Friday, February 3, 2012

31 Days to a Better Photo - Days 5-9

So I figured it would be easier on us all if every Friday I combined the lessons of the week into a single post.  That way, I'm not clogging up your feed with posts that you probably have little interest in anyway and as a bonus for me... I'm not rushed to complete a blog on "what I learned" everyday.  Win-win.

So let's get going!

If you would like to join me in learning how to use a spiffy camera, please hop on over to and check out Darcy's blog on 31 Days to a Better Photo

Days 5-7

These days were dedicated to Aperture.  Day 5 and 6 were plainly describing what the aperture setting is and how changing the setting will influence your photo.  Day 7 was getting to business and taking pictures.

I will say that during day 2 when I was playing with the settings for the camera and figuring out how to change different modes, etc., I got to play with this setting a wee bit.  It is by far my favorite setting!  AV, or Aperture Priority, is not only easy to use for beginners like me, but it offers a lot of creative flexibility in the photos without knowing a whole lot about the camera.

These are my lovely salt and pepper shakers.  I didn't have any volunteers to act as my subject so these little guys had to step up for me.  They were actually really pleasant to work with, no snooty-ness about me being an amateur.  ;-)  Okay, back to being serious.

Because the camera was set on Aperture Priority (AV), you'll notice that there isn't any change in lighting.  As I adjusted the aperture (to bring widen/narrow the focus), the camera automatically adjusted the ISO and shutter speed.  You'll notice that the far left photo has the back shaker almost completely out of focus but as the aperture number was increased, the cow became more in focus.  I'm sorry I don't have the actual numbers for what aperture it was at, but I think it started at 4 and went up to around 20.  I think... I'll remember to write them down next time.

Here is another picture where I took advantage of AV mode.  Although it wasn't taken while I was completing the "assignment", the opportunity cropped up for me to use it.  Below is a picture of Mandi, our lovely hairy mutt, next to her is the pile of hair that I swept up after brushing her out.  This wouldn't be so amazing if it weren't for the fact that I sweep every day and get a pile 3/4 the size of that... Every day...  It's amazing she isn't bald.

Definitely not looking forward to summer when she actually starts "shedding" her winter coat...

Day 8

This day is dedicated to understanding that to have the right exposure, shifting one aspect of the exposure will most likely lead to shifting another part.  It's basically a balance act in order to make sure your image isn't over or under-exposed.  Since all aspects deal with the amount of light that is allowed in, having the settings off-balanced can lead to a not-so-pretty picture.  No real picture assignment today, so instead, I'll share some more cute pictures of my pup. :-)  Really in need of some new subjects!

 Day 9
Not a whole lot to learn in today's lesson.  It was basically describing how the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture work on scales that double  or half as you reduce or increase them.

"        Exposure Scales
ISO stops: 100 200 400 800 1600 3200 6400 etc.
Shutter Speed Stops: 1/1000 1/500 1/250 1/125 1/60 1/30 1/15 1/8 1/4 1/2 1″ 2″ 4″ 8″ etc.
Aperture Stops: f/1 f/1.4 f/2 f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16 f/22 f/32
In each scale, if you go up a stop, you double the value. If you go down a stop, you halve the value.
ISO of 400 is twice as sensitive as ISO 200. The water flows twice as fast. ISO 100 is half as sensitive as ISO 200.
Shutter speed of 1/30 is half the speed of 1/60. 1/1000 is twice as fast as 1/500.
Twice as much light comes through at f/2.8 than at f/4. At f/16 half the light comes through as it does as f/11."

She promises that given enough time and practice the camera will become an extension of your hand as you become capable of adjusting each exposure setting with easy and without even looking.  Here's to hoping!

 Since there weren't pictures to take for this less either, look at some more pictures of Mandi!

Hmmm... Considering dubbing Fridays as "Foto Friday"... We'll talk more later ;-) 

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