Tuesday, January 25, 2011

back to the basics - with a point and shoot

So I decided I would take our little point and shoot out to work... maybe this will be a regular occurrence. At any rate, I wanted to see what I could capture on it.

So I stopped at Walmart on the way to work to look for a spice that it frankly a little hard to find. As I turned into the parking lot, I noticed the sun kissing the top of the mountains to the West. So I stopped in the parking lot. Granted, the foreground is not very aesthetic; but it is what it is. Honestly, it seems like half of the roads in Utah are under construction (but I won't get started with that).

Back to the picture. I am shooting in P (program mode) which is the next closest thing to Auto.
My thoughts are this... I want it to be a little under exposed so that the light hitting the mountain will be exposed, not the surroundings. So I changed my exposure bias down to -2/3. Did you know you could do that? Tell your point and shoot to underexpose? Yep. My exposure button is a little +/- in a square (button). I push that and I have the chance to overexpose or underexpose my shot.

Next I want to make sure that my ISO is on 100. Due to this being a point and shoot, pictures above 200 ISO, especially underexposed shots, turn out really grainy and the colors are noisy. So ISO 100 I was willing to maintain. [the only time I would dare go higher than ISO 400 on this point and shoot is in sufficient lighting and I just want the shutter speed to be faster]

Oh, and my flash is on Force-Flash OFF mode (I don't know if this makes any difference, but I think it does).

Finally as I compose my picture and press half way down, it tells me in the display what shutter speed it has chosen. This was 1/60 of a second. This is quick enough to be handheld, but I need to make sure that when I press that shutter, I don't move the camera. A big problem with small point and shoot cameras is that when you press the shutter, the camera has movement, and thus blurry photos if the shutter speed is slow.
As a general rule, if you are slower than 1/60 of a second, brace your camera on something solid, like a tree, a car, or even a tripod.
Well, enough of the talk. Here are the shots.

Here is a crop of the first image...