Just bought a camera and going to the first shoot? Not sure where to start setting up your camera? Feeling strong enough to switch to intimidating manual mode? Do you want to concentrate on working with a photo model, and not randomly sort through the buttons?
We tell you what manual camera settings a novice photographer should pay attention to, as well as what incorrectly set parameters lead to.
The first thing to do is to choose the format in which you will shoot. There are three options: RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG. Any pro will advise shooting in RAW, but for a beginner, everything is not so simple.
- RAW is a “raw” source that requires additional development — development. This is literally the same as a negative in film photography — you can’t pull out the film immediately after shooting and give it to the customer.
RAW contains a large amount of information, which allows you to strongly brighten and darken a photo, remove noise, increase contrast, and correct color without losing quality.
- JPEG is a print and publish ready format. Photos to JPEG do not need to be converted: they are read by any device and program. Such pictures, like RAW, can be “driven” through a graphics editor. But be prepared that with a strong correction, the final quality will suffer.
Shoot in JPEG if you don’t need deep image processing, you save space on your memory card, or you need to return photos as soon as possible after shooting.
- RAW+JPEG. After the photo session, you will have a copy of each photo in two formats. This option is chosen if, immediately after shooting, you need to send a JPEG to the customer so that he selects frames for retouching.
The color space is responsible for how many shades and saturation will be in the photo. Cameras now have two spaces to choose from: Adobe RGB and sRGB.
- Adobe RGB. Gives colors more saturated, offers more shades. Minus: if you do not print photos, then no one will see it. Of course, provided that the end user does not have a professional Adobe RGB monitor. This space is used in the professional segment, mainly for printing. If you upload one to the Internet, the colors will be distorted and faded.
- sRGB. Not so diverse in shades, but a universal color space that is read by absolutely all devices from monitors to projectors. It is also dominant on the Internet. If you know that your pictures will be viewed on social networks through phones and tablets, then take pictures in it.
He is responsible for the purity of the colors in the picture. If the white dress of the bride suddenly turns green in the photo, then the frame has the wrong white balance.
To adjust the white balance on the camera:
- select one of the automatic modes (cloudy, sunlight, flash, incandescent lamps, etc.);
- set the approximate white balance in manual mode. In this case, a grid will appear on the camera where you can set the tint of the photo. What to rely on? If the photo is clearly “green”, then add a magenta tint, and if it gives off a blue — red.
- adjust the white balance with any gray or white object. To do this, take a close-up photo of such an object (for example, a sheet of paper, a white pillowcase, or a T‑shirt) so that it takes up almost the entire frame, and then select this photo as a reference.
Learn more about white balance.
ISO sensitivity is a setting that determines how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. The dependence is this: the larger the ISO number, the brighter the frame.
When there is enough light, set your camera to ISO 100 or ISO 200. If it’s not enough, stay in the region of ISO 400 — ISO 800. In twilight and twilight, ISO values \u200b\u200bcan range from 1000 to 1600.
Adjusts the size of the opening through which light enters the camera. Marked with a letter and a number: f / 2.8, f / 5.6, f / 22, etc. The dependence is as follows: the smaller the value, the brighter the frame and the more open the shutter.
In addition, this parameter affects the sharpness of objects, blurring the background. The lower the number, the more the background is blurred and the fewer objects are in focus. For example, at minimum f / 1.4 or f / 1.2 when shooting a large portrait, only the eyes or, for example, the nose can be in focus.
What you need to focus on:
- if you want to make the frame brighter without raising the ISO, reduce the aperture;
- if you want a portrait with a blurry background and bokeh, decrease the aperture. For example, f/2.8 or smaller;
- the more people in the frame, the larger the aperture number. For group portraits, the value can go up to f / 16 and above. The same applies to landscapes and architecture.
This is how the camera adjusts the focus on objects. Two modes can be distinguished:
- Manual focus. The photographer rotates the ring on the lens and decides where the picture will be in focus. This is usually used in subject and macro photography.
- Auto focus. The camera itself chooses which objects to focus on. It is divided into two subspecies:
— Single focus. Suitable for portraits, landscapes and any shooting with static subjects. In cameras it is called differently: Single, One-shot focusing mode or AF‑S.
— Continuous focus. The camera constantly seeks and adjusts focus. The mode is suitable if you shoot moving subjects. For example, reports, sports and dynamic portraits in motion. Look in the settings: Servo, AI Servo, Continuous focusing mode or AF‑C.
This is how long the camera shutter is open during the shutter release. Measured in seconds: 1/125 (shutter opens for 1/125 of a second), 1/1000, 2” (shutter opens for two seconds), etc. The dependence is as follows: the longer the shutter speed, the brighter the frame; the faster the shutter speed, the darker the frame and the better the motion “freezes”.
What values to set:
- when shooting late at night, the shutter speed can reach several seconds. True, in order for the picture to turn out to be of high quality, the camera must stand still on a tripod;
- if it is important for you to “freeze” the movement, set a fast shutter speed — 1/500 or less. This may be necessary when shooting dances, sports, loose materials and liquids, when you want them to “freeze”;
- set a fast shutter speed when shooting on a bright sunny day, because sometimes even at the minimum ISO the picture is too bright.