Sunday, March 25, 2012

Corona Heights

1/400 second, f/16, ISO 320

1/80 second, f/16, ISO 160

1/60 second, f/16, ISO 160

I took the new camera manual along this morning for something to read while doing laundry and opened it by chance to a passage about taking landscape pictures using a small aperture with a slow shutter speed to get the deepest range of focus. This was something I had not yet thought to try. So far, I only have one lens for the D-SLR and it does not zoom and is not wide-angle. Those functions are planned for additional lenses to come later, after I have learned better how to use the fixed 50 mm lens that was recommended to me as the proper one to start with. So I seem to have assumed I could not do distant views of anything with this humble starter-lens, and the manual was admonishing me not to make that assumption.

1/80 second, f/16, ISO 160

Early in the afternoon I climbed up to Corona Heights, an open hilltop of rock and grass high above the Castro. The sky was full of dramatic contrasts as the rainclouds from yesterday made their slow departure, so I was hoping for somewhat better pictures than I got. But the manual was right about the tiny aperture and the distant focus, which was pretty good. What wasn't so good? The only shots I even halfway liked back at home were the few I had slightly underexposed on purpose (remembering the workshop advice about "bracketing"). Maybe because there was so much sky around, the internal meter kept telling me to let in more light than it turned out I really wanted. So these San Francisco views might have been richer and more various if I had speeded up the shutter more often, instead of slowing it down.