Photography Sunday #4: Where I Have Now Read The Manual

When the Delightful Mr F first taught me how to use an SLR camera about 20 years ago, there was relatively little to learn once you had your head around the aperture, shutter speed, ISO triangle. After that it was all about practise and learning to “see” photographically. Now though, it is a whole different world… My first SLR, a Nikon FM2,  was completely manual, manual focus, manual settings, not an automatic widget in sight. In fact it was so manual it would work without a battery.

My lovely new Fuji cameras can do everything apart from actually walk out the door and take the photos themselves. The risk is that the camera doesn’t quite do what you expect and you end up with a photographic dog’s dinner. Even if you are photographing a dog’s dinner you want it to be in focus and properly exposed don’t you? Why am I rambling on about this? Well, on Monday I had my first one to one photographic mentoring session with Kevin Ahronson. We talked about my homework from the first course lecture. I had five photographs for him to review, all of the Delightful Mr F doing some karate training. Three of them I was quite pleased with, one I couldn’t quite work out why I wasn’t so happy, and the final one I had struggled with getting how I wanted it.

It turns out dear reader, that I had fallen foul of the autofocus system. The reason I was so dissatisfied with one shot was that the autofocus system hadn’t quite got things right, so The Delightful Mr F was looking somewhat blurry around the edges. I am so used to focusing manually, I hadn’t quite cottoned on to what was happening with the automatic functions.

So, on Wednesday lunchtime you would have found me reading the manual which came with my camera. Yes, the actual manual, which to be fair didn’t help a great deal, so I resorted to the wonder that is YouTube. I think I now have it nailed and so The Delightful Mr F need not be in fear of being blurry again.

The one to one mentoring is extraordinarily powerful. In half an hour Kevin had shown me where I had got things right, and where the others photos could be improved. I doubt I could have worked it all out on my own. I also met his cat, who is super cute.

So, here are a few shots of The Delightful Mr F. After almost six years, you must all be wondering what he looks like. Happy Sunday!

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