What’s your shooting system?

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    • #428996

      This is based on Rob @admin’s latest email. It made me realize that he’s so right! I guess we all have shooting systems. If you don’t then maybe you have to rethink your strategy.

      I also have a ‘shooting system’. It gives me a degree of security. A platform to launch from. You can always adjust afterwards but at least you will be ‘almost there’ when you do.

      When leaving home for bird shots with my long reach lens, I preset the camera to f/6.3 (the widest my lens can go), 800 ISO, 1/800s. If it’s really cloudy I may go to 1/640s.

      In the studio I start off with f/5.6, 100 ISO, 1/320s. The culprit to watch most is the aperture. At such a short distance your depth of field changes rapidly – perhaps rather ‘drastically’ – for every step you’re closer / further from your subject. I do regular pixel peeping to ensure that my lighting & my goals are on the same track.

      What is your shooting system?

    • #428997
      Erik Fransman

      I do not have a real shooting system but I always start with auto ISO and aperture and shutter speed on manual.
      Depending on the situation, I usually set one of them to auto and might switch that during shooting.
      With my 56mm f/1.2 and recently acquired 16mm f/1.4 I try to go open as wide as possible (as long as it makes sense).
      Doing all this, I make many mistakes so then I try something else. Trying something else IS a part of my system.


    • #429007

      This year i never had a system worked out before leaving the house , i am really only just finding my feet so to speak but i am very aware of Spiros Heniadis’ “I Am Shooting” process , to be honest i forget to use it most times and i normally just find the settings i like or think look correct at the time of picking a subject.

      I could see a bird in flight and then and nice grass or flower each requiring a different approach as you know.

      I intend to slow down and think a little more in 2020.


    • #429009
      Dave Watkins

      I used to walk out the door with camera set to either shutter or aperture priority depending on which was more important to control for what I was shooting. Auto ISO to float between 100-1600.

      Recently changed to Program mode and use e-dials to switch between shutter and aperture priority. Front dial controls shutter speed, rear dial controls aperture. A push of Pentax’s green button takes me back to camera’s auto exposure settings. I set ISO to sensitivity that seems right for lighting conditions. So far this is working for me pretty good. Mostly.

    • #429245

      Interesting how everyone has a different approach! Well, I guess if it works, use it! 😂

    • #429247
      Rob Eyers

      For me aperture for DOF and shutter speed for subject(movement) are the most important. I generally start in manual mode, setting aperture and SS for the subject material, and ISO to auto. Over exposure seems to be the only issue to watch for. If  over exposed I increase the shutter speed. For me this works pretty well for run and gun.

      All of the above goes out the window when on a tripod creating landscape images. Whether using ND’s, polarisers or nothing I start with ISO 100 then pick aperture for DOF and sharpness of lens. Shutter speed is usually set last unless freezing movement is an issue.

      So I guess my approach is to visualize what I want as a final image and use that to guide what setting(s) I’m willing to compromise.

    • #429252

      A very thoughtful process Rob thanks for sharing it with us mate.

    • #429276

      I’ve been shooting mostly with a Nifty Fifty lately and I set the aperture to f/4.5.  I found that’s right around its sweet spot and gives me nice subject clarity with a good balance of bokeh. The highest I’ll go with the ISO is 800 depending on the lighting conditions and I adjust the shutter to keep the shot around a half stop underexposed to reduce blown highlights….all as my starting point.  I adjust settings based on the subject.  Flowers get different treatment that mountains you know.

      It seems like the general consensus here is that everyone wants to do their subject justice.  We all have different ways to produce great photographs.

    • #429293

      @reyers in terms of auto ISO an over exposure: don’t forget that most cameras offer a limit so that you can set the highest figure that auto ISO is allowed to go to. Not sure that is going to solve too many problems though because then you have to look out for under exposure.

      • #429312
        Rob Eyers

        Thanks Tobie.  I’m aware of setting limits and use them. Here is the issue I was alluding to.

        Manual mode, F/2.8, 1/250 and AUTO ISO sets itself to ISO 100 because that’s as low as it can go. BUT it’s bright out and the setting proves to be over exposed. SO a simple increase in shutter speed is all that’s needed. I usually just ramp up the shutter speed until the histogram comes down to where I want it.

        This is not as frequent a situation as the image being underexposed, in which case the AUTO ISO automatically adjusts itself upwards. In this case I can leave the shutter speed where it’s set. With my 5D iv, like all cameras, ISO 100 is optimal but I don’t worry much until it has to be above ISO3200. I’m sure there are cameras out there with better high ISO noise, but the 5D iv has taken away my “GAS”…for now 🙂


    • #429735

      If I am in the mindset of doing my best to not forget anything, I will do some presetting on the body as well. Usually it’s in Av, with an auto iso setting range with my best guess to lighting and shutters speeds most likely being used. I’ll start with AWB but rarely stay there and find the correct K. In the past I used C1,2,3 quite a bit but not so much any longer. With early and late shooting scenes changing so quickly from Fall to Spring, it seems that most settings need to be adjusted on the fly anyway.

    • #429748

      I don’t have a shooting system at all except when I shoot weddings – then I always start with aperture priority, with f/4 (for groups) or f/2.8 (for individuals) and auto ISO.

      For anything else that is less commercial and doesn’t involve the possibility of an angry client, I take time and set everything manually because I enjoy the process.

    • #429870
      Federico Alegria

      Dunno if this is a system but is a nice practice indeed. I always turn off my camera with the same settings:

      • Aperture: f/5.6
      • ISO: 200
      • Shutter Speed: 1/125

      This way I always know that my camera will be at that position whenever I draw it.

    • #430034

      Those settings are certainly a good platform for starting a people-shoot @federic0alegria!

    • #430368

      pretty well set iso from brain/guesswork……then its just aperture for dof………..shutter speed just has to follow the other two…………dof rules mainly……….love iphone 8 but no control of umm dof! 🙂

    • #430371
      Pat Garrett

      Never thought about a “system” so this made me think. I have 3 different cameras and always have one with me. I’ll take 1-2 cameras depending on what I expect to shoot. First decision would consider the lens reach or aperture I want and then take the 2 cameras that have that lens range (I don’t have an array of lenses for any one camera). Next I’d decide which would be best for anticipated light – 2 of my cameras do better in very low light than the 3rd. I shoot RAW and full manual unless at a sporting event, trying for BIF or in a rapidly changing situation – then I choose my ISO limits and either shoot AUTO or shutter priority. So, guess I do have a system. I have my favorite settings for different lenses and scenarios – always subject to change…

    • #430406
      Rob Wood (Admin)

      Love Federico’s idea. Might start doing that myself.

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