Thursday, November 12, 2009

Learning

So John and I go to the Huntington Library and Gardens for our anniversary. I take my camera. John's patient while I practice a few shots. I'm learning about F stop and shutter speed and aperture, and frankly I'm still not sure which two of those are the same thing. But I can tell the above photo, taken in the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, is a little blown out, so I adjust a knob to make it darker.


This is better. I'm bracketing, meaning I'm trying a few different--speeds, I think. So I'll take some more because the LCD screen's small and I won't know for sure until I see them on the computer monitor. But I think--wait. What's that in the corner?


Damn. Some kid just ruined my shot.

24 comments:

J+P said...

Congrats—you just discovered the Cherub setting.

Shell Sherree said...

Priceless ~ your post and J's comment!

Virginia said...

I feel your pain. Then you get home and you have a dozen of each shot and still can't decide. Cherub setting is great and so are your photos. You're learning this stuff a lot faster than I did. When i went to M for Manual, I had a whole bunch of of all blacks, and all whites pics.

Petrea said...

I'm going to use the cherub setting as much as possible. It cures a lot of other ills.

I'm also using manual all the time. I figure I'll never learn it if I don't. I'm deleting a lot of shots, V. Maybe not all black and all white, but unusable just the same. The LCD screen is small enough that it's hard to tell so I bracket like crazy.

Worth it, though. It's like the difference between two dimensions and three.

J+P said...

You're a trooper. When you get frustrated, remember that generations of 35mm shooters before us produced amazing results without the use of LCDs. That little optical viewfinder is all you really need.

marley said...

Ruined or made? I think made.

Best of luck with the settings, it looks like you are getting the hand of it :)

Laurie said...

I love my sister Judy's experience about learning photography. She said she thought manual setting meant it was blurry -- because that's how the pics turned out when she first put the camera on manual! :-)

You're doing great, woman. These are a lovely representation of one of my favorite parts of the Huntington. (And I love John's comment.)

Laurie said...

Oh, and I must comment about how much easier it is to learn with a digital camera. I remember when I first learned photography in high school and I had to wait until I was in the lab watching images come out of the chemicals before I knew if I had anything. THat is, if I didn't ruin the negatives removing the film from the camera.

TheChieftess said...

Love the Cherub setting!!! I instantly recognized the Huntington garden...I had a great day during the summer doing a location shoot with a photo class from Tri-Community photo center...it's an adult ed program in Covina..really pretty cool...after I'd had my camera for over a year and hadn't ventured out of the auto settings, I found Tri-C and started taking classes...I've been going off and on (literally...love adult ed...there's no attendance expectation) and I've learned tons!!! I'm finally getting the hang of manual, although I prefer aperture setting when I don't have time/patience to concentrate on the manual settings!!! I also found digital photography school on the internet...(free) lot's of information!!!

Thal Armathura said...

Don't you love the little tea room they've built out there! Dozens of kinds of teas. I've got to get out there. Heidrun and I usually spend our anniversary at the old tea room; it really is fantastic. That both of you bought membership is wonderful. We've had the same idea, but we were going to wait until we retired when we would have time to make use of it more, also, a membership at Descanso Gardens.
The photography bit is interesting, as I'm always trying to frame to take out objectionable (to me) parts of our modern age and trying to make the subject, landscape, architectural or person, look as artistic as possible (according to my taste). I've been doing photography for most of my life, and the black and white photo shoot I did generations ago of the Griffith Park Planetarium was the best I ever did. Really, what got me started on being in love with buildings, as I loved downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and Art Deco (even though that term didn't exist when I was a kid in the 1950's when I was a child) was riding my bicycle every Saturday to the Planetarium and watching the Planetarium show and eating lunch at the little snack bar they had out in the parking lot.
Hollywood Boulevard was so much different back then, also.

Petrea said...

Pun: photo is pixie-lated.

Thanks, Marley.

Judy's funny! And Laurie, I know I'm lucky to be learning with an "easier" camera. If I'd read the manual it would be even easier. Oh, Chieftess, think how easy it would be if I took a class!

Thal, get this: the tea room has never been open when I've been there. I don't know how many times that's been, maybe five or six!

Petrea said...

That's the tea room in the Chinese Garden, I mean.

HearkenCreative said...

Chieftess: Some of my earliest memories are when I was 2 or 3, and my mom was teaching weaving and cake decorating at the Tri Community Adult Ed Center in Covina. A really long time ago. We would play games underneath one of the looms -- I wonder if they still have those there (probably not). Good times.

Petrea: Cherub setting rocks. Don't fret about the camera; some of my photographer friends find that they are still learning new tricks 40 years later. And I thought they were good 20 years ago.

Oh, by the way, don't delete your photos when you're out shooting: you might find something awesome when you bring the camera back home that you missed on the tiny LCD. Or a happy accident. Memory cards are cheap, and you can always delete the unwanted shots when you get home. Just saying...don't be too judgmental until you see the whole shot, and bigger, and away from the moment. (Off my soapbox now.)

Shanna said...

I just Googled Tri-Community photo center. Thanks for the tip, Chieftess! I'm still trying to make a comfortable switch to digital after loving my film camera for many years.

TheChieftess said...

Ditto about Hearken's comment to not delete til you see the photo on the computer...it's amazing what can work that doesn't appear to work on the little lcd screen of the camera...it's equally amazing to see how bad a photo can turn out to be that looked ok on those little screens!!!

Shanna...one of the cool advantages of Tri-C is that they have a digital lab...so you can print photos, even as big as posters...all included in the price of the term...and you can take as many classes as you want...all for the same price!

But Petrea...I have to say...none of the Tri-C instructors ever mentioned the Cherub setting.... :)

Petrea said...

Thanks and don't worry, I never bother to delete in the camera, only when I'm looking at them on the monitor. You never know.

Virginia said...

My theory: Looks great on the LCD.. crap on the computer. Looks blurry/ iffy on the LCD.... Hot damn/ OK on the computer. Sometimes.....just every so often.... you have one that you think isn't worth a flip and on that computer screen you swoon. Those are the times you live for. Photographer's heaven. Keep at it P. You are doing great great great my friend.
V

Katie said...

I don't know anything about all that techie photographer talk, I just know that you nailed it with the cherub setting. Such a delightful photo!

J+P said...

John Quincy Adams was still alive when photography (as we recognize it) was invented.

Y'all want a reminder of the perils of old-school shooting, check out this fascinating slideshow at the NY Times: http://snipurl.com/t7ls2

Lori Lynn said...

Love it.
I'm learning too.
The little ones can walk into my shots all day long. Critters too.
LL

TheChieftess said...

I checked out the tin type site!!! WOW!!! What a cool process with fabulous results!!! I can't even fathom taking the kind of time and patience to do that work...but what amazes me the most is that it was ever invented in the first place! Whoever thought it all up? And then film, and then digital...there are some awesome minds in this world!!!

And some awesome photographers too!!! Thanks for a fun post yet again Petrea!!! (Does this mean your specialty is Cherub photography???)

Petrea said...

Thanks for the encouragement, my friends. I don't think I'll specialize in cherubs but they're welcome to walk through my photos and make me look good. (Critters too, LL.)

AmyR said...

I admire you. I want to learn, but I am scared of manual. My Holga and my borrowed-from-my-boyfriend Yashica Mat mock me for being afraid.

I like your tact of shooting in manual all the time to learn. All the techie talk seems sooo confusing!

Petrea said...

I don't always get good pictures with this tactic. But I've found that manual focus works better for close-ups than the macro setting. J explained it to me this way--that my brain knows better what I'm shooting, specifically, than some person who programmed the camera six years ago in a country far away, guessing, in general, what I might be shooting.