Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Theory of Exposure...Theory of Speed

Okay so I visited my dad today for my first of what will be VERY MANY learning sessions.  

Layla and I got up this morning...I had my coffee, she had her milk..and we headed out to my parent's house for breakfast and (1)photography school for mommy (2)botany school for Layla.  Dad and I shut ourselves away in the basement with the camera while mom took Layla away to talk about flowers.  Dad walked me through the basic theory of exposure...aperture, shutter speed and ISO (which is a film term--still used in the digital age--to indicate how sensitive the film is to light).  It was so interesting to learn the "science" behind what makes a technically good photo.  One of the things I've always admired about my father's work is that he is so technically precise...his photos were spot on even before Photoshop became so widely used.  I still think he's an "old soul" when it comes to photography and I LOVE IT!  Sorry for digressing...back on topic...

We also talked about how to know when to use a flash based on my shutter speed...AND probably more important than anything on the technical laid the foundations for how to operate the camera on a manual setting.  YIKES!  Don't they have automatic for a reason?  HA!  Dad convinced me that what can make or break a photo is knowing how and when to tweak things manually.   Ultimately, I should be in control of what the camera is doing, not the other way around.

I read this today in one of dad's books and it described my dad's philosophy perfectly 
"In reality, what makes someone a good photographer is not a special lens, or a limited-production film, or a rare filter known to no one else (or a photoshop "action"); it is the use of good photographic technique and a thorough knowledge of exposure control."  I guess that's why dad does all he can to make sure that I KNOW good technique by not allowing my camera to make all my decisions.

Then, we talked a little about composition as we reviewed some of my pictures from the wedding this weekend.  There were some moments I felt really proud and some where I sort of felt silly.  I am so excited to be able to fire away with the camera some this week. download my images and look for the things we talked about.  So, I'll probably be shooting a lot of randomness this week, but that's how I'll learn. dad is such a good teacher.  I don't even feel slightly overwhelmed...quite the contrary.  I feel like today brought a lot of clarification to that strange little camera.  It opened my world up to more than just the automatic setting--albeit  only marginally for the time being.  This is just so exciting!  I really haven't been this excited about something outside my family and running since I learned how to make Eggs Benedict from scratch :-)

SO finally...we walked upstairs and found Layla in the kitchen with was telling her the scientific names of all the flowers they picked while Layla would give each one the sniff test.  On the way home, Layla was quietly looking out of her window when she all of the sudden SHOUTED....'ahhh ohhhhhh Nana"  followed by a big, huge sniff.  I realized that we forgot the flowers she picked with Nana.  We immediately called Nana to ask her to bring them over tomorrow when she comes to visit...which I thought would be satisfactory.  Wrong.  Layla went down for her nap telling her bunnies about how she left her flowers at Nana's...which I am assuming reminded her of Beau because I heard her telling him "no" over the monitor.  SO FUNNY to catch little glimpses of what goes through that little head of hers!  

Not much to say and I did speed work last night...we averaged 8:18 mile repeats and finished our last mile repeat in 7:36, despite the wind blowing HARD for about 3/4 of our run.  That's right guys--the wind somehow blew right in our faces for about 300 of our 400 meter laps!  How is that possible?  I spent the better part of the first two miles trying to figure it out, but never came to a conclusion.  I did have several moments of clarity with regard to the crazy wind--(1) the force with which my feet propel me forward on a rubber track is slightly mitigated by strong head wind and (2) snot dries on the side of my face relatively quickly when I'm running...cold...and running in a cold wind.  HOWEVER, (3) I do feel like dad and I are now capable of posting our 8:20 miles to qualify for Boston--despite the wind and snot.   We did great last night! 


Natasha said...

Great posts Lupe!!! I love how you put 100% effort into EVERYTHING you, friends, running, cooking, and now photography. That's awesome!! I always learn tidbits of information that are very interesting to me each time that I read your blog. Keep on sharing...

Michelle said...

very interesting! sounds like you have found a new calling in life! can't wait to see more of your photos!