Whew. Trying to figure out how to work the Christmas Camera is waaaaaay harder than I thought. I may have to completely throw in the towel and pop for a real class with a real instructor, ’cause I ain’t making any headway on my own.
Just when I thought I couldn’t combine this control with that option, I re-studied how to work with different aperture settings, and after about an hour of monkeying around, I think I get this one… (Thanks to my “Nikon D3300 For Dummies” book)
OK- here’s what I think is sticking in my brain:
close focus + small aperture setting = out of focus background and clear foreground, better for close-ups
zoomed out + larger aperture setting = larger depth of focus, better for outdoor and landscape shots
Less than 10 feet in the shot? Larger aperture settings just get blurry with a slower shutter speed.
So… The object of today’s practice was to see how the snacks, the cat and the rosemary outside the window would look at different settings:
Best three for explaining to myself what I’m doing:
ANY AND ALL TIPS FROM EXPERIENCED PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL BE APPRECIATED. GREATLY!!!
I played around with my Christmas camera tonight, trying to make some headway into my February project- learn how to operate my Nikon 3300. I swear, I’m going to figure out this piece of technology and I am paging my way through my “Nikon D3300 For Dummies” book to help. Tonight I learned about several different auto and semi-automatic controls, and that I can type the word “exposure” twenty-five times in 30 minutes, and spell it wrong each time. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I can’t spell in three- count ’em- THREE different languages. Go me.
First shot is in Manual Exposure Mode, and I have no idea what I am doing. This proves that the camera is way smarter than I am.
This next one is too bright, but I think I am figuring out how to use the Exposure Compensation button:
Hey, now it is getting better! I think I need a different lens for close up shots, yes?
This one I knocked the exposure down a tic or two. Next thing to learn is how to correctly use the technical language of photography… The daylight really looks nice here as opposed to the next few pictures of the bread.
On to the bread ingredients. OK, it’s even obvious to ME that the flash should not be used in this type of lighting (kitchen table overhead lighting, after sunset)
All righty then! Not enough light in this, but not too shabby, either. I can’t seem to get the little stuff in focus- like the millet and bulgur wheat (two of the ingredients in the small bowl).
Switching back to the simple auto focus-
And with Aperture I got what I expected- better light but lost focus. Guess I need to learn how to compensate for this.
OK- if I use a better light source, is this the shot I wanted?
And here we have my standard favorite, my iPhone 5s. Notice the lighting is fine, the focus is fine… good depth of field, too, huh? You can clearly see the dirty napkins from tonight’s dinner:
Side by side- Nikon and iPhone:
So, there you have it. My iPhone and I have been doing a great job all along. I can really make it sing. This just makes me want to understand how to use the Big Person’s camera even more. I’m not (too) discouraged. Yet.
It’s getting difficult to get the four of us together for a tourist day. Between college and high school entrance requirements we are more scattered than ever.
Plus, the half hour ride in the car to get anywhere means 30 minutes of butt jokes coming from the back seat.
Aside from bringing The Girl to her friend’s house in Oceanside (pre-licensed teenager days), the only thing I associated with this city was a long drive down the coast to my great-grandparents condo when my brother and I were younger. We had nothing to do but read the books we brought along. Our other option was to slip and slide down a long iceplant covered hill, cross a highway and buy candy at a 7-11 mini mart. When the great-grandparents’ health began to fail, I don’t remember helping out with any of moving or cleaning… we were probably just under foot while others took care of the work, but then again, we were just flaky little punks back then. My brother did a complete turnaround not long after that, and since then he’s the one the family can count on when the older family members have needed anything.
Today we spent the afternoon driving through beach towns before arriving in Oceanside. We walked to the pier with the sun in our faces only to have the marine layer roll in by the time we reached the end of the walk. After five days of Santa Ana conditions, I was in heaven! My kids played on the boardwalk like I did decades ago. They loved seeing the sand underneath give way to the rocks then the waves. We snapped pictures of birds waiting to snatch the catch away from people fishing on the pier. I busted them before they could spit on the surfers below. Fourteen-year-old boys are such… fourteen-year-old boys. Especially when egged on by the big sister.
“OK, now we don’t have to go to Oceanside again.” That was The Husband’s observation.
He prefers the Encinitas, Cardiff and Del Mar scene.
I can’t believe it- this will make two months in a row that The Mom and I have made it out to a theater venue. Last year we thought it would be a great idea to try to see some production each month and we got in a grand total of ZERO. Hot Damn, mom, we are on a roll!
I’m actually the tag-along on this trip with my parents as they already had plans with their marvelous friends to go see Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” Off I drove to meet them at the Welk Resort for the show. This is a great theater, not a bad seat in the house! We all really enjoyed the production, I mean, really- you can’t miss with classic American musicals, can you?
This is the best thing in the world for me, I never want to go out in the evenings. I have long said that I turn into a pumpkin after 7:30 PM. There is a fabulous Mom’s Club at my church, and I usually don’t make our Mom’s Night Out each month. I’m just too pooped! The Husband, thoughtful man, encourages me to get out in the evening with friends, but I rarely do. Even The Boy and The Girl, when they were younger and emerging independents, tried to reassure me that they were fine home alone. I never intended to be the hovering type, I just liked being home with my family, and still do. And actually, I’m pretty sure the kids just want a night at home by themselves to binge watch on Netflix with microwave popcorn… thanks for getting your brother hooked on “Arrested Development,” dear daughter.
I have had good luck with the “For Dummies” book series when I need a general, basic introduction to random subjects. Maybe their “Nikon D3300 for Dummies” will be an appropriate place to get acquainted with my Christmas present? I have no idea what white balance is, and don’t know the difference between aperture control and depth of field.
I am familiar with what an F Stop is, that’s a subway stop on Boston’s Charlie, right? lol…
I’m going for basics, here, obviously.
All of my favorite photos are a result of being in the right place at the right time- totally luck. Sometimes they turn out fabulously, where I wouldn’t change a thing:
But sometimes you can see that if armed with a better camera and a little knowledge, what is simply a neat-o photo could have been quite fabulous. Maybe both spiders could have been visible? Could the lighting/focus/depth have been adjusted to really make these beautiful contrasts pop?
Maybe by the end of the month I can learn the techniques of how to take much less sucky photos of foods, too! Housework be damned today, I’m off to read and snap some pics.