• I Saw The Light (Meter)

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    It was a good day at work: quiet, slow progress made on projects. My eating has slipped a little the last two days- sugar has found me a few times more than it should have, including in a raspberry mocha today- but that’s okay.

    I did have a talk with Tim this afternoon that guided me to a good Eureka! moment this evening. I asked him a few questions about using a camera this week- about how to select autofocus points when trying to focus on a certain spot with your camera; about lens shades ad how he uses them; about light levels and camera settings for taking in yesterday’s wacky eclipse.

    Tim’s explanation of basic camera settings and the role of the light meter when setting up shots prompted me to get out the camera when I got home and put it in manual and then take a few shots with it, making adjustments to aperture, shutter speed and/or the ISO based on the light meter readings in my camera’s viewfinder. I learned simply how to tweak one of the three and then see how it affects the light meter reading, and in a short time, I went out in my back yard to take a pic of the sunset.

    Using the settings that were in the camera at the moment (f/8, 1/4, ISO 100), I snapped a shot, and then I looked at the meter in the viewfinder. The meter was off the scale to the right- clearly the image was overexposed.

    Pre-knowledge manual shot: f/8, 1/4 second, ISO 100.

    Unadjusted manual shot: f/8, 1/4 second, ISO 100.

    I rolled the command dial and the shutter speed increased in the view finder, and the light meter peg began to float left, and it soon rested over the “0” reading in the middle of the scale. I raised the camera and took another photo… and it looked ideal. The sky actually had the colors I was looking at. I was surprised and excited!

    After adjustments: f/8, 1/30 second, ISO 100.

    After adjustments: f/8, 1/30 second, ISO 100.

    Learning about the light meter suddenly made the relationships between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO make sense to me, because here was a tool, a guide, that could tell me if the settings I was using on the camera for a shot would yield a worthwhile result. Suddenly, using Manual Mode seems much less of a mystery now. I gained some confidence, and was grateful for the insight.

    I was overjoyed to learn about the meter and how to use it, so I came back inside the house and messed around with settings while taking pics of the cats.

    Chayya wonders what I am doing.

    Chayya wonders what I am doing.

    Shukriya also thinks I am acting funny.

    Shukriya also thinks I am acting funny.

    As far as my photography understanding goes, today’s experience really gave me a good push forward.

    And as a bonus, I learned how to set and unset autofocus points on the camera, and how to attach and remove the flower lens hood from my wide angle lens tonight as well.

    Today, manual mode “clicked”, and I felt like I was given a key I needed for taking better photos.

    I am excited to learn more about the camera and what it can do, and also about what I can do using it.

    Wide-angle lens practice on a shelf of old Avalon Hill games.

    Wide-angle lens practice on a shelf of old Avalon Hill games.

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    A web programmer by day, I somehow still spend a lot of time thinking about relationships, God, and the significance of grace and love in daily events. I am old school in the sense that I believe in the reality of sin, and in the need of each human heart for deliverance to the Divine. I am one of those who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that you can find most answers to life's pressing issues in Him and His Word, the Bible. I ain't perfect, and a lot of the time I ain't good, but by God's grace and kindness, I am forgiven and free.

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