Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hobby Fun

I've always had an interest in photography, but have never had good enough equipment to really enjoy it as a hobby. I recently corrected my hardware issue by upgrading from my little Sony Cyber-shot point-and-shoot to a very decent DSLR camera with a couple of essential accessories. I chose a Canon EOS Rebel T1i which came with an 18-55mm lens, a bag to protect and carry the camera in and a basic tripod. I have also picked up every book and magazine from the PX about photography that looked useful. And yes, I have also done extensive web research. I'm not all that good at it yet and I still have a lot to learn regarding the myriad of features that my camera has. I've been reading up on using ISO settings, aperture priority, shutter speeds, depth of field, lenses, filters, histograms, white balances, lighting and a few other options. It can be a bit intimidating, but it is very fun at the same time. Here's a shot I took while on a picnic a couple of weekends ago. I like that the dock is in the foreground, but not exactly the center of the picture. The focus of the image starts there, but continues to the rest of the lake and trees in the background. Having the light reflecting off of the water helps to bring out the detail both in the foreground and background. If the light refecting off the water had been darker or had the water been still, I don't think that the picture would have been nearly as interesting.

Experimenting has been vital in my learning process. If I take 30 shots I may only keep 2 or 3 good ones. I try to experiment with the settings each time I take a shot. This means that I may end up with 8-10 pictures of the same subject, but it increase the chance that I will get one that I like. This shot was one of about 35 that I took of this field of Raps plants. I tried different exposures and played around with the depth of focus a bit. I ended up keeping about 1/3 of the pictures I took of this field. What caught my eye about these plants was their bright yellow color. These fields are all over the countryside this time of year and is an interesting change from the predominate green that is everywhere, not that I mind seeing green, but a splash of color here and there is a good thing.

Taking a good picture involves several factors-some that I can control, some that I can't-and that is what makes the challenge worthwhile. The end result is a picture that I'm proud to show. I only have one or two really good ones now, but I'm learning and working on taking more. It'll take time and a lot of practice, but I think I'm getting better.
Images © 2010 Benjamin Sharp

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