In this first week of manual photography, and I feel like I’m facing an uphill climb. I’m taking a ton of photos. Some I keep. Some I look at, take notes on what not to do, and delete them. Those are the ones I hope I learn from. I’ve read and reread the Manual Section of The Unexpected Everyday by Courtney Slazinik a dozen times. Each time I get a little more out of it, and each day I take some good pictures and a lot of bad pictures.
There’s quite a learning curve that I’m struggling with. I mean, my photos weren’t so bad shooting in Aperture Priority. But I know that I need to learn how to do this. And I will. I just don’t feel super confident in my abilities just yet.
Here are the shots I’ve taken so far on what Courtney calls my “Journey” (I like this metaphor) and from following the tips inside The Unexpected Everyday. These photos are Straight Out Of the Camera or SOOC. Somedays I hit the prompt that Courtney gives, and some days I don’t. That’s okay. I’m learning, and that’s what is most important.
Oh! I love these feet. I think I found the right focus here. And I love the composition. It is balanced (mostly). And I love the contrast of boy to girl, dark to light, square to twisted. Julia’s crossed legs and bent toes kill me here. So I have that going for me. What I don’t don’t love is how dark and how yellow the photo is and the little bit of noise that makes the picture not perfectly clear. I need to focus on my ISO, white balance, and shutter speed, for sure.
She’s beautiful. Really. I’m not just saying that. And I feel like this photograph shows off the girl she’s quickly growing into. I love this photo. Really love. The exposure feels right. She has great depth in her eyes. The colors are nice. And shooting outside was so wonderful. The focus might be the slightest bit soft, which makes me grumble, but I’m the first to say that shutter speed is my biggest stumbling block. I’m working on it.
She’s a hair twirler. I might never have noticed if I hadn’t started taking her photo while she does her everyday things, like watch the weather on the local news (a new favorite). I love the composition here. The photo has some depth to it, which is cool to me. But again, the yellow kills me. Gross. And it’s dark. I know that my den is not the most well-lit room, so I’m going to also have to think about how to bring in some extra light to make the photos I take there feel more naturally lit, which will also help me get rid of the noise.
This photo is extra special because today is Max’s 3rd birthday. This photo show him in all his 3-year-old glory, his love for Bob the Builder, and that he’s just so super duper cute. Those lips! I shot this in our porch/sunroom area, so while we were inside, there was still plenty of lovely and natural light, which is why he’s not yellow like in the indoor shots. And I thought the porch would be perfect, but I learned that because the room has light on three sides, it was hard to capture the catchlights or the sparkle in his eyes. I had to get above him and shoot downward a little so that he wasn’t directly facing a window. But the sunlight makes all the difference here.
She’s also a worm handler, and with all the rain we’ve had this week, our worms are out. I shot this photo “wide open” which means my f-stop was on it’s lowest setting, letting in the most amount of light possible. This is what creates that lovely blurry background (her boots were pink), and the circles of lights or bokeh in the background. Even if this photo is of an ugly old worm, it’s kind of awesome for how it marks my daughter’s un-princess side.
I’m still working on my photograph for Day 6. I’m not quite sure I’ve figured out the tip there, so I’ll share it next Friday with that week’s photos.
The biggest take away this week is the difference between my natural-light photos and my inside, low-light photos. Give me the backyard over the den any day. Maybe I can convince my kiddos to step outside before they do anything I might want to shoot. They’d do that, right?