think fast and shoot

April 6, 2009 in Photography, Uncategorized

Before I attended my first Sports Shooter Academy workshop I used to shoot in Av or Tv modes. I knew how to take pictures, but I was far from a photographer. At the workshop I was asking about settings and one of the main staff members was astonished that I shot in any of the auto modes. From that moment on I was set on truly learning how to use my camera. Since then I’ve shot in Manual mode and haven’t thought once about going back. There is so much control when shooting in manual and it allows for much more creativity. Honestly, I just can’t get myself to trust any of the auto modes.

But what happens when something is happening really quickly? What if I dont have time to check my settings, meter, change ISO, etc?

When I see amazing spot-news photos, photo stories, and candids, I wonder what was going through the photographers mind when they shot it. Did they pick up their camera and put it into Av and start shooting? Tv? Or did they think fast enough to manually set everything? Was the shot composed that way on purpose? Did they try to get a silhouette effect? Or were the settings underexposed when the picked up their camera?

The ability to think fast and adjust is one of the most valuable skills in my opinion. I feel like I play it safe too much and I pass up on a ton of good photo opportunities. I know what I’m looking for and I wait for it. I want to be able to evaluate whats happening and then adjust. This way I’ll end up with a better variety of photos. I definitely have a lot to work on.

Here is a photo that I shot on the fly a few weeks ago. A friend pointed it out. I grabbed my camera. Quickly adjusted settings. Then shot. I got the shot I wanted and got it before the moment was over. It was composed how I wanted it. It was exposed how I wanted it. The shot is nothing too special, but the process helps me learn more about how to shoot.

Is this how it works?