1 September 2009
in which I discover the focus ring
I wanted to talk about my new camera and the journey she and I are embarking upon together, but I figured that those of you who are interested in photography will know much more about the technical stuff than I do, and those of you who are not into photograpy, won't give two hoots.
So maybe you can just look at the pretty pictures instead?
Ah stuff it. I've had a glass of wine; I can't blog without rambling a little bit. But no techie 'tips and tricks' I promise. (Because I don't know any anyway, I'm just a fumbler).
In the olden days of film I had a lovelysimplefriendly Pentax K1000 (which I believe is now something of a cult camera). I loved that camera and when we were burgled and it was stolen I was heartbroken. (As heartbroken as I was when I realised the thief had taken the half-finished baby blanket I was making for the imminent arrival of Son #2, to wrap the breakable goods in). The insurance company sent me along to a camera shop to have it replaced (the camera, not the crocheted blanket which was IRREPLACEABLE and PRICELESS) and the salesman talked me into a whizzbang thing that had an LCD screen and many many buttons and automatic bits. I used it for a month without any joy and then returned it, asking to swap it back for a basic old Pentax K1000. The sales guy was aghast at my stupidity but I was insistent, and with the extra money (the whizzbang thing that the insurance co. had told me I could have was worth way more) I bought a zoom lens. Double bonus. I was happy for years with a K1000 in my hands again. I never used the auto settings, as I knew if I did, I would never learn how to take decent shots or understand the mechanics of shutter speeds and aperture settings. I became more competent, and photography became quite a significant interest of mine.
And then along came the exciting world of digital and with some frequent flyer points that were about to expire, I 'purchased' a little Canon pocket digital and I have not bought a roll of film since, nor paid to have my pictures developed, such a cheapskate am I. There followed three happy years of simple digital point n shoot photography.
But I have been hanging out for over a year now for an SLR again. And so when the opportunity came to buy a second hand digital Pentax SLR (Pentax! my old love!), I jumped at it. Also, the entire administration of the sale was orchestrated through Twitter, which tickled me.
Anyway, I loved the new Pentax, but I had to relearn everything (slowly, because I am old now and my neural pathways have ... what? what was I saying?), plus this Pentax came with Sigma lenses which didn't match the instructions in the manual, and also didn't accord with my memory of the K1000 settings. I wanted to be roolly roolly good at taking photos immediately, and that, of course, didn't happen. Frustrating.
Then one day I [re]learned about the av priority setting, and a week or so later I found the focus ring! (It was cunningly hidden right out there in the obvious position).
I know there are people on the Flickr forums who scoff at bokeh and the plethora of short depth of field shots, but I'm loving finding my feet again. Not to mention finding the teeny tiny stamens of a flower, the speckles on the surface of an egg, or the twinkle in a baby magpie's eye.