Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The texture of fall

One thing that I learned about my camera during my photo camp weekend at the Wilds is that I can set the lens to auto-focus even when I have everything else set on manual. I had no idea that could be done! I thought when the camera body was in manual mode the lens had to be set in manual too. What a valuable insight this has turned out to be.

It's a rare thing for me to take a bunch of pictures ("a bunch" meaning several hundred) and end up with more than 3 or 4 that I really, really like. A recent crisp, overcast autumn day found me playing with my camera in a new way. I didn't use the viewfinder. Well, I barely used it. In 95% of the pictures, I just clicked away, not knowing what I was getting. ** Camera geek-speak warning** I set the lens on auto-focus, set the camera body on Manual, I left the aperture set as far open as it can go (about 5.6 most of the time, depending on the focal length), messed with the shutter speed here and there, and the rest is history. ** Camera geek-speak over** The results turned out better than I hoped. I ended up with lots of shots that I LOVE. This does NOT happen very often, folks. Just ask Dave. When I come back from a pre-determined walk-about with the camera, he'll ask me how it went, and I usually say "Ehh, it was okay."

After moving these shots from the memory card to the computer and checking them out, I was quite pleased. I'm not going to bore you with all of them, but I'll share those that I feel really stand out. I feel like the subject matter in many of them lends itself to strong B&W images, so sometimes I'll present the color original with the B&W option directly following. These "artsy"-style shots are among my very favorite types of photos to take. I hope you enjoy them.

An explanation on the last 3 shots to come. One thing I did while I was playing around that day was sit the camera down on the deck, turn the shutter speed down, and rotate the camera around on a fixed axis. 99% of those pictures were a "waste", but one of them grabbed my attention. There are many ways I could play with it, but basic options are offered up here. First the original, then 2 variations, then all in a row.

As always, comments and constructive criticisms are welcome!

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