I’ve gotten lazy, really lazy with my photography. It started about six months ago. I began having problems with my old camera and was in the market for a new one. Since I’ve been having more and more trouble with hand trembling, I was looking for a camera that didn’t weigh much and one that would work with the lenses I have. The answer was the Sony E6000, one of the new mirrorless cameras. I bought the camera, set it on automatic mode to get the feel of it, and never took the time to learn anything else about it. I love the camera. It does take good pictures on automatic, like the one above, but I wasn’t getting the full benefit of it's features. I kept telling myself that someday I’d learn the settings and dials, but someday never came. I needed something to push me to learn.
The push came when I heard of a photography class at a local gallery taught by a professional nature photographer. My sister and I decided to take the class which was held once a week for five weeks. I knew if I paid for the class I would work hard at learning and completing it. It was small class of only six which allowed our teacher to help each of us individually to obtain the pictures we wanted. I knew a lot of what he taught, but I didn’t know the “whys” of some of it, especially the histogram. I knew about histograms; what they were, how to read them, but I didn’t know how to put that knowledge into taking a correctly exposed picture. Through the class I finally understood where to start and what to adjust to take the picture I had in mind. One fantastic thing about my camera, is that the histogram is right there in the viewfinder where you can see it before you take a picture. No longer do I have to wait and see the preview to see if the picture is properly exposed.
Our class worked through the exposure triangle, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, and then moved to full manual. I practiced each day and learned how to quickly get the picture I wanted using different settings. The class was the push I needed to gain confidence in using manual mode on my new camera.
Will I go back to automatic? Sure! Automatic is good for when I’m out wandering trails or just happily snapping pictures of my grandsons. The difference is that now if there’s a picture I want to take a certain way, I know how to quickly set it up and I finally trust myself and my camera.
When I see the finished picture it’s satisfying to know that I set up the exposure and got the picture I had in my mind. If you haven’t tried manual mode or the other settings on your camera, I hope you will. There are online classes, in-person classes, books, or websites that can help you. Learning more about your camera takes your photography to another level. I know it caused me to slow down and enjoy the creative side of taking pictures.