Wednesday, September 30, 2009

f/8 and be there

The rule used to be, "f/8 and be there." When I left my job at the local television station to move to the local paper, my friends at the station gave me an f/8.

Today's point and shoot cameras have buried the f/8 part of the rule. My little Canon SD10 does not allow one to set an aperture. Aperture?

But being there is still important and if you have a little point and shoot at the ready, you've got your picture.

Is it art? Should I be proud to of today's picture, a picture which owes so much to my choice of camera? Of course it's art and I am proud. I made the choice and clearly I delegated wisely.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is it art?

If you haven't done so, please read my take on why photography is art. You can find the essay on Rockin' On: the Blog.

Now, about this picture. Yes, like almost all the other images on this blog, this picture was shot with an aging Canon SD10. The sky was way too bright compared to the toilette in the foreground and so the sky was washing out in order to capture detail in the john.

First, I turned on the flash. As a rule I keep the flash off but rules are meant to be broken. Then I aimed the camera at the sky and exposed for the warm, sunset sky and the clouds. Then, I re-composed the picture to include the toilette. When I took the picture, the flash filled in the detail in the white porcelain throne. It even gave it a bit of a neat sparkle that takes away the dirty old john feel.

Even using a point and shoot, it helps to keep your brain in gear.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Add a little action

Yesterday, with only my little, aging, Canon SD10 ELPH, I shot pictures of the annual Terry Fox Run. I saw people lined up here for pictures and there for pictures but I so no one actually shooting pictures during the event.

I use my little camera in fully automatic mode. This does not mean that it does everything; I have to add a wee bit of brain power. For instance, I try to shoot action pictures only in bright sunlight if both the subject and I are in motion - in this case jogging. If I am in deep shade with lots of leafy tree cover, the camera will choose too slow a shutter speed.

I've heard the complaint that in bright light it is impossible to take pictures as the screen is impossible to see. The solution: don't worry about seeing everything perfectly.

When I was a news shooter it was common to hold your camera high above a crowd to get a clear shot. It didn't always work; you didn't always get a good picture. But, if you didn't try you would never get that photo. Never!

So, the next time you are involved in a walk or a run, don't just line the family up for a "four against the wall" photo. Try for an action picture. Just remember to have the four in a line photo on which to fall back.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Scale Is Important

This little baby girl, Fiona, is only minutes old. Her mother's hand, adjusting the newborn's pink blanket, seems so huge next to the little infant. Fiona is only six and a half pounds and it shows in this picture. The window light is soft and neutral in colour and creates an all important catch light in her eye and the little yawn, such alertness in child but minutes old, also adds interest. The composition is rather classic, almost following the Rule of Thirds. The camera used was my trusty little Canon SD10. The relatively fast f/2.8 lens is a plus in these situations. Staying away from straight on strobe is almost always a good idea.