This assignment on camera operations was extremely challenging. I have never used my camera on the manual setting and always used the automatic focus. I realized that I had been “cheating” this whole time and yes, I knew how to frame and take a pretty picture but I had no idea how to truly take pictures or even how to use my camera.
There is a pretty sizable learning curve when it comes to using a digital camera on manual. The three main things you have to think about when it comes to making sure the object you are shooting is in focus and properly lighted is the shutter speed, f-stop and ISO.
These are very simplified answers to what shutter speed, f-stop and ISO are. A fast shutter speed can freeze action at the point in time you take the picture with the background blurred, an example is a picture of a moving car with the background blurred. A slow shutter speed can be used to take a picture of a waterfall, making the water look blurred and the background in focus. The f-stop or aperture determines whether the whole shot will be in focus or just the front or background. The ISO determines how much light is let into the camera. For example, if you are in a very dim room and do not want to you a flash you would use 800+ ISO and if you are outside and it is very bright you would use a 200 or so ISO.
I took quite a lot of pictures and was not very satisfied with most of them, this process is very much trial and error. The key is to not get frustrated and give up; there is definitely a learning curve.
|Table scape with 90 year old black ostrich feather, design books, turquoise cruet and mercury glass candle holders.|
The tablescape is an example of natural window lighting. The shutter speed was 1/25 with a f-stop of 5.6 and the ISO was 800. The blues, pinks and purple are offset by the black ostrich feather which gives great contrast.
|Markanique Moody Wilding reclining on a cut velvet vintage couch.|
|Seascape highlighted by the tole chandelier with damask fabric in the background.|
This shot of the seascape and chandelier draws you in with the quality of light. The light from the chandelier highlights the the sunlight in the painting while giving the overall picture a sense of moodiness. The painting was taken with a shutter speed of 1/200, a f-stop of 6.3 and a ISO of 800.