Friday, May 1, 2009

Learning the dials/Balcony garden 2009: Day 69

Today I took a course on digital SLR cameras. Andrew received a Nikon D40 last year as a graduation gift from his parents. We've enjoyed using it since then; however, we didn't understand the settings or any of the capabilities of the camera. We'd like to get a new lens, something with a better zoom, but I didn't want to get a new one until I knew how to use the one we've already got. This course helped, a lot.

There's a number of factors that go together to make a good picture. There's aperture (how wide the lens opens), shutter speed (does that need an explanation?), ISO rating (how sensitive the "film" is to light) and white balance (what kind of light you're shooting--so the picture doesn't look orange). I had heard of aperture, but I definitely didn't know how it worked. Nor am I going to relate the details here as one course doesn't make me an expert, but I hope it will improve my pictures.

The one problem I foresee now, is that this course will actually make me a slower picture taker. I'm now going to need more time to fiddle with the dials. Open the aperture wider and slow down the shutter speed when the picture is darker and visa verse for a brighter photo. Or I can start playing with things and blow the exposure way out of proportion. I suppose I could just leave my camera dial on the auto features like "portrait" or "action," but what's the point in having a SLR if that's all I'm going to do?

And on the note of improving my pictures...An update on the balcony garden (which is still sitting in our living room as it's not yet warm enough to leave them out over night).


(Hmmm...the top picture's a little blow out after all. It can be tricky to tell on the camera screen sometimes.)


They're teeny tiny. We hope they'll grow to actually produce fruit.

And Tomatoes:

I hope we can move the garden outside soon. It's supposed to be up to +16C tomorrow. And, I'll keep working on my photographs.



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