Blogtog Journal #2: Blogger + Equipment

November 05, 2011

By Katrice

Before the first session with my blogtog tutor John Stephens {of JASPhoto}, he sent me a note directing me to bring all of my photography equipment. I thought: Wow, this sounds very official. Exciting. So, I gathered my cord, media cards, cleaning cloth and tripod to take to "class." I partly expected a pop quiz of sorts in which I'd have to show and tell how much I knew about my camera.  

I was nervous right off the bat.  

But, that wasn't the reasoning behind his request. In fact, class began with John inspecting my Sony Alpha a230 DSLR and its settings. I'm a manual reader, so I had gone through a great deal of the information that came with it. However, doing so had been little more than leisurely reading because I didn't understand much of what I read. I did know, from my research, that it was a good entry-level DSLR with controls and user-interface for beginners. And I felt good about it's capabilities considering I stayed within my budget of $550-$600.  

Here's a little of what I learned from his review:
● Camera modes - Auto & Manual
● F-Stop - The amount available light that is allowed in based on lens choice.( 1.4:$$$- 5.6:$)
● A robust offering of Menu Options
● Shutter Speed - 1/50 and below are for objects or people standing still. 1/100 and above are for moving objects where you want to stop motion.
● Dual Memory port for expandability of # of available images to be taken
● Light Meter with in view finder - Centering dial to the middle provides optimum exposure in various settings while using the Manual Mode. The left of the scale displays settings that are more likely to be under exposed and the right side show settings that are more likely to be over exposed.
● There is a 9-point focus area that illuminates red when focus area has been locked in.
● My lens is 18-55mm which provides wide angle and mid range perspectives. It still requires foot power for close ups of my subjects. The lower the mm the wider the view point.

I hadn't even noticed the dual memory port and my frustration with my lens' limitations had been the start of our conversations about this tutorial. I learned more in the first 20 minutes than I anticipated on the whole.
Next, an introduction of me -- the "blogtog."

{Subject: Moulin Rouge sign}

I upgraded to this camera from a Kodak Easyshare because I wanted to alleviate pixelation and increase the quality of my images. Most of the photos I take with it are still shots of me for style shoots, scene captures when I'm traveling and close-ups of food, etc. But, I'd like to get better shots when I'm at events without having to be on top of my subject, challenged by lighting or limited by my zooming capabilities for things further in the distance when I'm in a great locale. Those three "wants" were what inspired me to upgrade to a DSLR. {The images I've included were all taken close up, but the wide angle lens prevented tight shots and my being able to zero in on the subjects.}

{Subject: the Gecko}

{Subject: Robert}

I hadn't shown John any of these images, but he already understood my frustration from examining my camera and hearing what kind of blog images I hoped for. So, it was time to move on to my capabilities as a photographer. Next up, preparing to achieve the best capture.

Stay tuned for Journal #3.

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  1. Girl I just bought my Canon Rebel earlier this week and the settings were so overwhelming! I'm slowly but surely learning as I go along and the review of your camera capabilities helped out a lot! I also did some reading on IFB that had useful info on taking pictures also!

    Good luck and know that I'm learning right along with you!

  2. Thanks for making me second guess my decision to take Photojournalism LOL! It won't be an outing in the park. Love the photos! Love the blog! *Q

  3. We're all going to be learning together. : )

  4. Man oh man! I need a new camera and a photography class. When I finally take the plunge, I'll be hitting you up!

  5. I definitely need a tutorial on my camera. I have the Canon Rebel and I play around with it but would love to learn the more advanced features. Thanks for the quick hits my dear!


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