Self-taught photography lessons

Yes, I teach myself lessons all the time. However, they are never planned or easy! Yesterday, not feeling well, I decided I needed to go up to Dry Creek, practice HDR and work with my new prime 50 mm lens. I was bummed out because we were supposed to be in Adin, California at a star party. I was looking forward to trying some night sky photography. But our trailer lost a wheel and axle in Anderson and we came home with the truck loaded with our clothes, food, camera gear and telescopes.

So, you can understand why I needed to do some photography at my favorite, close-by creek. Dry creek which is usually quiet was teeming with families on every possible square inch of beach area. They were just enjoying the water, but it was difficult to find a spot to do some HDR. I did find a couple of areas, and set up my tripod. But, without photo buddy Jayne with me, it was a struggle (She helps me a lot!). Now I am totally one with the tripod, having won the battle. I do have tenacity! It wasn’t until I was taking the images off the SD card that I realized I was shooting JPEGs and not RAW files.

Also, I’m learning to speak up for the sake of a picture. I did ask a woman who was going to take an empty chair if she could leave it so I could take my shot. Then another woman, who didn’t own the chair sat in it. I politely asked her to move while I took my shot. They were very understand and obliging. I would have been faster if it weren’t for my struggles with the tripod.

I was only there an hour and couldn’t believe I had taken 72 pictures, but I did. What lessons did I learn? First, if you’re not feeling well, stay home. Second, practice with the tripod and check the camera before you leave. And, third, people are nice and willing to help you–just speak up. Here’s the result of my efforts.


Birthday and practice, practice, practice

Did you ever have those days where what you did was governed by outside forces? Today, I wanted to go photograph the Sandhill Cranes–the very same cranes that have been eluding me. Well, they still are!

Here’s how the day went. With gift cards in hand, I went to Action Camera in Roseville on Friday. Now that I have two cameras, I needed a way to carry them on all-day photo meetups. I’m so glad I was using gift cards because the Yeti Slim that I bought was expensive, but durable and would hold my cameras safely. It was figuring out how the Yeti Slim worked and setting it up that closed the slim window of my being able to go to Galt and photograph the cranes.

But all wasn’t lost. I did go to nearby Dry Creek for practice with the D7100. By the time I left for my practice session it was 3:30 p.m., and a great time to shoot photos. I practiced using different exposures and close ups. The D7100 makes it easy to change the exposure, and now that I understand what the sub-command dial does, shooting on aperture priority is easy. I’m putting some of these in the gallery.

More important than the practice was my granddaughter Madison’s 19th birthday dinner. We celebrated late, her birthday was in December, because I was in Simi Valley at the time. She’s an amazing young lady and is beautiful inside and out. I don’t have too many images from the dinner to show you, but you’ll get to see all the grandkids.

Tomorrow, we are going to the U.C. Davis Arboretum. I went there with a group last year, and it is a beautiful experience. I just hope the day goes as planned!