Focusing and Shooting Modes


Conquering Crappy Light


Lesson Info

Focusing and Shooting Modes

We talked a lot about continuous on we just said to continuous shooting, focusing it all kind of overlapped. But what we're talking about is to kind of separate things you basically have ah, how many photos you're taking, how quickly so you would have, like, a single shot mode. Or you would have a continuous shooting mode, which basically means every time you hold down that button in single mode it's going to take one photo of every time you pull the trigger. When continuous mode, you can actually set speeds of two, three eleven if you have a really high end sports camera frames per second. So basically you press that shutter button once and as long as you hold it down, it's chugging away and taking pictures, is this shooting not focusing? And by the way, some of the terminology that he's using is a little different for cannon. So I'll always saying, oh, yeah, we'll definitely picture back and forth and cannon or nikon shooters really, really close here, let one of the camera guy zoom ...

in. On the side, here is another changes on this guy. Anyone have a camera in the audience? Kind borrow an icon that's floating around the d a hundred they changed this up just about every other night con this float around out there is gonna have a little switch like this now. It's ah, now it's a menu item that basically you press it on the d eight hundred, hold it down and it will display it on your eyepiece and you can scroll through the wheel. But here you actually have a physical switch and you'll notice the m is for manual. The s is for single and the c is for continuous and now this is referencing the actual focus. So if I have this on, see and I hold down my shutter button, whether it's back button or it's my shutter button and hold it down halfway it's going to continuously seek to focus on something in the frame. Now, I can tell it to just sit there and focus on my center point, or I can tell it to use all of the focus points that doesn't matter what this basically the most important thing is that's going to continuously be searching to stay in focus so it's great for tracking subjects s is single. That means if you hold down your back button or you hold down your shutter button partway it's gonna grab focus and stay there until you take the picture or until you let go of the button. So this is great for if I want to go ahead and get my focus on someone's face, hold the button down halfway or hold my back, but if I have back button focus and then recompose now, if I recomposed with continuous on assumes I recomposed it's going to start searching all over the place to jump back and focus so that's why, depending on what you're going ahead and your subject matter is, you would switch between these demonstrator manual mode doesn't matter what button you're pressing it's only going to be focused when you're there on your lens barrel so just wanted to separate those two versus your shooting modes where you have up here on the nikon single, which is when you press the shutter button and takes a single photo vs c l, which is continuous low speed, which would be holding down your shutter button one or two pictures a second until you release your shutter button or high speed mode, which could be five, six eleven basically that's just ripping off a cz many frames for as long as you've got your hand down on the shutter button so there's a separation between focus and shooting we just really wanted to clarify that. So what would you say for the nikon shooter that we're shooting? That situation we're talking about with the bride coming down the aisle at them? What settings would you tell them? Okay, so yeah, for that shot, a lot of weddings and under these instances, and I would shoot them in manual exposure mode because pretty much all along that ill she's going to be in the same exposure in that church, so I wouldn't be worrying about, you know, holding down on auto exposure locker any buttons like that, all I'm worried about is focusing, so in that case, I would flip over here, I would put it in c for continuous, which means it would continuously be seeking, and then I would probably have a static composition where I would have shooting down the middle of the aisle so I would use my center focus dot, and then I would just either use the back button for focus or the putting my shutter button down halfway to focus is well, and I would just sit there, and it would track her on that one dot in the centre of my screen has she walks towards me down the aisle, and when do you do single, single shot or the continuous good question here, so for this case because I'm gonna be keeping my shot my finger down on the button so like I continually engage my auto focus I'm probably going to go to a continuous lower continuous high versus having tto take my finger off and then go back down and then making my auto focus do that much more work by having my finger continually on the button it's gonna track versus having to jump in the gaps of me taking pictures okay so I wanted teo use the terminology used for cannon because it actually is a little bit different all right so as far as there's shooting moans and then there's focusing mod's okay so it's two different modes for your cameras shooting modes is going to be what we call single shot or then it would be multi shot so single shot you click the trigger and it takes one photo just like his multi shot is if you've ever accidentally switched and you click it goes click and then you try to figure out what you did to flip it back off so um what it looks like in your camera settings is rectangles layered up on each other that's what multi shot is ok so that is for he's shooting mode not your focus mode okay focus mode for cannon you have just regular regular focus mode but then what we're talking about you call it continuous we call it a I servo so you'd be looking for the guy which stands for artificial intelligence I just found that out was it really yeah, I thought that was funny. Um but it's a servo and so you'd be tracking that so for me, if I'm shooting uh back in focus our shooting, that person coming down the aisle at me what I would do is I would set my back button focus to the button that says a e lock okay the flock okay? And so what I would do is on my camera my shooting mode I would probably have multi shot because I want shoot a lot because you never know maybe the you know, the father the bribes leans over and cannot leans over and kisses their daddy that kind of thing um so I would have it on multi shot I would have on back button focus and I would be on aye aye servo. So as I hold my back but as she's walking down the aisle and me she's it's constantly tracking her movements and then whenever I want to depress the shutter I don't have to try to focus and, uh and shoot and I personally shoot africa priority with exposure compensation usually so that would probably be my approach to it, so hopefully that cleared up kind of the questions between back but and shooting vote modes versus focus modes now we're gonna jump into explosion rolls right yeah and you can just switch over just showing people you know there's kind of a closer up version for cannon you change the shooting mode um either in the top of the camera in the back um is where you change it whereas and these night cons it's actually physically on the camera for the focus mode all right, so now we've exposure meter remote so we're gonna jump into, uh there's a couple of differences between terminology between canada nikon I wanted you to see when we're talking about it where they line up spot metering is the same center weighted the same evaluative and matrix same thing just different words and then cannon has partial so just so you know, if our terminology just quite line up that's where it is that's your comparisons so basically uh when we're looking at these you want to start off uh I mean, I can tell you what I used you because you do something a little bit different than me um most of the time when I'm shooting um I use spot metering so what? It does a spot metering it's related to where your focus point is so it's your focus and you're meeting which is not always the same and a lot of people confused a lot of people think that we're your focus is where the meter is not necessarily so for spot spot focus and spot metering I wherever my focus point is it takes the two and a half percent of my sensor around my focus point and bases the exposure solely on that um and I do this a lot because for me as a fashion photographer I'll be shooting like crazy heavily backlit where I want it wrapping around and if I use another mode like center waited it's going to get confused if I'm trying to put her in the corner and then have the background three stops overexposed on purpose so for me it's a lot of time because I'm trying to be smarter than my camera so use my spot focus a spot metering and then do exposure compensation for um average priority the other one that I will use periodically if I'm shooting general shots or maybe events or weddings I used a valued over matrix a lot when I did weddings because what it does is it puts weight like on on wherever your focus point and so it says the focus point clearly this is the most important part of the picture because this is where they're focusing so let's make that more important for the exposure but then let's be smart smart about it and look around the rest of the picture and judge what we think the exposure it so it's kind of um the smartest um uh, meeting mode for your camera. If you aren't making the decision, you want a little help from the cameras? Well, yeah, this is great because say, in this in this frame up here, you had a bride in a white dress over here on the left and that's why you're focused on or your focussing point is right there on them it's gonna give that the weights that you get a proper exposure for that bright dress, but in the rest of the frame what if you have a backlit sun coming over so it's going to go ahead and say, hey, that's, the most important thing, that white dress but it's gonna take into account for the fact that the scene is backlit and she might be against a dark wood paneling somewhere in the church or in front of the church? So it's a lot more intelligent but it's still your guiding it spot metering is you're doing all the steering, and that can get kind of dangerous it's the one that I use is well, too, if I occasionally do auto exposure mode. But say you have someone with dark hair in a dark shirt and light skin, if you're only taken into account two percent of what's on your screen. And you're not paying attention, and I get a shot of her face, a shot of her face, a shot of her face, she moves and flips her hair and then it meters off her dark hair. My exposure just went through the roof, so you really want to be careful the spot meter and because it's very precise. So you have to be careful where you're aiming that guy um, center weighted average is basically takes it's for centering your your framing, you kind of want to get away for that from compositional reasons, but it's kind of nice, because whatever is in the middle of your scene is going to get all the weight, and then you can move around your focus point. However, you want to make sure that that's in focus so kind separates the two where's these two on the left are very much kind of defined with him, and just to reiterate what he just said is have seen this a lot where people have so many photos that that has center composition, like the subject is centered and I'll just go what? Uh what metering mode with focus mode, and they always say that there was center point and so it's, you're letting your meeting mode take control of your composition is so just be aware that you can do focus and recompose for sure with center waited, meeting and things like that, but most people don't. They just leave it there and then it's a centered composition, so just be wary of that. And another thing is so he's talking about two for spot metering, why there's a danger and I do have chest I've done it a lot when we were like I run into that a lot when it became less of a problem is as my camera became more expensive or high end because they have more focus points. Also, she mentions focus points, but in a lot of your cameras, you can define how large the percent of that spot is default. It might go to two percent, but you get up to sixteen almost twenty percent on some camera, so give it more to work with and they become more intelligent and then there's more focus points to kind of pull information from so as cameras get more intelligent, have mohr information to process and you give them a little wider gamut to choose from. That can be really, really beneficial, and you kind of get away from what used to be the pitfalls of spot meter in yeah, and my spot metering I had a lot more problems with shooting a five to two in a five to three because it goes from nine to what sixty one focused points or something like that because I can do a spot metering and I can put it exactly where I want instead of kind of close to where a lot of meter, which is when I ran into my problems he's only got nine to choose from your composition always isn't always going to land a spot right on that face so back button focus you talked about that a little bit all right focus and recompose we've kind of touched on that manual and aperture priority, so we really are different trains of thought in our approach all across the board from exposure are from focusing too now buscher um I prefer to shoot manual mode um I laid the consistency just like we talked about for your color, like if you're doing a consistent color preset versus auto white balance, you don't have to go in there and up and down, up and down, up and down with your white balance that's the main reason I want to shoot manual because I know lots of times this I have to do multiple looks or multiple different outfits under same conditions and I just want to be able to go in and batch process any corrections in post processing where if I'm on aperture priority or p for professional motor auto um I'm gonna have to worry about going in and nudging it up a little bit or nudging the exposure down a little bit um so I'd like to stay a manual for consistency just based on the work that I do, but I know lindsay is very successful at a different train of thought and probably gets to the photo a lot sooner than I do sometimes using apertura power of course is getting um okay, so for average your priority what you do for a future priority is you set the aperture that you want you said the I s o that you want and then your camera looks at the scene and says okay, well what's the best shutter speed to give us the right exposure and sometimes it's not quite right depending on how your meeting and so that's where the exposure compensation comes in is because then if I dial to the right, it'll make the photo brighter which means gives me a longer shutter speed if I doubt so left it makes the photo darker because mia faster shutter speed here's my thinking for example, I'm shooting a wedding and even in that church okay it's like a kind of mixed sun and clouds day and I'm shooting and I'm shooting and I'm shooting and shooting manual and it gets bright outside in the sun, starts touring in and that's when they kiss, if I'm on manual, I did not get that exposure or possibly even close for aperture priority maybe it's not close, but nowadays withdraw, I'm close enough that I could make it look perfect shooting raw, so regardless, if you miss, you consider kind of saving a little bit right. And so it's the same thing with me is, you know, there are definitely situations where certain heavily backlit where I'm really confusing my camera and trying to outsmart it where I'll go to manual, but that's very rare, most the time, I just like knowing that my aperture pretty well for sure get me something pretty darn close. And so what if I were two thirds of a stop off it's and I mean it doesn't, you don't see any image is not a big deal, so aperture priority is basically just running her shut her up and down to get a photograph. We talked about a little bit early. I love the nikon because my back thumb button right over here is basically the control for my shutter, and when I do this manual approach, I set my eyes so I set my aperture and I am my aperture priority it's the same truth school of thought I'll be dialing my shutter speed up and down as conditions change or if I want more ambient light in the photograph whatever it may be I'm not really adjusting a whole bunch in manual mode generally just adjusting the shutter, which is exactly what aperture priority is. So if you freeze you a little bit to think about composition and interaction with your subject a little bit more to shoot aperture mode that's awesome because those are the most important things you know, getting the exposure great but it's all about the composition and you know how you're interacting with your subjects that kind of takes the key I would say manual leaves less up to chance in the sense that you know exactly what you're getting but aperture priority guarantees me that if something goes wrong I get at least got something I can save that's like that's my train of thought on it so I like that I like you now I like to control well, we're all megalomaniac I like the control, but I like just getting lost in the camera, all right? So we're gonna go ahead and jump into some mixed like environment, so before we left we shot in the nasty fluorescent light downstairs now we've got this beautiful mixed lighting up here um our location really is a wealth of beautifully lit spots to shoot in um so I'm gonna go over white balance sounds awesome flashes in and uh we're gonna head over not stage that next okay so you gonna bring a bottle over yeah okay and just lets computer can everybody pan and take a look at the lighting to have you wanna flip that one on um what we're gonna have in this this room is window light so left so it's daylight which would look blue if we use tungsten white balance and then we're going to have a lamp and that we're going to have overhead tungsten lights and so really warm really warm and really cool and that's what he's going to be working with you let me okay let's um let's kick it over to ah hosts really if they got any questions what we're setting up in transitioning awesome we usually have questions for you let me dig one up here they're in order for you is that g h v s d q asa's spot meter always at the middle of the viewfinder okay on someone asked peter is a spot meter always at the middle of the viewfinder the spot meter is definitely not the middle of viewfinder I sold them have it there it's wherever your focus point is it'll take the meter reading off of where your focus points which is why is he saying you don't have to have it at that, eh tbd two and a half percent you can make it a little bit larger, what's really useful and says what I was saying, you know, of all of this gets easier as your camera got more expensive, meaning now that I have the kind of five the mark three, I actually have a ton of flexibility for setting my my focus points because there's sixty one of them, but I can also do groupings, so I consent on spot meeting and have a grouping of a few focus points, and then we'll take the spot metering off of that, so it actually gives me a little bit more flexibility, and I've actually studying that range, and so having to do it deep in the camera cool another great question, this one from terra brown, she asked, do you hold the back button focus, but in the entire time someone is moving towards you and it will automatically refocus or do you have to keep pushing it? Uh, you hold the back button, focus the entire time as long as you're in continuous mode, if you're not in continuous mode, you'd keep hitting it too say please refocus because if you hold it and you're not in continuous mode, which or aye aye, servo um, if you just, uh, hold it in it's in a regular mode, it'll lock focus. So actual do two totally different things. Depending on what mood you're in it. It's got to make sure you decide what you to achieve. And can you confirm if that takes a little bit more battery power from your camera when you're using the back button? Focus. I have no idea. If it takes more battery, I would think it might take a little bit more because your fortune, your camera to seek, focus a bit more, but that has less to do with the back, but and more to do with the fact that it's continuous so it's, not the back button that causes the problem. It would be the the servo that would be the battery drainer.

Class Description

Photographers constantly search to capture that decisive moment. Unfortunately that moment seldom happens under ideal photographic conditions. In this class you'll learn how to quickly overcome all of the most common crappy lighting scenarios. With the aid of these simple techniques and minimal equipment, you'll be empowered to walk into any setting and emerge with beautiful imagery.


Julie Addison

I thought I understood about light before I took this course. How wrong could I be? I have re-watched this course over and over and I just love it. Quality of light, direction of light - so many crappy light situations. Learning how to actually set a white balance instead of purely relying on the camera presets and learning colour correction by the color checker was also invaluable to me. This course is so affordable. I would recommend it to anyone from beginner to advanced as you will get more out of it than you think. I love the way Lindsay and Erik work together. No right or wrong way - just showing the differences in their styles to accomplish the same end result. Well done guys. Now to have more courses by Erik would be great. Again, can't' thank creative live enough and Erik and Lindsay for this course. Love, Love, Love It!!!!