Thursday, November 3, 2011

Digital Photography Class - Focus and Composition

My brain is so crammed full of photography right now, that I’m dreaming about it. Last night for instance, I dreamed I was running all over my yard trying to capture frogs that were all hopping out of their holes at the same time. Synchronized frogs is just a little too much!! 

The reason my brain is so full…Kat’s Digital Photography Basics Class. Each lesson has been an “ah ha” moment. Every week, I keep saying I’m learning so much; but, I truly am!! The further we go the more I have to think though! First, find an object to practice on, then look for good light; check exposure; set aperture; focus; compose the shot in the view finder; and shoot. Did I forget anything?? But, each time I’m out, it does get a little faster and easier.

This weeks lesson was on Focus and Composition. The experience was a good one. The only frustrating moments I had involved the wind; a sticker bush that was right in my way; and not being able to compose the shots in my view finder. I do need to work on composing my shots while I’m taking photos. I have the Rule of Thirds grid displayed in my view finder, but it is faint black lines.  They need to be bright red so I’ll see them and remember what they are there for! I still had to rely on cropping all three images to get the composition I wanted. Which I know is OK, but I’d like to improve on this.

I learned a few more things about my camera this week. I found the exposure bracketing button. I also found the focus magnifier button, where I can check the focus before I take the photo; it zooms in, you check the focus, and click, it‘s done. I found I could control the focus area. I didn’t use that feature here since we were to use the center focus. My manual is getting a little dog-eared from so much use. It is much easier for me to read Kat’s lesson material, then go to my manual and find that section and read about my camera‘s ability. It’s much better than starting at the beginning of the manual and reading through the whole thing!!! I tried that and didn’t get to page 20!!
In this assignment I also used my point and shoot camera for the first and second images. It’s been very windy here all week and that does not make for good macro images. My point and shoot seems to capture a clearer macro under these circumstance. I also got out it’s manual and read it. I can get a lower aperture than on my dSLR. Of course, when we study aperture, maybe I’ll find out how to get it lower.

I was surprised at the different colors in the photos. It changed depending on the backgrounds and I think the cameras.

I'm hoping for a calm day in the near future, so I can have a photo day and practice some of my new skills.


  1. This was very interesting. I think I need to take Kat's Basics course next time she offers it. It sounds like you're learning in leaps and bounds!

  2. Hi Cathy
    thanks for visiting. I like these shots of yours too. I also have been reading my manual and playing in the manual mode but get very confused.

    I like how the background is so blurred out in the last shot. Did you do that by changing the aperture?
    I tried but it didn't work for me...

    I have a canon SX IS P&S but it has a good zoom and ok macro. But I would love to take good images.

  3. you're doing Great! I can't wait to start the class in the spring.

  4. Cathy, you ARE learning so much. It can seem overwhelming, but you are right, with practice it gets easier. It is so fun to see these photos and hear about your discoveries!! I'm happy you are enjoying the class. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your dream - that's really funny! It is a lot of information to absorb, but by the looks of your photos, you're doing great!

  6. Hello, passing by from Deborah's blog. Such beautiful pictures you took, like all the angles and reading what you learned. This is what I like so much about Deborah's blog, so much to learn about photography. Enjoy your class looks like your doing well in it.

    I like the dream you had, sometimes my dreams are of all my scrapbooking papers and tools and running around to stores finding certain ones I want. Especially when I scrap right before bed, those colors just stay on my mind even when sleeping.
    Thanks for sharing.


Thanks so much for stopping by!!