I am not the quickest adapter of new(ish) technologies and I have been really struggling with taking digital photos. It's a bit like sewing, where the gap between what I imagine and what I produce can be much wider than what I would like. After a while I began to wonder whether it was the camera's fault that many of my pictures were blurry and just wrong. I was taking many, many photos to get just one or two that I was happy with. Then I read this and this post over at Posie Gets Cozy. I've been reading Alicia's blog for a month or two now (slow, I am slow) and have often admired her photos. When I read what camera she uses, I was pleased because I use an older version of the same and then my heart sunk a little. It isn't the camera, it is definitely me. So I read the article and followed all the links. I read and learned. I've also been reading digicamhelp, which I found through flickr (cruising photos and checking the properties to see what sort of cameras people are using, before I knew it was me and not the camera).
It's not like I want to be a total photo head, that's not really my thing. I just want to get the basics right enough so I can get the pictures I want without too much fussing. Anyway the biggest revelation was about how digital cameras focus and the effect of camera shake. Although I read the instruction manual, I never got the importance of half depressing the shutter to focus and holding the camera still until after the picture is taken. This is important. Very. Der. So focused shots have been the exception rather than the rule. And now I know why the tripod self timer pictures tended to focus. Revelation!
So on Wednesday afternoon, I raced around the backyard in the fading light to practice. I love how with the flower picture, I can see my fingerprints! I know that when I am really on top of this, that the petals will be completely focussed too, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself here. And with the glass tops, I can see the dust on the window sill. Not that I am proud of the dust, just that I can see it.
My next practice excercise will be low light with the tripod and no flash. And some good pictures of Grace and her new talents, like pushing her trolley and climbing onto the couch. My faith in my camera and my ability to learn how to use it properly has been rekindled. I am so excited.