Available light

Working with available light has its drawback. The shot is easily out of focus, blurred, or of poor exposure. Candid shots work better with available light. Flash makes it more formal. And, it stops conversation by its brilliant burst of light.

You could bounce flash. That works. But with auto- everything nowadays, I find that available light works pretty well. I can still zoom. The main camera thing adjusting to compensate for the conditions is ISO. By comparison to digital this was a variable that film could never adjust to in the moment. The ISO here was 1000. There should be a lot of noise. But today’s sensors and technology really smooth out the end result. I have to say I am quite pleased. Professional it ain’t, but then again these are family candids. It works!


1/200 sec f6.3 175mm ISO 20000 – the metadata. 20,000 is pretty much in a dark room despite our star is on a stage. It does not help that I am using a telephoto lens setting. But the image that resulted is reasonably sharp. Hey! Technology! It saved me. Over and over again, I shot. The images surprised me. It could have all failed. As poor as the conditions were in the auditorium, I managed to get shots, a whole lot of them. Not every camera is capable. So, I guess the photographer matters too. The right tool for the job was invaluable. I guess some of the trial and error of other events worked out in this instance and on this special occasion.

I will emphasize once more – ISO 20000 is impossible without modern digital image technology. Magic.


Another day, another dawn. Yawn.

Not every day, but often enough, I get a nice sunrise to photograph. Yes, I keep a camera on my desk. It is special because the clouds come along in full color like this only once. It is never the same and never repeats but always the same color palette.

Point and shoot. My camera does the heavy lifting and sets the settings automatically. Cheating? Lazy? The lighting can be difficult to get a proper exposure. How does it do it? Magic.


Test. Limits. I test mine all the time. I test the camera all the time. Sunsets, the moon, they test the algorithm of the camera manufacturer in low light conditions. You pick you choose you shoot. Sometimes you win and sometimes not.

Detail, color, focus, all are factored in to make the image of my imagination. Then we see whether or not the camera was up to the test. In doing so there are compromises and choices to be made. Post processing can only get you so far. The idea, “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop.” is so wrong on so many levels.

Helping out

Dawn. Great light. Maybe!? The right moment? Can my camera capture the moment as I see it? All good observations and questions.

Ok! The camera has trouble focusing upon clouds. No contrasting lines help to define a focus point. Set the focus point on the trees or something at the horizon. Exposure. The scene is dark and the meter tends toward overexposure. Metter the sky to increase the saturation of the morning color. Finally, cheat. Use Lightroom to increase vibrance and saturation. It might just look like what you saw at the critical moment.


I guess I was doing street photography early on before I recognized the term. We were on a tour. My mother had worked for Pan Am and got employee ticket discount and a tour. We went as a family and were in Japan. Riding in the tour bus I glanced out the window and raised my camera to catch this slide. Yeah, right in the middle of traffic… you know, women put on makeup, and…. It struck me odd then, and it makes me smile now.


You think shooting a black cat is hard? Try a white one. It’s hard too. Camera sensors do not like extremes in lighting or color. Willow’s eyes are dark in order to expose his fur properly. Ok. One compromises. It can be altered and corrected in Photoshop easily enough. I do not like to work. For the most part, I accept imperfection in the picture. And I hope and wait for a better opportunity. Willow is unfortunately camera shy. He runs when he sees the camera.

itsy bitsy

Eensy weensy

Eensy weensy. I grew up singing eensy weensy. The convention is that it is itsy bitsy spider. I disagree.

Mission failure. I did not get a good shot of the spider who made a web on my desktop. Really! Literally! Colleen got me a SAD light – seasonal disorder. It’s bright!

I spied the spider on the inside of my window. Different! The light was too bright. The spider was overexposed. No detail. I did not check the image and exposure. I simply ditched the spider. Bad! I should have saved him. But. I hate bugs. Gone! Outside is fine. Inside, you are toast.

I wish

There is always something more. More? Yes, more to make the picture better. Do you really need it? For the beloved black cat in a bag – Tillie could always have more texture to her fur. She’s a black cat! It ain’t easy to do. Lightroom or Photoshop algorithms will help. Out of the camera the shot was “arresting.” Did the adjustments make a difference?

Bee on a flower. Sure. Everyday. Closeup. Special. We’ve all seen this before. So? Improvement. I wish – pollen on the legs; better flower; better bee detail…. Nice shot? Yeah. Yup! I think so. Did it need more? Not for me. I’m amateur. This is not my day job. Enjoy!


Time waits for no one. The moment is lost forever unless you catch it precisely. Some subjects are slightly more forgiving. A spider web, art…? Others require the precise moment the action occurs. And others require patience for the elements to move into place.

I suppose photography is interesting because you never quite know what you are going to do or to get. Why not!