Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some Realizations About Photography

You learn about photography with doing. Hands on training is probably the best way to figure it all out.

I've been happy with my point and shoot camera, a Canon SX40 HS. The camera has aperture priority mode, shutter speed priority mode, manual mode, program mode, and some other auto features on it. I can control the flash power, have TTL metering, and many of the features that a full DSLR camera would have.

There are some limitations to the camera that make sense for a consumer product. Even though the camera has a Digic 5 processor, it doesn't use it as fully as the DSLR cameras.

One limitation, for example, is a top ISO speed of 3200 when you set it manually. However, the camera cheats at times. The photo above, for example, has an ISO of 4000. And, when set to low-light mode, it goes up to ISO 6400.

That's one of my realizations. Up until now, I was comfortable hanging out in the 200 to 400 ISO range, not realizing how higher ranges would help me increase shutter speed for sharper pictures in low light. Yes, there is noise in the image; but, that doesn't bother me so much.

I want the depth of field and motion freezing more than I want noiseless photos.

And I think that's my other realization. After taking so many pics, I'm starting to understand what I like in a photo. I can decide what sacrifices I'm willing to make to achieve the result I want. I also understand the limitations of my hardware, and I can figure out how to work around those limitations.

And, having momentarily borrowed some DSLRs at events, I realize that it's super important to RTFM. Cameras can do some really neat stuff if you know what all the features are.

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