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October 14, 2002

Camera Work

Tonight is my second class in photography. Mentor's recreational committee is sponsoring it, and while it is quite simple (one two-hour evening class a week for eight weeks), I'm finding most of my free time swallowed up by it. We are supposed to shoot a roll of slide film each week, concentrating on a particular aspect of photography each time. The slides I'm supposed to show this week deal with exposure: one high value (mostly whites) image, one low value (mostly blacks) and one high contrast image. This is to explore the metering behavior of my camera, which the teacher points out will want to set exposure to 18% gray.

Finding the time and appropriate subjects for these photographs consumes some of my time, but another sizeable chunk is taken by me frantically poring over my camera manual and experimenting with the controls. I'm taking this class for a reason: I am very focused when it comes to studying for my professional interests, but when it comes to hobbies, I need structure to achieve my goals. Taking the class forces me to read the manual, play with the settings, and otherwise make progress beyond the full automatic mode of the camera.

An example of this is that I've had my digital camera for yonk's ages, but I've not really comprehended all the available settings, though I've experimented with them, read the manual, and a tutorial book for my specific camera. This weekend I was fiddling with it in case I wanted to take pictures at the Onion Festival (I didn't), and I got to playing with the Aperture Priority mode. "Oh, so that's what that means," I found myself thinking. Of course, it also helps that I've now been spurred to read the book that Alan lent me, Creative Camera Control.

So now you know why posting has been so sparse lately, and why it will probably be sparse for the next six or seven weeks. I just thought I'd post a spate of articles to keep the site from getting stale...

Posted by dpwakefield at October 14, 2002 09:40 AM