From Clicking to Creating – Week 3 of 2018
This week the Dogwood 52 challenge is a technical one, shooting in full manual mode. This is their definition of the technical category for the year.
Technical: Technical Aptitude is just as important as creative inspiration in photography. This year’s technical category is primarily focused on in camera processes, however, there will be some post processing techniques included.
This is quite possibly one of the hardest things to master for most new photographers. Getting yourself away from the comfort zone of the Auto button can be intimidating. When I first started shooting a lot with my DSLR, I would do it in Aperture priority mode. This gave me some control, and the camera some control. Then a few years ago I was shooting with a friend of mine who has been a professional photographer for years. He said something that made perfect sense, and changed my view of full manual mode shooting. He said, the more control you can take away from the camera, the less things it has to think about to make the photo. Makes sense right? So I practiced, and learned some more and now shooting in manual is just second nature for me.
This weeks challenge for me was how to tweak those manual settings, and make the photo that I wanted. Controlling the aperture and shutter speed can create some fun, and artistic results that you could never get from shooting in Auto.
For this image of Torrey running at me I wanted a slow shutter speed to give it some artistic blur. This was shot with a shutter speed of 1/20 which is fairly slow. Since I was shooting in the early evening I had to adjust the aperture too, or I would have just made a blown out way too bright photo. So I stopped down, or closed, the aperture to reduce the amount of light hitting the lens. I shot this with an aperture of f/22. A high aperture, also increases depth of field, notice Roxy in the background. My ISO was 100 for this shot. So by taking full control of the camera, I was able to create this interesting image.
The 2 Lil Owls this week is Out of Focus. This is another example of shooting in manual mode. My shutter speed for this image of the hummingbird hovering was 1/640, not even remotely fast enough to freeze the wing beats of these guys. The aperture is f/6.5 which gives that shallow depth of field. My ISO was 900. I like how everything but the wings is in focus.
I encourage you to experiment, and learn how to use manual mode. In can be the difference between getting the perfect shot, and one that’s not so great.
Lightroom tips this week are more about organizing your photos, than editing. Lightroom is a wonderful tool to organize all your images, and make them easy to find. This is just one way to accomplish this, and I will talk about more organizing in future posts.
One thing that can be done on import, is to give your photos specific keywords. I like to go through all my images after a particular shoot. Generally, all these photos will be of the same thing, like the hummingbirds, and I can tag them at import. When you are in the import part of lightroom, go to the right, like we did last week, and add keywords to the box as shown. I like to add year, what it is, where we are, or anything else that makes sense to me. So add keywords that make sense to you.
(Click on the images to enlarge)
You can also add keywords to photos that are already in lightroom. In the library module, go to the box on the right and add your keywords. Lightroom will learn what tags you use, and have them there to pick from if you want.
If you forget to add the keywords at import…I do that all the time….you can easily batch add keywords this way. In the library module add tags to a single photo. Then pick all the photos you want to add these same keywords too by doing click>shift until all the photos are highlighted.
Then click Sync metadata, and this box will pop up. At the bottom of the list is “keywords”. Make sure this is checked, and click synchronize. And magically, all the photos have the same keywords.
So why is the helpful? Because now you can search for any specific keywords, and only those images will show in your lightroom. The search field is at the very top of lightroom. Click on text, enter your keyword, or keywords, in the box on the right, and only those images can be seen. I have almost 9000 images in my lightroom, and this narrows it right down for me when I want to view specific images.
There are other ways to tag, and search for images and I will cover those too in future posts.
I guess lightroom can be like shooting in manual mode, so many things to learn about, but so worth it once you do.
I hope this post was helpful. Be sure to come back and revisit these From Clicking to Creating posts and go through the comments. We are having photographers share their images, and blog posts with their images in the comments. If you give feedback through a reply in the comments, the original commentor will get an email with your response. It’s always fun to get positive feedback on an image you have made.