Stonehenge and a lesson learned

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 1 February, 2011 at

I’d had the great idea of showing off my new photography skills by taking a short road trip and then posting some stellar shots to this blog. Jean wanted to go see the full-scale replica of Stonehenge about a hundred miles away in Maryhill, Washington, and that seemed as good a choice as any to put my camera through some if its paces and get some interesting pictures.

I shot around 150 pictures over the day, at Stonhenge, and on the way back home. Using both my 18-135mm lens and the fish-eye adapter as well to bring some interesting perspective to my shots; I had some great images in my head and in my viewfinder. Alas, it was not to be this time around. When I dumped all the images to disk yesterday in preparation to post here, I discovered the images weren’t as clear as I’d hoped/expected.

After some quick diagnosis, the problem was clear (even if the photos were not). I AM glad to report that my understanding of basic photography skills are still tight, as I was able to figure out my issue within seconds of spotting severe grain/sensor noise. Sadly, it was due to a simple and total newbie mistake: I had my ISO kicked way up at 6400, a setting typically used for ultra low-light shooting. While this IS the Pacific North West and we have a lot of cloud cover, low-light is not how I’d have classified the skies on Saturday. Rather, I should have been shooting down around ISO 200 or 400 as the sun was out enough to warrant wearing sunglasses. Sure explains why my F-stops and shutter speeds were giving me some surprises, but I just chalked those up to not knowing my camera well enough. Silly me.

So, rather than boasting about my improved prowess with capturing still images, I get to post about how I now have another lesson learned. A lesson, mind you, that I learned years ago when I first started shooting film: ALWAYS check your ISO settings.

All that said, here are the best shots of the weekend. I hope to see better shots soon, barring any other newbie level mistakes. Note, these are all posted unmodified/untouched, aside from resizing two of them.

2 Responses to “Stonehenge and a lesson learned”

  1. Sarah/Enid

    That pic of Jean with the bottle is pretty cute, though! I like the colors.

    In other news, “I like the colors” is about as educated a statement as I can make about anything photography-related. That and “hit the little button on the top and it’ll go.”

  2. Thanks Sarah! And, much like whiskies, if you at least know what you like and what you don’t like, you’re 90% of the way there… everything else is just minutiae that makes people snobs 😉


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