In my ongoing quest to take good photographs I’ve been reading everything my sister has sent to me about photography. She’s included articles on food photography as well as general tips on taking good pictures. I’ve studied them all and I’ve also been reading the online (because I can make the printing huge) manual for my camera. And I’ve learned some things. So today I spent my time photographing tomatoes.
You probably thought I meant some kind of zen, at one with the universe thing, right? Sorry. The balance I’m trying to learn is white balance. My photographs are still not something I’m proud of but I’m really trying to get better. It’s become a quest and learning balance is part of that.
This morning I made the PDF version of my camera manual huge on the screen. I’ve totally given up trying to read the actual manual that came with the camera. It’s clearly intended for people who can read street signs from 300 yards at night. I, on the other hand, do best if I read everything in at least a 68 point font.
I had to jump from page to page to find what I was looking for and eventually found it on my own – no thanks to the manual. Well, a little thanks to the manual on choosing what to do when I discovered how to change the white balance.
These are my very baby steps on learning how to set it for the different lights under which most of my pictures are taken. I still need practice. I forget to turn off the overhead light when the sun is shining through the window. I don’t think there’s a combo setting for using both the sun and the overhead lights. Then again, I still can’t find how to erase more than one picture at a time.
Take a picture of something white to set the white balance they said. But they didn’t say it would turn out grey.
Overhead light on and clearly the wrong white balance. It’s so blue!
I admit it. I got hungry. But then I decided to try taking a picture where many of my photos are taken and it actually didn’t turn out totally yellow! White balance set for tungsten light. Stove light off and kitchen overhead on.
The skillet picture got me excited so I pulled the griddle we’d used to make a snack last night and didn’t yet wash. Yeah, I’m embarrassed but this is on the darker side of my stove top and it’s almost good! By good I mean not yellow and you can see that this thing really needs to be cleaned!
I forgot what I had the white balance set for in this shot but clearly it’s wrong.
I moved the apple and set the white balance for tungsten light but there’s too much light from a nearby window. The solution to this, I think, is to take pictures very near windows or far away from them.
On the windowsill, set for daylight with no overhead lights. The mullions in my windows are a constant source of frustration, casting shadows when I don’t want shadows.
One more note to myself. Getting the white balance right doesn’t help if you forget the focus!