Eats, shoots and gets it out of focus

I’ve been on automatic for far too long. So I’m learning to tell my ISO from my elbow and that the F numbers aren’t sweary at all.

Manual digital photography should be within my grasp. But the grasp imperceptible and when I see a decent picture, I’m a bit slow on the update.

Ooooh a nice view. …ok, let’s check the ISO… erm… 100.. no maybe 200. What about the focal length, what’s the light like? Do I want everything in focus of just a bit in focus with the rest artfully blurred?

PANIC!  Something’s not working. It’s all black and it won’t take the shot. Battery? Camera lock. Ah.  Ahem. Lens cap.

And oh look, now I’ve gone for the artfully blurred the filmspeed is all wrong and it won’t take. The camera is telling me in a snide tone “You blithering idiot. I’ll let you press the shutter if you switch it to auto… “

Meanwhile, my subject has disappeared…. the squirrel has finished the half cob of sweetcorn he was sitting munching and he’s run up a tree.

Beginner photography is fraught with such disappointments. The mystery of the tree trunk picture .. “that was where the squirrel was before he shot up the tree.”

My images are still very likely to be too dark, too light, too grainy, too out of focus, too boring, too close, too.  The thing about manual settings is that there are *sooo many* ways you can go wrong!

I find mushrooms and berries are suitably co-operative photography subjects – except that the berries tend to wave about in the breeze and shooting mushrooms (note the technical jargon there) invariably involves wet knees.

Apologies that this blog’s a bit late. I was at my Beginners Photography class tonight. I hoped we’d be taking arty pictures of sparklers doing whizzy things in the dark but we looked at the wonders of Photoshop instead.

Last week the homework was to take spooky photographs using the camera on a tripod with a long exposure.

So I unlike Miss Scarlett, who was partial to doing it in the library with a candlestick, I did it on the landing with a tripod and remote shutter release.

The first couple of images were black with a bit of chin and nose glowing in the torchlight. It wouldn’t get me on the cover of Vogue but I’m in with a chance with Witchfinders’ Monthly.

I wondered what I’d be horrified by and then I thought of The Scream.  It felt a bit weird, putting on a face of abject terror on the landing. That used to *only*  happen first thing in the morning when I had a springer spaniel and there was a bit of a whiff emanating from downstairs.

Even my Scream face didn’t turn out very spooky.  It just ooks as though I’m hooting with laughter at some brilliant joke.  Sigh.

PS:   Leo news… he had his last antibiotic tablet enrobed in a couple of chunks of Colliers Cheddar tonight. I’ll let you know if he pesters me to do his morning facewash tomorrow – even though he no longer needs one.






Ooops – nearly forgot… the squirrel that didn’t get away.  But this was on Sports Setting, so cheating.. sorry..




About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Art, Cats, Countryside, Current Affairs and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Eats, shoots and gets it out of focus

  1. Excellent post as always, and great pictures for your homework. I’ve just bought a dslr and don’t really know what to do with it. I shall investigate what evening classes exist.

  2. janh1 says:

    Have you? Exciting! I recommend a class – ours is split right down the middle Canon v Nikon. I’ll post a few more blogs on what we’ve done in order to whet your appetite. You’ll need a tripod. It’s changed my photographic life! 🙂

  3. Isobel says:

    Do they allow four thirds people in? I was thinking about a monopod, as I don’t think I’d take a tripod out with me very often. There would be lots of pix of garden flowers. Well, there are now too. So maybe it wouldn’t be so bad an investment.
    A class is a great idea. I see Parks Cameras sometimes have drop in sessions. I might start there.
    I am on tenterhooks to know how Leo was this morning.

    • janh1 says:

      Hi Isobel. I put an update at the bottom of Prepussterous. He was sitting waiting for his medi-treat and crouched like a big furry pudding to be picked up, so I did his morning facewash with a damp piece of kitchen towel. I didn’t have the heart to disappoint him! 😀

      Four-thirds people? Is that in lesson 6? I haven’t got there yet. I’m not sure when you’d use a monopod other than for steadying a really long heavy lens? Tripods are the thing for taking low-light pics and not worrying about camera shake. Nice moody pics. You’d enjoy using one, I think.

  4. You are brave to attempt live subjects when learning to shoot manual. I have a collection of water glasses, cups of ketchup, and flatware images as I took on the challenge by learning functions while waiting for food at restaurants. Keep it up! You’ll get there and will be so glad you did.

  5. janh1 says:

    Hi Stacie. Yup I’m a real beginner-beginner with a waaaay to go. Enjoying it but frustrated by just how *wrong* I can get it, just when I thought I’d cracked it! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

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