12/06/12 – An Intruder

Today has been the first day that it was easy to take a photo as even though I didn’t get to leave the house again today I had an intruder.

Next door’s elderly cat (affectionately called Ginger Balls as we don’t know his real name) has adopted our garden for sunbathing purposes after they bought a yappy dog last year.  He was in my garden this morning while I was hanging washing out ( a risky business with the current UK weather) so I dashed back in to the house and grabbed my, now fully charged, camera to grab a shot before he scarpered.

Ginger Cat

Camera Settings:

  • ISO 160
  • 1/125 (still no idea what this means)
  • F5.9
  • Flash Off
  • WB Auto
  • No exposure adjustments.

I’m quite pleased that I remembered not to place the cat in the centre of the photo today, although in truth it was having to keep his tail in frame that reminded me – so luck rather than judgement in this case.  I can see that I’ve lost some of the detail in Ol’ Ginger’s face so that bit is over?exposed (I think I have that the right way around, Over exposed is too white, no detail captured).

On a side note though – I really need to do some gardening!!

11/06/12 – Not pie

So today was a write off as far as getting out and taking some photos.  My baby girl was playing up and I haven’t got used to the stares from elderly people yet when she loses it in public so a day at home it was.

In the end I took some hasty shots of my daughter that are all so bad that if it hadn’t been for this blog I wouldn’t be keeping at all.  I really struggle for inspiration when I don’t manage to leave the house – taking photos of sauce bottles or condiments just feels odd somehow…Although it did occur to me to take a photo of my dinner (cottage pie), it only occured half way through eating it and the pie didn’t look nearly as appealing half eaten.

So here’s today’s shot:

Baby Girl

The information from the camera settings is:

  • ISO 800
  • 1/60  (not sure what that is – note to self to look it up in the manual)
  • F5.8
  • Flash On
  • WB Auto
  • No exposure adjustments

Not sure there is anything right about this photo, the lighting is poor, there is clutter in the background (xbox and wires), and the cat toy is in focus rather than my daughter.

The only thing I remotely like about this picture is the diagonal angle of my daughter, but even then it would have been better if her  face hadn’t finished in the centre of the photo.

oh well…tomorrow is another day

10/06/12 – Charging your Battery

Today should have been easier to get a photo as I went out for a short walk around Agden Resevoir.  However while messing with my camera yesterday I’ve drained the battery.  So lesson two is make sure I charge the battery regularly.  (Or purchase a spare, which may be a good idea for when I next go camping).

So I only managed to get one shot off today before the battery died so here it is:

Agden Resevoir


My thoughts on today’s photo –

I really like the reflection on the water, and the way the tree on the right hand side provides a nice frame for the shot.  Unfortunately I don;t think the tree on the left or the rocks do that to the same effect.  I think that might be because the tree on the right isn’t as bright so it gets a bit lost in the picture.  The rocks may look better if they where a bit more in focus?

I’ve lost all colour in the sky too 😦

09/06/12 – Finding Auto

Shooting Modes for the F550EXR

Well this was harder than I imagined.  I usually only take photos at events or on holiday, and there you have the ready made subjects and situations waiting to be captured – but in real everyday life finding something I wanted to take a picture of was hard.  I guess that is one of the things I need to learn.
I have learnt today where the auto mode on my camera is though – not bad having owned the camera since October.  I usually use the scene position settings, but felt using these when I’m trying to learn kind of defeats the point.

So today’s photo is a purple flower in my back garden taken in desperation for something to shoot before the day was over:

According to the camera this was taken with the following settings

  • ISO 400,
  • F4.8,
  • No flash,
  • Auto White Balance
  • no exposure adjustments.
Purple Flowers

My initial thoughts on this photo are

That there doesn’t seem to be any focus on what I was trying to shoot – the flowers are all spread across the frame and the stems seem sharper than the flowers.

The trellis on top of the fence isn’t as nice a background to contrast with the purple flowers as the solid fence below.

I like the colour contrast between the purple flowers and the brown fence, and the sunlight catching the tops of the buds.

Week 1 – Point and Shoot

My aim this week is to try and take several photos each day leaving the camera on full auto.  This will give me a benchmark to look back on in the future.

I’ll upload one photo a day, unedited, no cropping, just as is, and try and say what i feel is good or bad about each picture.

1st photo later…

Hello world!

Finepix F550EXRI’d like to take better photos.

I’d really like to be able to take a photo “right” the first time, instead of only noticing the tree growing out of someone’s head when I upload the pictures to my PC!

This blog will record my attempts to teach myself how to use my camera and to hopefully improve my skills in taking pictures.

My current camera is a Fuji Finepix F550EXR digital camera which I bought in October 2011 and haven’t learned to use as yet.

I also take pictures with my phone – samsung galaxy SII.