Manual vs auto settings – Does my camera know best?

I have been taking some newborn photos. I have never had the opportunity to do any newborn photography and obviously with my own brand spanking new newborn it was the perfect opportunity to have a go at it. I haven’t mastered the setup and shoot thing yet. I don’t have the right lighting and my attempts at a background went horribly wrong, although it was a good lesson in shadow and light.

What I did have the chance to explore was whether I can make the manual settings on my camera work for me as opposed to the auto setting. I took a couple of shots with the settings on auto (mainly to make sure I didn’t end up with nothing at the end of the session) then I switched on to the manual settings. I much preferred the results on manual settings. They were lighter and cleaner. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed in editing shooting in RAW, but it saved me the hassle.


Original auto settings.


Original image with manual settings.

Then I wondered if editing was really necessary. Again, I think the results after I altered the image slightly were noticably better. I cropped the image to focus on the subject, lightened the face as it was slightly darker, removed blotchiness and reduced the redness in the skin.


I am happy with my first efforts at newborn photography. I am sure it could be improved, but its still going on the wall. Much repect to the talented people who get the newborns to sleep and in position for photographing! It would take me a lot of time and practise before I felt confident enough to shoot anyone else’s baby.


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