This weekend was supposed to be photography weekend over here, but it rained. In fact, it’s still raining.
So instead of taking the camera out to the streets I took out the book, Canon Rebel T1i/500D From Snapshots to Great Shots, and I finished it. The only way I could deal with this book was by having Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Photography Field Guide open right beside it for moral support. Actually, I found what made this book such a hard one for me by comparing it side by side. The Field Guide is a great book to learn about photography, techniques and camera functions. Snapshots to Great Shots is a book to learn how to use functions on the Rebel, period. You can’t ask more than that from it because it won’t give it to you. It will cry and pout like a two year old and grasp all the knowledge with it’s tiny fingers while wailing “NOOOO IT’S MIIIINE!”
I mean, for example, the Field Guide covers in page 64 the Depth-of-Field preview button. Something that, quoting Peterson “you’ll soon be wondering how you ever lived without it”. From Snapshots to Great Shots covers this in page 182, when you’ve begun to think the book is useless, and by covers I mean it gives you a figure on where to find said button and says “Using the Depth-of-Field preview button can help you ensure that the image is sharp.” That’s it. That’s your great in-depth into this life-saving tool. Pun intended.
So the Field Guide covers in the first hundred pages all the good tricks and tools that you can use to be creative with your equipment. From Snapshots to Great Shots starts to get to the useful stuff on page 113. What’s the logic behind that, I think giving me an ulcer. Wait, no, all the examples about shooting sport events already do that.
I specially loved how both books compare when covering the Manual setting. From Snapshots to Great Shots says basically, turn the dial to Manual and shoot. Thanks for illuminating me, I never had imagined. The Field Guide has a page long exercise on how to change apertures and shutter speeds, note them and compare them, to learn how they both affect photographs. On that alone Peterson beats Revell with a stick on the head and wins by a super 600mm telephoto lens.
But the thing is, Peterson shoots Nikon and I needed to learn how to use my Rebel, so From Snapshots to Great Shots was a very necessary evil. That camera has an overwhelming amount of tools and the book does cover them all. In fact that brings me to my second wall with this book. And my photography in general. I want to learn all the settings and functions and every single trick that camera has in two hours. I want to stand in front of my subject (see? I got all fancy there) and in two seconds set up that baby like I’ve been shooting it for five years. I want to do that NOW. Not tomorrow, not after I’ve actually gone through the functions and test them, I want that RIGHTTHISSECOND. Which is potentially problematic because while I’m not on the dumb side, I don’t have the powers to learn two hundred pages of settings in a couple of hours. I wish I did, I would use that power to become a mechanic.
Anyway, the rain helped me exercise enough patience to sit with both books and the camera and make a cross reference of all the info and topics I want to put in practice. Basically, Peterson teaches me what I want to do and Revell tells me what buttons to push on the Rebel. It’s pretty neat.
That’s where I am now in this photographic adventure. I’m learning which buttons to push, and when. While avoiding touching the lens.