Monkeying Around with Camera Settings

An orangutang at Twycross Zoo, enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend sunshine.

An orangutang at Twycross Zoo, enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend sunshine.

Summer’s here! At last! Again! It was a brilliant day to visit the zoo, especially with it being a Bank Holiday weekend. Twycross Zoo, the World Primate Centre, claims to have the largest collection of apes and monkeys in the world. I thought it could be a possible place for some of my People and Place coursework. Or should that be Homo-sapiens and Place?! 

Since I wasn’t taking any photos to fulfill any course requirements, it also gave me a chance to just go out and take photographs for the sake of taking photographs. With the sunshine being so bright I first relied on the AV setting on my camera at f/8, and with the ISO at 100.

Following DPP I have also got into the habit of keeping the ‘highlight clipping’ indicator on, so that I can see if my photographs are going to be overexposed. At first today I tended to think that too much highlight clipping could be corrected on the computer, so it didn’t matter. However, I then thought I’d experiment with the ‘manual’ mode on my camera. Far too often I rely on using the Aperture Priority, but now I understand more about what my camera is doing, I felt I should start to build up my confidence controlling all elements of the exposure, to produce the image in my mind, instead of what the camera sees.

Using the highlight clipping as a guide, I used ‘M’ mode to adjust the shutter speed to produce the exposure I wanted. I used an aperture of f/8 to have a longish depth of field. This was particularly useful in the chimp enclosures where it was tricky having to photograph into the glass partitions.

Chimp at Twycross Zoo.

Chimp at Twycross Zoo.

  Having to use ‘manual mode’ slowed down my photo taking and made me think more about what I was taking a picture of. I will try to use this setting much more often.

About Matt Davenport

With over 20 years teaching experience in primary schools, I am an ICT Advanced Skills Teacher and Apple Teacher.
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