BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Christopher Delaney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/17/2006
 

manual or auto settings for contest?


 
 
Do the contest judge's penalise you for using auto settings in a contest image? Also If you post a image with auto settings do people of BP look down on your image? Just wondering, I am new to all of this and I am learning with my new Nikon D80. With my old Canon Rebel film I was afraid to experiment to much, it was to exspencive! Thank god for digital! One more ?, I recently entered a photo in the contest that I had found out after I took the shot, that someone else took the exact shot in the exact place as I did. They actualy won with it! I entered it anyway, who knows right!


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12/21/2006 7:01:15 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  Just recently there has been a long disscusion on this.But to answer your question I don't think it bears any weight in the contest, As someone pointed out , After post processing the original values may not mean much when looking at the final image. But using a DSLR or a film SLR on Auto is like using a P&S. Don't be afraid to experiment and get out of Auto. Your creativity will soar!
The majority of members have not forgotten that we were new to all of this at one time and will help answer your questions and encourage you rather than looking down at you. Enjoy the journey!

Here is the link

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=26913


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12/21/2006 7:56:31 PM

 
Christopher Delaney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/17/2006
  Thanks! I have been a little! But it was so limited with the little Cybershot I was using. Now I just got my Nikon D80 today! Yipee!!! I have been messing around with it tonight and I love it! Since joining BP I live & breathe photography! Thanks again.


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12/21/2006 8:15:26 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  I forgot to mention, Be perpared to open the wallet more often as you gain experience, This is a fun hobby but can get expensive. First there is a tripod and better glass, a flash, a few filters, and the list goes on..There are so many choices. lol


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12/21/2006 8:22:32 PM

 
Amy JACKSON
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/24/2005
Contact Amy
Amy's Gallery
  Hey Chris!! Welcome to BP!! I think a lot of people use the various auto modes sometimes. I also use the program mode sometimes so I can choose my ISO. But I do use manual mode sometimes. I agree that the final image is most important! Congratulations on your new camera also!! :)


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12/21/2006 8:33:14 PM

 
Christopher Delaney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/17/2006
  Thanks! I just posted my first photo with the D80, Check it out if you get a chance!


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12/21/2006 9:30:11 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  I know where that is.


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12/21/2006 9:42:57 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Those who participate in this contest and shoot in full-auto all the time can claim credit for composition and creativity of vision and maybe the occasional rare capture of a fleeting moment.
These atributes are indeed essential elements in the creation of superb imagery.

The "complete" photographer understands the whats, hows, whens, wheres, and why's.
Technical knowledge is as important a tool in being complete as creativity of vision.

Auto settings and program modes can be useful assets but can also be crutches and limit the learning process.


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12/22/2006 2:18:15 AM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Chris,

Firstly, I doubt if anyone can look at an image and tell if it was full auto or not. LOL

If you are comfortable with full auto, then stay there for a while. Fear not, you will soon come up against more challenging shots that will either force you into learning other modes and techniques or quit all together. My guess is you will want to learn. ;)

My best advice for you is to learn in small bites. (i.e)..some people new to photography, see a amazing photo and then post questions on "how do I do this?" This; in my opinion is truly trying to run before you can crawl.

Wanna know a secret? This Christmas, my family will gather as we always do..I will be shooting "Program", while the kids are opening their gifts. The photos are not critical to me. Sure, they'll be in focus, composed as best that I can given the MESS we have when the kids are running around opening gifts etc..LOL The pics WILL capture the moment, and that is all I'm after in this setting.

I will conclude with this; if you never leave Auto or program modes with your new D-80, then you probably should not have purchased it; but alas, I know you will not stay in those modes long.

Congrats on your new DSLR...above all else,,Have Fun!

All the best,

Pete


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12/22/2006 6:07:15 AM

 
Christopher Delaney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/17/2006
  Thanks again! I can not say enough about this site! So far it's been the best thing I have ever found on the internet! Thanks for the advise, and I will be experimenting in the manual mode with the D80! I have begun allready, and I can tell you this! Hats off to all who do, its not as easy as most people think! But thats is why I got a bigboy SLR, I cant think of anything else I would rather do!


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12/22/2006 6:38:47 AM

 
Judyann Plante
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2005
  Hi, Chris,
Welcome to BP. I agree with Pete about learning what you can do with your camera a little at a time. I have been shooting a little over a year and started out using automatic settings. It taught me a lot about what the camera can do and about the relationship between shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. Once I got comfortable with this I "graduated" to other program modes and manual settings. I still go back and forth depending on subject, conditions,etc. Not everyone agrees with this approach, but it has worked for me.

As far as the contest is concerned, it seems like the finished photo is all that really matters.

The most important thing is that you have fun as you continue to grow and learn - and BP is a great place to do just that.

Judyann ><>


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12/22/2006 7:01:34 AM

 
Christopher Delaney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/17/2006
  Thanks Judyann and to all others who have answered my qestion!


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12/22/2006 7:16:02 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Chris,
I would recommend trying Aperture-Priority mode (A) instead of Manual mode. This is where you will set the Aperture (f/stop) that you want, and the camera will set the proper shutter speed for the current lighting conditions.

I find it easier, because I can set my camera more quickly, but still have the control I want. There are situations where I will use Manual mode instead, but I probably shoot in Aperture Priority about 80-90% of the time.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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12/22/2006 7:53:37 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I have to agree with Pete. I doubt anyone can tell what mode you shot in or whether they really care. Composition is the most important thing in a good photo.

I also agree with Chris V. When I first started in photography I shot everything in full manual, not because I am smarter than others or because I'm a better photographer (I'm not by any stretch of the imagination). I'm just so old that that's all there was when I started! When I got my first camera with any kind of automation (my Olympus OM-2n which I still use the most) I started using aperture-priority because I knew what I wanted from the shot and I wanted to choose the aperture for depth of field control and just let the camera choose the shutter speed. I still use that mode for most of my shots, unless I need to change the exposure from the meter's choice because of some tricky lighting. Most of the time when I use manual is when I am shooting a wedding with flash because I want a slower shutter speed than the default choice of the camera so I can bring in more ambient light to balance with the flash.
I now have a couple of cameras with program modes but I don't use them because I then have no control over the shot. Sure, they will most likely be properly exposed but I don't have any control over the DOF, shutter, etc. Go ahead and use AP for most of your shots or SP for action shots. It will give some control and makes shooting a lot faster. Most important of all, enjoy your time here at BP and have fun shooting.
Regarding the contest, don't worry about winning too much. Just shoot to please yourself and if the judges like what you did, that is a bonus. Too many folks get caught up in whether they win in the contest or not. I enjoy my photography because I shoot for my own pleasure and don't even enter the contest. Thay probably wouldn't like my work anyway, LOL.


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12/22/2006 8:37:18 AM

 
Christopher Delaney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/17/2006
  Thanksagain to all who have responded! I will take your advice!


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12/22/2006 12:11:00 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  "Do the contest judge's penalise you for using auto settings in a contest image? Also If you post a image with auto settings do people of BP look down on your image?"

A lot of good answers here. My answer, Good grief NO!


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12/22/2006 5:03:49 PM

 
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