Day 9 – Manual Mode for Dummies

12 Apr

Creative Auto Mode (CA)… who knew!?

Just another setting that I have never bothered to use but I think maybe I should have started out with CA before jumping right into manual mode a few years ago. I am not sure if my first camera even had this setting but it is definitely “manual mode for dummies” and quite useful if you are ready to abandon auto mode but are a little scared of all the work on full manual mode.

Creative Auto lets you apply the effects you want, but in an automatic way that doesnโ€™t force you to get into aperture numbers, exposure compensation numbers and so on. You can use the dial to select flash, no flash, or auto flash; you tell it how much blur you want on the background and how much light you want in the photo; and finally you can also choose your picture style, quality and drive mode. This might sound like a lot to do but each setting in CA Mode is spelled out in plain English right on the screen as you select them.

I decided to try this both outside where I constantly struggle to get the correct shutter speed and ISO as well as at my desk with my computer monitor as my only source of light. This setting is so intuitive and bridges the gap between fully auto and fully manual as you can check out the settings each shot uses and get more comfortable with them.I highly recommend using this mode if you want to step away from full auto but aren’t comfortable changing all the setting on manual just yet, it will really help you understand the different settings that are needed for different environments.

With each of these shots I didn’t mess with any numbers at all, I simply set the camera for the amount of light, blur (which on the dial is a lot or a little, no numbers) and style I wanted and it did the rest. I didn’t have my flash on for either shot as well.

My backyard view from my balcony shot in CA mode

My backyard view from my balcony shot in CA mode

Razor Phone shot in CA Mode with no flash

Razor Phone shot in CA Mode with no flash

I thought I would include a little photoshop tutorial as well in this post because I just can’t resist converting a photo to black and white just to see the outcome.ย  While there are many ways to convert a photo to B&W in photoshop this is the technique I use the most because I can still play around with the hues to get the exact contrast I want.

1. Open original photo and crop if you wish
2. Go to Layer – create new layer
3. Set your foreground color to white
4. Select your paint bucket tool and fill in that empty layer with white
5.With the new layer selected go to your layers pallet and click on the drop down box with the word “normal” and select “hue” and this will change it to B&W
6. Select the layer with your original photo and now you can play with the contrast or color hues to get the exact look that you want. I added a unsharp mask filter as well to give it more of a grainy look.

razor phone shot in CA Mode converted to B&W

razor phone shot in CA Mode converted to B&W

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10 Responses to “Day 9 – Manual Mode for Dummies”

  1. Jackie April 13, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    Wow, “manual mode for dummies”! There is hope for me after all!

    • mindymilburn April 13, 2010 at 8:58 am #

      LMAO! You just made me laugh out loud. It really is a great setting to learn on and if you have that setting on your camera I really suggest using it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Susan April 13, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    You have such a nice view, look at everything blooming!

    • mindymilburn April 13, 2010 at 8:59 am #

      It is quite pretty back there, of course out the front is the street so it balances out ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Christopher Shiner April 13, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    The photo of the razor phone is so awesome. It has some distant, sleek, almost alien quality to it. Lol. It looks like a picture Motorola would totally use for one of there ads. Me likey!

    • mindymilburn April 13, 2010 at 9:01 am #

      You crack me up, you think everyone should use my photos for some type of advertisement lol (Mindy loves compliments though so keep em coming lol)

  4. Stasia April 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Maybe I’m weird, but I like the version of the phone that’s in blue better than the black & white one. I think it looks more high-tech that way.

    Also I agree – nice back yard!!

    • mindymilburn April 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

      Not weird at all, I like the color better too but I always try every shot in B&W and I just wanted to show how I go about converting things to B&W in photoshop ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Laura April 14, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    Thanks for providing a new way to go B/W. You are blessed to have such a view out your window. Both my windows lead to the parking lot. Oh, yippie! LOL! Might have to check out the CA mode on my camera sometime. That photo of your phone was cool. Couldn’t get that same photo using your iPhone ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • mindymilburn April 14, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

      LOL, I would gladly chuck the shot for my phone. I miss it so much ๐Ÿ™‚

      My back view is very pretty but my front view is the street, not so pretty at all! CA mode is definitely worth looking at especially if you want some control but dont’ have a lot of time to sit and play with settings.

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