Last night we did another “Practice photo shoot” at the church. I say it in quotes because I don’t honestly know if you can call what we did a practice shoot! But it went better than last times. I was determined to get it this time. And while I didn’t get what I wanted, I got a new perspective that helped…immensely…from someone I never expected it from.
My dad took photography in school. Now, of course, hes from the film days, and the digital days are lost on him, although he tries his best to keep up and does surprisingly well. Either way, the things he learned have stuck with him to this day, and he can take a good photo or two. But aside from that, he understands the nitty gritty that goes into changing things. You know, back when you had to set your settings to go with the film you purchased? Those days?? Yea. That’s him. He is impressed with the cameras “These days” and really enjoys photography still, although he doesn’t get much of a chance to do it. He really wants a camera.
But I digress.
My dad and I don’t…have what you would really call – a close relationship. Not good or bad, and Im not complaining, its just how it is. But he isn’t really a person that I go to for help. With him, I feel the need to know everything. If I don’t know it, I try to pretend I do, or just stray from the topic. In short – it never really occurred to me to talk cameras with him. In that, I don’t know enough to talk them with him. Sort of thing.
But last night, as Amanda sat at the top of the stage thumbing through hymn books I struggled to understand what I was suppose to be doing, adjusting things here and there, and getting ready to take what I hoped to be, THE picture. Which, for the record, it wasnt!
My dad came up from behind me. “Sounds like you’ve got that set at a really low shutter speed”
“Yea” I muttered something about it being too dark, and blurry and not sure why…
And he gave me a few pointers, which didn’t really work.
And then he asked me what I was shooting in. To which I boldly confessed that I was shooting in “Manual” because I wanted to use it with my new lens. To which he sort of shook his head to Im sure – he doesn’t understand my infatuation with a lens that distorts the view and adds shapes to the background lighting. But he gave a few more ideas, and then switched the dial for me. Told me to take a picture, check the settings, said a few technical terms, and then brought out the big guns. The flash’s.
“You might need a heavier flash”
I smiled. And pulled out all of Nik’s gear. Two external flashes, two extra lens, a contraption or two, and handed him everything. Proudly, of course.
To which he responded “Batteries are dead. Make sure you bring extra batteries”
And I blushed. And scribbled a note.
Hooked up the flash, changed a few settings, took a few more pictures, and people started coming in.
“I think this setting will work” I told him.
“Good. You remember what ones they were set on?”
I smiled and nodded.
How could I forget?
Shutter speed at 60 – just like he had told me. No lower, he had said. Not when your holding it. And aperture open to its widest – wont get much depth of field he said, but in dim lighting you want it open as big as you can. And Im shooting in aperture priority, not manual. With the external flash. And extra batteries. Except that, you know, it doesnt work out this way everytime. Because in aperture priority, it automatically picks the shutter speed for you. Which sort of implies I know what Im talking about, when really. I dont.
“One more problem” I confessed.
“I cant get the flash off”
He sort of laughed, and switched the little switch that clearly read “Lock.”
“That’s because you don’t want it jumping off of there on its own”
And he handed me all my stuff back and took his seat for church.
Wondering Im sure…what kind of pictures we would end up with. With me behind the camera. I wish I could just hand him Nik and tell him to have fun. I know he would enjoy it. And do better at it.
I really want another camera now…for him.
I would share the picture – but it is perhaps, the most unflattering shot I got of my sister yet – and I would prefer
to keep it for future black mail to stay on her good side for a while longer!
And dont let me forget batteries, ok?
2 thoughts on “Attempt two”
This is great! Sounds like you’re on your way to getting some good pictures as well as some good advice.
BTW… I’ve never used aperture priority mode (heck… I couldn’t even spell aperture… had to look it up.) 🙂
Relationships with dads are complicated but that was a wonderful story about a wonderful dad.