Frank Sinatra was a Guru

I skipped yesterday’s lesson (this feels very reminiscent of my high school days).  It was on depth of field.  I feel like I understand DOF pretty well. I’m for sure no pro, but I got the basics down.

Today’s lesson (Day Eight for those of you playing along at home), was about the “Exposure Triangle”. AKA- ISO, shutter speed, and aperture all coming together to make a perfect picture.  I am not allowed to use the Automatic function. I  supposedly have the knowledge, so now I no longer have an excuse to be lazy.

Psshhhaw… like I ever needed an excuse for that.

I waited until late this afternoon for this lesson. The front window in my living room faces West. The sun pours in through it, creating areas of shade and sunlight all around the room. I knew that would be my best shot at putting the lessons to work.  The lighting combo is like NY- If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.  Of course, if old Blue Eyes had failed, he only had to cross the river to go back to Hoboken. Arkansas is a much further trip.

For reference, this is how the lighting looks naturally with no adjusting on my camera:

Isn’t Oliver a sweetie pie? Sweet as he may be, those alternating bands of sunlight and shadow were not. Getting that all balanced was more of a challenge than I would have imagined. And before I could balance it out, this happened:

Teddy and Paco decided Oliver was looking a little too comfy, and they had to fix that right away.

After torturing Oliver for a minute, Paco ran off to destroy a fly that made the wrong choice of coming into our house. He was standing in front of our living room window. This is how the lighting looked before I adjusted my camera:

The lighting was behind Paco, causing his face to go into shadow. It took me several attempts to adjust my camera, but I finally worked it out.

I feel… mehh. It’s ok. At least it’s not terribly overexposed or underexposed. I tried a different angle, and got this:

It’s kinda a six-in-one-hand thing. Neither picture is terrible, but they are far from great. I guess I could have tried to take pictures in better lighting, but I wanted to push myself to make up for playing hookie yesterday.

Maybe tomorrow will be better?

PS- Paco is still chasing the fly. Only he has worn himself down and has found an easier way to do things. :

I’m thinking he gets his lazy gene from his mama.


Hands… Touching Hands

(Is Neil Diamond in your head now? Consider that my gift to you. You are welcome.)   🙂

Day 4 of 31. Today’s Lesson: Adjusting your ISO.

I will admit, ISO is something I never understood. However, this lesson finally made it make sense.

During homeschool time, I was looking down at James’ hand, and noticed how wonderful his hands are. They are FULL of teeny-tiny lines. A fortune teller would have a field day with him.

This picture was taken at 40mm, 1/160, f/14. ISO 1600.This picture was taken at 45mm, 1/1000, f/4.5. ISO 1600.This picture was taken 45mm, 1/1000, f 4.5. ISO 1600.

I think the top picture, with it’s slower shutter speed is my favorite. It’s less washed out, and you can see the detail better. I kept the ISO the same (once I found one that didn’t completely wash out my picture/make it too dark), and played with the shutter speed until I found ones that worked. What’s interesting is how different the speeds were, and how (IMO) the pictures aren’t that different.

Lesson learned today? I have no idea. I need to play around more. I get what the lesson is, I just haven’t figured out how to apply it, yet.

Back to the drawing boards  classroom for me. I’m thinking, even though I vaguely understand, I’m only one step away from a dunce cap at this point.

Anyone want to offer up suggestions for what I’m doing wrong? Opinions on my work? Dunce cap to spare?

eta: After I typed this up, I studied about ISO some more. We had an afternoon storm, and then a spectacular sunset. The light outside was the most beautiful  shade of soft pink. It was almost magical. I couldn’t resist trying my hand at a few new pics. I am happy to say, I think I almost “get” it. Look at the difference in the earlier pictures and these.

All of these were shot in 55mm, 1/15, f/6.3, ISO 1600.