Friday, July 31, 2009

What a Difference a Filter Can Make!

This past Wednesday, I attended my first photography class in Folsom with my friend, Effie.

It was a total blast! :-)

It's a very basic composition class through Folsom Park and Recreation. As such, our teacher, Bonita Chimes, will be moving slowly through the material. That's o.k. with me because I'm hoping this time, I really get it.

See, I still don't really understand apertures and shutter speeds and ISOs. I know I need to let light into my camera, but I don't want too much light (overexposure) or not enough light (underexposure).

So, I'm praying for a few lightbulb moments in this class...if you know what I mean!

Anyway, during our first class, Bonita asked us a series of questions to gauge our photography knowledge and learn more about us. (And when I say "us," I mean the 15 novices/newbies/knuckleheads enrolled in the class.)

Questions like:

A) When should you use ISO 400?

B) When should you use ISO 1000?

C) What is the key to photography?

We wrote down our answers (aka guesses) on paper and turned them into her. Then, Bonita went through all of the questions, one-by-one.

By the way, here are the answers:

A) Rarely. ISO 200 is the best!

B) When shooting sports.


I also wanted to share one more question and answer because I think it is often overlooked by some photographers. (Surprisingly, I already knew the answer to this question because I had read up about it on Ken Rockwell's website.)

The question: What filter do you need to have for every lens you own?

Bonita's answer: A UV filter.

Why, you ask?

Well, it's basically an insurance policy. Lenses are incredibly expensive and once they are scratched, they're useless. A UV filter--although not super cheap--will protect your lens from damage and help cut down on glare.

We purchased a UV filter (from Adorama) right before we went to Europe in May. At the same time, we bought a second filter--a polarizing filter. Boy am I glad we did...check out these photos!

Here's a picture of Rothenburg, Germany (a medieval town that is completely walled-in) taken WITHOUT the polarizing filter.

And here's nearly the same photograph taken WITH the polarizing filter.

Simply A-MAY-ZING, isn't it?!

Can't wait for my next class this coming Wednesday!

Shutterbug Jennie

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