Hello ladies!! Sorry for the late reply.
Sherrie, I have Darrel Young’s book but haven’t opened it yet! I have read Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Shutter Speed. In his opinion, for every single photo there are 6 possible combination of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed that will result in a correctly exposed picture. Our goal is to find the one that will result in what he called “a creatively exposed picture.” In the book he explained the basics of the settings and then give examples of the 6 combination. It’s a really good read that is not hard to follow. You should check out whether your local library has this book. I borrowed it from there.
For food photography, I highly recommend Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin. I’ve read this book cover to cover and it really helps me improve my photography a lot. It also encouraged me to try different things and get out of my comfort zone.
Now onto camera talk, . If there is a good light, I keep ISO at 100, determine the aperture I want, and then play with the shutter speed until I get the correct exposure. If the light is not good then I usually figure out aperture first, then the balance between ISO and shutter speed for correct exposure. I’ve read from a couple of sources (Bryan Peterson’s book is one of them) that we shouldn’t let shutter speed go below 1/100 because lower than than you’ll risk a chance the picture will be blurry because of the camera shake, and your hand’s shaking etc. There is a setting in your camera to determine the lowest shutter speed you’ll allow it to go to, I set mine to 1/100 so even if I take a picture using auto it will not go below this limit.
I’m sure you know that the higher the ISO, the more noise it has. For indoor photography it’s hard to keep the 100 ISO, so usually I just set ISO to auto and let it self adjust. But you have the SB600 so you can use that!
I haven’t played a lot with the focus point. I’m using mostly the single point as what I’m photographing is 80% food. Aside from food I like landscape photography. Sometimes I take pictures of the cat but usually when she’s not moving either. At some point I tried to photograph a flower and there’s wind so I tried the AF setting and it was better than the single focus one but that’s the limit of my experiment with it.
You can set your WB to auto so it will adjust. No need to adjust it yourself. And with shooting RAW you can adjust the WB further if you want.
And I’ve been shooting RAW the last 2 months. I find that the pictures are sharper and since it’s unprocessed, it retains the higlights more. And more flexibility in PP.
CRenee, I did a lot of research before buying the lens - looking at a lot of food blogs whose photography I admire, and most people use the 50mm lens. Some use the 100mm macro lens (the distance is equivalent to the 50mm), but I decided to go for the cheaper one. The 50mm G (the manual focus one) I heard is a great lens. 30% of the time when taking food pictures I use manual focus because sometimes the camera focus to the middle of the cake (for example), instead of the front. So it’s easier to use manual.
And shooting RAW does take more space, but I find that I take less pictures with RAW. When shooting with JPEG I would take 80-100 pictures of a cake. With RAW I take about 40, and then in PP I choose 10 to keep. The rest goes to trash.
Sherrie, when you take pictures of your kids and when they’re moving, you’re not using the S setting on your camera?
On the final note, I’m not sure if this is an appropriate place to be discussing photography. Should we take this offline? Perhaps to the PM area? What do you think? Fellow moderators, if you’re reading this, any thoughts?