TDG: Just a Blind Squirrel Here

We’ve been going nuts here, looking forward to a little relief from the heat.  By far, we certainly aren’t getting the worst of what the country has seen– only high 90s this summer with heat indices up to 115, whereas the mid-west is getting stomped in the  heat and drought department this year.  It has, though, been a very hot, dry (though ridiculously humid– how can it be so dry that the grass crunches beneath your feet, yet the air holds so much water in it that you feel like you’re swimming everywhere as you trudge through 99 and 100 percent humidity???)  summer here in our neck of the woods– only about 4-5 inches of rain since the end of May.  I didn’t have to mow the grass the entire month of June.

I’m going to pretend that I can hear you sympathizing.

Anyway.

With the weather being so absurdly hot and humid, our morning walks have taken a bit of a hit, and we’ve had to go a bit earlier so we’re walking is 88 degree weather instead of the usual 98.

The other day, I got it in my head to drag the camera out with me.  It was…frustrating.

The heat, the humidity, the condensation on my lens…

That’s not fog–it’s condensation.  I wish it had been fog.  Then it would have been cooler outside.

Most of these shots are straight from the camera.  I’m still trying to master the manual settings, and I figured that sunrise would offer a good opportunity to learn something.

That’s really my way of saying that most of these shots aren’t that great– I’m learnin’ here.

I love one of the paths we have to walk out here.

Usually, we’ve got ginormous mud puddles back in this area, but with the high heat, no rain thing,  they’ve mostly dried up.  Of course, this gives us a better opportunity to  check out deer tracks–Boy’s favorite pastime.

Actually, Boy just loves to run down and then up the little crossover path– thank Heaven for solidly built jogging strollers.

Don’t worry.  He got a hair cut yesterday.

Viv just like the bumpiness of the path.  It causes amazingly wonderful fits of giggles.  Seriously.   And did I mention that they’re infectious?  ‘Cause they totally are.  Totally.

Um, yeah.

I have no idea what these flowers are, but they’re everywhere.  I like ’em.

Now, be warned, the stats for these are probably going to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have no earthly idea what I’m doing.  I’m still learning what does what, so if you’re a photography genius, please don’t laugh at my complete ignorance.  If you’re a photography novice– hopefully these will help you learn what doesn’t work.

My first attempt was totally blown out.

Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/4.8
Focal Length 30 mm
Focal Length 30.0 mm
ISO Speed 1600

Not as blown out as the first, but still pretty lousy.

Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/4.8
Focal Length 30 mm
Focal Length 30.0 mm
ISO Speed 1600

My last attempt here was a little better, but there are still some serious issues with the shot.  I’m hoping to be able to break down exactly what I did wrong.  It’s still too grainy and slightly blown out in some spots and too dark in others.

Exposure 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture f/10.0
Focal Length 30 mm
Focal Length 30.0 mm
ISO Speed 1600

I think maybe my ISO is set too high.  Or maybe it’s my aperture.  I have no idea.  All three have the same ISO– 1600- and focal length– 30 mm.  The first two shots are all the same– so why the difference?  They were taken (I think) from exactly the same spot, seconds apart.  I don’t get it.

The last one is different primarily because the aperture setting is so small (even though the number is high– talk about counter-intuitive).

I tried again a few minutes later at a clearing, thinking I might have an easier time without a lot of major contrast.

Exposure 0.001 sec (1/800)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 28 mm
Focal Length 28.3 mm
ISO Speed 1600

Exposure 0.001 sec (1/800)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 30 mm
Focal Length 30.0 mm
ISO Speed 1600

Exposure 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 30 mm
Focal Length 30.0 mm
ISO Speed 1600

Exposure 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture f/11.0
Focal Length 30 mm
Focal Length 30.0 mm
ISO Speed 1600

None of them are quite right.  The difference between the first three seems to be the exposure time.  The longer time frame, the more blown out the exposure– even though is was only a slight change.  The last one was set at a much smaller aperture setting, but it was still a smidge too dark.  Again, these were taken from the same spot, seconds between each shot.  I’m thinking I need to learn more about ISO.

Anyway, boy was starting to pout, so I wrapped it up.

Will someone please tell me who replaced my child with a sulky pre-teen?  I thought we still had a few years before we hit this stage.  As I said before– don’t worry, he got a hair cut yesterday.  Now I can see his eyes again.

As far as my pondering shots goes, I’m still trying to figure out how I can get such blah shots like the ones above, but also end up with shots like this– taken in my front yard in the morning (western exposure).

Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture f/4.8
Focal Length 30 mm
ISO Speed 1600

I still think my ISO is too high.

And maybe it’s composition.

Or subject.

Or maybe even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.

I will figure this out.  In the meantime, I’m going to go turn up or down– just as counter-intuitive as aperture settings– the air conditioner.

Stay cool.

-M.

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One response to “TDG: Just a Blind Squirrel Here

  1. Di took several photography media arts courses. I’ll ask her, or you ask her……phone @ her office. Your Mom has the number.
    Aunt P

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