I got the camera of my dreams for my birthday - the Nikon D40x - I'd been lusting after it for so long - and quite honestly I have just been happy to play with all the automatic modes on it and enjoy the sharpness of the pictures it takes.
Then the others (Tammi & Jenn) got their Nikon's for Christmas and Kari already had her Rebel and were begining to talk in f/stop, ISO shutter speed language I just do not understand!
I remember as a child my Dad trying to teach me how to use his manual camera back then - but I just didn't get it - I think I have had a mental block ever since!
Anyhow, Kari posted to her blog a link to Two Peas Photo Course - week one on her blog - and I thought I'd give it a go - step by step - basic - how hard can it be? Yeah right - this is me we're dealing with!
I read the whole pdf over & over and couldn't even figure out how to adjust the aperture! The f/stop number kept changing when I adjusted the zoom ring - but I knew that wasn't right!
Then a genius happened to cross my path - in the form of Andy's friend Matt. Turns out he was given a photography course in the British Army - for surveilance purposes! Completely not expecting that!
He picked up the PDF & understood it, he read through my camera's instruction book and understood it! Yesterday afternoon we spent ages going over camera functions and playing with stuff I didn't even know it did.
I was and am still slow to get it.
This afternoon I thought I'd give the exercise from week one a try - focus on something and adjust the aperture and watch the background blur or come into focus depending on the f/stop. So, by now I had figured out how to adjust the aperture using the screen and the dial on the side - thinking "I can do this" I opened the back door, bracing myself against the windchill, I focused on the planters on the deck and played.
It didn't quite work like the instructions described. Disappointed, I put the camera away and sulked in my scrapbook room. Then tonight, I had a revelation! What if the thing I focused on was right in the foreground - maybe that's what they meant - TA-DA it worked!
These one's were taken inside so the lighting isn't the best for this exercise - but I had adjusted the ISO a little bit (hark at me now!)and the best thing was Georgina's shirt! I made her stay in the background because it really helped play up the results! (She took some convincing that I wasn't taking pictures of her!)
So this one is taken with a low f/stop (around 5)
This one was taken with a medium range f/stop (around 11)
And here we are with a high f/stop - maybe not as sharp as it could be on Georgina's brightly coloured shirt - but I think that's due to the slower shutter speed.
I now have a smirk the cheshire cat would be proud of - and I am ready to play some more tomorrow! I just hope the bloody windchill dies down!