Sally and me…

I have been very remiss at not filling you in on my progress with the camera. Well to be honest it’s been a trying journey so far! Armed with a few online tutorial sessions and a new camera case I have been getting to know my camera. I should name it really – anything to make it will feel less weird when I talk about getting to know it! Hmmmm… how about Sally, in memory of a talking watch for whom some friends of mine wrote a song, yes, that’ll do nicely!

Rural Ghana with my old point and shoot

Rural Ghana with my old point and shoot

So I’d say Sally and I are a long way off being friends, definitely still in the ‘getting acquainted’ stage. The manual settings are slowly being demystified, I am still trading off clarity for ambience with indoor shots. Mainly because I am really not liking the way the flash strips away any warmth from a setting. My brother is going pro and has a fancy flash that does its job of lighting the shot without denuding it of all feeling. So I am working out how to get enough depth of field particularly for indoor group shots, whilst still keeping the exposure high enough. Although I am disappointed that my lack of skill has meant I have missed several opportunities, I am loving the problem solving aspect of working out what I need to do to get things right – its fun having something entirely different from my normal work-a-day life for my mind to tick over on.

Graduation of Certificate 4 - with my point and shoot

Graduation of Certificate 4 – with my point and shoot

with Sally!

with Sally!

Occasionally I have found myself reminiscing about the days with my Panasonic with which I took some pretty decent shots, and in contrast to recent experience, I did very little cropping of pictures! Now I am needing to crop a fair bit or sigh as I look at what could have been a great picture apart from the fact that the donkey has lost his nose or the shepherd is missing the top of his head!!

Well, the journey continues….. come on Sally!

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The World Through My Lens

The World Through My Lens

A few weeks ago I purchased a Canon EOS 600D, in case you need to know it’s a digital SLR with a bunch of fancy features on it! I am still trying to work out the best way to insure it as I bought it on ebay from Hong Kong… word to the wise –DONT DO THAT!!! You may save a heck of a lot of money but warranties and insurance don’t work so well. Aaaaaagh!

Previously I had a Panasonic / Lumix camera, the sort that kind of wants to be a DSLR when it grows up. One of my students, Will, helped me choose it, something of a whiz with film and photography. Amazing lens, x12 optical zoom, fully automatic, it was fabulous… till I dropped it and it suffered lens lock. It was fixed once in South Africa but after two weeks returned to its non functional state, and now lives in the cupboard in the hope of one day finding someone who will love it enough to restore it. Unlikely now, as you could spend the repair cost on a brand new model.

So I am in the early stages of my relationship with my Canon, aware that we still need a bit of time to get to know each other. A friend referred me to the Canon tutorials on line. The site is hosted and tutorials given by Chris Bray, and Australian freelance photographer. I watched six today and they are really helpful! While I am getting to know the camera, I am sticking to the 35-50 lens although I have another one. I am looking forward to the opportunities for close ups and candid shots that the second lens will give but happy to take it one step at a time; I can imagine myself getting very frustrated trying to learn on the fly with a new lens.

On Saturday afternoon, I managed to get out as the sun was setting. I am loving autumn this year, having missed the last two being in Australia and Canada, I am revelling in the colours and particularly enjoying the golden evening sun with the long shadows it casts at this time of year. Today was a clear sky and as I walked through the fields the tinted clouds and stark silhouettes were stunning. I’ve included two of the pics i took. I took quite a few, experimenting with shutter speeds and aperture in the fading light and stunning colour. I also got very muddy, having had to walk through one ploughed field, I was turned back on my circular walk by an in-passable ‘puddle’ on a track flanked by tall hedges and completely submerged in about a foot of water!!

I am looking forward to see how this journey with my camera turns out. If you have any tips or fun tricks to try with a DSLR, or some kind of challenge (pleasant and fun for all!) for me, let me know!!