Monday, April 12, 2010

Mistakes - and the Peria Rodeo.

I have just finished making some Lemon and Poppyseed Muffins. I didn't cook them for long enough and they're soggy in the middle. I'm going to use the excuse it's a new oven and I'm not familiar with it just yet.

Thinking about this mistake, I started thinking about mistakes in photography. But when you're shooting something that's in action, you can't always go back and fix that mistake. Take for instance my photographs of the Japanese Zero plane I took a the Marlborough Aviation museum a few weeks ago, when it did a surprise fly by.

From The Ambling Rambler

While this is a good clear shot of a plane flying, it would not do well in competition simply because my shutter speed was so fast, it stopped the propellor completely.  The plane looks suspended in mid air!  A good image would have left the propellor blurred in action.  So what I should have done is reduced the shutter speed.  All good, but you have to remember I only had 1.5 seconds to make that decision before the plane disappeared for good.  So.. I missed it.  Part of it was also unfamiliarisation of my new camera and what it's capable of.   Next time I hope I can remember to have a slower shutter speed before I even start shooting.

Very occasionally, without even knowing, you can shoot all day with the wrong settings, and can be surprised.  In one such instance, on a bright hot summers day with no cloud in the sky, I forgot to check my ISO settings.  However, the images turned out fine, although the sky was a bit noisy.  I did probably delete more than usual due to overexposure though, but I was shooting in the middle of the day, so sometimes these things cannot be helped.  Noise Ninja solved the worst of the problems.  The day in question was this...

From The Ambling Rambler

I've just been talking to other photographers and ISO is probably one of the most common things that we forget to check between shoots.  It can really stuff things up if you have been shooting on 1600 ISO and forget to change it back to the 200-400 ISO  range, especially on a sunny day.

But occasionally, VERY occasionally, it can work in your favour.  I had been out shooting in low light conditions the last time I used my camera before the Peria Rodeo.   I had my ISO set on 800.   Then on the day of the Peria Rodeo - a hot, sunny, cloudless day in mid summer, I grabbed my camera and started shooting.  Never once checking the ISO.    I took about 200 images, and because they were all action shots, was thinking if I could three or four perfectly focussed images, I would be happy.  Every single image turned out perfectly.   I was amazed, and that's when I truly learnt about ISO settings when it comes to action shots.

Of all the images I took at the rodeo - I thought this one was the best, but I had a whole heap of others which I'll post up in the next blog!

From The Ambling Photographer

Other easy things to forget is the JPEG vs RAW.  There's nothing worse than coming home from a photoshoot to find all your images have been shot in JPEG instead of RAW.  I've only done it once, and was so disappointed with the results, I do keep a check on it now.  The only time I change to jpeg if I want to do some quick small photos for the web only - for instance an auction on trademe.

And have you ever shot a whole lot of fabulous shots, on a perfect day knowing you've got some great images, to find you had no memory card in your camera?  In fact no memory card on you at all, AND you were walking, so couldn't rush home and get it to start again?    I keep memory cards in abundance now, and I know I'm not the only one who has done this!

Live and Learn.  That's what Photography is all about!

1 comment:

nathanbarlow said...

Trying to change lens while walking and quickly so you don't miss action....only do this once; it can be an expensive lesson. It also made me a big believer in the idea that lens filters protect your glass.