Read the manual

Let me summarize what I learned yesterday. Mostly about taking photos.

1. Read the camera manual. Why not? It will cost you a mere fifteen minutes of your morning and you've owned the damn camera for [whispered] two years.

2. Depth of field. Look look look, it's my blooming plants against a backdrop of window and beyond!

3. Compare the two photos. Can you spot the difference? This one is nice too, but this is what all my photos looked like before today. Apparently, my camera's aperture was auto-set to create a shallow depth of field. Who knew?

4. Now I can do what I once thought impossible: take pictures of condensation on windows even in brilliant sunlight. Just gotta slooooooowwwww doooooowwwwnnnn that shutter speed.

5. As all three photos of our living-room windows painfully put on display, housecleaning is not my calling. Have pity and wash us, they cry. In voices too spotty to be heard.

6. This post is getting downright silly, but wait until you see the next photo. That will sober us all up.

7. Hungry? Thought not. And this was the best food photo of the day. Green bean hash if you're wondering. Recipe not included. Yesterday's food photography attempt taught me mostly what not to do. Don't attempt to photograph food in artificial light. It gets dark early; photographing supper should really go on hold for a few months in favour of lunch or breakfast. Or mid-morning snacks. Also, don't go for candid in food photography. You know, don't start eating supper, then hop up and decide to photograph it. Trust me on this one.

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8. Everything I don't know! Buckets and buckets! I've got a shallow depth of field when it comes to this subject and I'm not too proud to admit it. Practice seems the best route to remedy that. Blog readers may be in for more flower photos than they should reasonably be expected to tolerate. (This one's an orchid). Please accept my apologies. And some nice flowers to go along with them.

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9. Finally, most importantly: What pleases my eye? Do I know? (For example, is this photo, unedited out of my camera, a touch too dark, or does it please, with what light there is catching the fingertips?) On automatic settings the camera tells me what to admire in terms of light and shadow, temperature and tone. On manual settings I have to puzzle beauty out for myself. You might call it the perfect challenge.