…on the 5th of July!

Julescomment on my last post could not have come at a better time, as we were headed back out to Blossom tonight to hear Carmina Burana and the 1812 – with fireworks afterwards!  I managed to grab the tripod AND my camera manual to re-read while waiting for the music to start.  It’s been about 3 years since I’ve read it, and I made some interesting discoveries!

Before the concert, I played with some backlit portraits, messed around with some more obscure modes, fiddled with manual focusing, and set up the tripod waiting for the fireworks to begin.  Not surprisingly, Jules was right!  She suggested setting the shutter speed to 4 and the aperture to F11 to better capture the colors of the shells.  Unfortunately, the aperture in my Pentax Optio MX only goes to F8, but I was still able to get MUCH better shots using her suggestions and a tripod.

Now, I THOUGHT I had changed ISO to 400, but apparently it was still set at 100 (I think it reverts to default when I turn the camera off).  And I SWEAR that I set a shutter speed of 4, but the pic stats say I had only a 1 second exposure.  And I must have imagined setting the aperture to 8 since the image info says F-stop was 16 (APEX=8) and “max aperture” was 2.9 (APEX=3.1).  So I either still have a lot to learn about my own camera’s manual settings or I don’t really understand how to read the pic stats!  But I did have lots of fun taking fully manual shots of the fireworks tonight.  Thanks, Jules!

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3 Responses to “…on the 5th of July!”

  1. Nice! Much better than I could do.

  2. Most pro’s prefer ISO of 100 or less for tripod night shots. Increasing the ISO would have added noise and removed detail from your beautiful photo.

    The smaller sensor in your camera allows your f8 to equal at least f11 on a larger DSLR type camera.

  3. Arlene – Thanks for the feedback. I’d love to learn more about how sensor size changes F-stop values in various cameras. Can you tell me where to find out more on that subject?

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