My Tiny (Old) Digital Camera is GREAT Too!

Ever since I started my journey with photography it seems that every camera I use is GREAT, no matter how old it is. The entire world of photography has opened up to me since I’ve learned to take my camera’s off manual. One “advantage” my little Canon camera has over the Canon T5i is – it’s always in my pocketbook and I can take nice quality pictures on a whim!

Every weekend my husband and I go shopping at Trader Joe’s in Edgewater, NJ, which is located on the Hudson River across from New York City. It’s cold and gray in my neck of the woods and the river is cold and pretty. There are always photo opportunities as the George Washington Bridge is off to my left and the New York City skyline is off to my right.

What I have learned in using the settings on my little pocket camera is changing the light setting. I’m still figuring out ISO as I’m not exactly sure what that setting affects, but it’s fun to try different settings to see how the photos look on screen.

I thought learning photography was going to be easy…well it’s not so easy, especially when you have a full time job and can’t really travel to take nice pictures as I see so many other great photographers take. It’s a bit disheartening, but I’m determined to make the best with what I have.

Sparrows and a Woodpecker

My Bird Friends during lunch (Paramus, NJ)

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George Washington Bridge (from Edgewater, NJ)

 

George Washington Bridge

Another George Washington Bridge view (from Edgewater, NJ)

 

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New York City skyline on a dreary day and the sunken Binghamton on the Hudson River.

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New York City Skyline (from the New Jersey Turnpike). First attempt taking photo from a moving vehicle.

 

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Lessons about Exposure and Lighting

I had the pleasure of photographing a very beautiful Siamese cat named MooShu. He is a very peaceful cat who adores interacting with people. He is an older gentleman with beautiful deep blue eyes and a magnificent silky smooth coat. Moo, as I affectionately call him, is an excellent cat to photograph as he is very trusting and not at all skittish.

Choosing my first subject was easy. However, choosing where he would be photographed wasn’t so easy. Moo likes is special place which is an upstairs room with not a lot of light. So, how do I handle this?  I tried first to photograph an object that I thought would be similar lighting as the room that Moo was in, but I was wrong.

The object I chose to focus on to pre-set my settings before photographing Moo was a small metal butterfly sitting on a special shelf that was all its own. The lighting in the room was an overhead chandelier and I wasn’t sure if the lights were fluorescent or regular light bulbs. But once I shot this photo, I thought I’d be all ready to seamlessly shoot some photos of Moo. I was wrong…

Metal Butterfly

Metal Butterfly

Moo was in an upstairs room. The lighting was completely different. As a matter of fact it was almost non-existent! Moo liked to hang out in what was described as the “MooShu Lair!” Yes, it was indeed Moo’s very own room. It was a simple room that was quiet and peaceful just like Moo. But…the lighting was completely different. I did not think about the lighting being different from room to room. The room had one small decorative lamp sitting on a side table and a window. The sun had set and dusk had set in. MooShu was barely visible on the couch in the room. You would think I could get Moo to move to a different room, but he was sooooo comfortable laying on the couch I didn’t have the heart to call him to another room. So much for pre-setting my camera to easily take pictures.=

Now I was at a loss. Since the room was dark I couldn’t see the buttons on the camera to figure out what settings I should change to accommodate the lighting.  After “fiddling” around with the settings, here is the first picture I took of Moo in the dark room.

MooShu in a very dark room.

MooShu in a very dark room.

Sheesh…that is just awful…I know!!!  Here’s the second photo I shot in which I increased the ISO:

Moo Shu - same dark room different settings.

Moo Shu – same dark room different settings.

Oh, boy…not much better. But then it dawned on me. E X P O S U R E! I needed to increase the exposure! So, that’s what I did.

MooShu – dark room – increased exposure

Ahhhh…much better! This is the MooShu I know.

There are a few lessons I learned during this photo session:

  1. You can’t preset your camera’s setting while standing in a different room from where the picture is actually being taken.
  2. I need to memorize the buttons on my camera. It was very frustrating not really knowing which button showed the correct menu on the camera’s screen.
  3. I need to relax. There was no pressure here. I was only with my husband and Moo and there was no reason to be nervous, but I was.
  4. I realized that I don’t yet have a good grip on exactly how ISO, Exposure, Aperture and all the other settings affect the photograph.  I need more lessons.

Here are a few more pictures of MooShu.  I love that cat!

MooShu and Mark

Beautiful MooShu

Beautiful MooShu