You learn something new everyday: I’m no press photogapher!

I have been shooting with the Canon Eos system for over tens years. Some of the controls on the Eos Canon system have remained pretty much the same since I have had one, my 1st was the 50e from 1996. This is why what I did last week was really stupid beyond belief.

I often think that I would love to be caught up in a major event just so I could record it with my camera. Last week this sort of happened, turned out it was not as major as it looked. It all started when a fleet of 12 police vehicles pulled up outside my office and then an army of police officers jumped out. They were in full riot gear complete with battering rams and crowbars. I instinctively picked up my camera and headed for the door to join the throng of police offices as they headed to the doors of the old Taj supermarket.

I was happily shooting away before I realized that I had not checked the settings on the camera before I had started shooting! The last time I had used the camera was to take a picture of my daughter in low light and because of this the ISO was on 1600. The camera was in aperture priority mode with the aperture wide open. This meant the pictures I was shooting had a shallow depth of field when really with a lot of fast moving action I wanted to get as much in focus as possible. The images where also unnecessary grainy because of the high ISO. Once I realized my mistake I set the ISO to a more daylight friendly 400. To make things even worse in all the excitement the exposure compensation had been set to +2 witch meant all the shots I had taken so far where over-exposed.

I have never felt such photographic failure! The lesson I have taken from this experience is that I am always going to leave my 5D in full auto mode (green box on the control dial). This way the if something crazy happens the ISO, shutter speed and aperture will be set for me and I won’t need to do so much post production to get a decent shot after everything has calmed down. This will take away some creative control but if its going off around me I need to be able to think less before I take a photo!

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6 Responses to You learn something new everyday: I’m no press photogapher!

  1. Sounds like you got too used to playing with toy cameras, where all you ever had to worry about was a bit of manual focus and the odd cloudy/daylight setting!

  2. Sapphire St. says:

    I love the last shot!
    Now there’s one not-stressed-out officer.

  3. Jim says:

    Wow, this is a marked departure from the recent periods of police taking a rather totalitarian attitude towards photographers. Really nice to see them just ignoring you and letting you get on with reportage; this is how it should be, and yes, the Mona Lisa smile on the last shot is great!

  4. What had the Taj supermarket done wrong I wonder ?

  5. Clare says:

    The last picture was brilliant!

    And I know how you feel… I use mainly film cameras so I brought my slr out to document a demonstration. Everything was underexposed and blurry cause I was too excited to take pictures than check the settings. :/

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