Taming the beast part 1 – Just horsing around with focus. (Journey with my Nikon D3000)

DSC_0043

(ISO 100. F-stop 4/8. Exp 1/60. Metering – spot. Focal length – 32mm)

Well. I sat and read a whole book about it today and everything.  Yep, get me eh! It is called ‘Mastering the Nikon D3000’ by Darrell Young. I have to say it is a great book. Written for total numpties like myself, not overly technical but covers absolutely everything you need to know about using the camera to its full potential. I found myself reading and nodding. “Yep, that makes perfect sense”. I made notes in my notebook about how to set the aperture, shutter and various different tweaky things. I read the chapter that went over all the various focus settings. Then I wrote a list of various different scenario’s and which settings would probably work best for them. I felt properly pleased with my little self.

I picked the beast up and thought to myself. You’re not a beast at all, you are just a big pussy cat really. I could virtually hear it starting to purr at me instead of roaring down my ear.

Then I fired off some test shots and they were RUBBISH! I popped the beast who was by then I think roaring again but this time with laughter in its case and back to the drawing board went I.

The areas that I really want to get a handle on first and foremost is using the aperture priority and shutter priority settings properly and all the various focus modes. AFA (apparently good for the lesser experienced SLR user like me!) AF-S (good for shooting stationary subjects.) AF-C (for fast-moving subjects) and AF-A  (the in-betweeny one!) Then there those other ones that are all new to me, single point area (for static/slow-moving objects.) Dynamic area (good when the subject is moving fast or if you are taking a macro with a moving insect on it.) Auto area auto focus (basically point and shoot) and 3D tracking (for action shots, moving animals, airshow etc.) I think if I can master those I can start to get a bit creative again. At the moment I am not sure if I set one lot and leave the other alone, set them both..???? Aghhhhhhh! I think I need to read the chapter a few more times and just practice all the different scenarios, a lot.

This picture is my daughters precious commodity. Her stable and horses. I shot it slightly sideward and I wanted the nearer horses to be in focus and the further back ones to be out of focus. Not because I thought it would look amazing on this particular shot, just to see if I could manage to get any kind of control. I did eventually manage it but I am not even going to tell you how many shots I took before I did but you can imagine.

If anyone passing by this blog is using a Nikon D3000 or similar and wants to offer any advice I would be more than happy to take it on board.

Thank you for reading.

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