Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

After our discussion of depth of field last week, the lady who runs our photo club suggested we get a copy of Understanding Exposure, so I went right out and ordered one. It’s a fantastic book. Within the first 20 pages I at least doubled my knowledge of how the camera works. It is setup with lessons and exercises, so I was playing along with my camera, figuring out how the settings work as I went.

Barclay and Navi were hanging out with me in a shady part of the yard, making for some challenging shots, but the techniques in the book all made sense. The hardest part was getting the dogs to sit still long enough to change the settings.

Barclay is a lot of help! Note the one ear turned in my direction. He’s an expert at ignoring me!

Pretty Navi!
After dark I headed out to take some night pictures. Last time I used a higher f-stop, thinking that would be correct for depth of field, but it didn’t gather enough light to get any results. My camera is limited to a 30 second exposure. So this time I used the smallest possible f-stop, which leaves the aperture wide open, and that did much better.

This is the constellation Lyra – with the brightest star in the summer sky.

This is part of Pegasus (he’s upside down from this angle – the big quare is his body). The label points to the fuzzy blob that is the Andromeda Galaxy.

Here’s a closeup of that section

And this is Cassiopeia Rising behind the tree in the backyard. This is one of my favorite constellations because it’s so bright, I could easily find it even from the light polluted city where I grew up!

So I was pretty happy with my results for my second night out with the new camera. There are a lot of techniques to use to get better shots of the night sky, many of which have to do with creative post-processing. I guess I’ll have to work on that next.


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