Friday, January 6, 2012

An unofficial photography lesson

Today was a good day, a busy day, and a day in which I did not get to the next photography lesson.  In the grand scheme of things I suppose that doesn't matter. Perhaps.

Normally the first Friday of the month would be First Friday Family Dinner.  It's a tradition that I've held at my house for a while.  All the family and very close friends -- adopted family -- are invited over and I make enough food to feed an army.  It's a tradition that I enjoyed, since feeding people is a way that I demonstrate love, but something that's become more of a chore the more I realize how many @$$----s are in my family.  Around the holidays I decided I didn't want to support bringing so much needless crazy into my life (especially because, truth be told, I really resent it when people start to expect me to do certain things for them and then try to take advantage of that).  I canceled Family Dinner this month...and perhaps for the rest of the year.  My own mental health may need it.

My brother, Thin Man, has a friend visiting this week.  It's an old Marine Corps buddy.  Now that they are out of the Corps, they are both in college, moving toward whatever their next steps may be.  This buddy is actually a very distant relative (surprise!), and so, in a way, we are having First Friday Family Dinner, just with family I enjoy more than some of the crazies.  After having a really nice dinner, I am seriously considering revamping Family Dinner to just be people I enjoy.  (For example, we have some dear friends who have four children -- their family is lovely and we thoroughly enjoy having them over more than once a month. We can still have Family Dinner with them.)

Since Thin Man's friend (and relation) is here visiting for the weekend, I thought I would take a picture of the boys and their after dinner cigars & whiskey (or bourbon or scotch, depending on preference).  That is when I learned something new with the camera.

The guys were all outside, of course.  Not wanting to use my brain to think of the best camera setting, I put it on fully automatic, night portrait.  This is what I got.
Not good!

So I put the camera into TV mode (shutter priority) and set the shutter to 1/40, with flash.  Here's the result:
Still far from the greatest night portrait in the world (you don't have to tell me -- I know), but so much better!  So that confirms that manual modes are better and allow for more flexibility and creativity.  Now I just need to figure out how to use it properly.

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