The weekend was BEAUTIFUL. Saturday after morning chores (Michael had to run sound), we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens armed with my spiffy new camera to give it a real test run.
Of course, we had to start with lunch. I love the cafe they now have at the Gardens. It's a bit on the expensive side, but I expect overpriced food at any event arena. And this stuff is not only REALLY GOOD, it's also healthy.
If you're a Garden member or go often, they actually have a "frequent buyer" card that they don't really advertise. Grab one next time you're there! It's also cool that since we're in a garden, they use compostable plates, cups and utensils. The plate is actually made from banana leaves. And yes, that clear plastic cup is also compostable!
|Chicken and barley soup; chick pea, yellow squash, and orange salad with citrus dijon dressing and coconut-pecan cookie|
The sky was a brilliant shade of blue.
This recipe fascinates me...
It was fun to wander around outside, but I was really excited to hit the Fuqua Orchid Center. Next weekend it's going to be really spectacular, since Orchid Daze begins, but it's awesome at any time.
Here I was playing with the "pop color" filter on the camera.
And now on to Real Photography. The kind where you play with ever-mysterious concepts like Aperture (not to be confused with Aperture Laboratories), Shutter Speed, Metering Mode, Depth of Field...!!!
Let's just start with Aperture, okey dokey? That's how much light the camera is letting in (how wide the lens is open during shooting). Also related to f-stop. I used to have a coworker that, when asked what an acronym containing an "F" stood for would tell you what all the other letters stood for and then say, "And, of course, the 'F' is implied." I'll let you figure that one out on your own. But! In this case, the "f" stands for "factorial". Oh, OK, that's all perfectly clear now. =P
Wikipedia tells me the f-stop is the focal length divided by the aperture. What I understand is that a smaller f-stop (larger aperture) makes the background defocused while keeping the foreground in focus (because, though I don't understand it...yet...a smaller aperture means a greater depth of field). For instance, this picture...
I tend to like my backgrounds a little defocused.
Here's a more dramatic example. F-stop cranked all the way down, i.e., I REALLY WANT YOU TO JUST LOOK AT THIS ONE FLOWER.
Of course, this camera is pretty smart and does very well if you just let it pick its own settings. =)
In all the times we're been in the Orchid Center, I'm pretty sure we've never seen this particular bloom. That's one of the things I love about it; there is always something blooming, and it's different every time you go. We've been before when a volunteer has pointed out a bloom and said, "This one only blooms for two days!"
I love the shapes of this one!
Here's a shot showing the roof of the Orchid Center.
I took around 120 pictures. I discovered a lot of things about my camera in the process! It has several methods of focusing; one of which allows you to move the focus spot wherever in the frame you want it. (I used to try to cheat this with my automatic by centering what I wanted to focus, then holding the shutter button halfway down and recomposing the shot.) It's got a panoramic mode (which we played with but I wasn't thrilled enough with any particular result to share). It's even got a timer! So now, you can see both of us at once!
I haven't even begun to play with the flash yet! I also have a wide-angle lens (which is what I'll use the most when we're sight-seeing, as it's nice and small and then the camera fits in its spiffy case). It lets you get the entire Fuqua Conservatory in one shot. =)
|New camera = lots to shoot and lots to learn. Imagine how many pictures I will have after Orchid Daze starts!!|