night vision

last week i took a night photography course with my friend and her parents in the effort to learn more about properly working my digital SLR camera.
i’ve had it for about 2 years now i think, and i use it, but it’s not my primary camera (sadly, that’s my iphone) due to its bulky weight & size. but the pictures are incomparably better with the SLR. (duh)

i lusted after this camera and pestered my hsuband for about a year before i got it… and then, like most children after christmas day, i all but abandoned it with complaints of size and delicacy (i can’t possibly bring it somewhere it may get harmed!)

also, i never *really* learned how to properly use it.

i mean, i know how to use an SLR camera… at least i did at one point in high school…
but i didn’t really know how to use the digital version. or didn’t know how to use it to the best of its capabilities.
and so, the vast majority of my pictures were happening on the automatic setting… with the occasional tweak when i had a result i really wasn’t happy with.

so, an actual photography class was long overdue.

i have groupon to thank for this one… back in march they posted it and we bought it… and then we waited. and waited. until FINALLY we had a date for our class. in october. lol. kinda ridiculous, but honestly, worth the wait and VERY worth the $50 spent.

the first 30 minutes-ish was spent going over the basics. i had to buy a tripod for this class, which made more of a difference than i think i anticipated. i’d actually never shot from a tripod before… and i liked it. so i think it’s a purchase that i’ll use again in the future. so we learned how to muck with our settings to get the lower ISO and the long shutter speed we wanted and a few other points, like shooting in RAW instead of JPG and so on.

then we started shooting.
we practiced first on the iconic steam clock in gastown. good subject. here’s a few of my favourite shots that i took.

now, it terms of the technical… definitely not “correct”. but those are the shots i liked most from an artsy point of view. but technically that blinding white burn out is what i was supposed to be avoiding. and the shots without it are boring to me. so, big surprise, i didn’t want to do things the right way, lol.

then we moved on to those cool pictures where the cars turn into streaks of light.
i LOVE these photos. i’ve ALWAYS loved these photos. so i was pretty excited to learn how to make my own. and behold… SUCCESS!

so that was pretty exciting for me. like, actually i was REALLY excited to learn this.

we also did one other exercise which was where we tried to shoot cars driving and moving the camera with the car so that the car stays in focus and the background blurs. that shit was hard. didn’t go so well for me. but here’s my most successful shot…

so all in all, a great experience. definitely well worth the money to learn some new skills, and it was just FUN. we laughed and chatted and enjoyed the crisp fall air and the lights of gastown…

it’s definitely inspired me to take some photo excursions this fall. get some use out of that tripod… and now i’m also pondering the possibilities of snow shots… and sunsets in hawaii on time lapse… ah yes. my love of photography renewed for only $50. now *that’s* a good deal.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. KatiesCameraBlog
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 08:38:19

    Wow, $50 for all that. Wonderful! I like your night shots. It’s really hard not to get blow out of those lights when it’s dark outside, and still get detail in the dark places. I just think these are fun photos. Thanks so much for sharing.


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