I am pretty excited. After years of thinking about and delaying and making excuses, I signed up for a four session photography class at a local junior college and already had the first class.
It is after work on Mondays for three hours. The teacher got us all up and going. Showed us what all the dials and adjustments were and we jumped right into how to do the much feared “Manual Mode” with the in-camera metering. She talked about how to hold the camera and gave us a few tips about what shutter speed to use for what situation and how and when to adjust the iso level. We went into the white balance adjustments and reformatting the memory card. How to, and how not to, clean the camera and lens and all sorts of stuff.
And then the homework assignment. Go out into the world and take pictures (she said we are really “making pictures.”) In the manual mode, no editing!! Bring your memory cards next time. She will put everybody’s photos up on the whiteboards and critique them. Anonymously she said because she is very frank and wants us to learn. I guess the giveaway will be if I start sobbing when she is displaying my images.
We are to bring six images. Take them in bright sun, with the sun at our back, set the iso level as low as the camera will go, set the speed at 1/125th of a second and use the camera’s meter to manually set the aperture. For moving objects increase the speed to 1/500th of a second.
So I have taken a couple walks with my camera. Manual mode is not natural to me physically. I have to search for the buttons and dials to make it work and sometimes in bright light the camera metering is hard to see. Plus I have to remember to get the white balance, speed, and iso set right. The feel for it will come. I’m having fun.
I can’t wait for the next class!!
First shot I tried, then the clouds came in and out.
I have had my fancy schmancy Nikon D5300 for several months now and haven’t taken the time to really learn it. I bought a pretty good book and learn a few things but then life gets in the way and the thing is just so complex and it really does well on the Auto settting and blah, blah, blah. One thing that doesn’t work well on Auto though is taking shots of the moon. The results look like perfectly focused white disks. No color or detail or anything like that. Last Saturday we had a “Super Moon” or “Sturgeon Moon” anyway a really pretty full moon. So I got the old tripod out and then hit my good friend that knows everything Mr. Google and poked around there some.
Same moon with some clouds moving in front
So I found out Auto isn’t going to work. Also, you have to have a pretty fast shutter speed at 1/125th seconds because the moon does move and most people recommended keeping the iso at about 100 to 200 and the f stop at about 8. Totally counter-intuitive to what I was thinking, max the iso, slow down the shutter speed, and open up the aperture as far as it will go. Well, the deal is that the moon is pretty bright so you have to tone things down. So I tried it and I got some decent results. (At least they are decent to me.) The main thing I couldn’t figure out was how the timer worked on the shutter. I know, I know, that is pretty lame but doing it manually very gently seemed to work out for now and I can read up on the shutter timer or use my cable release or my fancy schmancy wifi control of the camera from either my ipod or generic android cell phone.
Anyways, I learn best by doing rather than reading about how the menus work in a book. Give me a task and I will work with Mr. Google and consult a half dozen sources and then figure it out. So in addition to the timer thing, I have to figure out how to manually the focus the camera.
What is your best way of learning new things?
Linking with Skywatch Friday