Toy Parade – 116/365

This evening I took a load of pictures, most of them were of the girls eating their dinner. It was pretty obvious however that I was getting in the way, so although I got some lovely pictures, I decided to photograph something else.

We’re on day 116, and a lot of my photographs have been of Livvy and Izzy, so it’s no surprise they need a break from having a camera in their face now and again, especially when they’re eating, and I respect that.

So I headed off into the bedroom, to find something else to photograph, and found the girls had made a long line of their teddy bears on the floor.

(and the girls followed me in too, so they ended up in today photographs anyway!)

What I was trying to do today was again to try and get a nice crisp focused shot, in manual mode, but today using my other lens, my Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 111.

This is another budget lens, that I got for my general purpose stuff, and it’s the one that stays on my camera most of the time, so far. Again the same as my other lens, it has no image stabilisation, however this lens seems a lot more forgiving. I don’t know why, but it’s lighter and I guess the smaller zoom length has a lot to do with it.

I’m focusing a lot on focus at the moment, and not only that, but also trying to get a sharp image through camera settings. Reason being it’s forcing me to gain a deeper knowledge of my camera, my lenses and, I just like sharp shots, especially with a shallow depth of field. Just personal taste.

To be honest, the teddy bears were easier to photograph than the girls, they move about a lot less!

That said, just as I was getting into it, and refining all my settings down finer and finer to where I wanted the image to be; Livvy decided the teddies “wanted” to move into the lounge.

So what was a nice line of soft toys, slowly started to diminish into an ever decreasing pile of fur, as Izzy watched in wonder at it all.

It didn’t really matter, she left a couple I could still photograph, and I kind of like the way the shot evolves, and it just provided a new slant on the challenge of composition.

I’m really pleased with how my learning is progressing. I sometimes take a shot in auto, then take the same shot in fully manual mode and adjust the settings to how I think they should be.

I then note the difference between the auto settings and the ones I’ve chosen, or rather arrived at. It’s interesting to see the differences, and the different outcome of the shots.

If I’m way off the mark, and the photograph ends up totally blown out with light, for example, which happens a lot, it also helps give me a pointer as to what I’ve done wrong.

In these final images I was getting really close to where I wanted to be, the detail on the bunny is nice, I like the warmth of the shot, and the depth. The bunny’s foot in particular is nice and sharp.

Learnings – lenses are amazing things, there is almost as much to learn about them as there is about the camera itself.

I’ve heard it before a few times that you need a good lens, and that a decent camera on its own is nothing without a decent bit of glass in front of it.

I now really understand that, and despite what you might think with my “budget” lens choices I am over the moon with them! They are budget priced, which for a beginner like me is sensible, but also because they’re not stabilised they are making me work that bit harder.

They’re forcing me to think about stabilising my hands, my body, my breathing and even how I press the shutter button. They’re forcing me to take note of the wind, to use camera settings that help me get the sharpest image possible.

They are teaching me a lot, and I’m not sure I would be learning so much if they were doing all the work for me.

P.S. just one shot of Izzy for you, with a face full of Pizza……


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