Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

May 22, 2010

Creative Exposure Assignment Results

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 7:55 pm
Tags: , ,

The equipment that I needed in order to complete this month’s photo assignment from Scott Thomas on creative exposure included:

  • my camera ( well, of course!)
  • a downloaded pdf of my manual because I misplaced my printed one
  • advice from Funky Slug
  • advice from Scott
  • straightforward reminders about what aperture, shutter speed and ISO do at this site
  • my tri-pod
  • my husband
  • a squeaky ball
  • my very willing model/participant, Teddy, our 1-year-old tri-color collie

I chose Teddy as my subject for a variety of reasons.  First, if I say so myself, he’s quite handsome and photogenic.  Second, he’s extremely willing to participate in any form of what he considers play.  Third, I noticed recently that he is developing a new skill of being able to catch a ball in the air.  Wouldn’t that be an extraordinary “catch” for me if I was able to pull off that picture?  And last, but certainly not least, I thought that Gerry and the Cowboy might enjoy some pictures of Teddy! 😉

So one early evening this week, I headed outside with the above mentioned equipment and got to work.  I felt a bit intimidated by personally choosing all aspsects of exposure myself, so I picked a setting on my camera that allowed me to choose the ISO and do the focusing, while it made the decisions on aperture and shutter speed.  I chose a higher ISO for the fading light and the quick action, plus I knew a manual focus setting would have a quick shutter.  My “auto” setting loses shots miserably while the auto-focus takes its sweet time.  Hubby endlessly tossed the squeaky ball for Teddy while I experimented with taking (and deleting) a ton of pictures.  One of the biggest challenges was the subject matter himself.  He didn’t always necessarily cooperate with staying within the boundaries of my lens from the spot I’d chosen to set my tri-pod.  I got many shots of empty green lawn, Teddy staring into the sky, and some with manic movement looking for the missed ball, kind of like this one:

[F 4.3, 1/400, ISO 800]

Through my experimenting, I learned about how soon to hit the shutter.  I got this shot, but it still wasn’t quite the one I was looking for:

[F3.4, 1/400, ISO 800]

I was pleased I was able to freeze the action, but it still wasn’t the “catch” I was looking for.  I was losing daylight, and possibly hubby’s patience, so I bumped up the ISO and moved my tri-pod to a new position.  Although Teddy didn’t center himself a bit more for this, I let out a fist-pumping,”YES!!” when I got this one:

[F3.4, 1/400, ISO 1600]

I was sooooo happy with this picture!  I never dreamed I’d actually get the shot with all four feet off the ground and the ball headed directly into Teddy’s mouth!  This shot does have a bit of blur, as though I did not completely freeze the action, but I don’t feel it necessarily takes away from the picture.  The white blur near his face is actually Teddy’s dramatic “ruff”- the big “scarf” of fur that collies have around their necks and shoulders, and I think in this case it adds to the action of the shot.

Thanks, Scott, for posting this assignment!  It forced me to re-learn things I’d forgotten about photography and to learn a bit more about my camera’s capabilities.  I could probably push it even further if I take the time to  experiment some more, which I plan to do this summer.  I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks!  If you could, I’d also like to hear what settings you might have chosen if this was your subject.  Thanks again!