When I first started using my Canon Rebel, I shot everything in auto or aperture priority. After several weeks of shooting in auto mode, I began to question my decision to spend money on the new camera. The reason I wanted to upgrade from my point and shoot digital camera to a DSLR in the first place was because I wanted to have more creative control over the pictures that I took.
However, I was overwhelmed with all of the features and buttons and OH MY GOD APERTURE WHAT? ISO THE HELL? I mean, I knew what “exposure” meant and that it was “very important.” (Lighting is EVERYTHING!) But I didn’t know how apature/iso/speed all worked together. And anything I would read about it would make me cry a little because TOO MUCH INFORMATION. BRAIN JUST DIED A LITTLE.
I began to ask my brother in law, who is an incredibly talented photographter, some questions and he did his best to help me understand what it all meant. And as he would tell me, I’d be all “Ohh, I get it!” But the next day, I’d be all “wait, low light needs higher f-stop or is it the other way around and ISO is for what again?” For some reason, all of the information just wasn’t clicking.
But I was determined to shoot in manual. I was determined to learn how it all worked because a) creative control! b) I HATE FLASH.
Then, one day a friend suggested that I buy a book titled Understanding Exposure. I ordered it on Amazon that day.
I’ve not shot in “automode” since reading that book. The way that the author breaks it all down was perfect for my delicate little brain. It may not be “the best” book out there about exposure and how it all works, but it’s definitely been the most helpful to ME.
Here’s an example:
Just before I left for NYC last April, I read the chapter on “panning.” I had never heard of panning, nor did I ever think I’d need to know how to take a panning shot.
The last night of our stay in NYC, we decided to take a late night walk to Times Square. As we were waiting for the light to change so we could cross the street, I noticed the taxi cabs racing by us. And then I thought. “speeding cabs, bright lights in the background. OMG PANNING!” And so I tried the technique that I had read about in Understanding Exposure.
This was the result:
I recently decided that I want to learn more and felt that another camera upgrade was in order. So, I sold my rebel and a lens that I loved very much. (Because it took shots like this) With that money, I was able to purchase a Canon 40d. I am more inspired than ever to learn more about photography. I want to see how far I can go with something that I may not be the best at, but love with a passion.
Now, because I love this book and because I love the people who are still reading my blawwg, I’d like to give away one copy of Understanding Exposure. I will purchase the book from Amazon and immediately ship to the winner. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post. That’s it. I would love if your comment included a link to your favorite picture, taken by YOU. Just for fun! I will close comments on this entry on Friday night (tomorrow) and announce the winner shortly after (no later than Monday morning, depending on how busy the weekend is.)
Comments are now closed. Thank you for the links to your photos. Will keep looking at them over the weekend.
You hate Valentines Day.
I understand. I don’t particularly love it myself.
We love each other every day and All That Cheese.
That said, I hope that YOU had a Happy Valentines Day and that the love of YOUR life at least bought you a card, or, I don’t know– a piece of chocolate?
Update– about 10 minutes after I published this, PigHunter handed me flowers, chocolate and a card. Now I sorta feel like an A-S-S-H-O-L-E.
My brother had his first child last week.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that my little brother is a dad. Not because I don’t think he’ll be a good Dad– I know he will be. It’s just… my little brother is a dad
I was in the waiting room of the hospital when she was born. My brother sent me a text that said “she looks like she’s going to have a sense of humor” with like, 30 exclamation points. I thought it was an odd thing to say and so I laughed about it.
Then, I saw her. And it I totally got it.
She had this sweet little face, but the look on it was like “You have NO IDEA what you’re in for with The Funny I’m going to bring to this family, guys.”
I instantly fell in love with her. (And quite possibly instantly ached for another one of my own. Why, babies, WHY do you do that to me?) I look forward to watching her grow and getting to know her. And you better believe I’m going to steal her as often as possible.
I can’t help but wonder about one thing… How long until SHE hates my camera?
I belong to a Flickr group called “Bokeh Wednesday.”
Every Wednesday, we can post up to 2 photos with bokeh to the group pool to show off our best bokeh shots from the week.
What is bokeh? (From Wikipedia) Bokeh is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field. Different lens bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to reduce distractions and emphasize the primary subject.
Here is an example of a photo with Bokeh–
The blurry backgroud with all the preeeeetty cirles? That’s bokeh
I’ll admit that I freak the eff out every Wednesday because I love posting my bokeh shots and going through the group pool to see what everyone else came up with. Every Wednesday when PigHunter comes home I’m all “OH MY GOD LOOK AT MY SUBMISSION TO BOKEH WEDNESDAY!!!111!” and he’s all rolling his eyes and pretends to be interested in A FLICKR GROUP because he knows how much I love it and how happy it makes me. And I know how stupid that sounds, but we all have those little things in our life that we geek out about that are kind of lame to everyone else, right?
Most of the pictures that I post there don’t get much attention (i.e. make it to explore or get lots of comments) because the quality of my pictures don’t even begin to compare to those posted in that group.
(No, you’re not imaging it. I really just typed that sentence and I really am writing an entire post about a group on Flickr.)
But yesterday, I posted a shot that made it to the front page of explore. That is like, THE ULTIMATE for a Flickr dork like me. (a Flork?) And so, I had to post it here. No, really…I HAD TO.
Maybe if I were this excited about, let’s say, decorating my house, I wouldn’t have to call Lena and ask her to help me “make my house pretty for under $200 for my party on Saturday.”