30 Before 30... #4

Published on 9.13.2011 in , ,

Mrs. P has been telling me for a while to cross...

#4. Learn more about my digital SLR and get good at taking pictures 

...off my 30 Before 30 list.  I didn't feel comfortable doing that until this past week.

Last Wednesday I used a Groupon and attended the McKay Photography Academy. 

The major objective of the night...get off "Auto" mode or "Running man"...crap...

A little background...since I've had my camera, I've been watching videos on Youtube trying to figure out the "Manual" mode on my camera.  Stupid videos didn't help.  I was completely lost and that darn "M" kept eluding me.

BUT...the McKay's were awesome and put it all into very simple and easy to follow terms.  I'll try to pass along the details...at least, how I understood them.

The McKay's explained that three elements, the ISO (image noise), aperture (depth of field or blurriness behind focus) and shutter speed (motion blur), all work together to create correct exposure.

It's all about the light.

Here's the easy to use steps:

1. Pick your ISO...start as low as possible (100) and go up as more light is needed.  But, start low and go back if you need more light with the other triangular elements. Why?  Because the higher the ISO the more "noise" will be in the picture.

2. Then, choose what you want and start with that as the second element. 

2a. Pick shutter speed if you want to stop action...For example: kids in a pool.

2b. Pick aperture if you want the focus highlighted more...For example: flags at a memorial.

3. Then, using your light meter, move the other element you didn't choose for #2 until everything lines up at "O" on your light meter...thus getting correct exposure.

Brilliant!  Right?  And super simple...sort of.

It's still taken some getting used to, and Auto is still easy when I'm trying to catch a "moment" with the kids.  Especially when it's something fun and a giggle, and my camera isn't set for the environment I'm in.

What do you think?  Any other tips and tricks you've learned?  Have you ever had an "aha" moment with your camera?  Share!  I'd love to hear them!!

My boys don't share, but if you want to...

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