Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Follow Your Heart And Listen to Your Ears

First, click to enlarge this pair of pictures that I took in Cuba.

The bottom image is blurry - due to accidentally using a very slow shutter speed.

Hey, I made a mistake. What can I say? It was the first time ever :-)

I jumped in this car at a moment's notice because I really wanted to get a photograph of this cute couple. It was hot as hell and I knew I had to shoot fast. I was not thinking. I forget to boost the ISO and reset my aperture. I had been shooting in the Av mode (as usual) in bight sunlight.

I might not have gotten the top photograph, my favorite from the trip, if I had not "listened to my ears," hearing the sound of the slow shutter speed. Upon hearing that sound, I boosted my ISO and selected a wider aperture, which resulted in a faster shutter speed and a sharp shot.

In photography, it's good to follow your heart - photographing what you love. It's also good to listen to your ears - listening to the sound of your camera's shutter. It's also good to listen for the focus confirmation beep.

And here's some more advice, given to me by a guide on an African safari: Go where you are looking. :-)

Explore the light,
P.S. Any one remember the Minolta Talker camera? "Too dark, use flash."


Carolyn Fox said...

Ok, Rick, did you REALLY make those mistakes or are you just trying to make the rest of us feel good?

BTW, good tip about listening to the shutter speed & the beep. Thanks.

hambga said...

Great post Rick. I also find I make that mistake once in a while. Hearing the shutter sound makes me shutter {pun intended} but it also signals I need to readjust and reshoot.

Fortunatas said...

Hearing... That makes sense! What ISO did you use in these particular pictures?

And this is offtopic but thanks a lot for a fantastic podcast Photo focus. I'm a true subscriber and listener:)

Jim said...

First time ever?!

Luc said...

Hello Rick, I am glad to read this input in your blog. Every time I hear my shutter speed to be too slow I was telling myself "Luc, slow down and check your camera setting..." If you can do this I do not feel as bad now.
Thank you.

Ken said...

Rick, all of the camera info was great as it reminds of things to pay more attention to. My real question is did you ask permission to jump in the car and take photographs of this couple? I want to be more daring about getting pictures of people. Should I ask first or just start shooting away?
I also enjoy the Photofocus podcast! Thanks

Rick Sammon said...

Hi Ken

I always ask permission before taking a picture. Smiling while asking helps.

Be more darning, have more fun!


Marty Cohen said...

Thanks Rick, your experience and advice are valued by those of us reading your blog. I just returned from an African safari where I dropped my Canon 40D and my Canon 70-200 mm broke into two sections at the zoom ring. But miracles happen. A man, not in our group, whom I had never met before, yet also my profession, offered to loan me (for the rest of my trip) an "extra" lens he brought for his son to use. It was a Sigma 150 - 500 mm image stabilization lens with a Canon mount. I've never used a 500 mm lens before and found, after I got home and downloaded, that many of my photos, when viewed at 1:1 were a little out of focus (all taken hand held or on a bean bag). I've played with the lens on a tripod since I got home and found that much of that blurriness may be motion artifact since, testing at fast shutter speeds seems to have given me clearer photos (even tripod mounted). He has offered to let me buy this lens from him at a savings, but I don't know if my problem was mostly shooting at slower shutter speeds (and lower ISO's) than I should have or how much is the quality of a Sigma lens. With big lenses like that should you always be shooting at fast shutter speeds?
Thank you.

Wow Gold said...

fantastic blog.

Wow Gold said...

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