Film 1: Trials and Errors

In Photographically Lost, I talked about now knowing what to photograph for my first roll of film. I think I was a little hasty. After all, memorizing the user manual of my Minolta isn’t quite enough to take decent pictures. Those were just the concepts. And so I devoted my first roll of film to “trial photography,” if you will. I would focus on a subject and then bracket the aperture and speed shutter to see how it would turn out in terms of lighting, depth of field, and clarity. But I wasn’t completely successful. Many of my pictures came out the same, despite the fact that I was trying to reduce and increase the depth of field. Others came out in strange, distorted colors. I scanned some of the pictures and here are my evaluations of my first ever roll of film!

The picture below was shot at f/11, 1/125. The depth of field is quite large as you can see the background cacti are relatively clear. Unfortunately, it came out too dark. I have to learn how to adjust to the shade.

This picture was shot at f/4, 1/1000. The depth of field is much shorter here. The cacti in the background are blurred, as is part of the foregrounded cactus just right of center that is closest to the camera. The color also came out a little better, as the subject appears less drowned out by shadow and darkness. (You can enlarge the photo to get a better sense of what I’m talking about. Same with the picture above.)

In addition to these daytime shots, I went out just as the sun was setting and took a couple pictures of the sunset. One came out completely washed out. I think it was because the shutter speed was too slow and therefore allowed the camera to see more detail in the trees and the cacti, drawing the camera’s attention away from the beautiful colors of the sunset.

Here, I increased the shutter speed to 1/125 but kept the aperture at f/11. The colors came out much better, though the composition of the picture is quite terrible: too much black, too little sky, too wide of view, etc. I do think it’d be better if I had a zoom lens with me.

In the future, I will be more careful to frame the picture well, consider the composition of the photograph, and not mindlessly click the shutter release button. Advice, anyone?

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~ by thechanster on 5:36 pm, Monday, June 16, 2008.

5 Responses to “Film 1: Trials and Errors”

  1. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH Charlotte you committed one of the most grievous of my pet peeves: “cactuses”–it’s cacti…please, PLEASE change it before I gouge my eyes out…haha not to be dramatic or anything….

  2. and now you are going to become an amazing photographer as well, just because you weren’t AMAZING ENOUGH to BEGIN WITH or anything…oh and I forgot to write about how you’re an amazing knitter and crochet-er in my comment on the last post as well…I still have to get my mom to dig the knitting needles out of the garage so I can teach myself…she keeps stalling…

  3. GAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!! I’m changing it THE MOMENT I finish writing this comment!!!!!!!!! I blame my cactuses/cacti mix-up on my lack of sleep (3 hours last night… for no reason at all… but I DID see your mom this morning on my morning run!!). You’re so sweet, Veronica! And I love the waves of comments!

    As for knitting and crocheting… once you get your yarn gear out, we’re going to have a party!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hi Charlotte,
    I do a lot of photography with film and manual manipulation, aperture etc. I shoot with a similar camera (Fujita) occasionally and they can be hard to get the hang of. Depth of field is a hard thing to specifically focus on and isolate as a variable like aperature or something. Be very careful with your aperature versus your focus versus your shudder speed. Also you have to account for whatever film speed you’re using as far as light saturation, and the only way to control that is with an aperature change to accomodate the film speed (it’s often suggeste on the box) Just experiment a little, and look for photos that have the sort of look you want, then try to figure the aperature (easiest variable to change) relative to the time of day. If you really want to have some fun taking artsy type pics, Urban Outfitters has colored lens cameras, pinhole cameras, and “fisheye” cameras for about $40 that get really neat vinage effects, but the film is more expensive to develop on the pinhole ones. Just ideas…sorry it got so long haha. Good luck :)

    Alexandra

  5. Hey Alexandra!

    Thanks so much for the advice!!!! I really appreciate it! And it’s pretty awesome that you do so much photography!!!! Yay for doing things the old-fashioned way! =) And I love artsy-type things, though I would much rather work on mastering the aperture/shutter speed balance to get what I want instead of buying a separate camera to do the fancy effects for me. Fisheye is pretty cool. I might buy a fisheye lens sometime. The problem with the Urban Outfitters fisheye camera is that the fisheye doesn’t distort to cover the entire frame. So when it comes out, it’s like you have this 4″x6″ picture and then a circular or oblong image inside it, with the extra corners blacked out. I prefer the full-frame fisheye. =) Hehe. But don’t apologize for length! I love long comments! Thanks again, Alexandra!

    ~Charlotte

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