Monday, October 07, 2013


I have studied aperture for two weeks and cannot tell you anything other that it has to do with how much light you are letting into the camera during a shot.  How in the world is it that I used to actually take really fine photos?  I miss being able to use my beloved Minolta X-700.  But I have had digital cameras for years, so there really is no excuse for this utter lack of knowledge retention.

Other than my brain really is broken.

This is my worst photo of the spider web I tried to capture last night, using my tripod and playing around with aperture and shutter speed:

A real stunner, eh?  [Yes, the lens cap was off!  I have twelve of these stellar shots.]

This one is the best, but I still never managed to get a clear image, while refusing to use a flash:

Coincidentally, today, after fetching Sandra's son, I got caught in the back yards talking to two different neighbors.  One of them had talked with the construction crew and is wildly curious about how my kitchen turned out.  While we were talking, we all noticed this:

I texted it to Sandra and my neighbor got her son to searching.  It turns out is a corn or a garden spider. Wild looking, if you ask me.  And, yes, I took this with a macro zoom setting so I stuck my lens right near her.  I still have the heebie-jeebies!  

I was out last night because I saw clouds in the night sky.  They were simply glorious, white and puffy against the black sky.  Oh, how I wanted to photograph them.  I failed.  I wonder if I had been able to do a manual focus, if I might have done so, but all this time I have not been able to figure out the manual focus.  It is utterly and completely different from the manual focus of my old Minolta, which had a circle made of two halves that you made match in both focus and lightness.  

After reading the instruction book section on manual focus more today—something I wish I had done earlier—I learned that the two half (not-connected) circles that look almost parentheses must be yellow to be in focus.  Huh???


Apparently, the little arrows I was seeing are helpful hints telling you the direction you should go to find focus.  SIGH.  Shouldn't I have realized arrows would mean direction?

Anyway, automatic focus must not work on a cloud in the night sky because of contrast or distance or something.  I mean, automatic focus means sending out some sort of red light, which I imagine is bouncing off the subject matter and determining focus.  Who knows.  What I do know is that no matter how hard I tried to capture the night clouds, I could not.

In my mind, in order to photograph the clouds, I would need lots of light (aperture) and slow shutter speed.  I simply cannot figure out what is more light and what is less.  For that matter, I am not understanding the shutter speeds.

What is interesting is that I then wondered if I could take a photo of the crabapples on my tree in the dark.

Funny my efforts turn white garages into yellow ones.

But along the way, when looking at the photos on my computer I noticed something:

Huh??  There are my clouds ... blurry and off color ... in the background!

Oh, wait, there they are again!  Why can I not just take pictures of the clouds??  And, what is that glare across the top of the ornamental magnolia tree?  After all, this is night.  No sunshine shinning down for which I would need the circular polarizing filter.

In any case, this was my best nighttime-shot-without-flash of the crabapples:

Mostly, I spent the night wishing rather fervently that my camera, which has many a settings on it, had a setting that could turn the timer on and leave it on for as many shots as you wish.  Since my hands shake so much, I could not press the shutter and remove my finger whilst the shutter was open.  For each shot, I had to navigate to the 2-second timer and turn it on and then take the photo.

I believe that my Olympus is actually a better camera, especially since I have extra lenses for it as opposed to working with a single fixed lens.  And it has this simply, utterly wonderful remote control.  Perhaps I should switch main camera efforts, but I have this love for Fuji that is close to my adoration of Minolta than my feelings for Olympus are.  I know, I should be fawning after Nikon or Cannon, but I have ... actually ... three Fuji cameras and the Olympus.  And, well, it is not like I would ever be spending money on a camera or equipment since I am already struggling to live on a limited income.

I will admit ... well ... I have my eye on a tripod mount for my iPhone that I want ever so much.  I would very much like to be able to take steady shots with my iPhone in certain situations and I would like to be able to film my playing with Amos for my broken rememberer's sake.  It is a mere $20, but having bought symphony tickets and sitable chairs, all my self-care spending is over for the long-term.  Maybe I will get Amazon gift certificates for Christmas again.

Anyway, I was watching Fringe and trying to figure out the manual zoom:

I was struggling to understand what the instruction book was telling me and thinking that, perhaps, sitting in the dark was not the best time to be trying to learn exactly how to do manual focusing.

And I was wondering if ever I would get this process, when I discovered another feature that works on most of the shot settings I might choose.

The setting one of five continuous shooting options and is called "bracketing."  What it does is takes three photos, with the first being slightly underexposed and the last being slightly overexposed in relation to the settings you have chosen.

On three of my cameras, I have a natural light option that will take two photos, one without flash and one with, so that you can choose later which you like.  In a way, I think bracketing is sort of like that.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could bracket the moments of our lives, under- and over-exposing our words and actions, so that we might, after the fact, choose which was the best thing to say or do?

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy. 

1 comment:

Caryl said...

I LOVE the idea of bracketing our lives! I wish :-)

The easiest way I remember about aperture is "the larger the number, the smaller the opening". So, if you have a larger aperture number, the lens opening will be smaller and less light will get through (but this also gives a longer length of focus...more will be in focus in the shot). The smaller the aperture number, the larger the lens opening will be (more light -- but less will be in focus in the shot).