Being "ready" for a shot...

tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
edited November 2013 in D90/D7x00
so, in my findings, it seems that some of the best shots are only there for a second, like birds doing something cool, some sort of shot with leaves falling (happened to me just the other day), but by the time I've read my exposure readings, set up proper aperture, shutter, then the shot is gone.

it seems to be that the only way to even get close to capturing something like that is to just keep it on P so that you can lift and shoot.

what are your experiences and how do you guys deal with those situations? There certainly isn't enough time to set up in manual mode, or at least there's no way that I can see...
D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Comments

  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    Dave,
    I tend to shoot primarily in Aperture priority mode, as it gives me control over the depth of field. Others may differ. Shooting in program mode "P" takes all the control out of your hands and gives it to the camera, which doesn't have any idea what you're trying to achieve with the image. My 2 cents.
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    Manual mode is for people who have time or guaranteed repeatable conditions.

    I typically rely on aperture priority mode and auto ISO with a fast shutter speed setting when I'm not sure what's going to happen next. Your alternative is shutter priority mode when a fast moving subject is involved.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2013
    it seems that some of the best shots are only there for a second -


    Absolutely , always leave your camera ready for that unexpected shot; even with landscapes, the light can change very rapidly


    I typically rely on aperture priority mode and auto ISO

    Same here, typically set to f4 and auto ISO to two clicks faster
    Remember to "zero out " at the end of a shot, if you have changed your personal default settings
    and check again, when you leave the studio

    AUTO ISO is brilliant on cameras such as the D800 as it takes into account focal length
    even at ISO 6400 you are going to be better with that once in a life time shot, rather than have it ruined by camera shake




    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member


    I miss that dial.
    It lives on the D7000, 7100, D600, D610 in the form of the U1 and U2 user settings.
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    For me, I prefer manual mode as I like to have the shutter at a preferred setting which is subject dependent. And, I also consider DOF for the aperture. I adjust so as to get my auto ISO near 100-400. My camera is almost always on, sometimes for a day or more.

    "P" mode is useful if one sees something and does not have any time to adjust.

    But, I see many photo ops which I simply pass on. Often they will require stopping my vehicle and this cannot always be done in a safe mode. While walking around with my camera, I mostly know what I can and cannot shoot.

    One example of a "grab shot" is here while driving from my son's wedding to the reception, I saw the sun set, drove off to an exit ramp, positioned the car, set the camera, and grabbed the shot…probably in about one or two minutes. D4, 24mm f/1.4 Nikkor, Manual, 1/160 sec, f/4, ISO 800

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8129698705/sizes/h/in/set-72157631859730867/
    Msmoto, mod
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2013
    The idea is, grab your camera and take the shot, maybe not as you want it, but you did not miss it. I think this is the closest you can get when there is no time.

    When I put the camera in my bag, it is standard on - P - mode and auto ISO 6400, ready to take a shot. This is the only moment I use the P mode. The 2 green buttons are the default - P - setting, The first thing I do when I take the camera out, I set it the way I want.

    U1 gives me my standard - A - and U2 my standard - S -.
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • tganiatstganiats Posts: 131Member
    I also use aperture priority...as I set out I adjust the ISO so my shutter speed will be about right, changing if the environment changes (e.g., outdoors v indoors).

    @sevencrossing : I never use the auto ISO on my D800...never even considered it...Interesting idea...Will give it a try. (thanks)
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I use aperture priority usually at f8 with fast continuous shooting either in auto or 3d focus.

    I may not have the ideal dof at that f-stop, but I miss fewer moments.

    And a quick spin of the sub command dial gets me to a better dof if I have a couple of seconds or want to try to improve on a decent shot.
  • tiCreativeMediatiCreativeMedia Posts: 81Member
    cool... I tried Aperture mode, auto ISO and played with zoom and f stop... worked out pretty good!

    all the photos from Boston Common and the Veteran's day parade at my flickr site are shot using that method:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60444486@N00/


    thanks!
    D7100, 35mm 1:1.8G, 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2013
    tganiats I never use the auto ISO on my D800...never even considered it...Interesting idea...Will give it a try.

    it is very easy to turn on and off
    it also works very well in Manual - set the shutter speed and aperture and the camera will automatically adjust if its gets dark or the sun comes out. Used M and auto ISO the other night, at a circus when the lights changed very suddenly. Caution, if are shooting fully manual, don't forget to turn auto ISO off
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    Doing news photography there are 2 parts to this. I am one of the few that shoot manual exclusively. I typically wear 2-3 cameras with very different focal lengths as pro lenses tend to have little zoom. I constantly check my exposure and update it regularly as well as when my environment changes. My Af is set to continuous with a wide single point array and my framerate is always at CH as I have a better chance of getting the split second shot if I have 3 frames to work with not one. I keep my grid loaded and usually my focus point sits on one of the grids. I keep wraparound turned on. My Iso is like a film camera. I use it very rarely and when I do I typically use one of 3, Iso 100, 1so 800, & Iso 3200. My lenscaps are never used. If a battery or card is nearing the end of its life I swap it on downtime because if it runs out when the happening is going on you may lose the winning shot.

    My setup obviously is not for everyone but for me it has resulted in a 70-80% chance of getting the shot.

    The other part is mental skill. Pre imaging a composition based on blocks of contrast and viewing the world as such results in a higher success rate for me. If that bird is seen as a block of color it frees up your mind for a split second to focus on very basic composition. Viewing a subject as a block also helps with quickie telephoto shots as you can lose a subject trying to find it with a 300mm in the middle of brush etc. Having the grid allows me to drop my subject in one of 5 spots in the blink of an eye and my knowledge of cinematography (something that is a very valuable tool to photographers who know it) give me the luxury of knowing which of the 5 spots to pick. Often there is a human tendency to freeze when you see something peculiar... Break it!

    That article points out a great tip. Minimizing chimping is important. If you know your exposure is good and you arent getting blur, save the review for later...
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @kyoshinikon

    Yup..agree. But, as one gets older, one camera is about all I can handle, especially when in a dangerous venue. I like to think about the image area, adjust exposure + or - to compensate for what I think the camera will not understand….e.g., shooting cars coming towards me with headlights on….almost always causes underexposure. I do tend to use auto ISO so i can adjust shutter and aperture as I like.

    Viewing the subject…yes, so many will be looking at a part of the frame when the background material is just as important. I move to get the the subject on background like I want.

    I like my subjects with eyes in the corner third area…eyes, headlights, define the image for me. But, most important, we are shooting the full frame as I think you are saying, and this is what we as photographers need to be looking at, not an object isolated in space.
    Msmoto, mod
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member

    it seems to be that the only way to even get close to capturing something like that is to just keep it on P so that you can lift and shoot.
    What I do in that situation is put my camera in S mode and set the speed at 1/500 along with using AutoISO.
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    We are shooting a whole frame for the most part give or take depending on the experience. Cars with bright headlamps are a sure target to confuse the camera I'm sure lol;

    Now that I thought about it how well does your D4 track and lock given you have a second to get the shot Msmoto? Would you say it is a step above the other nikons you used? From what Ive gathered that camera is specifically built for quick shooting.
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @kyoshinikon

    I would love to answer your question regarding the D4, but I am going to state the biggest limitation is me. My experience is, when used properly, it will grab focus and lock on very well. But, the adjustments are so numerous, I often have to make certain I have set up for the specific venue. Also, certain lenses give better results.

    With long lenses, I usually try to catch the moving subject in the frame, then press the release slightly to focus, and then press and hold for my burst. Of primary importance is where I place the focus point on the subject and whether I can follow adequately. (LOL… I sometimes find I have only half a wheel in the frame near the end of the pan when the subject is to large for the frame and accelerating way to fast for me to follow)

    If I do everything properly, I cannot think of a time when the camera did anything but perform correctly. Even with objects like motorcycles approaching with rapidly increasing velocity, (100-200 kph in 3-4 seconds) the ability of the camera to use predictive focus tracking is amazing, and will not miss as long as I maintain a spot on the bike, i.e., windshield or helmet. And, how it does this blows my mind, but it seems to be able to asses the rate of acceleration, then focus so as to compensate for this. (AF-C, nine point). From my perspective, the time required to initially lock on is virtually instantaneous. (400mm f/2.8 VRII Nikkor)

    Once again, the limitations are in my ability and the camera/lens always outperforms me.
    Msmoto, mod
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    Well that is better than having a camera you have outgrown lol. Good to hear that on the performance.
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    +1 to what msmoto said.

    The D4 locks on and does an incredible job. For action shots I *always* use d9, AF-C, and focus is set to the AF-ON button only. I got 41 continuous shots of my son chasing down a QB, over 10yds of running, and every single shot is in focus. However, I got lucky by not shooting myself in the foot (which is typically the case.) I can almost always figure out why a frame or two in a series is out of focus and that is undoubtedly some fault of my own (bumped the zoom by 5mm, bounced during a panning shot, etc.)

    I haven't ventured to Auto ISO, I shoot 100% manual and I can adjust shutter/aperture on the D4 like it is second nature using the two dials (after 40k shots with the camera I had better be able to!) IF my ISO is off by 1, even 1.5-2.0 stops, I can usually regain that in post without too much of an issue. Typically, if I have my camera with me, the ISO is pretty close to where it needs to be (400 vs 640, or 800 vs 1600)

    Here's another thing that I live by, and I learned the "hard way"... I do not keep a strap of any kind on the D4. They mostly just get in my way, annoy me, and occasionally cause me to miss a good shot. On my first day of safari this past June my strap got caught on the seat, caused me to not only miss the shot (angry elephant on it's hind legs) but my D4 and 70-200/2.8 took a nice slam to the door of the Land Cruiser. I took the strap off and haven't used it since.
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,837Member
    What a shot you missed ... angry elephant on it's hind legs. That would have been a "keeper". That doesn't happen too often, nor does catching a strap causing good equipment to crash into the door of the Land Cruiser. :\">
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
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