Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A day in the life of...

I’m learning how to use the RAW setting on my camera. I’ve seen the setting for years, but I’ve not been brave enough to use it. Most digital cameras have an “AUTO” just point and shoot and the camera does the work. RAW is the opposite of AUTO. With RAW the camera does none of the work, the photographer has to do it. In other words, I get to figure out all the settings! It’s like “old fashioned” photography where you needed a light meter to get the best shot. I am not using a light meter; I’m using the histogram display on the camera to tell me what to do, then I’m setting all the dials so “stuff” works. It can get really technical, so I’ll quit while I’m still ahead.

To that end, today I was playing (or is it learning). I was inside the house, looking out the big windows when a couple of mockingbirds landed on the crook in the garden. I set up the tripod; put the camera on 20X zoom, figured out the right settings and started shooting. What fun! I was so excited that I could focus on their eyes and still capture the subtle details of their feathers. AUTO would never see that detail.

A bit later another bird showed up...don’t know his name, and he landed in the pyracantha. You have to be a hearty bird to land in a bed of spikes.

In case you are wondering if there is a difference between AUTO and RAW, take a look at the following 2 pictures. The first is AUTO.

This is the same scene in RAW

The color of the sunset was amazing...and the RAW photo showed it off with perfection!
I promise I won’t get too technical in the future!

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