Not a lot to do with boating, but I thought I would pass on one of my periodic lessons in how not to do things.
The bluebells are out now and you might be tempted to wander off your boat and into the woods to take some photos. We took Grace out to a wood near our house today and I took a lot of pictures, but having seen them I want another go now to get them right. Everything looks lovely when you are there but the dappled light in the woods can be a real challenge for your camera. Add to that the plethora of things your autofocus might wish to fix on with branches and twigs near and far and you have a recipe for disappointment.
This shot of Grace for instance
What was I thinking of? The dappled light is lovely, but try as I might with software to even out the blotches all over her, I can’t rescue the picture. I took about ten like that. Doh!
Then to cap it all, when I got home I noticed all the pictures had a blue cast on them. Reflected light for the bluebells? No, I had set the white balance to suit tungsten light when I last used the camera and forgot to return it to normal. Doh again. I have had to try to readjust them on the computer.
Also the camera was set to a shutter speed of 1/500 which I often use to eliminate camera shake on the long lens. Not a smart idea in a wood because of the low light levels. The camera will choose a wide aperture and you will loose sharpness.
I did manage to get a couple of reasonable ones, mostly by use of shallow depth of field like this one.Although I'm not sure that having a tree sprouting out of her head was a terribly good idea.
In fact sometimes the bluebells looked more impressive out of focus. Look at these two pictures taken from the same spot of the same view.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer the first to the second even though the former has the bluebells out of focus.
So what have I learned today?
1. Shooting in woods needs thought about light settings. Check your camera settings are set for the conditions you have today, not the ones you had last time.
2. Dappled light is lovely, but not all over your subjects face!
That’s enough about non boaty things. We have a fair bit of boating coming up soon, not to mention the imminent release of the reservoir figures to update my graphs, so stay tuned.