Week 2 Exercise January 2012 MANUAL FOCUS

For those of you not in the workshops who wish to play along, just post the link to your own blog - we'd love to see what you have going on!

This week, we are going to practice using our camera to understand the Law of Reciprocity as we make our way down the FAST list between now and the next workshop, starting with F - focus. Over the next few weeks if you practice lots, you will be surprised at how good you get at guesstimating your settings. Frustrated? Feeling like cheating by setting your camera to an auto-mode? Remember that the meta data embedded in each file can't be erased or altered. So really, the only person you're cheating is yourself.

Your challenge this week is manual focus. Set your camera to M(anual) F(ocus), in M(anual) mode. Select 5 similar or same objects and set them in a row along a flat surface. Make sure you pick someplace that has good natural light. For example, you may want to make a row of apples on your coffee table, set up some stones on your windowsill, or put a set of Little People on your kitchen counter. As long as you've got good light, be as creative as you like. Try pennies, buttons, oranges, beer bottles.

Once you have your still life setup, put your ISO to 400, your aperture to f3.5, and adjust your shutter speed accordingly to get an exposure you like. If you are below 1/60, you may have to change something to be more sensitive ~hint hint~ Get as close to your still life as you can. You are going to shoot from the same spot for each picture, so you will need to select an angle you can see all of your objects - either slightly off to one side or from above. Your first picture should be taken from the minimum focusing distance. (If you forget what that is, remember bringing your hand towards your face until you can't focus anymore and remember the lens works the same as your eyes in that regard...) Position yourself so that you can see all the objects, either slightly above or to one side. (If you have your objects on a glass surface you could even try shooting from below!) Manually focus on your first object and take a picture. Then manually focus on your second object and take a picture. Repeat for your third, fourth, and fifth. Upload these to your blog and either post the link in the comments here or send it to me via email to h dot walls at shaw dot ca.

Get creative, have fun! Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!!! Example will be posted later this week. :)