A Journey into Photography…

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:)

DSC00113.JPG

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.

DSC00155

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.

DSC00209

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!

DSC00225

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.

DSC00301.JPG

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…

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About Sherry Langland

Mother, teacher, consultant, learner, and maybe a budding photographer...
This entry was posted in Beginner's journey to using a camera, Learning to use a DSLR camera, Photography, Street Photography, Travel photography, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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