Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wait for it...

No post yesterday, as it was one of those days where you're going so fast that you miss breakfast without realizing it, and stop to snarf down your lunch at 2 p.m. because that's the only time you can squeeze it in (and you figure you better eat something, seeing as how you missed breakfast and all), and when you finally sit down and relax sometime after 7 you realize, "Damn, I am tired." It was a really great day, though, so the hustle was well worth it.

Worked on The Project again this morning. I am totally digging this. Today I took the tripod so I could stop down the aperture (f22, baby!) and go for great depth of field. Stopping way down means you gotta do something else to ensure you let enough light in, the something else being really loooong shutter speeds. I have trouble getting sharpness shooting handheld at 1/30 of a second, preferring to stay in the 1/6o or faster range. When you're stopped down to f22, though, you need not fractions of need whole seconds. No way can you not move for that amount of time.

Enter: tripod. I happen to have a kick-ass tripod I got used from Schiller's. It's one that I never could have shelled out money for new, just for the sheer guilt of spending that much on a a tripod. But used...yay! I'm a big fan of used gear, as long as you get it from a good dealer like Schiller's. And you gotta keep checking, because when it's a great deal, it doesn't stick around long. I happened to be looking for a tripod when this one came in to Schiller's. I took it as a sign from God that I was meant to have it, and bought it immediately. I love it. Love it. But I digress.

So I shot today with the tripod, for about an hour and a half. The best thing about using a tripod, other than that whole no-blurriness thing, is that it slows me way down. I mean, way down. To a crawl. Which is a good thing. Photography is better when your shots are carefully thought out and composed. Don't get me wrong, I can get crop-happy in Photoshop with the best of 'em, but with a tripod, I'm forced to slow down and more carefully compose at time of exposure. Which is really how one should do it.

I spent maybe an hour and a half, or a bit longer, working, and came home with 20 images. In RAW format. I haven't shot in RAW for awhile, which is another thing that slows one down. RAW format is the giant, mega file that captures the most detail possible. Normally, for shots around the house and at parties and such, I shoot in FINE, which is a hi-res jpg. Pretty good can get a decent 8x10 out of a FINE file. RAW you can get much bigger. The drawback to RAW is that the files are so huge that I can only fit 25 on one of my cards. (To put it in perspective, I can get 75 FINE images on one card). It also takes the D100 probably 30 to 45 seconds to write one RAW file to the card, and the buffer can hold only 3-4 shots at a time. If you fire off a bunch of shots (bam bam bam!), then you're left lollygagging around waiting for the camera to catch up.

As you know, I'm not one who is big on patience. Between the RAW files and the tripod, I am learning.

And I think my shots will be better for it.

(P.S. The title of this post, while fitting for my musings about moving slowly with my camera this morning, is also a little nod towards Beano, who is just as funny drunk as she is sober, as we discovered last night.)


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