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A pictorial history #photography

Besides being a photographer I also run a local history page and it is difficult to explain history in terms everyone can understand. History is political and the country is deeply divided politically at the moment. I think I will have to emphasize our pictorial history for a while and curate the collection of historic photographs. I can also add to our pictorial history by taking photographs. Photographs remind us of events and of the various seasons in our lives. I went for a walk on Sunday in Sandwell Valley and that helped me get some exercise and made me more aware of the world around me as I looked for things to photograph.

VALLEY (20)

Settings

I was shooting on aperture priority and when I see something I like to just take the shot and not mess around doing settings. I set the aperture at f/9 for this shot and zoomed in to 200mm. I was using a 28 – 300mm lens and for some shots I zoomed in to 300mm so I needed to get quite fast shutter speeds. The light was quite good but I still increased the ISO for most of my shots. For this kind of shot I prefer a single focus point and although focusing on something in the distance will often bring the whole shot into focus, I prefer to focus on something closer to the camera. In this case, I focused on the walkers closest to me to get them into sharp focus. The focus might fall off a little as you look farther away but it’s hardly noticeable.

Learning the settings

If you’re new to using a DSLR try setting your camera on shutter priority and then focus on different things in a shot like this. You will notice the camera sets the aperture narrower when you focus on things farther away and wider for objects closer to the camera. You will notice that your shots can be under-exposed if the aperture is too narrow or the shutter speed is too fast. You need the shutter speed to be at least 1/100 of a second to prevent blur. If you can’t get the aperture and shutter speed combination that you need for the exposure you want then increase the ISO. Increasing the ISO basically means the sensor becomes more sensitive to light. Higher ISO settings can reduce the quality of the image and introduce noise into the image.

Composition

pictorial history

The other thing to consider is composition. The building in this shot is the subject but it is not in the centre of the frame but offset enough that it doesn’t dominate the image.

That’s all for this week. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for links to the latest posts. Those links are also on my Facebook page.

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