let there be light!

Hello, when did blogger get awesome and start letting me upload extra large photos and schedule posts? Flickr is being a pain the rump today and not letting me upload but I wanted to share anyway.

This is the best I can muster photography wise lately.

I'm being a super homebody lately. Today was my last day to go skate skiing on my pass and I couldn't motivate to get in the car until 6pm and I was up at 7:30am. By 6 though, I found out they were closing. Through this I have learned that I very much dislike getting in the car to go exercise, unless I'm bringing along my pooch or my husband. I also don't have any interest in skiing in the rain when it's 35 degrees out which has made it particularly hard this week.

But back to the photo. I took it while finally trying to teach myself about aperture

Sadly, I've known what aperture is for a long time now, but hadn't bothered to learn how to adjust it on my camera. Which is pathetic because it's really easy. For a long time, I've relied to short cuts to brightly lit photos. I use manual mode sometimes but mainly just cranked my ISO in low light conditions. I've also relied on the action setting a lot.

I've been a bit dissatisfied with the shots coming out of my camera lately though. I have a spot of dust or something on my sensor which either appears as a black speck or a blurred gray spot depending on the shot. Maddening. It needs a professional cleaning. That costs like $65 (ouch!) but it must be done. I have lugged the baby up mountains, down trails and onto beaches for a few years now and it's kind of a miracle it has held up as well as it has. So, I drove out of my way to go get it professionally cleaned but the cleaning pro was away for over a week. Naturally.

That led me to learn more about aperture in the meantime. With the earth being farther from the sun the last few months and the endless cold rain and such, natural sunlight has been hard to come by. So this finally led me to figure out how to open my aperture up as far as I can to let as much light into my lens as possible. What you get is the shot above, taken in the evening from the other side of the room. It's grainy. And I like grainy. But I'd also like get crisp clear bright photos more reliably when I want 'em.

I was also motivated to learn about aperture from Tara Whitney's formspring. Have you heard of this new internet wonder/time suck? Someone sets one of these babies up and then anyone can ask them anonymous questions. Of course, they can choose whether or not to respond. Here's a couple I like. Formspring seems only useful if the person is someone who has useful things to say. Or who you are secretly obsessed with. 

I have found that it is great for asking questions of someone who has a wealth of photography knowledge. My question to Tara Whitney was something like, "How can I can get brighter photos beyond just cranking up the ISO? I live in the north where there is little light." Her response was: fastest lens possible (no $$ for that right now) and open up the aperture.

The shot above isn't that bright but it would have been a black hole if I hadn't opened up my aperture. Just saying.

In other news, I have a couple new ideas brewing for my etsy shop. The first is a garden journal. I know there are a few gardeners lurking here. What would make a garden journal useful to you? I'm thinking of a place to keep track of what seeds you planted, what was successful, recipes made, produce you put up and what got eaten, etc..

I'm also thinking a lot about a warm place where green things come up out of the ground! I have work trips planned to three states this month so we'll see if I get anywhere with my crafty dreams! One of my destinations will be warm though. Rejoice!

Before you go, do me a favor. Scroll back up and check out the RAD-est wine rack ever. Yeah, that's ours! Matt's dad made it. By hand. And by hand, I mean he hand carved it and oiled it. He should be the one opening an Etsy shop! Don't you agree? (hint hint: leave a comment and ask him to start selling a bit of his woodworking).

Anyway, I'll be back as soon. Most likely after my camera is cleaned up. I'll have brighter photos when I return!

1 comment:

Brahm said...

Regarding maximizing light, you'll also want to pay attention to the zoom. The more you zoom in, the longer the lens becomes and the less light is allowed in. If it helps to visualize, compare looking through a narrow napkin ring vs. looking through a long paper towel tube. Your lens usually has an F-stop rating (e.g. F3.5-5.6). The lower number is generally the rating when zoomed out (wide field of view) and the larger number is the rating when zoomed in (narrow field of view).

Of course, there are trade-offs. You might need to get closer to the subject to get the composition you like, there might be different lens distortions based on the amount of zoom, and both aperture and zoom affect the depth of field.

There are quite a few factors to be aware of, but the more experienced you get, the chain of what's important for what you're striving to achieve starts to become second nature.