I thought we would take a little break from Europe and talk about photography and a local sale going on in southern Maryland this weekend!
When it comes to taking photographs, I feel that trying new and different stuff is the only way to find what works best for you. As a self taught photographer, I am slowly learning the terms of photography, but I doubt I will ever be an expert, heck I can barely remember which lenses I own, but I do know what I like. And what I love doing is playing around with the settings and trying to grow as a photographer through pure luck and lots of trail and error.
In the photo above, it was early morning the other day when a heron landed right on the dead log by the end of our dock. The fact that a heron did this is nothing new, but the fact that it let me and 2 boisterous dogs come clamoring out of the house without freaking out and flying away is nothing short of a miracle! Herons are skittish birds in the wild, and they will fly off at the drop of a hat, screaming loudly at you as if to say, "you scared the heck out of me and I'm outta here!" I have lots of pictures of heron butts to prove this!
This heron however, was quite content to perch on the log long enough for me to extend my telephoto lens to it's full 400 millimeters so that I could try and see every feather. Of course I realized after snapping a few pics that my ISO was way too low and so the pics were going to be very blurry. As a general rule, and without using a tripod, your shutter speed shouldn't be any less than the length of your lens. So if you are using the 400 mm your shutter speed shouldn't be below 1/400th of a second. This is the number that you can see when you look through the viewfinder, on my Canon it is in the lower left of my screen display.
So I quickly bumped up my ISO, which makes the light sensors more sensitive, meaning you can have less light and still get a good image. And voila, I got a great shot of the heron!
When shooting wildlife that is apt to move off quickly, you don't have a lot of time to stop and see if you got a good shot, you tend to just snap away and hope for the best once you are done. So besides changing my ISO, I also switched to TV mode for a few shots.
In TV mode, you can set a fixed shutter speed, one that is quick enough to capture something in low light. These images can often be dark, but if you shoot in RAW format, you can sometimes lighten things up and still have a fairly sharp image. This is a great trick if you simply don't have a tripod for low light situations. I actually used this trick while shooting in a castle in France, and even though the images looked almost black on my LCD screen on my camera, and I wasn't sure I would get anything out of them, I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and manipulated the exposures in Photoshop...I got some wonderful images by using the TV setting 1/125 while using my wide angle lens which is a 24 - 70 mm.
Anyway, that is all a very long and boring way of saying that I like trying these different settings, and learning the capabilities of my equipment. The image above was taken using the TV setting and I decided not to lighten it, I loved the dramatic effect that I got as much as I liked the first image. They are both different and each have their own appeal, at least to me anyway. Sometimes photography is about shadows and light as much as it is about the subject matter.
Ok, enough camera gobbledygook for one evening, but before I go, I want to tell you about a sale going on this weekend in my neck of the woods. My friends Susan and Julie are at it again, pulling together a fall show that is sure to help you find those early Christmas presents!
The flyer below will give you all of the details, and if you go, please tell them Kat says hello! I will be up in DC meeting a bloggy/Garden Web forum friend of mine (for the first time) who will be in town from Atlanta! We've been friends for a few years now, and I can't wait to meet both Traci and her husband!
I hope you each have a wonderful weekend!