Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Life In Auto Mode

I have a confession to make - I bought my DSLR camera about two and a half years ago and I still use it in auto mode.  I do feel a bit better now I have gotten that off my chest but in reality it is something I am a bit embarrassed about and really want to change.  Since I started blogging I have taken more photos than I have in the whole rest of my life and although I would like to think that my blog photos have vastly improved since then, I think that is more because I am not quite as awkward as I was in front of the camera rather than the camera I use or how the photos are taken. 

Then and Now

It has gotten to the point that I no longer take my DSLR out with me, I can't really see the point in lugging it around when I could get a similar image on my iPhone and make it look better with a filter (don't shoot me, it's true!)  It seems like such a waste to have a great camera available and not to make use of it other than for outfit photos taken in my garden. 

Taken on my iPhone 5 using Instagram

We spent the weekend being snapped at a friends wedding by a mate who has only had his DSLR a month and has already taken it off auto and started to see what he can do with it.  It was a bit like the paparazzi were following us around but he did manage to capture some great photos and I want to be able to do this too!  I was surprised at how quickly he had picked it up and how much he was enjoying putting his new skills to the test.  I know that I do not have 'the eye' for great composition and that not all skills can be taught but I must be able to get more from my camera if I knew what I was doing and understood the terminology.

I think my problem is I want to be able to pick it up and understand everything straight away, I get quite frustrated when I don't get something that I think I should be able to grasp easily.  I have read numerous blog posts on the subject and had a few quick tips from friends and fellow bloggers but it just hasn't sunk in.  My brother in law did an evening class a few years ago and picked up so many simple but effective tips so I was thinking that maybe something more formal would be better for me.  I have a friend who did a photography degree so might tap them up for a bit of help, they might be able to translate it into a language I understand. All this talk of aperture and ISO speed needs to be put into context for me to understand it.

Are there any tips and tricks you can share with me?  Have you written a blog post about it or read one that you thought was brilliant?  If so please help a girl out and share it with me, hopefully then I can repay you with some lovely imagery that I have managed to capture just by moving my camera out of auto mode.

*Collaborative post


  1. I 100 per cent agree with this post! :) I bought a DSLR camera and haven't taken it off auto really, and when I have, I haven't got a clue what I'm doing with it. Plus, I'm awkward and weird in front of a camera so rarely use it! What a waste of money that was, but feel much better now for also getting that off my chest! ;-)

    Vickie x


  2. There are some great advice posts on Pinterest
    Kirsten x

  3. I could have written this post myself! you are not alone. I am so impatient, I occasionally flick my thing ma jig around to different settings but I have no idea what I am doing. I just Google everything and it doesn't really help. I think I need some help too!

    Kirsty www.rockit-style.blogspot.co.uk

  4. Oh thank god it's not just me! I bought my DSLR about 18 months ago and only my fiance has used it off auto mode - it's not even his camera! I have a massive "for dummies" book written especially for my camera model but it's so big it's a bit overwhelming. I think I'd benefit from something a bit more hands on!
    The Life of Emily-Alice

  5. OMG me too! I got a lovely new camera for christmas and have not yet managed to get outside of auto mode (well, apart from using a few of the build in filters and scene shooting modes!) I'm planning on going on a short course to learn how to use it properly, but then, I've been saying that since I got it!

  6. I bought mine a few weeks ago and I'm so excited to start using all the functions, I think google will be our friend!
    Charli @ Charli-dot-dot-dot.blogspot.com

  7. Don't worry, it does get easier. The first step is just experimentation! If you don't give it a go, you'll never get any better at it. I forced myself to use Manual with every camera I've bought or I knew I wasn't going to get the best out of it. My advice to you is to learn what the varying options are, how to control them and what they do. If you have to, put it into Aperture mode for a while so that there is slightly less to focus on and you'll pick more up in time. xo

    Adrienne | Late Night Nonsense | Bloglovin'

  8. from a personal experience i think with photography the best way to learn is by 'doing' rather than reading about how to do it, so perhaps a friend who's a dab hand with a camera or sign up to a class? at the beginning of the year i didnt even know how to use a dslr, and this summer i assisted my fiance who's got his own photgraphy business at a couple of weddings! from the start i was on manual settings & didnt even go near the auto button, it was hard to begin with but looking back i' so glad i was taught this way. some of my pictures made it into the wedding albums so pretty happy! good luck x

  9. I am very much the same. I keep meaning to teach myself manual and many other functions on my DSLR and I haven't yet figured it out. I am really similar in that, I get a bit put off if I don't understand it right away - I want to be good at it as soon as I start! Photography is a big passion of mine and I hope to conquer more aspects of my camera soon! Good luck!

    Beth // SANS SOUCI


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