Hi, and welcome back to The Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge!  Hopefully after the last post you have worked out what camera you have available to you.  This week, I’m going to really push the boat out and ask you to find a copy of your manual.  I know, I know, real men don’t use manuals, but you can find them online if you happen to have ditched yours with the box.  I need you to find yours, basically because I have no idea how your particular camera is set, you will need to find out ;o)

So onto the first photo challenge.  Generally entry level DSLRs and bridge cameras have a collection of ‘pre-sets’.  They are automatic modes, in that the camera will set things automatically, but not in the same way as the general automatic mode that people tend to use by default, and this is what we’re going to start by exploring.

Each pre-set has a particular type of photo in mind, so a little mountain symbol is for landscapes, a running man is for sports, a little head is for portraits, and a little flower is for macro, or close ups.

Your challenge is this:

For each preset, take a photo of a subject appropriate to the preset in both the preset mode and the full automatic mode.  You should be able to see subtle differences between the two, the reasons for which I will cover in write up week.  In order to get the best out of this experiment, you will need to have a decent amount of available light, preferably outdoors if you can manage it.

Here’s some ideas for the subjects of your photos:

  • Landscapes are not uniquely wide open spaces with rolling hills and maybe the odd sheep.  The following are all landscapes:



  • The sports mode is really for a moving target rather than specifically for sports, so think of things around you that move fast:




Portraits are not just for humans!



If you have any questions, please let me know!