Saturday, April 24, 2010

Photography Class

I have always loved taking pictures. I was the one on the 8th grade field trip with the camera, high school, college with all of those shots of friends that I love to look back on. My first SLR was the Canon AT-1. It gave up on me years ago, but I still hang onto it. Even after all of the years photographing anyone and everything that I can, I always find it easier to use the automatic setting. So when I heard about a class whose theme was to teach us how to get our cameras off of AUTO, I knew it was time to take the leap. It was a great 6 weeks of emphasising how much more creative we can be by knowing how to use everything our cameras have to offer. We had homework every week to practice our new knowledge of our camera settings.
One week was to show stopped action. I take a lot of sports photos, so when I was driving along Surf Drive in Falmouth, this kite seemed like the perfect subject for a change.
First shot shows the kite frozen using 5.6 for the Fstop and the exposure at 1/400. The faster exposure time freezes the action.

The above shot you can see the movement in the tail of the kite. This was shot at F22 with an exposure time of 1/50. The slower exposure time left the aperture open longer and captures the tail fluttering.

Another week the homework was to try panning and zooming. I was really excited to finally have someone explain and show how to hold the camera and move with the action. I had read the "how to" numerous times,but could never get it quit right.
Below is my attempt at zooming. I had never even heard about how to get that affect. Not the greatest-it is pretty tough to master-but I had fun trying!

My favorite lesson learned was getting control of making use of all of the settings. So easy to set on automatic, use a flash and settle for whatever the result is. But by thinking about just a few points before hitting the shutter button-what kind of lighting you are photographing in-setting the correct ISO; is there action-choose your exposure time; or do you need the aperture to allow more or less light in-choose the Fstop-can make all of the difference in your photo.    
First photo was taken using AUTO. It was in a sunny window, but I wanted to shoot really close to capture the details of the flowers. Because I was so close to the flowers, it seemed to misread the amout of light that was needed and shot it at F5.6 with a 1/160 exposure time and an ISO of 100.
The next photo I set using all manual settings. Best shot was using F7.1 with 1/60 for an exposure time and an ISO of 200.

It was a great class and I am really enjoying putting everything I learned into practice!

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