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...

Monday, April 5, 2010

In Camera Metering

Hi, folks. Here's the April 5 edition of the Manual DSLR Project. There was still some sunlight available this afternoon when I got home so I took the opportunity to turn the knob to "M" and use another tool that I must admit I don't use like I should: the in-camera metering feature. The first shot you see is shot from my back deck with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 80-200 F2.8 AF lens with hood. I set the ISO to 200, and the aperture to 9. Using the in-camera meter as a visual guide of correct exposure, I dialed the shutter speed in at 1/200 sec and snapped the photo. As you can see, it was a little dark. Perhaps the exposure locked in on the bricks (which seem to be about right) instead of the flowers. On the photo on the right, I dialed the shutter speed down to 1/50 sec., which brightened up the flowers, but rendered the bricks a little bright. Next time, I should probably use AE lock to focus on the flowers for my exposure (another feature that I need to learn to use automatically.

Oh well, that's why this project is a year-long one and not just a week long. There is plenty for me to learn and remember. An excellent teacher one time told me that sometimes we don't suffer from a lack of education, but from a lack of application. That's what I hope to change in the next 359 days.

On a side note you'll see that I figured out how to change the copyright indicia on my images from 2009 to 2010. Also, you should know how I prepare these images for posting. I shoot in RAW, so I simply import the images into Lightroom, select the ones I want to use, and export them to another folder as JPEG files (70% quality, sRGB, 300 dpi, and 800 pixels along the longest edge). To maintain the integrity of this project, I will not make any adjustments in Lightroom unless I'm just posting a photo for fun and then I'll tell you what I did with it.

Until next time...MK

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