16 August 2012

sunny 16

the tobacco's almost ready

tobacco plant

the wheat is done

I don't pretend to be all that knowledgeable about camera settings. I'm guilty of forgetting the terminology shortly after learning it. I do know that if my little dial in the viewfinder is too far to the right, the shot is either going to be blown out (that is to say, the whites will lack detail, which is fine if you're going for a high key shot), or the shutter will be too slow in low light.

How's that for advice?

But I can offer you one of the first things I learned many, many years ago shooting film. *clears throat* And that's the "sunny 16" rule. If it's a sunny day, set your f-stop to 16. (Chances were good my film was ISO 100 in those days unless I had some high-speed or low light project up my sleeve.) The top shot here follows the sunny 16 rule.

Now, here's why I don't use it much...although this a nice enough shot, it appears a bit flat to me. Everything is in focus. Not something your natural eye does. I tend to prefer a shallow depth of field. The next two images are f/5.6 where I focused in on the tobacco and wheat in the foreground.

All this is subjective, of course. Lots to factor in. If you're like me and enjoy a good shallow DoF, rent the movie Citizen Kane and watch it from a photographer's perspective. I watched it for a film class last year for the first time in 15-20 years. The cinematography really is ground-breaking.

I better stop now 'cuz this subject has gone from A to B to C, and I could easily chat my way to Z....but you'd stop reading at G.

Hell, you probably stopped at B...

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Linking up with Lisa and Nancy for Rural Thursday.


TexWisGirl said...

i got 'blah blah blah' out of all of that. nice wheat!

bon bon said...

hahaha!!! i should learn my lesson and stick to "wordless everyday."

glad you like the shot though! :)

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Excellent nature photography ~ (A Creative Harbor)

Amy Burzese said...

Haha, I got it all ! I too like a shallow DOF unless I really have a good landscape in front of me, which is rare. I find myself in the yard most of the time.

Terri Buster said...

You too funny girl! I love that first shot.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I don't know much about f stops but it sounds like a great tip, and I love your pics!

Karen Lakis said...

I got, and was hanging onto every word - haha! I'm going through the same thing right now - trying to remember which ISO, aperture, or shutter speed to use for which situation. I really like the one with the wheat in the foreground - the narrower depth of field gives it a lot of interest.

Mark said...

I was still reading and learning, love that. You had me at "a".

And I laughed at TexWisGirl's comment.

Koryn said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Like you, I'm not into the nitty-gritty technical details. I just point and feel my way through the settings!

But thanks for the advice, I'll try this one out.

I watched Citizen Kane for film class too when I was in college :)

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

Good looking tobacker! Wait...were you saying something? hahah

pembrokeshire lass said...

You visited me and so now I'm visiting you and joining your followers. I love your photos but know next to nothing about how top set the lens etc. Joan

Helene said...

I rarely hear anyone talk about the sunny 16 rule. A photog. instructor taught me that and told me to use it when I photograph the moon. It (or something there abouts) usually gives me great results. The wheat shot rocks! The dof makes it!

Nancy Claeys said...

My eyes glazed over at "high key shot". Miss Fancy Pants. Lol.

Thanks for sharing at RT this week -- always fun to visit you. :)

Angela Acosta said...

I think you heard my cry for help. I didn't know this, thanks so much for posting it.

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