I’ve been working on categorizing my photo library; some of which goes back to the sixties. Family related images, I want to keep. More modern stuff from the early years of digital imaging looks terrible by high definition standards.
I have always been interested in photography, and have a few amateur shots that are quality shots for an amateur. Perhaps a professional might find critical details to be substandard.
When the bug hit me again, I had to have a new camera, and once I had the new camera in hand, I had to learn how to use it. This explains the two-hundred, or so, shots of a yellow tulip. After about fifty or so of the same imaged repeated over and over again, I was ready to scream, and started doing block deletes. If it was a yellow tulip it was deleted.
Then I thought to post this one image, and explain why there were two-hundred images of a yellow tulip.
Excruciatingly boring technical details follow; skip if you are not interested in photography.
First, proper exposure. In the days of film, post processing in the dark room could save a poorly exposed negative. In fact, then, as now, post production often takes a nice picture and makes it extraordinary. In the modern digital age, correcting exposure is a simple mouse click on a symbol (if only you can remember which one).
Second, proper exposure is determined by shutter speed and aperture. Depth of field (focus) is determined by focal length and aperture. A long lens (300mm) gives a very nice degree of magnification, and a wide-open aperture gives a very shallow depth of field where only a small part of the image is in focus.
(See the bird)
Stopping down the lens, to something like F8-F11 gives greater depth of field; more of the image is in focus, and it corrects for any focusing error by the photographer. My eyesight is getting bad, and getting focus right takes special effort. Even with auto focus camera and lens, the camera might not focus on what you want. I’ve had to reject images where the camera focused on a branch in the foreground, not the wild creature in the back ground that was the intended center of interest in the image. Also, you can’t see the LCD display in bright sunlight, so you don’t know you have a bad shot until you get inside.
Closing the aperture down means slowing the shutter speed; go too far and you get fuzzy images because of ‘camera shake.’ You need a tripod, and not a cheap one. I have seen ‘camera shake’ with the camera on a tripod and the 300mm lens. You need the higher shutter speed, and the open aperture, and you have to check the auto focus.
Now you begin to see the long list of things that can go wrong: exposure, shutter speed, aperture, focus, composition. Lighting is a whole ‘nuther topic. Professionals write books just on lighting.
So just get an average, mid-range, point and shoot and don’t worry about the technical details. Sure, you can do that. Concentrate on composition, and being ready for snap shots. Watch your background, and move around. Get to know your tools, and practice. Lots of practice, like two-hundred shots of a yellow tulip.
Thunderstorm moving in. Power could go out at any moment.