Photography-Off Automatic Mode

This morning I took my first steps off the automatic mode of my camera and played with Av (Aperture) mode and Tv (Shutter speed) mode.  I attached the Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm lens to my Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Googled depth of field on the Internet, watched a couple of videos, and stepped outside.  The Border Collies were glad for another excuse to run in the field.

Depth of field has always been a hazy concept for me.  Of course, it wasn’t happening well on the automatic mode.  But in Av mode, playing with the f-stops, letting the camera determine shutter speed and ISO, I started to see some improvement.  I think the photograph of the runoff pond caught the best depth of field of the day.  There is still room for improvement.



I’m not sure why the fir tree to the left of the fence line was blurry.  I’d also like to photograph at different times of the day to bring out different colors at that location.  Right?

dof mistake

Then there were the willing and not-so-willing subjects.  Note that once again Bodie is first in line to have his picture taken.  Razzie always has that deer in the headlights look.



Razz-a bit too dark.


Then I went inside and played with pictures of the cat, Essie, and some black and white photos.

essie mad essie baw

bodie baw

My biggest question is how do you obtain “crispness” in a photograph?  Is it done with the perfect setting or the perfect camera? Or more experience?  There is so much to learn.



5 thoughts on “Photography-Off Automatic Mode

  1. Crispness is a combination of really good focus, the right shutter speed, ISO, and correct depth of field. If you have your subject sharply focused and your DoF shallow it makes the subject pop out, nice and crisp, against a hazy soft back ground. While there is no doubt a good camera with a good sensor is a must for crisp images I think experience is the biggest factor. I also think that crispness is overrated in the photography world, some images benefit from a certain softness to them. Experience is the key to learning that difference.

    Kudos to you for taking that step away from the “A” setting and exploring what your camera can really do! Keep it up, the more practice, the better you will become. Even if you never ‘get’ the technical way it functions, you’ll learn to intuit where you want your ISO, Aperture, and speed to be.

    Photographing animals is a great way to learn, concentrate on getting the eyes perfectly sharp and the rest of the face somewhat soft (manual focus, shallow DoF, autofocus will always focus on the nose!) and it looks like you have a lovely band of critters to work with there!


  2. The best depth of field is in the faces of your animals. The eyes, in most cases, are sharp, clear, while the focus gets softer the further back from the eyes you look. This is normal even without trying for the kind of emphasis depth of field offers. The closer you are to a subject, the more you need to pick your area of focus.

    In taking “infinity” focused shots it’s much harder to focus on something and leave the rest hazy, and so landscapes, crowd photos, building shots and so on generally end up with everything at about the same focus. If you want it otherwise you play with lighting, ISO, shutter speed and lenses.


  3. Thank you both for your comments. When I mentioned crispness I was looking at the Border Collie photos of this lady who is on Facebook. Every time I see her photographs I say WOW.
    I will print out both your comments to help me learn!


  4. I am 100% with you on the “get out of auto mode” challenge. I’m not at the point where my brain clicks in automatically for the quick shots for example when I am birding and I have seconds, if that to capture something. Im more apt to click into auto to be sure to get the shot.


  5. It would be nice to take a more involved class for live help. Unfortunately college classes are mostly online now. So I’ll play on Av or TV mode. But going totally manual sounds daunting.
    Dogs don’t pose for long either unless you put them on a sit stay, but I prefer action shots. Good bird shots are a long way off but on my agenda. I envy people with the experience to adjust the lens, point and shoot.


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