The New Manual DSLR Project

Hi, and welcome to my blog. The Manual DSLR Project was started March 30, 2010 with the intent of devoting one year to learning how to use my Nikon D300 in manual mode. I invited you to join me as I took this journey. You celebrated with me as my fingers began to remember which wheel adjusts the shutter speed and which controls the aperture settings. I was brutally honest in sharing my mistakes.

A year passed quickly...and I achieved my goal of demystifying the manual operation of my camera.

While the Manual DSLR Project was intended to be bound by time (one year), I am eager to keep the conversation going. So look for additional posts on anything related to photography. And interact. Let me know if you are reading the blog and find it useful.

All the best...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Aperture Setting as a Guide

Earlier today I was listening to the Photo Focus podcast, hosted by Scott Bourne, when I heard Jules Bianchi tell that when she gets ready to shoot she'll shoot the first frame in Aperture priority, look at the histogram, then change to Manual control and adjust accordingly. It was refreshing to learn that a seasoned professional doesn't just magically know where to set her camera. If you have seen her work, it is clear that her method works.

Staying true to the intent of this project, I did something a little different this afternoon. Instead of shooting the first shot in manual, I shot the first one in manual (using my best guess of where to start), then turned the knob to aperture priority to see where the camera automatically set it. I must admit, I had mixed results. The first try was a winner with me picking the same shutter speed (1/250) that the camera selected (at ISO 200; f5.6). However subsequent attempts were a bust.

It was nice to get out today and shoot some nature. I'm including a shot of some dogwood blooms. These were shot in manual mode but I did apply a Lightroom preset (Morning Coffee by Gavin Seim). I love Lightroom presets.

Until next time...

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