Monday, June 23, 2014

I haven't written anything for absolutely ages, no e-mails, no blog posts, not even a hand written letter, (not that I've received one of those for a gazillion years or so.) Sorry.
Now, down to what I want to write about. As some of you know I take pretty good photographs or so I've been told often. Well I no longer work for Setbuild, family and all that, I started doing photography much more seriously instead and decided to do a course on how to take awesome pictures with MY camera. There are a whole lot of things about digital photography that are a little different from film, ISO, shutter speed, aperture and so on. Yes I know about these things and how they affect each shot but how do I adjust MY camera to get it right, there are so many buttons and dials and bits on my camera, very confusing.
By the way, I was given an entry level Canon 350D dslr (digital single lens reflex,) camera by my son James quite some time ago but didn't really know how to use it, now I do.

It's winter in South Africa at the moment and everything is dry and leafless, rain falls in Johannesburg, where I am at the moment, in summer with great thunderstorms and lightning. I tried to find something to shoot that could be interesting to look at but there was so little around. This picture of the Modderfontien lake play ground was taken at about 10 AM on a school day so, no children. Please remember I was still trying to get to understand my camera but, as you can see, it still worked out to be visually attractive.
The next one was taken at the water's edge with the ducks coming quite close, I was standing alongside a fairly large tree so they felt safe. I haven't adjusted any of these pictures in Lightroom yet. The picture of the ducks is a little blown out because of the light reflected off the water, that will be adjusted a bit later for my portfolio. The light was in front of me and a little to the left leaving the duck's eye in shadow, which is a pity. Oh well, learning curve. I spent a few hours wandering around taking arbitrary shots but wasn't enthused.
The next day I took a trip to Johannesburg zoo to try and get a few animal shots. It was very cold that morning and most of the animals were trying to get warm in their dens or just lying in the sun.
I did get one nice shot of an African Serval. These creatures are hunted for their coals and no longer inhabit their areas where there is human habitation. This little thing was lying in the sun while it's mate paced up and down along the enclosure fence, sad but gratifying to know it's safe from the hunter's spear. There wasn't much sunlight in the enclosure, too early, so this was the shot I chose from about twenty odd pictures. Still learning about ISO speed at this stage. There were lots of other animals in similar enclosures that also had bad light but the pictures were too dark for my liking. The Johannesburg zoo does very important work to safeguard animals now considered too endangered to release back into the wild.
I ran out of battery power soon after this shot. Lesson learned; take extra batteries, fully charged, on any photo shoot.

 On Friday night I invited a young lady from the photography school to accompany my to a night club with a few friends so I could try my hand at low light photography, she turned me down, oh well, the rest of us went anyway and had a fantastic time.
Shooting in low light definitely has it' challenges. Very low shutter speeds and wide open aperture. The main problem with that is that people don't stand still for very long so there is a lot of movement blur in the pictures.
 Our eyes are a huge amount more sensitive to light than cameras but with judicious manipulation of ISO and shutter speed it will still look okay.
With a bit of luck I'll be able to post about the process I went through to get better at taking awesome pictures. There is quite a bit to tell, join me tomorrow when I talk about each aspect of camera work.
Many blessings, Geoff.


1 comment:

  1. I do like your shot of the outside of the bar, the flags and all. I'd crop it a tad smaller, get rid of the car top. Just a thought. Got all excited when I saw you had done a post...