Posts Tagged settings

Stonehenge and a lesson learned

Posted by on Tuesday, 1 February, 2011

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.