Learning from other photographers!

Curious to learn what settings other folks use for their photos? For instance, I love to prowl the wilderness of Northern Minnesota, and photograph the Aurora Borealis when the lights shine out over the northern skies (see my Northern Lights photos). Using a tool from Flickr, one may compare images taken used by photographers who have the “same” exact camera as yours. Flickr allows one to check what camera settings (ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc).

Follow this process: (also works for bird photographs)

  1. Browse to Flickr Camera Finder via this url: https://www.flickr.com/cameras
  2. Click upon your “brand” from the list (scroll a bit down the page to find the “long” list of camera manufacturers)
  3. Select and click upon your camera model from the long list of cameras models for your brand (scroll down the page to find the “long” list). Use “search on page” for your browser to find your camera. Only search for part of the “text string” as Flickr may abbreviate your camera a bit differently than you think. For instance, I own a Sony NEX-5T, but on Flickr it is just NEX-5 for the Sony brand.
  4. When your Flickr camera model page loads, scroll to the very bottom of the page and find the search box. Try some searches such as “Aurora” and “Northern Lights” or “Birds in Flight”
  5. Images taken by other photographers will then load. Click upon any picture you like. On the resulting page that loads, find the “EXIF” link. Click upon that link. It will then display all the information for that particular photograph such as ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, etc.

Remember, the EXIF data will not tell you how much light was present that night the Aurora shined (i.e. variables like the moon, backlighting, light pollution, etc), but by checking a bunch of photographs for your model camera you will learn what other people are doing in terms of settings when they utilize the exact same camera that you own. The same reminder should be considered for bird photos … light conditions will vary, but you still will learn from other photographers who have identical equipment to yours!

Finally, remember … there are not “right” or “wrong” camera settings. Taking photographs is an art form. The important fact is that YOU like your images!

Finally, here are two of my own Northern Lights photos taken this past March. If you want the EXIF data, follow this link to my Flickr Aurora photos.

Northern-Lights-Little-Stone-Lake-3 St-Patricks-Day-Aurora-03

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