Friday, February 01, 2008

Northern Exposure

I used to love a show "Northern Exposure". It was set in Alaska and I always thought it would be cool to live there. Not only for the small town atmosphere, but for the beautiful snow they always seemed to have. I love the snow. Yesterday it wasn't much fun driving around in it. Actually I had a little incident, loosing control of Big Bertha IN 4 wheel drive. Scary. Anyway, today I stayed home until I was sure all roads were cleared and didn't venture out until after 4pm. Before doing that though, I wanted to get a couple of shots out in the snow. I went out back and started shooting. I was in aperature priority and it was still blown out. So I finally braved it and went into full manual. First time ever with this new camera (which actually I've had for about 8 months). All of a sudden I LOVE this camera! This is how I learned to shoot and why I thought for one second that some fancy camera was smarter than me I'll never know. What was I thinking?
Here's an example of what I'm talking about and the little experiment I did today.
Shot #1: Snow Fairy in the Birdbath was shot using aperature priority (which means I set the aperature and the "smart" camera selects the shutter speed). Snow is always tricky anyway, so I will forgive the "smart" camera just a little teeny tiny bit. Anyway, as you can see below this is way overexposed, as I saw in my LCD (or whatever that little viewing screen is called). Switching to MANUAL mode, I set the ISO, shutter speed, and aperature here's what I got:
Snow Fairy in the Birdbath #2.
Much better, huh? You can see the contrast and the shadows of the tree on the snow. That is what caught my eye in the first place. The "smart" camera didn't see that.

Step down one more notch, add a vignette (an engraving, drawing, photograph, or the like that is shaded off gradually at the edges so as to leave no definite line at the border) and liking it better. But I really wanted to see more detail in the fairy. Snow Fairy in the Birdbath
It is showing up a little darker here than the print. It's so pretty irl.

So today I realized that sometimes technology isn't really as smart as the human.

Have a great weekend!

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