Second Photography Class

Last night’s photography class did not teach me anything that I didn’t already know. It did, however, remind me of things that I had learned. The instructor spoke of exposure compensation, Depth of Field, The Rule of Thirds and many things composition related. In a nutshell, we discussed how to try to make a photo interesting. Nope! Nothing learned… but that’s a good thing. It means that everything that I have been reading and learning on my own has really been sticking to me. Kudos to me!

During class I took some time to skim through parts of my manual. The instructor is a Canon-jockey and I’m always looking for ways to show him that he’s wrong about Nikon. Canon DID NOT in fact invent the wheel. Nikon didn’t either……. but I prefer Nikon. I learned some things about my camera that I had forgotten. I knew that the camera has eleven focus points when looking through the viewfinder, but I had forgotten that I can focus exactly where I want when using the ‘live view’ option on back of the camera. It’s not that big of a deal, but good to remember. I was prompted to check into this when a kid in class wanted to know if there was a “camera out there” that would allow you to focus where ever you want, and not just on the focus points provided by the camera. It seems he purchased a lower end Canon and he only has four focus points. Oh well.

Although a Canon-jockey, I do like my instructor. I plan to ask him to allow me to ‘hang around’ with him. I’m sure I’ll learn something.

Where do we draw the line?

I got into a heated argument on one of my favorite photography forums a couple of days ago. Someone posted a picture of Air Force One with ‘NI66ER’ written on the tail as if it were the plane’s number. The poster said “Air Force One” Tail Number for US President’s plane
I bet they change it!” This alerted me to the fact that the poster knew what the word meant. Later, after some heated exchange, the poster wrote:

“ OK I guess I set off a few people. I did not even realize that there was a hidden meaning to the letters and numbers until I ran it through google search just a few minutes ago.

I look and see numbers as just digits and do not translate them in to letters. Did anyone see me use the letters no, However I did see someone else spell them out and in all caps to make a point that everyone can see it.

Also I do not live in a racist country but then how many of the 300million USA people even realize that, considering that most know nothing about Canada.”

So now I’m ticked. I’m not ticked that he posted the word. I’m annoyed that he posted it, and then attempted to feign ignorance as if he didn’t know what he was doing.

Where do we draw the line as photographers? I look back over the years that photography chronicled the Civil Rights Movement and I am proud and sad at the same time. I’m proud that we have endured as a people. I am sad, well…because it was a very trying time. A few of the posters on the other forum wrote that they “Don’t see color” and I truly believe them. The sad truth is that they have never been in the position of having their color seen. They’ve never been in a position where they couldn’t get a job to support their family because of their color, or been prohibited from going to a school or store. They have no idea what it’s like to fear their own skin.

Is it really ok to make pictures that are hurtful to others? Where do we draw the line? Come walk a mile in my shoes and then make your decision.

Critique and Comment

So I’ve been at this photography thing for a few months and it has completely engulfed me. I wake early and start studying. I fall asleep at night studying. I’m starting to ‘get it’. I’ve been going to a lot of photography forums and I’m really starting to take interest in some of the photos that read, “C&C welcome” and really want to post, and don’t. Part of me feels like I haven’t been doing this long enough to write how I feel about someone’s photo, even while I understand the general concept of exposure. The other part of me simply wants to be free to say what I truly feel, “That’s an ugly picture,” or “What the hell were you thinking?” A lot of times, newbies (self included) have a tendency to want to mimic abstract art and will photograph something/anything hoping that someone will see more in what we’ve done than what we actually see. Truth is, that’s a good start. Take the picture. PLEASE, take the picture.

The goal with my photography is to go old school. I want my pictures to be less about photographic art and more about what comes out of my camera. What I mean is that I want my pictures to be about what comes out of my camera and less about what I can ‘create’ with the photos once they get to my computer. I’m not knocking post-processing or post-production or anything, but have you seen what happens when HDR gets into the ‘wrong’ hands?

Photography Class

So…… on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, I went to my first photography class. It’s a beginners’ class. Nikon cameras seem to rule but the Instructor is a Canon-Jockey. I’m not going to knock his brand or anything, but being the Nikon whore that I am, I couldn’t help but get a little annoyed with his constant “Canon was the first to have this technology” or “I’m not sure if Nikon has this, but….”

I didn’t really get much out of the first class. I left class with lots of questions. I think that the instructor is planning to teach from a Canon perspective and not from a photography perspective. In his PowerPoint presentation, he states that +/- EV changes exposure a full stop. This is not true with Nikon, as you have the ability to change EV by as little as 0.3 or even 0.5. In mentioning that EV changes exposure by a full stop, it became confusing when he didn’t mention that it doesn’t change aperture or Depth of Field….for new folks like myself, that could hella confusing!

Although a beginner’s class. There’s a chick that used to take photographs for a newspaper. She says it’s been a while, and that she needs a refresher. Umm, ok.

There’s an Italian chick in class who is concerned about her English. Hopefully, she will get over it. We are all there to speak/learn exposure.

Well……..

Ok, so the kids went back to school today after a three-day hiatus. Thank goodness. What folks here consider a snow emergency simply baffles me. I don’t know how stay-home moms do it. Me? I work from home, so having a child within 50,000 miles is too close!

I didn’t get to shoot anyone or anything today and there was nothing special going on at my favorite photography websites. Tomorrow will be better. I’ll get up early to avoid my husband’s early morn poke-my-wife-fest and take some pictures. There’s a barn out there some where calling my name.

Barns, Ash Wednesday and a D90?

Hello, my name is Dee (**crowd screams, “HI DEE!”**), and I am obsessed with photographing barns and churches. My desire for dilapidated barns and stained glass is unquenchable. On Ash Wednesday, the congregation didn’t seem to move fast enough before I took out my D90 and and proceeded to snap pics using the Sigma 10-20. I was lying on my back when the priest came over and quite quizzically asked what I was up to. I felt ashamed. I mean really, who gets caught on the floor of a Catholic Church? More important, is who would want to?

And then there are the barn shenanigans. With children in tow, there’s nothing to prevent me from pulling over and taking pics of barns and other raggedy farm buildings. I simply cannot help myself. I saw the most amazing barn today and screamed in absolute horror when there was no place to pull my truck to safely take the shot. My children (quite embarrassed) and their friends simply smirked. I almost want to drive back. It would have been a really cool picture. The outbuilding had no windows or doors, and the the wood was gray from years of weather and………

Misery loves company. Anyone else here with a photography obsession?

**walks through the crowd and sits down**

Flash

There is so much going on with my camera that sometimes I feel as though I will never stop reading.

So I own Nikon’s SB-600 speedlight. Today I learned to set it up to work wirelessly from the camera. Most photographers refer to this as operating the flash as a slave. Understand, as an African American I’m not too comfortable with using anything as a slave. Now I know that folks don’t mean anything by this, but the word still gives me the heeby-jeebies!

There is so much involved with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) that it was all I could do to set up the flash. Did I mention that Nikon’s manuals suck? Reading Nikon’s manuals is like reading pig-latin in the dark. So off to the internet I went. I found a website the speaks ‘idiot’, meaning it explained things to folks with a lower level of understand of things like myself.

Here’s what I found…AN IDIOT-PROOF SETUP!!!! Read Below.

Note! the SB-600 can not be setup as a master flash unit.

SB-600 setup
Press and hold the Zoom and the button, for approximately 2 seconds, to display the custom menu.

SB-600 custom menu
Using either the + or key, navigate to the wireless flash icon. when you see the icon press the mode or zoom button to change it to on. Then press the Zoom button and the button again(for approx 2 sec), to exit the custom menu.

SB-600 final
You can change the channel and/or group by pressing the mode key, then + or .

Done you’re SB-600 is now set up for remote wireless flash.