back to basics


I've had so many things that I've been wanting to do but haven't had time for over the past year or so, and now that I've got more time on my hands I'm trying to do those things. One of them has been wanting to learn how to use the manual controls on my camera. 

I have used the shutter controls before, but most of the time I leave it on Auto and let it do its thing. I have a film camera which obviously has no Auto setting, but when I've used that before I've had my dad to help me - after years of using a manual SLR it's ingrained in his head. But today I looked on Google to learn how the manual settings on my DSLR work, and was actually surprised to find that it's pretty easy - I now understand why my dad has been on at me to learn the basics of using manual controls. It should probably have been the first thing I did when I got my camera, but when there's an Auto setting I suppose you just don't think about it. Low f-stop equals shallow depth of field, high f-stop equals deep depth of field. Then adjust the shutter speed accordingly: on a sunny day, low f-stop equals high shutter speed, high f-stop equals lower shutter speed. The light meter does the rest of the work - it shows whether the photo is either over or under exposed. (Apologies for writing this down; repeating it over is kind of how I learn things).

I took some photographs in the garden to test the manual settings and my ability to use them, and then decided I'd make the most of the sunshine and go on a walk. As much as it can be annoying living in the countryside sometimes, it is good that I can just decide I want to go on a walk through fields and I am able to. I definitely wasn't dressed for the weather - the sun kind of disappeared but it was so horribly humid and muggy and I was in a shirt and jeans. I still got a couple of okay-ish photos though, but the route that I took is nowhere near as pretty as it used to be. I think that it got a little run down and noone has taken the time or effort to make it nice again. It's a shame, because it was a really lovely walk a few years ago. Today, it just kind of made me a little sad. Either way, it still meant that I left my house, something which I haven't been doing enough now that college is over.

Here are some photos from today. They're nothing special, but they have certainly been helpful in terms of teaching me how to use my camera properly.

Daisies in my garden, taken using a low f-stop and high shutter speed.

Another flower in my garden, and a bright red bug which kept 
flying away so I didn't catch its colour properly.

The run down willow ponds. They used to be much more beautiful. 
At least the field was full of life. Higher f-stop, lower shutter speed.

I always love the poppies in this field because they're scattered and 
so it's beautiful to see a tiny splash of red amidst the green and yellow.

I am quite happy with the way these turned out considering it was my first go at using manual controls. I think that I'll probably make use of them a lot more in the future. I just need a more inspiring setting than today's. And perhaps more inspiring weather - I'm bored of not having any sunshine!

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