learning, Photography, street, Uncategorized

Confidence Building Part 1. Your Camera

My 3rd post and still trying to figure out how this blogging all works. The kind people at WordPress give hints and suggestions for preparing posts. The one that struck me was “think about what you want to say”.

So, I’m sitting here pecking away on my iPad and thinking about how to write this post on Confidence. When contemplating being a street photographer, one of the initial hurdles to clear has to do with Confidence. Confidence to take someone’s photograph without asking their permission. If I’ve read one, I’ve read a dozen articles on this critical aspect. And,  I can honestly report that everyone of the suggestions I read work, and my confidence has definitely taken a jump forward.

Here are the things (don’t we just abuse that word) that I have tried and continue to use:

Know how your camera works.

 Remember I’m a slow learner (2nd post)? Sounds like a no-brainier. My cherished iPhone 4S is dead simple as a point and shoot. Sure, there are several apps out there that almost turn the 4S into a DSLR  wannabe. I’ve tried them and those apps pretty much do what the developers claim…, mostly. But if you are like me and know very little about making REAL photos, taking control of exposure, shutter speed, ISO, auto focus vs. manual mode, exposure compensation, focus points, range finder…..and the list goes on; it can be a little overwhelming.

For me, faced with this seemingly endless list of technical terms and camera features, I turned to two sources: my user manual of course, and reading articles from my research. So many of my internet searches began with “how to”, “meaning of”.  Then I at least had a basic understanding of what all these terms and features meant or how the camera can be set.

Finally, I went out and shot dozens, maybe a hundred or more shots of whatever was around. All of this somewhat aimless shooting with one goal in mind: what photo resulted from all these different settings.  And yes, it has become a lot clearer; I am very much more comfortable that I can set my shutter speed, aperture and ISO and the result OFTEN is what I’d expected. But often NOT! Remember slow learners like me still have to work at it.

An important tool.. I’ve read that all DSLR cameras have a feature called the Histogram. This is a way of seeing how the light (dark or bright) is dispersed in your photo. Viewing the histogram after each shot lets me know how correct the exposure has been. Constantly looking at each photo result is referred to as “chimping” within the ESP (see 1st post) community. But for me at this stage of my evolution, the histogram is my most valuable tool. Here’s a link to one histogram article: http://www.itsjustlight.com/tutorials/digital-camera-histogram-tutorial/ On my next blog I will describe other confidence building measures.

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