2017 Project 52 - Photography and Digital Scrapbook Design by Michele Kendzie

Michele Kendzie, Photographer, Scrapbook Designer, and Mom of Three Unschoolers in Fredericksburg, Virginia

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Week 9 - "Read your manual" (and try something new)

I have read my manual many times and know my camera quite well having used it for 7 years now. Plus it's just a Canon Rebel T1i, so it doesn't have much more than the basics. So I really didn't like this prompt. I did pull out my manual and look at it again, but it wasn't until I remembered I own a BOOK about my camera -- Canon Rebel T1i: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Jeff Revell -- that I found some things that made sense to me that I might try. I still don't think there is anything my camera can do that I'm not already doing. Sometimes I ponder going back to the semi-automatic modes, but whenever I try I get frustrated by the lack of complete control. But there were a few things I learned as I spent a couple of hours (off and on) browsing through this book yesterday. I learned how to adjust the level of the flash. I never use flash (because I don't own a separate one, only the pop-up one attached to my camera permanently) but now that I know how to reduce its power, I might. I found out there's a button I'd never used -- the depth of field preview -- which could be helpful, though in practicing so far I didn't see much difference. And I finally learned was the A-DEP mode is. I'd read about it before but never understood it. Now I think I might use it for quick landscape photos. For comparison, first I shot this scene on my table with Program mode, choosing an automatic mode for speed (I normally shoot manual) and also because, despite A-DEP's location on the mode dial, it's an automatic mode too, so I wanted to see how the camera changes its "thinking" not how its "thinking" compared to mine. So in Program Mode the bird is in focus and everything behind it is out of focus. In A-DEP mode, the bird is blurry but everything else is in focus. I didn't get to choose the focus point for either mode. I think in Program the camera finds the nearest object while in A-DEP, because it's meant for landscapes, it begins the depth of field about a third the way into the photo and keeps everything in focus into the distance. The program mode photo: f/5.6 1/250sec ISO3200. The A-DEP photo: f/22 1/15sec ISO3200. If I remember correctly, I was able to choose the ISO myself. And now, writing those stats, I realize there must be some motion blur in the A-DEP photo too.