View Full Version : First shoot using manual settings

09-10-2010, 03:37 PM
So I tried shooting manual with my camera for the first time. I'm still learning, so I thought I'd post here for critique. I posted these on another forum I frequent for photographers and they didn't get the point of them (they don't know what cosplay is, etc) and said I should have just shot her in front of a backdrop or a wall to show off the costume.

These are after editing, and I am already aware I blew the river in the river shots.

Nikon D3000
ISO 100
50mm 1.8 E
(my f-stop varies since it's a manual lense)






09-11-2010, 10:45 AM
All of the photos are actually quite good. I like the one standing by the window. I also like the one with the cosplayer in a closeup by the river.

Everything in the photos is in sharp focus. With manual settings you can decide how much you want in focus, so that is something you can play with, but that is mostly personal preference.

In the photo with the window - I am just getting overly critical here, but you asked for critiques. In the upper left of the picture you have a hanging triangle from the downspout. You could move slightly around to the left and cut that out.

For the full frame cosplayer by the river. This is a classic case where a fill flash during the day is helpful. You expose the photo for the river, then use a flash to make sure the cosplayer is exposed correct. Many people have tutorials on the use of a flash, and to be honest, they are much better at it then I am. The other option is to put the camera on a tripod, take one photo without the cosplayer in it, exposed for the river/background, then another exposed for the cosplayer and combine the two using photoshop.

On the closeup river shot, I see sunlight strong on the rocks on the right side of the photo. I wonder what the shot would have looked like if you got some of that light on the cosplayer.

Enjoy shooting manual. It takes some getting used to, but can be loads of fun.

09-12-2010, 07:08 PM
Welcome to the mad world of manual! *toasts* Congratulations for taking the brave step of throwing off the shackles of auto settings! :P

Photo 1 - This shot is my favorite. The framing shows off the cosplayer and the setting. Yes, the river is blown, but the highlights on the cosplayer are also too bright. Is it possible to re-edit and lessen the exposure? Do you still have the original file?

I would straighten it a wee bit, because the slightly crooked bridge is distracting.

Photo 2 - Cute shot! I would suggest a closer crop, perhaps vertically. This will still suggest the natural setting, but draw more focus to the cosplayer.

Photo 3 - The cosplayer's pose isn't as engaging here. Photo 1 works better.

Photo 4 - I like that you're getting another close shot. The blue mirror frames match her color scheme nicely. However, it feels cluttered. Did you want the rainspout to show?

Photo 5 - The off-center framing works well here! However, the angle of her left arm is bothersome. I keep thinking it's part of the railing, because the lines match exactly! I would crop out the bridge, as it makes the top rather messy.

Overall, this is a good start! With practice, you'll gain control of those pesky blown highlights. I like that you're trying to get different angles while shooting. The location is interesting, and I think you and the subject worked well in it.

Keep shooting! Someday all the crazy buttons will make sense! (Or so I'm told... :P)

09-15-2010, 02:21 AM
Congrats on getting such good shots with manual settings! I can never get the hang of it, and have to rely heavily on post editing because nothing ever comes out looking how I want it to. :P

Photos 1 and 3 really only bother me a bit because of the water (but that's been said). A fix for that could be to shoot multiple exposures and merge, but it could make your subject look really weird if you aren't careful, since she looks fine as is.

09-15-2010, 05:29 PM
Simple fix for the water and blown highlights... (Everybody say it with me now...)
You're basically dealing with too much scattered light. A polarizer can take care of it. And since the majority of said light is coming from the front, a linear one will do as well, but it's a bit trickier to use.
Well done.

09-17-2010, 05:01 PM
Thank you all for the feedback/tips, I really appreciate it! :)