I recently talked about my knee problems and its impact on my weight, and then my knee surgery last month. At one point, exercise felt like my leg and calf bones were splitting down the middle. It was horrible. That’s when I knew I needed intervention.
What I haven’t addressed is how much better I am feeling now. Hallelujah! I still feel soreness and stiffness from time to time due to the surgery, but it pales in comparison to the excruciating pain I experienced for the past 18 months. Physical therapy can at times feel like torture, but I feel stronger and more stable with each session.
I recently bought a refurbished Canon T2i and I was having the hardest time figuring out how to work it. You’d think using a 35mm camera growing up would be enough, but technology has really come far with respect to cameras. Last week, Rachel told me about a Savannah photography tour. I have never heard of such a thing and I was immediately intrigued.
Capturing Savannah is the name of the Savannah photography tour Rachel recommended. Britt and Pablo is the couple who leads the tour. They were both very encouraging and accommodating to my particular photographic inquiries. It was tour “played by ear” as what I really wanted was a crash course on learning how to use a DSLR…and that’s what I got. Three hours of one-on-one instruction for under $75. That is a no-brainer. I’ll be hiring them again.
I learned how to capture details in a new way. Using the lines of this wrought-iron fence (they’re everywhere in Savannah!) and a low aperture, I got this amazing shot. The key was to use your knowledge of perspective so that the lines merged just outside of the frame. Viola! Artsy fartsy picture that you can show off!
Pablo told me that sunlight passing through leaves and flowers looked really good. Although I agreed with him about leaves, I couldn’t pass this shot. The historic part of Savannah is well-maintained and is so easy on the eyes.
Before I met up with them I was already shooting in AV mode (aperture priority). Aperture is a setting that controls the opening of the lens and how much light it allows in. Some people refer to them as f-stops, or even the bokeh effect (see the picture above). It gives the yummy blurry background to photography. For this reason I purchased a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II camera lens. I used this lens for all the pictures on my tour.
The most important thing I learned was how to adjust my light meter. When I first used my camera at my cousin’s wedding back in August, I almost smashed my camera because the camera refused to take pictures in low light. I’d press down on the shutter and…nothing. Now I know that it was the light meter that needed adjusting.
Here’s an example of what would happen sometimes when I took a picture:
Here’s what the same shot looked like after Pablo taught me what was wrong:
The only difference between the two is that I scrolled the dial at the top of the camera so that my light meter’s blinking box was between -2 and 2. That’s it. In the first image, the blinking box was way out past 2, meaning that it was getting too much light. At my cousin’s wedding reception, the blinking box was way out in left field, to the left of -2. That meant that the camera was not receiving enough light.
Folks, I’m now shooting in full manual mode. That’s a big accomplishment considering I’ve only had the camera for less than two months. Oh, and keep the lens on AF (autofocus) when in manual mode unless you truly need it in the MF (manual focus) setting. I was working WAY too hard before I met Britt and Pablo.
Have you ever been on a photography tour?