I have been away from this blog for several months. I have been taking this learning about photography, specifically with the Canon T1i camera, a step at a time. I have been busy taking pictures each day of 2010. I completed my goal of achieving 365 shots for 2010. Here’s a sampling of some of my photos:
Here is my link to my Flickr Set for the entire year- 365 pictures! They say the best way to learn your camera is to use it. I agree and feel that I got proficient, in particular, in using the Manual setting. I got better at composition filling the frame, and noticing more details around me. I certainly am learning more about flowers and plants (was woefully ignorant). I’ve learned how “to press the shutter button” correctly. I know more about white balance, exposure, shutter speed, and many other things. I still have much more to study so I’m going to go back through some of the items I had previously read but maybe not always applied. I want to improve my skills. I need to internalize lots of things and get a better grasp of specific concepts. Some days I became so preoccupied with getting my picture of the day that little time was left over to review things and expand my learning. This year I’ve joined an EdTech 52/2011 group. That’s one photo a week. I’m hoping I can review, refresh, and log my continued learning on this blog.
So that’s my next step to becoming a better photographer. Perhaps it will even help another “new” learner. I’m looking forward to the learning journey!
Flickr Photo Credit
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!!
After re-reading and checking on the web and in other sources I believe correcting my white balance might be the answer to correcting the blue tint I am getting on my pictures. I have had the white balance setting on ‘”Custom”
White balancing neutralizes light so that whites are always white and it enables other colors to render correctly. These are the steps to follow to set the white balance:
- Choose one of the shooting modes in the Creative zone such as Av.
- Press the WB button located on the back of the computer. This will bring up the white balance menu. It is the top button on the Cross keys.
- Use the left/right Cross keys to choose the white balance for your shooting situation.
- Check the camera display to be sure that the proper white balance is selected.
There are six different types of light and a full Auto Balance and a full Manual white balance. The six types are Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and Flash.
I’m off to experiment with these settings.