Sunday, March 2, 2008

New tools, new skills!

One of the recent assignments in my photography class was to take pictures with light in mind, particularly to think about its color.

This involved doing things like getting up at 5 AM and taking the dog for a walk to see the morning light. Well, I saw the morning light. She smelled the morning smells, and a good time was had by all.

It also meant getting my patient brother to "talk" on his cellphone for a long time while I tried to photograph the light reflecting off his face; that wasn't so successful in terms of catching the light, though I got a couple pretty decent pictures of him.

And it involved driving out to the pier on a drizzly night in order to take pictures of the light there. I brought a tripod and an umbrella along, both for the camera.

I still feel pretty self-conscious walking around with a tripod; this was the first time I had taken it anywhere, but really, no one seemed to mind, or mostly notice, save for a couple of very polite people who wanted to know if it would be ok if they walked down the pier to get their dinner, or would it spoil my shot?

Overall, I enjoyed the assignment itself, and I'm delighted with the fact that, as a side-effect, I finally learned how to control shutter speed. It's always seemed so arcane and incomprehensible before.

I took this on the "auto" setting. I like it, but the way it turned out color-wise was pretty much up to the camera. I'm not really sure why it's greenish. Over-compensating for the yellow light, maybe?

Incidentally, I learned that night that "auto" trumps any preprogramming done. I have to use one of the other settings if I want the light etc. to go my way.

This is, I think, a one second exposure--maybe a bit longer, I can't check while uploading the picture itself. I do know it wasn't much more. 10 seconds, for example, produces a glorious golden glare and not much else.

The camera's on a tripodand the light is set to "Daylight" which apparently translates into "Record the light the way it is, not as white" (something else I've recently learned).

Also at the longer exposure time.

Starbucks at night. Tripod in use and shutter speed adjusted.

Raindrops on the car window.

I hadn't really looked before.

Shutter speed adjusted. (Told you I was having fun!)

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