y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Learning To Step Up My Photography Game

Learning To Step Up My Photography Game

Last summer, a friend and I took a beginning DSLR (digital single lens reflex) photography class, armed with a new camera which I barely new how to turn on. 

Many people who  know me consider me an 'artsy' type, often commenting I have a good eye for composition and that my photos make them feel like they were 'there'.

What they don't usually know is that until this class I rocked a point and shoot camera and relied on my art history education to capture good shots. Especially with the blog, it was high time to step up my photography game.

One of my ongoing goals was to learn how to use manual settings on a 'real' camera. For the class our main goals were twofold. One was to practice macro photography. More simply put, to have a clear object up front with a blurred background. The photos you see on so many great magazines and blogs. The second goal was to minimize post-editing with Photoshop, and let the camera do most of the work.

During the classroom lecture, it was relief to learn there were four major settings that really impacts the shots: the key controls of ISO, shutter speed priority, aperture priority and shooting mode. Once we were on the field, the challenge of being good at coordinating everything at once hit me.

For the field component of the class, we began with nature, particularly roses. The pink roses we used as subjects revealed subtle color variations, natural patterns and details in the petals. We strove to find the lowest ISO (sensitivity of sensor) to get the highest quality images with a smaller aperture number to capture a shallow depth of field.

My best shot appropriately focused on the buds in the foreground while showing a hazy background. Goal #1 -check.

This shot adds some good color variation to the shallow depth of field.

This overexposed shot, although a mistake, turned out quite lovely. The light looks like a sun ray and the photo feels vintage. Proper exposure does not always have to be the goal. Experimentation often yields interesting shots.

Although it was not part of the curriculum, I strayed from the roses to practice a few architectural shots at Pasadena City Hall that displayed more depth of field. Along with food, landscape and architecture are my favorite subjects.

This shot frames out the relief sculpture on the fountain, which has become slightly dulled over time.

The sun bouncing on the water created some great focal points for this one.

The final exercise during our field work was to capture the feeling and energy of motion by setting the shutter speed, panning the camera while fast moving cars approached a traffic intersection and taking the shot at the right moment.

This shot is a bit blurrier than desired, possibly missing the right moment to take the shot. The motorbike and Smart Car made cute subjects, though.

I totally missed the mark on this one, blurring everything. The vintage car also made a fun subject.

This shot turned out just right by using a slow shutter speed and panning the camera to follow the cars, then choosing the right moment to capture the shot.

Our instructor said that learning photography is like learning a foreign language. I have a new appreciatation of how much artistic and technical talent has to converge at just the right time to capture a great shot.

Armed with the proper tools I am now ready to become a more capable shutterbug, matching the technical skills to my eye.

9 Responses to “Learning To Step Up My Photography Game”:

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excuse, that I interfere, but, in my opinion, this theme is not so actual.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Howdo! Thank u for a very fresh idea. I am wondering why i have never though of this as well. I will definately try to use your blog for getting some more fresh info!


    Regards, A
    check my site

  3. Thanks for the colorful commentary. I am so pleased when posts (especially the non-food ones) are well received. I am even more happy that sharing this experience provided some useful information to you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  5. Thank you for the kind comments, and posting a link to the post. While the instructions are not specific, it's just in enough everyday English to be useful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    keep up the good work , I read few content on this internet site and I think that your website is real interesting and has got bands of wonderful info .
    some really great info , Glad I found this.

  7. Thanks so much. People like you are why I enjoy blogging. Since the site is very food-centric, it's great to know there are those who enjoy these types of posts too.

  8. Shluvim says:

    The cars in focus while the road is blurry is pretty nice, movies tend to do that angle.
    Pretty nice you managed to do so yourself.

  9. hi Shluvim,

    Thanks so much for your kind feedback. That technique involves doing so many things at once, that I too was pleased to learn to do it myself. And if I can, anyone can!

Leave a comment

Please feel free to provide feedback and comments.