustrated with your camera more than once. Maybe your images are blurry; maybe they are too dark or too light. Whatever the issue, the camera often gets the blame. It's not your camera, though. It's you. The camera is just a box, programmed to work a certain way. If you are using the box in auto modes, and giving the camera all the control, you can't really blame it for doing what it is doing. If you want to make better pictures, you need to take control of the camera yourself.
Here are five things to do right now, to make better pictures of the people in your life, using one of your camera's semi-auto modes:
1. Choose Aperture Mode: Choose A or AV on your camera dial, or the back menu. If you don't have A or AV look for something that says "aperture mode" or "aperture priority". Look for a setting like f/5.6 or 5.6 (the number might be different) which is the aperture setting. Choose an aperture of f/4 (4.0). The camera will choose the shutter speed for you. A wide aperture will create a blurred background, isolating your subject(s) in the frame.
Choose light that flatters your subject and is easy to work with. In this image, we used a shady area for our portrait.Click for a larger image
2. Look for the light: As you first start making portraits, choose light that is easy to work with. Have your subject face the light source. If you are outside, and your subject is squinting because of the light, move into a shady area (like under a tree or overhang) and have them face the light - it won't be shining right into their eyes, but will still light them beautifully.
The open area behind our subject creates a simple backdrop for our portrait.Click for a larger image
3. Choose your ISO: If it's very bright and sunny, choose ISO 100. If it's a slightly overcast day or you are in a brightly lit room, choose ISO 400. If it is evening or the room is dim choose ISO 800 or 1600.
Simple backgrounds don't have to be boring. This blue wall adds a pop of visual interest to our backdrop, complimenting the composition of the image.Click for a larger image
4. Choose a simple background: When you are photographing people, try to keep the background simple. Look for something clean and complimentary (see the example below). Simple doesn't have to mean plain or boring, though. Notice how the bright blue background adds some interest to the frame without detracting from your subjects.
A relaxed subject results in natural expressions.Click for a larger image
5. Strive for natural expressions: Making great images is not just about backgrounds and camera settings, but is also about catching that perfect expression in your images. As you work with your subject, remember to make eye contact and speak with them, laughing and keeping the session relaxed. If you are tense, your subjects will feel that and their expressions will be tense.
From the Back Cover
Take charge of your image
You can do it
Part art and part science, photography records and preserves the moments of our lives. Sure, you can snap a picture with your smartphone. But if you want to create a truly memorable portrait of a moment, you must master lighting, exposure, and focus. When you control what makes the photo, you not the camera control the results.
Enter the exhilarating world beyond auto mode, and feel the power of crafting the total image.
- Master the exposure triangle: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed
- Experiment with settings to learn what they do
- Practice with semi-automatic modes
- See how different types of light affect your image
- Understand exactly what you can control and what the camera controls
- Explore settings for portraits, landscapes, and other common shots
- Learn to create the perfect image in the camera, instead of fixing a mediocre image with Photoshop