Monday, December 24, 2012

After the Frost

Just over two months ago, I snapped a picture of these woods from this very spot, and I ruminated on Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" because the woods were so yellow then.

Now, after the first frost, I returned with the dogs, for a little Christmas Eve celebratory hike while Andy was working.

But it wasn't all landscapes and ruminations. We were out in the woods for quite a while, so I had plenty of time to keep working on my skills with my new camera. I got a lot better at using the autofocus on a charging dog, and I did some experimenting with shutter speed and  some auto-exposure settings to try to get bright, golden glow on the running dogs.

I used center-weighted exposure values and a center-biased autofocus, so I had to center the moving dog in frame each time. However, the new camera picks up a lot more light (a full frame sensor) and a lot more data (higher resolution sensor), so the options for cropping are more varied.

It can be difficult to catch a dark gold dog when the light isn't shining from behind the photographer. You tend to get underexposed, dark regions without detail on the dog himself, while the surrounding the landscape is properly exposed.

I've been working on using that less-than-ideal light to give the dogs a fringe of gold while keeping the dog himself properly exposed and letting the background get washed out a bit. I got a couple of good ones.

I have no shame about posing dogs for a photo, but this time, Comet posed himself. He ran up ahead, jumped up on that rock, and stood like a proud lion while I fiddled with camera settings.

The new camera also lets you use an iPhone as a remote. it shows you what the camera sees right on the iPhone screen and lets you trigger the shutter and even change a couple of settings. So I set up a teeny tripod on a rock and posed us. You can actually see the phone in my left hand as I trigger the shutter.

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