Meet the Camera

This morning we learned about using the manual features of our camera. The participants who didn't bring their own camera are using the one the facility donated. They have to turn the lens to set the f-stops (which we learned about today), the shutter speed (another thing we learned today), as well as focus the image.

My camera is slightly different from that. I have a dial near the shutter button that changes the shutter speed and if I press down on the +/- button and rotate the dial, I can change the f-stops.

I'm just real impressed with how much math is involved in photography. I know we were told we didn't have to memorize f-stops and such, but my mind was just relating what I was learning to a number line. (If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a teacher.) The closer the f-stop (or aperture) is to 0, the more light is let into the camera. To me it's saying, if on a number line, 0 represents the sun, then the closer you are on the number line to 0 (the sun), the more light you can see; so, the farther you are away you can "see" less light - sort of like how Pluto used to be! And likewise with shutter speed. Now any of your real photographers feel free to comment on this if my analogy isn't quite right. It's better I relearn it correctly now that to try a long time from now.

After we learned how to manipulate our camera and how to "freeze" shots, we were sent out on the yard to practice our techniques. The first assignment dealt with how changing f-stops effects the picture. We metered the first shot and changed the other two by stopping up and stopping down 3 stops. The second assignment dealt with changing the shutter speeds. Again, we metered the first shot and then stopped up and stopped down 3 stops on the other two photos. There were a couple of other assignments, but those required taking 5 shots of the same photo using the criterion set by our instructors. We were out for about 2 hours and I can't speak for anyone else, but it took me that long just to take about 21 shots. There definitely is a lot of critical thinking involved in photography. I guess I'm trying to make photographs after all!

Well, I'm just about ready for an afternoon nap. I turned in my roll of film to be developed and I need to be ready for our 4:00 session. This time, I'm bringing a hat!


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