Take Better Pictures of your Wee ones | Use your settings!

August 26, 2014


It’s Tuesday… can I get an AMEN!

Some days Mondays are well… just another manic monday!  Cue the chorus please!  Yesterday our monday was a total monday in all sense of the word so I’m super happy it’s Tuesday!

I’m also super happy it’s Tuesday because Tuesday’s are the days I get to share little things I’ve learned along the way on how to get that one good picture of your wee one!   We’ve talked about how to get the best smiles and laughs!  We’ve talked about how to get that natural shot and even which lenses are best!  Today let’s talk about getting OUT of the auto mode!

Auto mode is amazing when you are first starting out!  It allows you to get to know your camera and get the feel for taking pictures and bringing it along wherever you are going!  Auto is where we ALL begin!

But after a while, auto can be really limiting.  Auto lets the camera dictate the shot.  The camera decides what looks best and where the settings should be.  It decides the aperture and the shutter speed.  It determines your ISO and that can make your photos crisp and clean or noisy and grainy.  Auto basically lets the camera do ALL the work and takes away all the creativity of photography!

So basically what I’m saying is you should be trying to get OUT of auto mode once you find yourself comfortable with your camera!

Depending on how brave you are (and how much time you have on your hand) you can go at this full speed ahead and start working on manual right away OR you can take it step by step and work your way through the different technical modes.

Most DSLR camera’s offer aperture priority  mode (meaning it lets you control how much light you let in to the camera), or you can focus on shutter speed (which allows you to control the speed at which your camera’s shutter is opening and closing!)

I know this all sounds SOO confusing right now but the best way to learn is to PLAY AROUND!

Let’s talk about Aperture priority to start!  Most camera’s have this and it’s marked by AV, for all you Nikon users switch your camera to A!

Aperture priority is responsible for light and depth of field!  It’s also responsible for bokeh and that’s the beautiful out of focus background that everyone loves so much!  It usually looks like bubbles or blurs and it’s amazing!

To get started it helped me to start thinking of my camera like my eye!

The aperture is like your pupil and how it dilates.  When you have little light, your pupils dilate allowing for more light!  This is how the camera works… you would need an aperture like 1.8.  When you have a LOT of light, your pupils get really small to account for all that light!  Just like your eye, your camera would need a smaller opening so a smaller aperture would be required like 5.0.  In photography and speaking about apertures in particular, larger numbers are actually the smaller numbers!

Still confused?!  Check it out on your camera!  Set your camera to Aperture mode and play around and watch the lens of your camera.  You can actually SEE the lens open and close and the width at which it opens during different apertures.  It will look exactly like your eye.  It’s kind of cool really.

Also when we think about our eyes, think about what you see!  When your eyes are dilated (meaning your letting in light and your aperture is set at something like 1.8-4.0) your focus is really narrow.  Your depth of field is really shallow.  So creatively your setting up your subject to be the only thing that matters.  The background might be out of focus or blurry creating that bokeh even.

When your eyes are smaller accounting for lots of light (like full sun) and your aperture is set at a number that is 6-20, then your depth of field is going to be greater allowing for more things to be in focus!

I know most of you have been to the eye doctor before and had your eyes dilated.  Come on now, please tell me I’m not the only one!  When I go for these tests, I always bring a book with me because it takes FOREVER!  Whenever I start to feel confused on apertures, I think back to having my eyes dilated and trying to read a book.  I can read a book completely fine when my eyes are normal.  That’s because my eyes are at a normal dilation.  When they dilate my eyes, I can read a book up until a certain point and then my pupils are so big and so freaky looking that I just can’t even focus on the words on the page.  That’s how aperture priority works!  When your lens is wide open (at an aperture like 1.8, 2.0, 2.8) your focus is going to be limited to one or two things only!  The rest will be blurred!

This is really where YOU get to choose and be creative!  This is why it’s soo much better to be off the auto mode!  You get to decide:  do I want my subjects to be the only thing in focus with a beautiful soft background that’s totally non-distracting!  OR do I want my subjects to be in focus as well as the background and in bright light?!  The choice is totally up to you and you can play around with both options and see which you like best later!

You get to be in control~

Shutter speed is a bit different and I’ll save that one for next Tuesday!

For now, start to practice with your aperture priority and gain control over your creativity!

Let me know how it goes!  Ask me questions and send me your captures, I would love to see what you can come up with!

If nothing else, trust me and be brave.  Getting out of the auto mode and into the more manual modes will completely change your life and your pictures!



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