First off, if you have been confused about image stabilization , you are probably not alone. IS is how it is labeled on your lens. It is short for “image stabilization technology, which helps you control camera shake when you are holding the camera. It helps you reduce blurry photos that occur when your hands move as you are taking a picture.
On the side of your lens you will see an on & off switch for your image stabilization. When I first got my camera I made sure that IS was turned on all the time. However, through my readings and studying various books, magazines, and the internet I discovered that there is one big exception to this. That time is when you are using a tripod. You might have had an experience when you were using a tripod and couldn’t understand why you weren’t getting sharp images. So turn it off when using your tripod! When IS is turned on while your camera is on a tripod, it causes the camera to look for vibrations, which in turn, can cause vibrations!!
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to you while out shooting is to discover that you forgot to put a memory card in your camera. None of the pictures you took had been saved! Of course, on that particular day you probably got some of your best shots ever ! Here’s a way to prevent this from ever happening to you.
- Go to the Menu button located on the back of the camera. You will see the menu list.
- Use the Main dial and choose the far-left menu tab.
- Scroll down to the ‘Release shutter without card setting. Use the Cross Keys and press the Set button.
- Use the Cross Keys to choose the Disable option, and press the Set button.
- Choose the Menu button to go back to shooting mode.
I have had this ‘No Card’ message pop up for me a few times and it has been a great reminder to have.
Sometimes you can have mixed-lighting scenes and not be sure which preset white balance option to choose. Aha! There’s a good solution. You can set a custom white balance that will work for the exact, specific light or combination of light types in your setting. Here’s how:
- Get a piece of white paper or you can elect to buy cards from camera shops that are made for just this specific purpose.
- Set the camera to the exposure mode you use the most. (I use Av but you could also choose P, Tv, M, A-DEP exposure mode.)
- Set the white balance setting to any setting except Custom.
- Get in the light where you will be shooting.
- Set the camera to Manual Focusing. Manual Focusing is found on a switch on the side of the lens. You will see AF/MF. Select MF.
- Make sure you frame the shot so that your white paper fills the center area of the view finder. The center auto focus pont and the six surrounding points need to fall over the white paper.
- Press the Menu button. Turn the Main dial to select the Shooting 2 (red) menu.
- Press the up and down cross keys to highlight Custom White Balance, and then press the SET button. You should see the image of the white paper with a Custom White Balance icon in the upper left corner. If you do not see the image of the white paper keep pressing the left key until you do.
- Press the SET button again. A screen will appear asking if you want to use the white balance data from this image of the custom white balance. Press the right arrow to highlight OK, and then press the SET button. A second screen appears. Press the SET button to select OK. Press the Shutter button to eliminate the menu. The camera imports the white balance data from the selected image.
- Press the WB button on the back of the camera, and then press the arrows to select Custom White Balance. The White balance screen appears. The Custom White Balance setting is identified with text and is labeled by an icon with two triangles on their sides with a black dot between them.
- Press the SET button.
AGAIN, this is worth a repeat – you do have to remember to change the white balance when the light changes.
Learning about white balance has definitely helped improve my photographs. My shots are less blue and the overall casts are less cold looking. One technique I discovered lets you preview different white balance settings using Live View. Here are the steps:
- Press the Live View Button.
- Press the SET button. You will see a small menu that appears on the left side of the screen.
- Use the up and down arrows to choose the white balance menu item.
- Turn the Main dial to navigate through the different white balance settings.
The display on the T1i may not be totally color accurate, but it will let you note the differences between the white balance settings.
One thing you do have to remember though is to change the white balance when the light changes. It is really hard to correct a bad whilte balance later in a software image editing program so try to get the white balance correct from the start.
I’ve been learning a lot about white balance and trying different things out. More practice is needed on these last two posts but I have other things yet to try. I’ll be back in a bit with more!
One last thing – even though there is so much to learn it is a lot of fun to learn and I’m OK with my slow pace now. I’m immersed in a web of information, terms and confusion still reigns but I’m weaving my way through it. I’m learning a lot by just taking in the shots other people are making on the Flickr: 2010/365 photo group. There are some amazing shots to view – hope to get there one day in the future!!
I decided to start the new year by joining a Flickr group called 2010/365photos. Here’s a blurb from their description of the group:
This group was started for 2008/366photos, was used for 2009/365photos, and will likely be running for years to come.
A photo per day project for 2010 – 365 photos by the end of the year. No rules, except that you shoot one photo per day. Doesn’t matter of what, or with what.
The group started when a bunch of folks, mostly edubloggers, on Twitter decided to do the project in 2008. It grew like crazy in 2009. Who knows what 2010 will bring…
I’ve also started a new blog, Anne’s 2010/365 Photos, to display my 365 photos. This commitment is what I need and I think this project will be a lot of fun as well as give me plenty of opportunities to practice!
D’Arcy Norman pointed us to Jason Webber’s post Tips for ‘One Photo a Day’ project. He makes excellent suggestions. I laughed when I read one tip as I have already spent way too much time thinking about these first 3 pictures! So as I travel this journey I will keep tip #9 on my mind! I’m sure I will have more than one or two shots a month as cop-outs but I hope to stay the course!
9. Accept the odd ‘cop-out’ shot
This project is a marathon, not a sprint and even the most enthusiastic of us have our low, un-inspired days. On days like these, take a shot of anything and just live with it and certainly don’t beat yourself up for not keeping to your usual standard. At least one or two of my shots a month are cop-outs, but the point is that I haven’t missed a day!