Dinner is served

Hubby had to work late tonight and I had to eat dinner alone. Here’s what I had, chicken and zucchini soup. The original recipe called for pork but I used chicken instead although I followed the recipe exactly (although the proportions were a bit different as I rarely measure ingredients). As the recipe had no photo, I submitted mine and it got accepted. Anyway, the soup was yummy and hearty, perfect for a cold night alone.

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Photography course: Day 2

The weather yesterday was freezing and it took all my willpower to get out of bed earlier than usual. All I wanted was to curl up in bed and stay warm under the quilt. However, it was the second day of my photography course and the first workshop session. I certainly cannot miss that despite the rain and the winter chill outside.

I expected the workshop to be a full hands-on, practical session but it turned out to be a lecture with a 15-minute break for an opportunity to take a few photos outside to support what has been discussed. The lecture revolved around the auto-focusing system of most cameras, how it gets it right most of the time and what to do when it fails on difficult situations like contrasty scenes and smooth toned backgrounds. Then there was also a discussion of the three triangles of photography – ISO, aperture and shutter speed – what they are, how they affect a photograph and how they can be used creatively.

At one point during the lecture, the instructor asked how many people in the class enrolled because they want to be able to take photos in manual mode. Since my instructors from previous photography classes frowned upon not using manual mode, I was among the participants to raise their hands. Imagine my surprise then when the instructor said that that kind of thinking probably stemmed from the belief that a good photo would have to be taken from manual mode but that he recommend we use program, aperture or shutter priority. In fact, he said that we shouldn’t attempt to use the manual mode until we’ve taken at least 10,000 photos (film) or 100,000 (digital)! His reasoning is that the camera would be able to take good photographs with these settings most of the time anyway and it’s certainly better to get the photo than missing out on the opportunity because we’re worried about having to remember what the correct settings are.

It’s a departure from what I’ve been previously taught that using these modes were just crutches that should be avoided. I definitely could understand his reasoning though and I guess as long as I learn from using aperture and shutter priority for now with a view of using manual mode once I’m comfortable doing so then it’s okay. Experience in shooting and learning which settings suits particular situations are important factors for a beginner and I suppose aperture and shutter priority would suffice for now. Perhaps he believed that we might just be discouraged if we use manual mode then get terrible photos and stop photography altogether?

Click here to view photo album

After the lecture, we had a bit of a break when we had to go out of the building and take 3 shots – one with almost no sky, one with a bit of the sky and the ground, and one with a lot of sky. It was drizzling when we went out and most participants were hesitant to expose their cameras to the rain. I quickly took a few photos and went back inside the building.

After everyone had gone back into the lecture hall, the instructor uploaded his own photos. He used aperture priority and made us take note of the camera settings and how the photos turned out. Two out of three (the ground shot and the one with sky and ground) had pretty accurate exposure but the third one, the one with the biggest portion of the sky, was under-exposed. This supported what he said about the camera getting the settings right most of the time and how it could get it wrong. He explained that the under-exposed photo was the result of the camera metering off the sky and thinking that the scene was brighter than it was. He also mentioned that the solution to the problem would be discussed in the next lecture, which would be tomorrow!

The class would also be having another workshop on Sunday in one of the CBD gardens, hopefully with more shooting involved. I’m also hoping for better weather than we got yesterday but the forecasts aren’t very good. I know there’s still a drought on but could the sky please hold it in for a few hours on Sunday?!?

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 8:18 am  Comments (2)