Cliff Hanger – 150/365

Wow, day 150, how did we get here so fast!?

It’s not always plain sailing trying to complete this challenge, and as you will know if you’re a regular follower, I have cut it very close to the wire a few times; however I have not missed a day yet!

I think the closest I’ve been so far was in Spain earlier this year, when I got the photograph posted just a couple of minutes before midnight.

My heart actually skipped a beat on that day, because I wasn’t sure if my web site would be UK time, and I’d actually missed midnight by an hour!

Today I kept things simple, it was too late to be taking the girls out, and Holly was at the gym so I just popped out to the garden, inspired by yesterday’s snail, to see if I could find any more small and mighty creatures.

I found a few insects, wood lice, and spiders. I keep thinking about doing a whole focus on spiders, but I at the last minute I back-out of the idea.

I have no issue with our eight legged arachnid friends; but I am worried that a close up of a spider combined with some dark and moody shadows, might freak people out!

So, it’s no surprise by now, that I spotted a ladybird under a bush, sat quietly on an ivy leaf, and decided to take some photographs of it.

I had a play with some other settings too, I’m not sure what it’s called but it’s like the image capture settings, such as sharpness, contrast, saturation and tone, and you can set a “theme” as I’d call it.

There are loads of the usual standard “theme” settings all ready pre-programmed in; landscape, portrait, faithful and so on, but right at the start when I got my camera I set my own settings, and I’ve used them ever since, until today. My settings were basically a touch of saturation and contrast, and loads of sharpening.

Today I changed that to flatten all the settings off, and put my camera into the “natural” option. My thinking was, I don’t want to over do the sharpening in the camera, just in case it gives me problems when I’m editing.

I’m not sure if it does, or even would, and I haven’t noticed much of a difference in today’s images, but I wanted to try it.

I plan to do some test shots with extremes of the settings so I can gauge what each is doing to the overall image, and find what works best for me.

I also used the flash today, and that’s the main reason for the different “feels” to today’s images, the bluer/greener images had no flash at all. I still can’t really get on with it, I don’t know why I just don’t like the sudden blast of very sharp light.

Learnings – well quite a bit about some more settings today. Even a few weeks in, I’m having to drip feed myself with exploring new camera settings. There are just so many I don’t want to swamp by brain with them all too soon.

That said, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and if I can improve my images by even 0.1% then I want to be able to do that.

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