Saturday, March 16, 2013

#94 - What do those symbols on my camera mean?

One of the reasons that I enjoy photography is the challenge of making the finished product show what your eyes and brain were telling you at the time.  Sometimes this works and captures your memory perfectly.  Or, the photo captures the moment, but not quite the perfection of the mood/light/emotion/etc. that you were going for, and the print only acts as a memory jog to that past split second.  And, finally, there are those shots where you find things in the photo that you never saw as you pressed the shutter button.

This last category can sometimes yield funny results - a face of someone in the background reacting to the main subject - or bring back memories based on the backdrop of the action.  In the past, I worked for a small historical society for a time accessioning items, and, in old photographs, the clothing and background items were often much more interesting to researchers than the actual people portrayed.  However, a great deal of the time, the last category just brings out items that you wished you hadn't caught ... why didn't I see that branch behind her head  or he's squinting into the sun because the light was too bright.

I find that those photographic mistakes come about more often when I'm concentrating on trying to figure out the bells and whistles of my camera rather than looking through the viewfinder.  (Okay, I am notorious for not noticing those trees growing out of heads no matter what I'm doing).  So, this goal was about being able to spend less time worrying what an icon meant and more time concentrating on the action.  I've been working off and on this goal, and today I tested myself with my camera manual for the camera I've been using for the past 5 years and could name all of the icons correctly.

The only downside ... within the last week I bought myself a new camera - upgrading from a point and shoot to a digital SLR - and now I need to start working on the icons specific to the new SLR.  I did buy the same brand though, so I'm hoping that I'll have a head start on the learning curve.

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