First I’d like to start this post off with a photo I’m particularly proud of.  Do you realize how hard it is to get your dog and your camera settings to cooperate at the same time?  I set out trying to create a spring picture, so I coaxed Barkley into stopping to smell the tulips. Knowing I wanted to capture very fine detail of him and the flower, with a fuzzy background, I set the camera on aperture priority with a very large opening and a very high ISO setting.  This picture made my day –

1/4000  f4.2  26mm  ISO 800 (A priority)


Last week my husband and I took Friday off from work – we call such days Friday/Saturday, reasoning it’s Friday, but it feels like Saturday.  The day before is obviously Thursday/Friday, which produces similar feelings of giddiness.  One can now deduce that my expertise on this subject leaves me a bit shorthanded of vacation days come the end of the year – and that is 100% accurate.  But I digress.

So we started our glorious Friday/Saturday at a local coffee shop.  I came equipped with my camera and ‘dummies’ book, ready to relax and learn something new.  The subject on this day turned out to be a lesson on how to control exposure.  By pressing the EV button & then rotating the dial, I can increase or decrease the exposure, making it over or under exposed. Pretty cool. Here’s how I tested it –

/1000  f6.3  18mm  ISO 200 (A priority)
EV = 0

1/2000  f6.3  18mm  ISO 200 (A priority)
EV = -1 (underexposed)

1/500  f6.3  18mm  ISO 200 (A priority)
EV = 1 (overexposed)

I also learned that the histogram on the camera display is a great tool in judge whether the exposure is correct for the image .. overexposed histograms have the “mountain” shifted to the right, while underexposed has the mountain positioned to the left.  Perfect exposure then is to get that mountain in the middle.

Another cool feature I stumbled upon – because I’ve been wondering this – is a way to control what the focus of the picture is on.  There’s different metering scheme settings, and mine has always been on multipoint matrix metering, which is the default for most dSLRs. When I look through the viewfinder,  there has always been a bunch of dots, and a big circle in the middle. I’ve always tried to put the subject I’m shooting in that center circle.  But I discovered I can shift the focus to one of the dots that isn’t in the center – simply by pressing the arrow keys on the camera.  For example, I wanted focus to be on the upper right cupcake –

1/250  f4.8  32mm  ISO800  (A priority)

Now how about the bottom left cupcake – accomplished after moving the dot to the bottom left area of the viewfinder

1/200  f5  38mm  ISO 800 (A priority)