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How I Shoot Manual

Lesson 16 from: Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Tyler Wirken

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Lesson Info

16. How I Shoot Manual

Lesson Info

How I Shoot Manual

I'm going to talk about manual I shoot all manual all the time no exceptions right? Except for when I do like remote cameras but don't talk about it later, which is really awesome it's kind of my geeky thing I love to do but if the camera is on me it's never anything but manual right? How about you guys? Everybody no what's up aperture yeah, I'm using aperture right now I tried to switch to manual recently and struggle that quite a bit and may try to do that in the off season. I'm not really sure about it I feel you're gonna probably disagree with me and commits me otherwise one percent felt like I could do the same things with exposure compensation in africa priority that I could do in manual and I felt like I was spending way too much time thinking about what needed to be happening with my fingers when I was emmanuel rather than taking the shots and you know it today you won't guarantee that's the last person told me to think I literally teach moms with cameras you don't even know wh...

at shutter aperture means, I teach them how to shoot manual with their cameras and it's changes everything right so you should be all right the reason I don't want anything I don't want that camera making any decisions for me whatsoever, right? Like none my cameras are not smart everybody thinks they are, but they're not they're actually programmed for the status quo for the average image, right? I'm trying to do above average things with the camera so I don't want the camera thinking for me at all right? Not even auto white balance mainly because I'm used to be j peg but I'm not open that can of worms up again the reason the reason why aperture priority doesn't make any sense to me and I understand what you mean by exposure conversation I totally get it because I know greg gibson the guy talked about yesterday issue's amateur priority I know the time you read this, you temperature priority and I'm always trying to be the fastest I can be right? And so he at one point he was like, he was like way had this this debate and he finally told me he goes, well, I'm controlling it manually right with exposure compensation and he says I'm actually doing it faster than you tyler because I only have to turn three clicks each way as opposed to me, you know, run in my dial more right so he can get there faster and I'm like, okay, that makes sense that makes sense but then I realized that you only have three clicks each way right arm three full stops that's all you have I need more sometimes so aperture priorities I'm shooting for these highlights in these crazy lighting situations so amateur priority would slow me down in that situation you know, right? And so on this next example we're going to talk about it okay? I'm gonna tell you how to do it, okay? So manual always for me so this is kind of fun, okay? This is a new thing I've done I'm going to move out of your way david because you can understand this, right? You look like a deer in headlights right now so in the end if you disagree with me it's completely fine right now but I shouldn't say guarantee I shouldn't guarantee anything but so this is a this is an example I want to show you of of how I shoot manual on white works so the way I shoot manual is I'm gonna go through it really quickly, okay? But I think it's gonna make sense so I'm gonna ask you guys a question out of what are the three things that affect exposure? Basically, what are the three things that go into making a photo? Cameron yes eso aperture and eso aperture and shutter speed right? Okay, which one of those three is the hardest one to change takes the most amount of button pushing to change right? Okay, so you don't want to be changing I sew a lot because it slows you down right especially on these cameras those I mean I think all like new cameras had that but I mean, you know on this this is shutter this is aperture, right? I can change it like that so quickly but I got to do two buttons here you know that kind of stuff, right? Eh? So what I do is I is that a z I decide my I s o first and I set it and forget it you know those infomercials like when they cooking chicken set it and forget it right and I did to appoint obviously I set my eyes so for the scene okay whatever that's going to be I put my eyes so as high as I possibly can all the time because the reason I bought the five d mark three is because I have motion blur mohr than auto focus issues I have motion blur issues in my images I cannot hand hold a digital camera like I used to a film camera. I could handle the film camera a tenth of a second fifteenth of a second easy and now it's like I get motion blur to fiftieth of a second sometimes which is ridiculous tracing nuts so I bought this a for the performance because it has great hi s o but I also bought it does it's going to allow me to get my shutter speed higher right, okay, so I said s o usually like for a cz high as I can get it and feel comfortable with it then I, um then I said the aperture okay? And the reason this is one reason I don't like aperture priority because aperture priority is then in theory choosing my shutter speed for me and so that I don't want that to go too low and then I end up getting motion blur, right? But I set my aperture next and because usually think about how many things you want, like I s so you only have a certain amount that you can actually use, right? Four hundred our two hundred upto like thirty, two hundred maybe right aperture, you only have, like a few apertures that you could really use, right? We don't want to run around shooting at five point six or eight f ate all the time because we have too much depth of field and it looks like an iphone picture, right? And so, you know, I'm usually around like f to toe like f four max that's, not very many options, right? But shutter speed, I had tons of options don't I have thirty seconds all the way up to eight thousandth of a second, right? So all I'm doing is I'm setting my s o and I'm setting my aperture and I'm just adjusting my shutter speed all day long to match the lighting conditions that air there does that make sense? So all I have to worry about is that dial right? Okay, and so what I'm doing now is is I literally have broken this down in my head too on cannon left his light, brightest dark nikon bride, his light leftist dark okay, that's it like that's how stupid I am to myself and all I do is I see light and I go, oh, that's like go to the right that's dark go to the left and I like the back of the camera and I make sure I'm in the right place and keep going so left his light right his dark left his light, right it's dark, right? And you but you always have to remember where you're at on the numbers of course you don't like left his dark, you just got to get more, you know our lettuce light, I gotta get more light in and then you're like, oh, I'm one second exposure that's not gonna work, right? You gotta pay attention to where your numbers are, but when you're when you've already set yourself up for this scene and you're in those right places, then that's all you're doing you're all all you're thinking to yourself is just watching the light, and you're just adjusting for it as it happens, right? And I'm the reason I waited today to tell you guys all this stuff is when you see the video, I want youto watch how I do all that kind of stuff and you'll see and you'll hear me running that running the dial's okay, right? Yes, they're usually using a spot metering no evaluative. Ok, like the one with you know? Yeah, I think spot. I think spot is too it's, too it's. Too precise. Right? So what? What can happen is that is that you can expose for something. And then if you just off a little bit, it could really change. What's going on, you know, right. Are you watching the camera meter at the bottom of the screen? Wait yet you said yes, yes. Okay. So what I do is I I I I said what I said, where I want the I want the effect of the image to be meaning the depth of field depth, the fields for people out there that might be new at this and don't know, depth of field is how much is in focus. Right from here to there you know like on this picture they're in focus but this stuff right but the seat right behind them is out of focus if you use ah higher aperture than mohr things would be in focus right so I want a certain effect of my death the fields I set that first because what's gonna and then and then I'm going to control my my shutter right because I want to make sure that that hits that where I want it right ok so I set that first and then I adjust my shutter speed to the light that's there and the reason I want to be in in control of shutter speed because what's going to hurt your picture more depth of field or motion blur motion blur every single time's gonna kill it I can not even hardly decipher between like two point eight in f four on a on a on a thing I like well if you look at the distance between here and there it's about yeah I'm not that scientific right but most important motion blur I just got screwed you know so and and and and you're going to see this in this next in this next thing I'm going to go through this right so here's the wedding I shot where they when this is all shot on j pigs had to be on top of things and they were leaving their their ceremony and coming down the aisle, right? And so here they are. So this is that seven twenty nine forty p m forty seconds s o sixteen hundred have to point to an eighth of a second eighty eighth of a second was dangerous. I don't know why I was there to be quite frank with you. Um, but so I shot a picture and it's really not great, but I'm backpedaling with them, right? So then forty one see how day I went to sixty if you see what happened, I changed it to sixtieth in less than a second. I don't know why it's ridiculous, and I blew it. I blew the picture, right? See how blurry it is. All right, so then I'm I'm still backpedaling with them, and I'm still stuck in my same s o in my same aperture, and then I went back up to eightieth, so I must have bumped it because that's ridiculous. Why? Why would I do that? Still blew the picture see the motion blur right on that pulley at this point, I'm like freaking out, you know, like, I'm missing it, I'm missing, I'm missing it, but I just kept shooting and I kept just adjusting, and I'm hoping that I'm going to get lucky and then right here sixteen hundred have two point two I got back upto one sixtieth so I got I got smart right I'm like you idiot and I fixed myself right I saved myself and that's only been nine seconds right okay so I gotta back up to one sixty then they're looking awesome like this is a fantastic photo I finally got one sharp and look at their faces right it's horrible and then and then they just keep walking okay that one's okay fifty two now I got myself out the two fifties right so I caught my mistake didn't I and what happened was is I was I was backpedaling with them backpedaling and I must have just done this real quick and I'm like oh god and then I fixed it right see I went I went to the one I just did I didn't think about that it was too blurry I need a higher centre speed to the right see that to the left to the right right to left okay so so I hit the two fifty it's right well then something amazing happened really what you laughing at my my light acquisition deficiency eyes that way you're laughing at me right? Yeah yeah that's horrible innit? And I'm like light light light they went into that light people and they that beam of light I must say I was like freaking out right? So look what I did I went up to six fortieth and then I went up to four point five which completely defeats what I just told you to do it isn't it I should've just doing doing this assumes that light hit I should just like this and just ran that dial up you know because I don't know if aperture I could get that far not with exposure compensation that's like a lot of stops that that's more than three stops you see I'm staying and so when that light happened I could just go on like this right? Well with what's really interesting about that is I do this so much and I know my camera so much that I did not want to stop shooting I think I think because why did I go to four point five? Right? Okay look at that blue that picture right six fortieth that four point five but watch what happens next f ate how why did I do that? Like you know but say look seven thirty oh six seven thirty oh five so less than a second later, right? So what I did was I think it was because I didn't want to stop shooting the moment but I didn't know where my exposure was I don't have time to look at the back of the camera so I'm literally just like frantically spinning dials to see if I can get the exposure where I want it and my mind just said it knows better and it sze muscle memory it's said dude, you've got another dial that is not being occupied by your shutter button and I must have gone like that and I got the frame right and there's the final rite and I love that photo like that's an amazing picture and like now the argument would be had you been shooting raw you could have brought that back right and I know that I get it I understand it you know? But I'm just telling you that there are times that that raw won't won't bring something back like that, you know? I mean and so does that make sense is that does that do you see how quickly I did that and how quickly I worked through that whole situation and how I used how I shot manual that way? Did that make sense? All right, how you feeling intrigued that's all I can ask for right? And I just wonder I don't I haven't tested it I haven't honestly haven't done enough aperture party too no, but like I was doing I was trying aperture priority and it was just tripping me up like tremendously and I didn't feel that I could get the exposure compensations extreme enough for the type of light that I'm looking for right like that is what I dream of like I dream of light like that and it's like but it's so bright and when and where my exposure was for the inside of that place and I can't be they walked into that light. I mean, what in the can you imagine like, look at this, that shadow is kind of weird, but it's actually really nice, you know? And it just right past it's so fantastic anyway, so I don't know what average where would I get there? I think it would I don't feel like I have problems with them in just like that if I was a four five and instantly would have taken you teo twenty five hundredth of a second or something like that and then if I needed to drop it down a little bit of an aperture priority, if you didn't exposure compensate, which I would I would you know, you would have to I would come down to one or two stops you would have to, because if you're unhappy your priority and you weren't exposure compensating on the camera manually it would it balance this exposure and it wouldn't have it wouldn't have exposed for that? Probably it would have tried to balance it, it wouldn't have this would not be the end result, you're right, there would be a little bit more in the shadows, but I know rock and save all that kind of stuff, right? You know, I'm kind of appears I kind of think that it should be all done in camera not to say that role hasn't saved me the last couple of months on a couple photos I think you know what? Yeah, any questions on that kind of stuff right way good I think we're in pretty good shape folks almost wanted to to maybe go over it again is that ok? Just the spinning it's fine, I want to make sure that we got there with any questions appreciate they can do that it's no problem if you have time, I just want to make sure that we're on track so let's let's do that and I appreciate it. Thank you. So so basically, what what I'm what I'm what I was talking about is the you gotta understand the thought process and you kind of actually have to understand and know what kind of the end result of your photo needs to be right so it's all up to you in a way, it's not just what's making a good exposure but it's also what you're trying to say with your photo oh right, so sometimes you might want a motion blurred picture of somebody running or something like that it gives it a energy or something like that, right? And so therefore you now have to start your exposure in a different place right, I'm going a little bit differently about this. And so I'm hoping this will kind of drive it home by thinking in different way, right? So so you have to think about what the end result of your photo wants to be so let's. Just say you want to blur the picture, then where would you start on trying to the starting place for your exposure shutter speed. Right. So you know that you need to have it. What? Under one sixteen to me. Thank you. Get motion, lord. Time must, like always do this, like freak out. I know it's like, oh, my god, what's happening, you know? But no, but yeah, right. You wanted under technically, you want under, like, sixth of a second, my thirtieth, fifteenth, something like that. So you want to start there so I would I would start there, and I would put my shutter speed there. Then I would point the camera to get a light meter reading. Like, I'm always looking at the light meter, right? So, here's, how I do it? I said what I think I want to start with nine times out of ten. It ain't blur, right? So, nine times out of ten it's going to be and the aperture is where I start because I know that I just want that depth of field to feel the way it does write so and then I point the camera up at the scene and I make the meter happy does that make sense so I put the meter right in the middle right and then I take a photo okay? And um yeah, I I chimp like every photo almost um right don't call it chimp in by the way you know, you know do you know why they call it temping? Because when digital first came out champion is when you look at the back of the camera right? They called it chimp because when digital first came out people would be like, look, I got it I got it you know and it's like yeah, I don't I don't chimp um I find tomb that's what I say and I'm not afraid to admit it, okay? So so basically, if I'm if I'm going to shoot you guys, I'm knowing that four hundred eyes so ain't gonna work right? And so I put it let's just say I'm going to try sixteen but that's still not gonna work either um I set my white balance have set my eyes so I sent my aperture and I point the camera at you guys and I make the meter happy right? And I take a picture here's bad as the people seriously you just like this unbelievable! I should end this yeah, I got a moment you know it's not bad, right it's just I mean it's not great but you know whatever it sze elit yl bit dark, right? So I just I can never trust these meters by the way I don't think bail saying problems with it but I'm like I'll make the meter happy and I'm like no that's not right and so it's fine that white wall in the background that storm that's throwing the meter off because the meter is always going to meet her for the brightest part of the picture right was part of that white wall one way around that is a psychic like it maybe meet her like your your skin tone really matches the floor and so I could actually like I could actually point the camera down and get a light meter reading off of that too as well always try and look at the same light that's falling on your subject get a meter reading for that, right? You guys know the hand trick where you put your hand in front of the lens take a meter reading right won't work in this situation because I got a lot of light on me right? But like for instance on back backlit situations like with a window and you want to expose for their faces right if you just point the camera at that it's going to expose for the window because the windows so bright the cameras the meter always wants to make the brightest part darkest or expose for the brightest partner picture right? But you don't but if you just exposed to that window what's gonna happen to the people cool silhouette right sometimes good sometimes not right? So if you actually you can actually like so if I'm sitting here you're there that window's open and you're going cheese for me like you just did probably anyway, um, I would I would if minus these lights weren't on me and I was in the same light as you I would put my hand in front of my lens like this and fill up fill up the frame because the light hitting the backside of my hand is aboutthe same like that sit in the back side of your face, right? One thing I could do if I wasn't on hot lava is I could walk over there and put get right up in your face, take a meter reading and then back off right? And then if they put the camera back up, the media is going to freak out right? The media is going to see that bright window but floor you're wrong and I'm gonna see I'm smarter than you I'm right but if I don't have time to do that, I can just do this real quick and get him get him eating out the back of my hand, and then I can get really, really close and then fine tune it. Does that make sense? That's basically where the same light is, um, falling right here. It wouldn't work could see how bright my you know, my hand is right, because, I mean, if you can see if you can see this the brightness on my hand you can't really see on the back, but you can see how that light changes dramatically as as I move around it's no different than if you guys were in the same spot. Right. Ok, so, um, is this the chime in and say, this is making sense or there are they just kind of so waiting for me to get somewhere. This is solid. Thank you. Okay, so with these guys understood it, and I just wanted to make sure that they were on track. Everybody out there was, but so then so so so once I get all that stuff set and I and I and I decide what the effect of my photo wants to be, which ninety nine percent of the time is going to be shallower depth of field and you know no motion blur right so I set my eyes so as high as I can get it for the situation and then I set my eyes my aperture rare one in which is usually around two to three point two four sometimes that four freaks me out for some reasons I go two three two is that making sense but whatever whatever makes you happy right and then I and then I and then all I do is I point the camera let's try something else let's try let's try this okay so if I wanted to shoot guns from our life so if I if I if I point the camera over it jim and I get an exposure reading and I take a picture it looks horrible right it's a horrible composition anyway but that dark wall threw off my exposure so I would look at the back and I would like to light which means what do I need to do to the right right if I'm nikon I go to the left right so if I do this and I shoot the picture oh too dark too dark you're just spending the button is better is that how you do it you're wasn't looking at anything I was even looking inside I was just going I was just you you don't you're like oh I need to go to stop to the right you just spin it in the I don't have time to think about that stuff okay moments or just flying by I can't be like okay, we're just trying to get close like get in the ballpark and then you can touch it up later totally yeah right and I used back the screen to find tune it it's there for a reason in my opinion you know I'm not I'm not ashamed I'm not a purist where I'm like I walk and I can't walk into a room like this is four hundred for I can't do that I'm not that good right and so so basically what I did I don't know you guys can share this but so this sucks right? And then that really sucks and then a little bit better a little bit better and then yeah and then and then I got is where I got where I wanted to be and I wasn't looking at the meter at that stuff I was just just on the back of the screen boom boom boom boom could you you know just really fast, right? Yes so you're using like a back button focus and the meter's through that we'll talk about that next okay, but see the meter through that and then to kind of be the starting point from your back button focus it sets the meter there we'll get there that segment that's a big one that's online blind you know honest taught you about eye focuses huge on dh so and so and so you know we'll get there and talk about that but yeah no actually though that when you're back but in focus you have the meter start on the front button first down halfway in the meter starts to do the meter and start meeting uh is it different than when the meter is triggered from the back button focus? I have no idea it might be the thing is is that I want so every everything on this camera needs to have its own purpose, right? Two purposes, I guess for now no this fingers for shooting and for shutter right his fingers for focus and for aperture that's it right? So all right, so we don't ever want to have to hold anything that we're going I can't get ahead of myself back putting focuses literally next and it's going to be big and it's gonna take a lot of people understanding it does everybody underst no back and focus here, man, when I was new to the game, I've just got to be some people out there that don't know about it so anyway, but but I'm gonna explain how I use it and that's really important to you know, so yeah so so so the meter you just try and make the meter happy and then try and get as close as you can, and then I and that's about a mine that I used the back, the screen to find tune it right? And so I'm not thinking about numbers, but I'm not a math guy couldn't even do twenty four times, one point six, right? You know, so I'm not I'm not a math guy, and so I don't want to think about numbers. I don't just want to know that like my depth of field, which is my aperture needs to be where I want it, and I just need to listen to my shutter. So if I if I'm shooting something and all the sudden this happens, whoa, okay, that's better. And then I had to do that, so see that so I was too low and then I thought, go to jai, then I'm like, shoot now I gotta compensate because I under exposed the scene now and often times I'll run my aperture that way so my aperture will go to the left at as my shutter speed went up. If my shutter is too low, is that making sense? Right and then I can longer then get it hopefully get it all to line up in that sweet spot and then I can keep after moments moments are so hard to shoot and so hard to keep up with that if you're fumbling with those dials and you're thinking about all this stuff the foot the bottom line is you're missing it and if you're changing lenses you're missing it right and I mean I'm telling you it's really interesting on this live shoot because I was watching myself and I'm like good god dude, you almost missed that what's your problem it's so funny like toe watch like me and like brandon's videos and stuff like that and I'm like what that way why were you over there? You almost missed that moment but it's interesting how fast it can happen and how quickly go get into position and you gotta think about how you're doing you got to think about the light in the moment in the composition coming together and you think about the background and you gotta watch what's happening you've got to not be in front of everybody face and messing things up and tripping over things and oh yes now you have to also expose a picture and had focus and hit the moment in a split second right? So that's it has to be just like streamline like nobody's business so I think we're about there there any final questions or should I wait to come up there and talk about some final questions that's all right, we'll pick up for you well, I'm getting set up um can you talk a little bit about me tearing and read and re composing is that something that you generally d'oh meet a ring and focus and recompose let's talk about let's talk about focus and recompose because we had that question as well that's our next segment okay, I'm going to dive into it big time but yes, yes I mean, what was the question though just in case I don't I don't get there how do you how do you succeed at it? Yeah okay because it can be tricky it can be really, really tricky and that's what I mean, quite frankly when we come back from the break, I'm going to I'm going to dive into that tremendously, okay? So I just don't I hate to always do that with the questions now but it's amazing how these questions are literally lining up with like everything transits in the next and we loved doing that it's very typical so let's talk about why you choose not to spot meter say on the face it's just it's just a matter of speed and accuracy think again I'm just telling everybody what works for me, you know and there's people that like study this I'm sure and they have like, you know, analytical conversations about like, you know, the percentages of how the meter in works and I don't know all that kind of stuff I just need I all I care about his moments and so I just have to get there quickly and so I find that if I spot meter there could be a situation that's that's like really concerned throwing me off if I'm trying to swing for like but the images I'm looking for stuff like this, right? We're like a big black scene or something like that and down in the corner is like one person like backlit or something if I try and spot meter it's going to be really hard for that to find the exact point that I want to meet her off so I basically I'm essentially meeting off the back of the camera, ok? To be quite honest with you. Perfect. So anoop would like to know which focus mode do you use that next next next segment? Okay, so we're gonna save all focusing for next thing went great and then, you know, let's see, I think we're I think we're in great shape here I'm not sure that you know, because it was definitely keeping that light is a little tricky people are, of course, questioning the j peg, but now you're doing it, you know, you're living in a little bit, maurin theron now, and you kind of go back and forth, you know, if I mean, I am I I'm a part of a of of of a group of guys that ben christmas, some other guys, you know, and they just give me crap like daily about it, you know? And and I just haven't felt the need yet yeah, you know, like, andi, I understand why people like you have more range and you could do all this, whatever, you know, and I'm just like, I just the bottom line is, mike, clients don't give to whatever's if I shoot raw or j peg, they don't know, you know, and so I'm kind of like, it isn't worth all the extra I'm not sure if it's worth all the extra work, right, like tons of hard drive space, it takes me four hours to download cards now and, you know, I don't know if it's worth it or not, I'm still feeling it out, yeah.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Tyler calls 'em like he sees'em. He gets it: capture the emotion, the expression, the feelings of a wedding without preoccupation with perfect posing, perfect lighting, perfect camera settings. An image of a father's expression seeing is daughter in her dress for the first time is far more important than trying to get it framed just right. Anticipate. Watch. Don't interrupt a moment. This is a great series to refocus on the true meaning of why we shoot weddings.

a Creativelive Student

Recommend but with one big caveat. This class is useful in terms of his approach and mindset. I found it really inspiring in that respect. It's worth watching if you want to broaden your mind and make your wedding photography more interesting. Don't bother with this class if you are looking to improve technically, Tyler isn't a great technician and most of the info he provides in that respect is garbage and outdated. He also comes across as very arrogant at times and he's not a great instructor.

Chethan Kumar

Tyler is not just an awesome wedding Photographer but a very good human being. Love the way he speaks, teaches and respect students and their work. I enjoyed each and every bit of this learning and learnt a lot. Thanks creative live and Tyler. Regards, Chethan Cks Photolab Melbourne|Australia

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