Tuesday, February 17

Unschooling myself

I just can't grasp aperture and f stops and shutter speeds and which controls the light and what controls the depth of field. It's all too confusing when in the back of my mind I'm thinking, did I thaw anything out for supper? I usually give up trying completely for a while, and then beat myself up because there's something really wrong with me if I can't make myself get something that I really want to get. The other day I admitted out loud that I just don't think I'm ready for the DSLR. It's too much camera for me.

Later that day the kids were jumping on the trampoline so I figured I'd use their play for a little practice. (The sun was going down so I had to play with light, plus the fast movement.)

Jacob is my inspiration. He doesn't know how to give anything but a nice shot.
He doesn't know it but he's my silent encourager.

These speak Pure Joy.
Pure Joy


We're having fun jumping and snapping, until Jonas realizes I'm taking pictures of him, too. Normally he runs off and I stop. Not this time.

He stares right into me and gives me a mean face.
He thinks he's giving me a mean look
At least what he thinks looks mean.
As he's scowling he's just getting closer to me. Could I ask for better??
attempt at looking fierce
It's tough trying to look mean when you're so damn cute!

Give him another ten minutes though and try to take his picture again...
Now he's REALLY pissed
He's pissed now!

He then said: "Delete them"
I cried: "But I can't!"
Him: "Delete them"
Me: "I'm sorry"
Him: "Delete them"
He then stormed off and didn't speak to me for twenty four hours.

I'll always have Jacob.
mr. cool

As much as I really wanted to respect his wishes, I just couldn't do it! I may have failed him that day but I truly believe in the long run he, and if not him, his future partner and/or kids, will thank me for it. I cannot let him grow up without any photos of his childhood, that would be regrettable.

Besides learning that I'm a selfish photographer, I learned that adjusting the aperture allows me to control the light. Yay me. Then the next day I tell my dad what I learned and he said "F-stop also controls the amount of light (AND THEY WON'T BE ALL BLURRY)".

I'm back at square one.


dandeliongirl said...

That's some mean face! You're right, he's too cute to be mean! And thanks dad for the input, right?
I think the pictures are awesome; and jumping kids are supposed to be blurry! I was actually in awe that her face was in focus!

Lisa said...

First, the pictures are great. Second, I'm taking a digital photography class right now. I would be more than happy to send you some of the stuff I'm learning, if you're interested. It's much more work than I expected but I'm learning a lot!!

Michael said...

Those are terrific pictures! I hate having my picture taken and always have, but later on I do like having the pictures. If he doesn't like having them at some future date, he can always delete them then!

F-stop and aperture are THE SAME THING. Knowing that should make your life easier! :) I don't know what your camera is like, but if you can get hold of an old manual film camera, even just for half an hour or something, you can play with the aperture ring and feel how it clicks from f-stop to f-stop. (You twist around the lens to control the focus - remember? - and there should be another ring around the lens, right up close to the camera, that clicks instead of twisting smoothly. That's the aperture ring. It's hopefully labelled with little numbers, but doesn't have to be.) Each different aperture setting is called an f-stop, and you're right, they control how much light is let in, because they are about the opening in the front of the camera that lets light in!

The best way to get shots of moving/bouncing kids and have them be less blurry is to use a faster shutter speed. Again, it helps to get a manual film camera (without film in it) and set it to the lowest shutter speed (1) and press the button and listen to how long the shutter is open, and then set it to the highest shutter speed (likely 500 or 1,000) and press the button and listen to how fast it clicks open and shut. The shutter speed is a fraction - setting it to 1 leaves it open for 1 whole second, setting it to 2 leaves it open for 1/2 a second, etc., and setting it to 1,000 leaves it open for 1/1,000 of a second. Never set the shutter speed to lower than 60 (1/60 of a second) without a tripod, because the shutter will be open long enough that even your breathing will move the camera and the picture will blur. Faster shutter speed = less blur, but only if you have a good light source! Otherwise the picture will be dark. Adjusting the aperture/f-stop will allow in more light and enable you to use a faster shutter speed, but it can only do so much. I assume you have a light meter or are just looking at the screen on your camera to see if it's light enough!

This looks like a pretty good tutorial about aperture/f-stops, shutter speed, etc. in digital photography. About aperture/f-stops, it says: 'There is a hole inside your camera lens that allows light onto the sensor or film. This hole can be made wide or narrow. We refer to this as the aperture. The aperture is measured in increments called “f-stops”.'

I hope that helps! :) I teach manual photography to kids age 10-14 in the summer, most of whom have never done any kind of manual photography before, so I've explained this a million times. I can explain more if you need! Ultimately, though, as I'm sure you know, DOING it is what's going to get it into your head much more than hearing/reading explanations! :) Keep taking your pictures! They look terrific.

Heather's Moving Castle said...

I love your new blog look! it is very Vicki! And thanks for adding me to your blog follow. I love the new family pic icon on my blog.

Congrats on unschooling yourself some more. My kids get mad when I video them when they don't know it. It is a funny game we play. Until they do it to me one day. LOL

Cindy said...

I love the pictures, maybe someday your son will thank you for the pictures. I agree, we need to take pictures of our kids even if they don't want us to. My son is the same way but when I show him pictures when he was younger he enjoys them.

I always say, you learn something new everyday.


Hilary said...

I think the experience may set some fears to rest for people. It's proof that reasonable human beings will tackle things that are frustrating for them to learn ... even when no one else is forcing them to.

Good luck, btw. I'm not good with those technical bits yet either.

craftymama said...

great photos. looks like fun! your kids are gorgeous- gotta love the long-haired boys (says the mother of a long-haired boy!)

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