Friday, January 22, 2010


I didn't tell you, but I'm taking a photography class. I wanted to know...intimate with my camera.

I feel like we're in couples counseling. I want this, my camera wants that. I'm unable to compromise, so I'm left trying to manipulate my way into good photos. I'm a 'Point & Shoot & Fix it in Photoshop' kind of girl. My camera wants more from me...

So I'm learning how to ask in ways it understands. It's not easy for me, to say the least. But I'm trying. When City Boy and I went south last weekend, he pointed out a great shot of Seattle on the way home.


Of course, my camera and I had homework after my first class. The above photo was one I took specifically for that as it fulfilled a couple of the assignments. There was an S curve in the road, and clouds offered a soft, airy contrast to the hard, cold stone that forms the Seattle skyline in the distance.

I forgot to bring that photo to class. My camera was upset with me. I know this, because the assignment for this week is to work on shutter speed. I thought I was getting the hang of shutter speed last week (f-stop was really the main assignment, but I skipped ahead), but my camera seems out to prove me a fool. So far, it's doing a great job.

We're supposed to be working on action shots. Terrific! I love action shots. Horses prancing and dancing while manes and tails wave like banners in the sunlight are my passion. Mr. Nikon, however, seems bent on tripping me up. In order to work on different types of focus and blur, I had to determine which shutter speed would work best, and I realized the lighting and f-stop would come into play. Obviously, I needed to play around a bit with both of them together until I came up with the right ratio to use in the afternoon sunlight.


Note to fellow prospective photographers: Middle of the day photo shoots with sunlight are not advisable. Obviously too much light.

Thankfully with digital you can replay your photos and see that there are issues, rather than send them off to the lab for developing like we used to do with film. So while my camera was mocking me, I continued on, fiddling with dials until things almost looked okay.



Hey, I said almost, didn't I? It's still a bit blown out, but at least you could see the horse. And as these were intended to be action shots, a little blur is okay. Or a lot. Depends on how well you can convince yourself that it's art.

Unfortunately, poor lighting (in the form of being too bright for my inexperienced eyes) was not the only issue I was having. I completely forgot that City Boy suggested changing the ISO while we were down at Cabella's last weekend. Well, golly Mr. Nikon, you could have told me that instead of keeping it to yourself! That may be half of our problem, you know. I'm not the only one who isn't properly communicating it seems. Not only did this make it difficult to regulate my lighting, but my photos look like they're beneath a layer of sand.


This is not so much an issue on our little computer screens. Sure, you can tell it's less than perfect, but once the size is reduced, the graininess seems less. But once I get to class and they're up there on the big screen for all to evaluate? Oye vey...


Mr. Nikon and I have only got two classes left in which to get it all together. Should we fail? Well...I still have photoshop.


PaintCrazy said...

When you get this all figured out can you just tell me what settings to use to get a good shot of a cantering horse at a show? My Mr. Nikon is still arguing with me on that one.

I think your photos are lovely as is. And using Photoshop is an art in and of itself so be proud that you can!

mrscravitz said...

You did manage to capture some real neat photos! Keep working at it. Soon you and Mr. Nikon will be as one! LOL

Pony Girl said...

So exciting! I wish I could take a class...just haven't been motivated yet. I feel like if I take a class, I have to stop using the excuse "well I haven't taken a class..." LOL! Love the action shots. Sometimes I like the blur! I've always heard mornings, overcast and evenings are the best time for photography. I love the light those times of day. Where my horse is though, there is so little light for photography! At my mom's stable, they have some fields with amazing light. Good luck with your Nikon, maybe you can give us some tutorials when you are done with what you've learned! :)

cdncowgirl said...

Any advice you feel the desire to share? lol

I'm looking for a class that fits my crazy schedule. Mr Nikon has me stumped right now! (think I saw on FB that we have the same camera even, the D90, is that right?)

lytha said...

that shot of seattle, i recognized it instantly before reading, and thought,

oh, thank you for bringing me that shot of my home!

i loved that view so much.


colleen said...

I am so in the same boat as you. I purchased my first digital slr last year and it has been one learning experience after another. As for the shots being too blown out. If you have a manual setting on the camera you can adjust your exposure to "under" exposed just a bit and it might help compensate for the bright light. Keep shooting and fiddling with the buttons, you learn alot jut by doing that.