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Photo a la {M}ode {5} :: sure signs of spring

fog over lake+
ISO 125, f/2.0, 60mm, 1/60

Oh the rains did come on Monday,
but by sunset,
all was calm…
fog over lake after storm+
ISO 125, f/5.6, 60mm, 1/8000
ISO 125, f/2.0, 60mm, 1/8000
yellow stormy sunset on lake+

ISO 125, f/2.8, 60mm, 1/8000

And on Tuesday,
there were sure signs of spring,
as if the winds did stir the soil
and shake the buds free…

spring bud+
ISO 125, f/3.3, 60mm macro, 1/400
daffodil bud+
ISO 125, f/2.8, 60mm macro, 1/1600
daffodil buds+
ISO 125, f/2.2, 60mm, 1/800
yellow daffodil+
ISO 125, f/2.2, 60mm, 1/2500
first daffodil+
ISO 125, f/2.4, 60mm, 1/2500


One of the reasons I really want to master Manual Mode is because I think I can find perfect exposure there. Our auto settings are first, close, but not perfect for each circumstance, and also, it’s a general setting, not an artistic one. There may be times when an under-exposed or over-exposed image conveys or expresses your desired affect better. So, the first thing I can suggest to you in seaking the perfect exposure is this:  use your light meter!!

In the viewfinder:


From the top:


On the back:


(Images taken from Google Images)

Today’s DSLRs have “through-the-lens” or “behind-the-lens” light meters, vs hand-held spot meters used way-back-when or by those doing extensive work with flash photography. You’ll notice that there is a positive (+) and negative (-) side to the scale. When the scale lies on the positive side, it indicates that your image will be overexposed(lighter), and when the scale lies on the negative side, it indicates that your image will be underexposed (darker). Again, sometimes you might want to set your camera one or two marks off of zero, or even more, depending on what you are trying to achieve. I would suggest, if this is your first time in manual, try to keep it near zero while you are first learning manual mode.

How do you get to zero??

That depends again, on what you are trying to achieve, but remember that you can get there by manipulating your

ISO :: higher ISO = lighter
aperature :: lower aperature setting, or more open aperature = lighter
shutter speed :: slower shutter speed = lighter

Next week, I’ll give you some scenerios when you might choose to under- or overexpose your photos.

Now. Go play. Show me what you can do. And don’t forget to invite your friends to play along… the more, the merrier!

daffodil bunch+
ISO 125, f/2.2, 60mm, 1/8000

  • March 2, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    Cathy - A-MAZING, Patty! just stunning. especially love the one of the bud!

  • March 2, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    Courtney @ Cooking Up A Family - gorgeous and it makes me really really want a macro lens!

  • March 2, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    Cate - I’m with Courtney – I really want a macro when I see your shots!

  • March 2, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    Thauna - Wow, awesome photos! I can’t wait to see a hint of Spring here in Utah. I love seeing those buds. So, so pretty!

  • March 2, 2011 - 10:00 pm

    joann - it’s all so pretty. My point and shoot feels inadequate. 🙂

  • March 2, 2011 - 10:19 pm

    Amy Avery - AMAZING!!!! My favorite photos yet. Please let me purchase one from you. The daffodil is my flower since i was born in March. These pictures are beautiful!!! I am linkink today but don’t have my stats up for my photos. I will edit later. This is a super crazy week with lots to do and no time to do it!

  • March 3, 2011 - 4:02 am

    Lizzi S. - Great post! Love your macro shots. I really enjoy playing with different exposures to achieve different looks and feels.

  • March 3, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    Ruth - I love your photos. They are absolutely gorgeous. I am longing for spring here. I am hoping to set aside some time this summer, when we don’t have school, to learn all the features on my camera. We’ll see how it goes. It is not a DSLR but it has some features that I need to learn.


  • March 5, 2011 - 1:30 pm

    elk - spring goes from soft and quiet to bright and blooming .. a master storyteller frame by frame

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