I purchased a DSLR camera two years ago, took an introductory course, and began to use my camera – sporadically. Needless to say, the quality of my pictures was hit and miss. While I have learned a few things, I still have a lot more to learn about shooting better pictures. Then came a trip to Peru and another to Haida Gwaii. Lugging around a heavy camera was awkward especially if I was on the move a lot or in a kayak. I did get some good shots, and I’m so glad I have them, but it was time to switch out the DSLR for a compact travel camera.
After hours spent researching online and talking to different camera people, I bought my travel camera, a Sony RX100 III, and vowed to learn how to take better pictures. My plan is to use this blog to help me retain what I am learning about my cameras and taking better pictures.
The following pictures were taken on my Sony. I think I’ve used the terminology mostly correctly:)
ISO: 125 / Shutter speed: 1/250 / F Stop: 3.2 / Lens Focal Length: 25.0 mm / 35mm equivalent: 68 mm / Spot metering
I really like this picture, but I have to admit that other than placing my travel camera on the bench, I had no idea how this shot would turn out. Did I get get lucky or what? I could not remember what metering was all about when I went on this shoot, and setting it on spot metering was a fluke. When I got home, I pulled out my trusty little booklet I got at the course and read up on it. I wonder if I had set the metering on center, putting the bottom part of the bench in focus as well if it would have been a better picture. And maybe moved the tripod out of the way. It kind looks like a spider web or something.
ISO: 125 / Shutter speed: 1.0 sec / F Stop: 2.8 / Lens Focal Length: 25.7 mm / 35mm equivalent: 70 mm / Center metering
I used a tripod to hold my camera as the 1.0 sec. shutter speed meant that any movement at all would result in a blurred photo. Although a longer shutter speed caused blurring of the car lights on the bridge, I think it adds to the photo. Thanks to the advice from a friend who took us on the photo shoot, I learned about the importance of shutter speed in night photography. I wonder what kind of picture an even longer shutter speed of, say, 2.0 seconds would produce.
ISO: 125 / Shutter speed: 1/30 / F Stop: 2.8 / Lens Focal Length: 16.6 mm / 35mm equivalent: 45 mm / White Balance: Fluorescent (-1) Warm White
The lighting is way off on this picture – far too much blue. Shooting indoors, especially in fluorescent lighting, is something I really need to learn more about. Behind me were huge floor to ceiling windows, so I wonder if I could have let the automatic white balance do its job without me interfering. Duh!
ISO: 400 / Shutter speed: 1.30 sec / F 7.1 / Lens Focal Length: 25.4 mm / 35mm equivalent: 69 mm / White Balance: Fluorescent (-1) Warm White
Although the lighting is better in this picture, I’m disappointed that the two subjects are blurry. I liked that they were looking at the model in the poster. I had read that in fluorescent lighting the shutter speed needs to be at least 1/60 as that is the minimal amount of time that a fluorescent light needs to do a full revolution (or whatever its’s called). Any faster (slower?) than that and the colour will have a yellow, blue, green, etc. hue to it. I wonder if I had increased the ISO to 2000 or more, if that would have helped get rid of the blur. I still need to learn more about adjusting the settings for this type of light and movement.
ISO: 2000 / Shutter speed: 1.250 sec / F 5.0 / Lens Focal Length: 11.0 mm / 35mm equivalent: 30 mm / White Balance: Fluorescent (+1) Day White
I change up a few things on this shot: increased the ISO to 2000, changed the lighting to Day White, and increased the shutter speed. There’s less blurring of the subject. I was also trying to time the shot to catch the subject in mid-stride. It worked! For the most part. I even managed to get the shot just before his heel connected with the floor. In my street photography book, I read that catching someone in mid-stride, just before the heel hits the floor often makes for a more interesting shot. Timing that is hard and takes a lot of practice. I think I deleted about 70 or 80 pictures that did not meet the mid-stride target. I wonder if changing the drive function to continuous shooting would better my odds of mid-stride. Is that cheating? 🙂
That’s it for this post. I’ll be back with more my learning journey…