Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who Knew?

This past May I took an online photography course with Angie Seaman.  If any of you may recall, May was downright chaotic 'round these parts.  So what do I do? Throw a photography course with homework assignments into the mix. Duh, me. I was worried that I would not be able to do it justice or get my money's worth since you sort of get out it what you put into it.  As with most things. 

So did I get my money's worth? You betcha!  I had honestly made a valiant effort to read through the owner's manual when we got our camera.  I got very little out of it.  It read like Mandarin Chinese or something like that.  ISO?  White Balance? Exposure Compensation? What in the world? So I just left the camera in auto mode and prayed for some lucky shots with decent exposure.

But, I also wanted to get my money's worth out of our camera.  I paid for some bells and whistles, by gump, so I needed to learn how to use them.  ( this post has taken on a real Sara Palin-ish tone, eh?) After taking Angie's course I could actually decipher my manual and apply it to certain shooting situations.  One thing that had me a bit confounded was setting a custom white balance to get the most out of a weird lighting situation. I read the tutorial. I read the manual. Multiple times - and just couldn't seem to figure it out.  Then in the middle of our Olive Garden anniversary dinner with our children (should children be allowed at anniversary dinners? Whole other post entirely.) it came to me.

So here's the funky before.  The Olive Garden had some strange orange light going on that night.  The setting sun, the reflection of the marinara sauce, who knows? But no matter how much I changed my manual settings, the above picture of our children who should or should not have come along to our anniversary meal was about as good as I could get.

The tutorial said to take a picute of a napkin, kleenex, white card to get your custom settings. This happens to be the napkin that the numerous breadsticks we consumed were wrapped in.  Lovely, right?  I'll be sure to copyright it. I call it The Greasy Breadstick Napkin.

Then go to the menu on the camera, find custom white balance - select - and it politely asks do you want to use this picture to set your white balance and you say you betcha yes and then you're all ready to take your next shot. Which was this:

What a difference, huh?  Now if you are going for mood and want to keep the marinara lighting effect - well not sure how that works.  But look, it even works on MadFish.

MadFish Before.

MadFish After.

Who knew?  Technology completely baffles me, but I sure like what it can do.  If I can figure it out.  I learned lots of other nifty things in Angie's class so if you are looking for something that you can work into your schedule - even such a schedule as my May was - I would highly recommend it.


@nnie said...

i took some orangish pictures of the play last night that i thought only photoshop could cure. will be trying the white balance thing. i have heard about that, but plum forgot. and the online photography course? genius! need info

zzzzzzzzz said...

Awesome! I will try this.

Kim said...

Wow, that was an excellent teaching session! Great examples!Keep on keeping on!