Experiencing shooting in manual

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Ever since I can remember I have loved taking photographs. In high school, I took photography and found a real passion for it. In 1986, my first job was developing film at a Caesar’s Palace photo lab. I moved on to get a job as a photographer at Sears Portrait Studio. Babies to this day are my favorite subjects to shoot. Sadly, I am embarrassed to say that I just bought the best camera money can buy and put that sucker on Auto everything.

Surely, my professor and some of you just gasped!

Having an eye for what makes for a beautiful photograph is fascinating to me. This latest lesson of stripping me down to manual was extremely humbling as a teacher of broadcast journalism.  The take away from this that I am now able to understand the camera and the settings a lot better, although I have a way to go before I teach a lesson on it.

Putting the camera completely in manual forced me to learn what ISO setting and what shutter speed and aperture setting I need for each shot. Googling my camera model and watching YouTube videos was helpful.  King’s Klass Blog was understandable http://owenspj.blogspot.com/. Lori King’s podcast of shutter speed and aperture was helpful. Particularly for me, blurred and panned action shutter speed.

I learned about metering before and understand that the meter inside the lens that shows up should be in the center. What I didn’t know was to meter off something grey.  I also learned about the MODE settings on top of the camera. The dial makes sense to me now and I encourage you to YouTube your model of camera.

The shoot itself was fun and a little frustrating, especially since I was thinking about the specific shots that were needed. This link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZVyNjKSr0M was helpful for composition. I found myself over the past few weeks looking at things compositionally, as in lines, light and what draws attention to my eye. In Denver, I was drawn to a little boy waiting for an autograph as the former National Champs walked off the field towards him. I was also drawn to a Native American drummer and the lines on his drum.

Shooting sports can be tricky. The ISO setting is the amount of light the camera needs and in Denver on a partly cloudy day outside I shot in a 400 ISO which worked very well. The shutter speed was set to catch the action without blurring parts of the subject. That was tricky and I need practice obviously.

The editing process was interesting as well. Last semester, I took Photo Editing in Photoshop so that was pretty simple. Photo Mechanic was a little frustrating but I managed to really like it.  I questioned why we use it but understand now that journalists need to know how to use Photo Mechanic.   The final process of posting to this blog and making the photo gallery was the icing on the cake. It is a really good feeling to see the work I put into learning something new and will continue to practice. After all…practice makes perfect.

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