Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

June 19, 2010

Hatin’ on my Camera

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , ,

I probably shouldn’t be saying this because the gods of Olympus will probably make me pay, but last night I was really hating my camera.  Granted, the situation I was trying to photograph was a difficult one: poor lighting and fast-moving subjects.  Then I went over to Scott’s site this morning and saw a beautifully exposed, complicated lighting situation, which made me dislike my camera even more!  Now part of my bad experience last night with my camera, I know, was because I didn’t take the time to go back to my camera manual again and review manual settings and what I have learned about exposure.  Why not you may ask?  The situation that caused my poor  photographing conditions was dress rehearsal for my daughters’ and my dance recital  tonight.  I was more concerned with making sure we had all the stuff we needed for the night ready to go, than thinking about my camera.  Instead of adjusting shutter speed, aperture and ISO myself, I tried two different settings I thought might work: the “sport” setting and “quick shutter.”  Those both sound good, don’t they?  Well, they weren’t.  The lament of point-and-shoot photographers everywhere, shutter-lag, confounded me on so many attempted shots.

Sarah’s back…

Sarah’s back…

Sarah’s back!

Sooooo frustrating!  Luckily, while the shots are so very far from perfect (these are also S.O.O.C. – I’m not in the mood for editing today, recital is tonight!) I managed to get a few that made me happy enough…

I liked the motion of this shot.. (Sarah is on the right in the foreground )

..and of this one.  This is my older daughter, Meghan.

Here she is on pointe; I’m very proud of her abilities in the beautiful style of dance.

A few other various shots from last night:

Another lady there last night was busily using her Canon Rebel to shoot away.  As I heard its shutter sounds behind me, the jealousy grew!  Sigh!

There are some other shots from last night on my Flickr photostream if you care to check them out.  Sorry, no pictures of me in my costumes – such is the problem for the family photographer; we are rarely featured in a photo unless we ask.  Wish us luck tonight!


  1. Thanks for the preview for tonight!

    Does your camera have a setting on it somwhere for higher ISO? Seems like it must if mine does. Might be worth trying. What about manual focus? That might be an option for fast moving subjects, or maybe continuous shooting?

    Comment by JenniferA — June 19, 2010 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

    • Oh, yes, I can go all the way up to ISO 3200, but as I said in my post, with the frenetic pace of things last night, I didn’t mess with any of my manual settings. I also don’t know how much grain I’d have at that setting. I’ve tried the continuous shoot mode before, and unfortunately many of the shots will come out blurred in that mode. I really don’t do well with my manual focus; since it is not on a lens, it is not intuitive. You have to use the buttons on the back of the camera and it just doesn’t suit to quickly moving subjects. Some day I won’t have these issues!

      Comment by Karma — June 19, 2010 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  2. Oh Karma–yes, yes! I have been in your situation so many times… The worst was the outdoor night-time dog sled races last year. Horrific. The fireworks ended up looking like modern art. Any time anything is moving in low light–forget it. I keep thinking there will be a setting on P&S camera somewhere which will rectify things. I believe you’ve done a good job, considering your limitations. Clap yourself on the back! Another P&S photographer would have come home sobbing…

    Comment by Kathy — June 19, 2010 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

    • Frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve been eyeballing beginner level DSLR’s on eBay!

      Comment by Karma — June 21, 2010 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  3. I found you through Kathy’s Lake Superior Spirit blog. I don’t think you did so badly with the point & shoot settings. But I was feeling the same way recently when, with a new camera in hand, I tried to take photos of my granddaughter’s dance recital. Gah! I still don’t know enough about the camera to know what I’m doing with it so I used the point & shoot (in my case I tried “manner/museum” and “sports”). Dreadful for the most part. I need to take the time to sit down with the manual and learn a thing or two. I don’t know why I don’t think of that BEFORE the important events. Doh. I did the same thing last night at an event, trying to use a setting I didn’t realize was there: Stage (more light, less blur it says on the screen). It was too much light and everyone on stage was washed out.

    It’s all part of the learning process… 🙂

    Comment by Robin — June 20, 2010 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

    • Robin, thank you so much for stopping by the blog! Best wishes in future endeavors with your camera. The bad thing about me and my camera is that I have owned mine for over 2 years now and my girls have been dancing for many years, so I really have no excuse for not figuring out ahead of time what settings might work best in this situation! In my defense, recital happens only once a year so I really don’t have that much opportunity to practice!

      Comment by Karma — June 21, 2010 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  4. Not bad though considering the limitations of a P&S for things that move and the lighting of a stage performance. Besides all the other suggestions, look for a way to have your camera spot meter which will give you the dramatic lighting that you see on stage versus flat lighting your camera recorded.

    Another tip is to see when during the performance, the dancers stop for a time. That’s what I did on the photo you are referencing.

    Of course, your camera might “accidentally” get knocked off a table. Thus needing a replacement. It’s been known to happen (he says whistling innocently). 😉

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — June 21, 2010 @ 9:03 am | Reply

    • I have wondered about spot metering in the past with my camera. I may not fully understand the concept, but I have tried letting my camera “settle” on a certain area of light in a shot and had what I thought looked like nice lighting on my LCD, only to have what the camera actually captures look very different, to my dismay. It may be yet another limitation of my camera ( or the ability of the photographer using it!)

      LOL about an “accidental” dumping from a height of my camera! I accidentally dropped my cell phone in the surf on vacation last summer – then opened it while it was still wet. Pretty much fried it – but I had wanted a new one anyway! I have a feeling hubby wouldn’t go for it if my camera met the same fate this year!

      Comment by Karma — June 21, 2010 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

      • See…and now it’s time to move to a new and more featured camera.

        IF you do get serious about a dSLR, I would suggest sticking with either Canon on Nikon. If you can find a good used Nikon D40, that’s a great starter camera. Have you tried keh.com? Might not be bargain pricing but what they consider good conditon is what most people consider excellent.

        Oh, and watch those elbows. 😀

        Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — June 21, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  5. They’re not so bad!! I always dread taking my camera to school performances, because I KNOW the pictures won’t turn out that great. But in the end, it’s the MEMORIES that really count 🙂

    Comment by thedailyclick — June 21, 2010 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Michaela. I bet your performance pictures look better than mine though! 😉

      Comment by karma — June 21, 2010 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  6. Haha… Camera hating eh… Well I guess you’ll not want to know about the difficult lighting I was dealing with today then… Lol… You did good though with the shots you’ve shown here… 🙂

    Comment by FS Photography — June 21, 2010 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

    • That lighting in the “urbexing” photo looks like it couldn’t have been easy, but it turned out beautifully!

      Thanks, Brian.

      Comment by karma — June 21, 2010 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  7. Oh, Karma! My students lament about their P&S cameras all the time. Even seasoned photogs have difficulty in complicated lighting situations such as this. You did pretty good!

    Shutter release delay is frustrating! I go over this in my classes so the students understand what the camera is doing so they can account for it. One way to get past it is to set your camera on ‘multiple shot’ or ‘continuous’ or something like that where it allows you to take a series of shots at one time. In this mode, you learn to press the shutter a little before the shot you want and as the camera keeps taking shots, you can get the pose you desire.

    I’m a little late to the party on this post. For some reason, I didn’t get an e-mail notice of it!

    Comment by milkayphoto — June 26, 2010 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  8. […] am MUCH happier with my camera this year than I was last year at this time, BUT I’ve made a new discovery.  I think my next purchase for my camera will have to be a […]

    Pingback by The Elements of Dance « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — June 18, 2011 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

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