The last few nights after I’ve come home from work, I’ve found myself viewing YouTube videos on photography.
I find myself perplexed by this photography thing. Here I have this fine piece of equipment called a camera which has the power to create some unique and remarkable images, and to use it to do the magical things, I have to figure out the knobs and buttons.
I’ve been trying to do the basics of that by reading a very good Dummies book by Robert Correll. It’s actually six books in one, the cover says, and it fairly address what each of the knobs and buttons on the body are supposed to help you do, as well as accessories, lens types, using filters, composition, and the subtleties of exposure. I am about a quarter of the way through the book, and it is helpful.
But I am also clamoring for help now.
What I really want to learn how to do is a good landscape shot, which may occur during the day, but may also occur during the golden hours, or in thin dawn or dusk light. And that desire drove me to YouTube, where many many photographers address the topic, and the many aspects that surround it. I’ve learned some about long exposure photography with ND filter through these videos, which seems to address some my dawn and dusk questions. But the more I learn, the less I know. With the filters come exposure time conversions you must use to make sure you get enough light into the camera to make a good photo. When the image is overexposed or underexposed, you are supposed to look at the image’s histogram in the camera’s viewfinder and make adjustments to better center the bell curve into the middle of your live view screen. I can pull up the image’s histogram now. I just have no idea how to correct anything at this point (Another stop up or down? Add or remove a second or two or five from the shutter speed? Change the ISO?). It is all still mostly Greek to me at this point.
I watch the videos, and I take relevant and memorable nuggets from what is presented and jot it as a bullet point in Notes on my phone. ISO 100? Check. Turn off the AF and VR after you focus your camera for the long exposure and go into manual mode to avoid autofocus freaking out and chucking your focus settings when the filters go on. That makes sense.
This exposure time converter deal with ND filter stacks? No idea.
What f-dealie to choose for lower light shot setups? I hear f8 and f11 a lot. From f8 to f16. Okay. I still don’t quite understand what that refers to yet. I am not understanding these terms yet for the most part.
Which is why I watch video after video by different people on the same topic. I should be able to glean a little from each of them to help my comprehension to come together.
I hope so, at least. I’ll take a class or two if I have to, and keep watching videos, and keep reading, and keep going out and taking practice shots. That’s the only way to learn this stuff, I reckon.
I did take a nice shot of a cup of water a few weeks ago, though. I can at least show that here.
And, well, here’s a nasty faucet in yellow, which was a misguided attempt at a long exposure. We have to start somewhere. Warhol, eat your heart out.