Our tools and how we use them

Last night, there was a Super Moon – or what people call a Super Moon. It did not look any bigger than usual to me when I went out on the farm to take a few photos. It was just another full moon. However, the idea of seeing a really big moon was tempting and I thought it would be a good chance to practice my skills with my camera at night. I can take good to very good photos (depending on where I am) at day but at night it’s a different story.

Even though I have a really good camera with different lenses and many options (of which I don’t understand many), I never really got into using the options. I always used automatic shots, e.g. “landscape”, “portrait” etc. The terms ISO, shutter speed etc. were more of a turn-off to me. I simply wanted to take photos. During the day, only changing focus, lens and basic options seems to be sufficient but at night, the moon always just turned into a big, round, white blob on the photo.

So last night I set my camera on full manual (as I still have no idea what the other options like “P, Tv, Av and A-dep” stand for) and went through one changeable option after the other. I played around with them, took a photo after every change and started to get an idea what each option can do. At the start, my moon looked like this:

One of last night's first moon photos.

One of last night’s first moon photos.

Nice with the clouds and it’s a pity that they completely disappeared for when I played around with the options but later my photos of the moon started to look like this:

Moon photo after a few changes to the settings.

Moon photo after a few changes to the settings.

So this shows me that I still have heaps to learn. If I wanted to get even better photos I’d probably need different lenses but at the moment I wouldn’t be able to invest a few hundred dollars into better equipment. I guess the next step would be to practice different shot methods during the day and see what difference it makes.

The camera is just one of the tools I have in my life but I guess as with the camera, there are many things I could use better. I could learn more about the things I use and more about what else I could do with them. Are we simply too lazy or too busy to really go into the details of something? With me and the camera it was more about being intimidated about terms I have absolutely no understanding of. So I’ll try to find some time to get a better understanding of the terms.

What about you? Are there any tools that you use but that you could learn to use better? Could you achieve better results with them? What keeps you from doing so?

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2 Comments

Filed under Morning hours

2 responses to “Our tools and how we use them

  1. P.S.: I will check out the blogs of my new and loyal followers a bit later in the day and will reply to comments etc. But now I have to go out and help with catching pigeons (so they can go on a training flight).

  2. Nice shots. I’ve recently started taking photos again myself. Although I’m using an entry level bridge camera, I have a lot to learn about digital photography and photo editing. I’m still learning about aperture and shutter speeds which can be quite intimidating but I find I get some really good shots in just an automatic point and shoot mode.

    I also want to develop my musical skills on the guitar but yet again, all these chords, etc are intimidating me. Time is usually running away from me with not enough hrs in the day but in time I’ll get better.
    I’m constantly self evaluating and I believe that many tools that I use could be developed. Continuous work in progress. 🙂

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