Playing With Settings

Taking the advice of many people on here I’ve been taking photos of the same scene with all settings the same except for one, which I move from low to high. It’s great to get an idea of what all these settings mean, for us amateur photographers.

For example, I pointed the camera out my window, set it to F 8.2, ISO 400, Exposure 0, and then took shots at f 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 (as high as my camera goes).

Then I pointed it at something else, and changed the ISO settings.
You get the idea.

I would add a couple of suggestions to this method in order to really study the settings. First, I’m repeating it with different kinds of scenes.
So I took a shot out my window, today being a bright sunny day, changing the shutter speed. Then I moved to shooting in a dark room, again changing the shutter speed. Then I tried shooting one small object, my pen jar. Then I did a series with my face. Moving to different scenes helps not only to see what these settings do, but also which settings work best with what kind of scene.

Second, after doing these series, I am trying to manipulate the settings for each scene to get the most “natural” look, i.e. what settings replicate what I see with my eye. It’s really helping me to see how to capture scenes “as is”. Then I can go ahead and decide if I want to brighten them or play around with the focus, but having the “natural” settings as a baseline really helps me out.

Hope that helps other people as well.

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