Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My First Attempts at Using Manual Camera Settings ...

Hello there! Many "Thanks" as ever for your kind comments on my last post.
For those of you who follow my ramblings here on this blog you will know that I am now two weeks into a Beginners Photography Course at the local Adult Education Centre - two hours a week, on a Thursday.
Last week it seemed to me that everyone on the Course was understanding what the tutor was saying about ISO's and shutter speeds apart from moi - who sat there with a blank look on her face.
When I got home from last weeks lesson I was all doom and gloom - I told the OH, "There's little point in me going, it's all in one ear and out the other!" And then he gave me a compliment, "You'll get it, you just have to perservere - you're intelligent, you know!" I sat down and thought about what he'd said and thought "He's right, I'm not a complete bozo!"
Anyhow, this led me into remembering that the tutor had said to just take photos of things around your home, your family, your pets, things in the garden - try different ISO settings and then look at the photos on the computer and if they're rubbish, just delete them - you will only learn by experimenting.
So here are my first attempts! Ruby was a willing participant in this experiment. The other cats had scarpered out of the house realizing the mad woman with the camera was on the prowl again!
Here is Ruby, in about her sixth collar this year - she just keeps loosing them!
My next willing participant in the experiment was KP.
Although I don't think these photos are too bad considering they were taken inside, I still need to practice more with the ISO settings and shutter speeds.
Although the next two photos are similar they are taken on different ISO settings. I think the second one is better for skin colour and texture but there's still something not quite right. I'll have to practice some more!
After three photos my guinea pig had had enough and so it was back to the cat!
Who didn't look too happy about being disturbed a second time!
However, getting a ribbon out of a drawer captivated her for a bit!
Before even that bored her too!
I perservered and got her attention again!
Thank You, my beautiful Ruby!
This photo I include only because it made me smile. KP likes helping out with the cooking. Last week we were making mushroom soup. I just can't chop an onion for the life of me, I start crying almost immediately, my eyes sting and I have to stop. So I left the room whilst the OH was supposed to be chopping the onion with KP watching. I went and sat in the lounge whilst the onion chopping was taking place. The OH came into the lounge and said, "Quick come into the kitchen with your camera. KP went upstairs after you'd gone to the lounge. I thought she wasn't interested in cooking the mushroom soup but she came downstairs and is wearing her Mr. Magoo dressing up box glasses and is chopping the onion!"
I'll give you the recipe for the mushroom soup as it is ever so simple but very delicious!

350g. / 12oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
25g. / 1oz. butter
25g. / 1oz. flour
450ml / 3/4 pint chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
Double Cream

 Put the mushrooms into a saucepan with the onion and butter.
Cover and cook gently over low heat for 10 minutes.
 Stir in the flour, then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
 Reheat and serve with a swirl of double cream!

Well, that's it for today.

Until next time,



  1. Great photo of KP at the end! I have found it easier to work by trial and error on manual, I find it sinks in more that way! I just did two morning sessions on my course, I'd like to do something more in depth, but I found I didn't learn too well in class. I made notes and then re-read them at home and read a photography book and that really helped me with the very basics but I still struggle with other things and am finding that just taking out Dave's camera so I'm forced to use the manual settings is working well and getting me to experiment and learn. It's too easy just to flick back to manual otherwise!

    Your photos don't look bad at all. It's so hard to assess the colours isn't it, especially on the camera! I can't figure out ISO so I am still only playing with shutter speeds and sometime aperture.

  2. whoops, I meant flick back to auto above, sorry!

  3. Thank goodness for wiling cats! The photos of KP are lovely, really natural.
    The last photo is fab!
    I always stick my tongue out when cutting an onion and it normally works so I don't end up crying!
    Lisa x

  4. I get totally confused with my camera & now Joe has started photography he changes all the settings !
    these are delightful - what lovely models you have.

    The onion cutting made me smile, while I peeled potatoes for the charity lunch, two women peeled & chopped onions. Their eyes were streaming. Both were giggling even though both had lost daughters ( there were real tears that day too )It was a nice moment.

  5. Love the Mr Magoo glasses! I get runny, smarting eyes when chopping onions, too. You photos are excellent. I think the best way to learn is by constant practising and at least with digital cameras no costly film is wasted. Look forward to seeing what you photograph next:)

  6. I think your photos are great! Love the one with the cat and teddy both looking in the same direction - funny!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  7. I really think your photos are fab, they have a luminous quality. Hope today's lesson goes well! X

  8. What wonderful photos. At least with digital you can experiment to your heart's content, it would have cost a fortune before digital getting everything developed. What stunning models you have too. I hate chopping onions. I've found that putting a metal teaspoon in my mouth stops my eyes from streaming.

  9. Well I think your photos are really good. I don't get the aperture and shutter speed mallarky either and I can't get to grips with the manual. I think OH is actually right - keep trying!

  10. I think your photos are really good, I just use the atomatic on mine cause my brain just wont get it, keep going your doing fantastic :-)

  11. The advice you got is the best! You can only really learn by your mistakes in photography. It will come :D

  12. And you're pretty good already, she types on, having accidentally hit publish! Love the KP pics, hasn't she got beautiful eyes :)

  13. What a coincidence, I too have just enrolled on a beginners digital camera course and yes, this week we were working on ISO's, how strange is that. I must admit at first I was a bit befuddled but it is gradually sinking in now. Oh and I don't know where I picked this up, but I always put the handle end of a teaspoon in my mouth when chopping onions - it does work but it does cause a bit of dribbling. Hey ho.

  14. I love seeing the results of experiments with your camera, it does sound very complicated! I use to hate cutting onions since wearing contact lens I don't have a problem.
    Sarah x

  15. Hi June,
    I can't help but say this is a 'Purfect Post'!!
    Your kittie is a little like mine...
    What a bonny lass KP is , I always think this! and your photographs are grand...
    Wishing you a lovely rest of week.
    Love Maria x

  16. If these are your first attempts, just imagine what you'll be able to do with a few more lessons. The last photo of KP chopping the onions made me laugh :-)

  17. Hi June,

    I think your photo's are lovely! The great thing about digital camera's, is you can play around lots and just delete the ones you don't like. Very handy when taking photo's of pets or animals. When I took photo's of my dog Basil, he was always moving all about..I had to take about 20 just to get one where he wasn't a ball of blurriness :P
    The last photo of KP is just great..I will have to give that a try :P
    Have a lovely weekend x

  18. These are great, you really can tell the difference. I especially like the ones of KP, there is something about the light and tones that really works, you can tell it wasn't on auto. But I still find that using manual takes so much faffing around, and with small kids you only get seconds to snap the photo! x

  19. I think you did a great job with your photos. Animals are so hard to photograph - yours look like a pro.

  20. Hello June
    I think your photos are amazing very clear and sharp
    I too react to onions badly someone told me it was because I had pale blue eyes ( I am not sure that's true)
    Have a wonderful weekend
    Thea x

  21. You seem to be doing really well with your new camera and the photos look really good! I love those cat photos and your daughter has been captured really well.
    I know that it all seems so complex in the beginning, especially mastering the basic triangle of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, but practice makes perfect. You will see! I still make mistakes when I'm concentrating on the subject and forget the settings!! It's like learning to drive a car, you have to remember so any things at once and then suddenly they all come together and become second nature!
    Have a great Sunday!

  22. It is important to note ones own talents, and looking at your photos.. they seem really good to us. Loved the collars, especially the sparkling one. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx

  23. So glad i visited, lovvvvve your cat. Right now my tabby cat Phoebe is cosy on my lap. I too have been wanting to get back into photography (not that i ever stop taking them.) but i studied it at uni pre digital in 96 and have forgotten a lot of the details of iso and shutter speed. I think your cat photos are spectacular and her eyes are really great is some especially. I now feel inspired to try even more. Look forward to more visits, catherine x

  24. These photos are seriously great- Well done you! I am useless at taking photos.xx


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