Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Had a decent day out yesterday with a trip to Korea Town to pick up kimchi and walnut cakes. Nothing says Saturday afternoon in Toronto like a box full of walnut cakes and a stroll down Bloor St. In anticipation of buying a DSLR camera around Christmas, I've been working on understanding the settings clearly. I've been a lazy point the camera, shoot and hope I get the photo kind of person since moving to digital. I've spent quite a bit of time reading on f stops, exposure, histograms and how to balance the photo. Even when I used a film camera, I was never that aware of the settings. 

I discovered a few interesting things about my habits - I tend to focus far too much on the specific topic I'm shooting and ignore the stuff going on in the background. I had a gorgeous shot of a dog sitting patiently waiting at a fruit store for his owner. The balance was right, the light on the dog was good, the dark fur shone and .. a woman's white leg sticking out of the dog's head pretty much killed the mood of the photo. I didn't even notice it when I took the photo. So, yea, that went into the trash. In hindsight, I should have kept it and posted it here to show what went wrong. 

I almost titled this article "Struggles of an amateur photographer" but that's a bit disingeneous. It's not a struggle, frustrating sometimes, but fun discovering how to get the most out of photos and camera. My current Canon Powershot has limited settings, so I can only go so far, but that doesn't mean I can't get outstanding shots. The new camera setup I'm looking at will also allow me to do some videos, something the Powershot doesn't really excel at. Videos tend to be a bit choppy and chews threw batteries like candy. I've looked at the lens from my old Konica film camera and discovered I can buy an adapter for the DSLR and use it. I loved my old Konica and lens and got all misty eyed nostagic at the thought of being able to use it. I'm interested in seeing what kind of quality the lens will offer. I really, really loved that old lens! 

To today's offering:  

Before setting out yesterday, I fussed with the settings a little, getting ready for a bright sunny day, intense reflections off buildings and getting fun stills.  I used evaluative metering, f/3.4, ISO 100, auto white balance. Pretty basic settings. With the new DSLR I'll be able to fire in RAW, which will be amazing, but in the meantime, I'm quite happy with some of the results.  Photo of a fruit and veg store on Bloor in Korea TownWhen I got home, I adjusted the shadows a little to bring some of the fruit and vegs up a bit clearer, but beyond that, the photo is satisfying as is.  

You can now connect to Bitter Grounds Magazine by wandering over to my new(ish) Instagram account. I set it up a year ago but only recently began working with it extensively. I'm loading up some on-the-fly photos and experiments that may not make it to the website, so it's fun to play with.   https://www.instagram.com/bittergrounds2016/  

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"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

- Dorothea Lange

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