Motivated by General Geekery

Photo of the Day: Playing with settings

Written By: der5er - Apr• 05•09

Yesterday, while on a 6-7 mile run, I found a pretty spot by the lake and took a few pictures, playing with composition and settings.  Keep in mind while looking at these, that for the first shots, my heart rate was about 168 bpm, and slowed to around 140 bpm for the final shots.  So, with heavy breathing and everything, they may not be the steadiest shots you’ve seen of the Swift Creek Reservoir.  Click on any of them to view them larger.

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These shots were taken with my camera’s “Anti-Blur” setting.  The only thing changed between the two was the composition.   My camera has a grid that helps me with composition, and in both of these shots I placed the trees on the left at the left 1/3 line.  I changed the water line in each shot (as I’m sure you’ve already guessed).  In the first shot, the water is placed at the upper 1/3 line and in the second, it’s at the lower 1/3 line.  I really think I like the second one better.  But something wasn’t right, and I wasn’t really happy with either shot.


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I next changed to the camera’s “Landscape” setting and tried a couple more.  Again, using the same compositions as before.  I like these shots better, but something still isn’t right.  The trees to the left are lighter, and you can see the path in front a little better.  Out of these two, I think I like the one on the left better.  The path leading off to the trees kind of reminds you that I should be running right now, not taking pictures!


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I didn’t change any settings this time, but you’ll notice that things are much brighter.  You can see the green grass in the foreground and a little green on the trees out on the point.  All I did was focus the camera on the trees at the left.  Those trees are the darkest things in the picture, and they caused the automatic light metering to really brighten the picture.  The camera accomplished this by increasing the length of time the shutter was open from 1/350 of a second to 1/60 of a second.  In the first of these two, you’ll notice the results of not being prepared for this increased time!  In the end, I think the last shot is my favorite.

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