Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A single foot

My friend CHM gave me a monopod a few years ago. I've used it a few times; it's a nice compromise between hand-held photography and lugging a full tripod around. Like I said in yesterday's post, it doesn't eliminate camera shake, but does give you a little more stability in low-light situations.

Still a bit grainy, and blurry in the background. Can you see Callie on the path?

I decided to try it out with the new camera for the first time on Monday afternoon's walk. The sky was mostly overcast, so I didn't have to deal with the contrast of bright sunny spots and dark shadowy spots as I did for the photo in yesterday's post. Still, it was quite dark in the woods. I set the ISO to 400 on the camera but wasn't able to stop the aperture down as much as I wanted. I thought I should keep the shutter speed under one second, so for the above picture I ended up with f/6.3 and 1/8 second. That wider aperture explains some of the background blur.

I took the shot below in a different spot, so it's hard to compare, but I don't think there's much difference. The ISO is still at 400, but I got to f/9 (smaller aperture) with a shutter speed of 1/4 second (twice as long as the previous exposure). That longer exposure time likely resulted in just enough blur (from camera shake) to cancel out the better depth of field. Argh!

A different spot in the woods. Callie's not in this one.

In both cases, I'm not really satisfied with the result. I'm sure the tripod would make more of a difference. Still, it's fun to experiment with the monopod because it's much easier to carry on a walk. And the more I shoot, the more I'll learn.


  1. I can see an improvement, and in my experience, this sort of thing is a matter of practice. You will slowly improve, often without even knowing what it is you are doing differently. Be persistent.

  2. "often without even knowing what it is you are doing differently."
    I agree with Susan... especially that last remark! And as film is "free"*, there is no excuse not to take multiple pictures of the same scene.
    As you said yesterday, Walt, all the detail you need to compare the method is in the Exif data. I like the second shot with the very upright, old coppice stools in it contrasting with the arched fallen branch!
    * Free to the point of printing it out, that is!!
    Tim [from PG's machine]

  3. OMG, Walt! That was more than twenty years ago. Time sure flies. Glad it can be of help.

  4. Those woods are so pretty, probably hiding lots of ceps and girolles.

  5. Just don't shoot no French people or deer.

  6. oops ! This is Michael - how did I get Someone to post for me???


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