Tuesday, 2 August 2011
This will no doubt leave some of you highly amused (tomato grower extraordinaire Vicki; macro queen Anita) but this photo represents a double first for me. These are the first tomatoes I have ever grown... and no-one is more surprised than me that they have actually filled out and turned red! I have only a small paved yard with a tiny border, and am not at all a keen gardener. So when a work colleague gave me a few tomato plants a while back, I was not hopeful of success. Since I have done nothing more than water them (and that only when I remembered!) I consider the appearance of fruit to be a minor miracle.
They seemed like a good subject for me to begin to explore my new camera. Spent ages reading the manual. I read about focus modes, AF-area modes and metering systems. These things sound so sensible and straightforward when I read about them but then all the stuff seems to fall out of my brain as soon as I pick a camera up. Anyway, I managed to figure out that for tomatoes I needed AF-S, single point autofocus and matrix metering... With the lens at 55mm, Aperture priority (whoo, I nearly always used scene modes on my other cameras) and ISO 400 I found f 5.6 (the widest it would go) gave me a shutter speed of 1/320. No flash - that's the sun you can see shining. Anyway, that seemed to work quite well. My first DSLR close-up. It made the background satisfyingly blurry. It also shows up all the little hairy, dusty bits that maybe I should have tidied up first!
I hope some of it becomes second-nature before too long. There seems so much to think about! Am having to remind myself that the skills development model I used to teach moves from unconscious incompetence (you don't know what you don't know) to conscious incompetence (you are painfully aware of all that you don't know). Persevere and one day you achieve conscious competence (you can do it but you still have to think about it) and in time even unconscious competence (it's so much part of what you do that you don't even think about it anymore). My aim is that one day my camera will be like an extension of me. (Preferably long enough before I die that I can enjoy it!)