Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Togs - Back to Basics

I picked up a lovely book the other week -  Digital Photography Step by Step by Tom Ang
I have been meaning to get something like this ever since I bought my new camera last summer. Suddenly I have all these settings to play with but I really don't have a clue what it all means so have stuck with the auto settings, relied quite heavily on editing software and hoped for the best.  To be fair I think I have had some pretty good results so far but I know my camera can do so much better. I know I can do so much better!

I have decided to work through the book properly (although I haven't been able to resist flicking through and reading bits!) and I thought it might be cool to share my journey with you and maybe even encourage you to join in too . . .

Lesson number one - seeing the world the way your camera sees it...  

What this essentially means is switching of the LCD screen and using the view finder, the old-fashioned way. Sounds obvious really doesn't it but I have got so used to using the screen to frame my photos I had almost forgotten how different it looks through the view finder!

In my defence the screen is handy when out and about, taking pictures whilst trying to keep track of the Little Man. You know how it is with toddlers - take your eyes off them for 30 seconds. . .   Anyhow, now he is getting older, slightly less unpredictable and slightly more able to listen to instructions of the 'stay right here' variety, I can switch off my peripheral vision every now and again and concentrate on looking through the lens.

Tom also says that pictures are best not viewed via the screen anyway as it interferes with your concentration and takes up valuable time where  you could be snapping. You could miss the perfect shot coz you are reviewing the last ten!

So my first challenge was to just to spend 10 minutes taking some pictures using the view finder, not the screen and not reviewing them until back at the computer.

The Little Man playing in the pouring rain was the inspiration. . .

It was raining quite heavily and as I didn't want to get my camera soggy all shots were taken standing just inside my front door. I zoomed and switched to 'Sport' mode to keep up with the Little Man. Some of the shots came out fab. Some of them not so good. There are probably 2 that I really love... (might save one of them for Silent Sunday)

I picked out my favourites and tweaked them a little with Picasa - remember we are still on auto here so the colours/exposure do not always come out as expected...

Obviously the beauty of digital over film is that you can take 20 or 30 or 50 shots and not worry about wasting film! Remember in the old days when you put a 24 or 36 exp film in your camera and made it last the whole holiday? *shudders*

Now it's your turn - switch off the screen (if you can) and just look through your viewfinder and click away for 10 minutes. No peaking! See what happens... blog the results if you want and leave a comment here so we can all have a look.  Don't be shy, there are no rights and wrongs here. Just go with the flow and follow your instincts. Have fun!


  1. When I went to Norway a few years ago with my Dad's digital camera, he told me I wasn't allowed to use the screen because of it wastes the battery, so as an added bonus, your bateries will last longer!

    I'll be blogging in a few days with mine.

  2. Oh wow, I certainly remember the days of a whole holiday on a film of 36. That seams like another world now. I have only just taught my mother mot to look through the view finder, I wonder if I ready yet to go back there myself? I will have to swat up on how to do it on my camera! Some lovely pictures of Little Man here and delighted that he got out to play, rain or no rain! Thanks for connecting with me on Country Kids

  3. If you're using vignette on Android you can go for "blind" mode. You really have no idea what you're getting until you review the pics later. Fun!


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