Testing and playing with your camera
The photo above was taken right when I received my DSLR and decided to take it to the golf range to practice its high-speed feature and focusing capabilities. I had been taking photos of different landscape subjects and unable to utilize the other aspects of the camera. That is why I think it’s important to get to know your camera as soon as possible.
After reading the user’s manual and only understanding about 53% of the information, I decided to test out the features during a trip to the golf range. I’m not going to lie. It was extremely difficult and frustrating trying to find the right settings to create the photo that I envisioned. I read the user’s manual and mostly relied on help references from the internet. After about an hour of practice, I was nearing the point of a decent photo.
For the photo above, I chose the “Ch” shutter selection on my Nikon camera and a wide open aperture. I wanted to focus more on the golf club and ball. There are some aspects of the photo that now my trained eye can see that is “off” or could be better. However I wanted to share this photo to show and remember that I had to start somewhere. I used a low ISO because there was plenty of light outside. The shot was also taken right before the putter hit the ball. I wanted to get a shot of the ball leaving the tee just after hitting.
On a final note
Going out of your way to test the capabilities can be uncomfortable, difficult, and frustrating. It is necessary in order to make the next leap over into your photography journey. There were a few times that I wanted to give up during this practice run. Now that I look back, I would have never learned how to photograph wildlife had it not been for me practicing at the golfing range. Having learned how to use the fast shutter speed has allowed me to photograph birds in flight, moving four-legged animals, and taking a landscape shot at just the right moment before the perfect lighting goes away.
Along with hands on practice, I highly recommend researching a photographer and instructor by the name of Bryan Peterson. He has written many books and has tons of videos teaching different techniques of photography. I combined the 53% I learned from the manual with what I have learned from his teachings and I’m glad to say that I am getting closer to capturing the photos that please me on a consistent basis. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I do not get the photo that I was looking for. I encourage all of you to get out there and test out the different features of your camera. Like myself, you may find that the time you dedicated could help you in the future.
Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time