I was recently on vacation in Canada and had the chance to visit the Butchart & Butterfly Gardens while I was there (thanks to the recommendations from my Tweeple!). Before I went out to take photos I decided that I was going to only use my Lensbaby on my D200 the entire time that I was on vacation. I am a huge fan of the Lensbaby; it’s a great way to take something very simple, like a flower, and make the photo into something unique.

When I was in the gardens with the flowers it was really easy to set up the shot … the flowers were still, the light was perfect (nice and cloudy), so I had plenty of time to focus and adjust my exposure manually (my Nikon camera doesn’t work in aperture-priority with the Lensbaby, unfortunately). However, when I was in the butterfly garden it was a whole different story. There was enough light, but the butterflies were moving so fast; sometimes they would only be sitting still for a matter of seconds. It was challenging enough to try and focus on the little buggers, let alone adjust the exposure every time I chased one down!

Here’s the Tip:

If you are in a situation where you need to quickly adjust your exposure with your Lensbaby, try using “Auto-ISO“:

  • First, start off by getting a good idea of the lowest shutter-speed you are comfortable with (and one that works well with your situation) and lock it using Manual mode.
    Note: if your camera works well in “Aperture Priority” then you can use that too … or you might not even need this tip at all! My Nikon only works in “Manual” mode with the Lensbaby so that’s mostly what this tip is for.
  • Next go to the Menu on your camera and find the “Auto ISO” feature (with my Nikon D200 it’s under the “Metering/Exposure” section in the Custom Settings menu). Set the maximum sensitivity to whatever you like, then turn it on and start shooting! Your shutter speed will remain the same while the camera adjusts the ISO, resulting in proper exposures on the fly.