Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{Finally} Learning to Use my DSLR - Shutter Speed

When my husband finished his MBA program about 2 and a half years ago, he bought me a Nikon D60 as a graduation present.  He's the one who finished his Master's Degree in what must have been record time, but he bought me a gift for being so supportive.  He is awesome.  It is one of the favorite presents I have ever received.  I LOVE my camera!  I really wanted to jump right in and learn how to use it.  Really use it.  Like, use the manual mode.  I'm embarrassed to say that this much time has gone by and I'm still shooting with the various automatic modes 90% of the time. 
I took photography in high school, {and a little bit in college}, and I loved it.  It was a whole lot different then though.  We used film and even got to develop it in the dark room!  I loved that part of it too and I even miss it.  When I got my camera, I signed up for a digital photography class online.  I took this class through Jessica Sprague's site and it is great! I did the first lesson and kinda did the second one, and to be honest I really don't remember why I slacked off after that, but I did. Maybe it was because I knew that I had all of the lessons in PDF form and I could access all of the class info forever through her site.  Or maybe I just got busy with our kids.  Or maybe I was just lazy.  It was probably the latter.   
So this summer I got out my three ring binder full of all of the lessons and I decided to start with lesson 1 again - Shutter Speed.  The shutter speed determines how long the shutter on your lens stays open to let in light.  The assignment was to take one shot of a moving object with a fast shutter speed, letting in lots of light and capturing the movement.  And then I had to shoot the same thing with a slow shutter speed, letting in less light and blurring the movement.  Then I had to compare the two.  I always have moving objects fluttering about so this was easy for me.  Here is my proof:

I've always understood shutter speed pretty well, so I didn't feel intimidated by this assignment at all. It was also a nice sunny day out, so I had ample light to shoot in.  This made the assignment even easier for me.  Thankfully, I didn't have to adjust the ISO (or how sensitive the camera is to light) while taking these pictures. That part confuses me a little bit too, so I'm hoping to learn more about it in the next few lessons.  I was happy that lesson one was something that I felt familiar with.

Not the case with Assignment number two - Aperture.  {See my next post.}
I am also happy with how these pictures turned out, even 3 months later {haha!}, when I was finally ready to move on to lesson two.

I have decided to post all of my lesson assignment results.  You see, if I post them here, I'll feel more encouraged to keep moving right along so that the two and a half people that might actually read this little blog can see how I am progressing with my photog skills. 
I am also testing myself to see if I have the self discipline to take on and commit to a project 52, {my smaller version of project 365, where you take and post a picture a day for a whole year}.  I'm a pretty realistic gal and I just know that if I start a project 365 I will be lucky to make it a whole week before I miss a month.  I'm hoping that the smaller task of taking one picture a week and posting it will be much more do-able for me.  I wanted to do it this year, and clearly it never happened, so I plan to start it in January. 
I am excited to learn more about my camera and hopefully take some great photos along the way.  Wish me luck!
Posted by Picasa

No comments: