Skip to main content

Day 126/365: Kit Lens in the Dog House

We went to London today to see the Discover Dogs exhibition at Earl's Court. My husband and I went to this event a couple of times before we had children. We have always liked the idea of having a dog but somehow we have never taken the leap. We are aiming to get one in a couple of years time, but we need Bear to be older before we take on any extra chaos responsibility. We have considered lots of breeds over the years. Most of the dogs that I would love are just not practical for us and we are very unlikely to ever own them. We think that we will go for a Dachshund. My husband has been thinking of names already. 

Before we left I needed to make a decision between my nifty fifty and my kit lens. I have concluded from recent days out that a zoom lens is better because of its versatility. So I went with the kit lens. This was a mistake. Like all mistakes however, it offered interesting learning opportunities. 

Look what we found on the way there! The boys have just got into Dr. Who and were delighted - not that you can tell from their faces. Honestly! For ease I kept the exposure setting on evaluative today. The boys faces are over exposed here. If I had the thinking space I would have metered off of their faces. In my defence, I was frazzled by the hours of parenting that went into getting the kids this far and Bear was literally hanging off my leg screaming when I took the picture. All in all, I feel thankful to have a picture at all. 

Every single photo I took today is awful, but they are so much better than the last batch of photos that I took at this event in 2004. I took these with our very first point and shoot digital camera. (Some of my favourites here - Gordon setter, schnauzer, Afghan hound and Irish setter. We will never own any of them). I couldn't understand why the pictures were so bad. The yellowness of them struck me the most. I could almost accept that they were out of focus, because that was the norm for me. Frustrating for sure, but the norm. 

This guy turned out pretty good though! He was a keeper. Swoon.

I had those old pictures in mind when I headed off to Discover Dogs today. The very first thing I did was get my grey card out to set the white balance. 

18mm; f/3.5; 1/160; ISO 3200

So far so goodish, but then the problem was super clear. The lowest my aperture would go was f/3.5 and that was at 18mm. This focal lenght took me very far away from subjects, which was tricky if I was aiming to fill more of the frame. It also distorted their faces. As soon as I pushed the focal length up, the aperture followed. 

35mm; f/4.5; 1/125; ISO 3200
This wasn't an option because with the raised aperture the shutter speed went way down. In some cases the shutter speed was very low indeed. I now know that to really capture the movement of the day I needed at least 1/250 and I could get now where near that, even with the focal length at 18mm. 

So, what we have here is a lot of wide angle shots and motion blur. There is also lots of camera shake because Bear was still hanging off my leg screaming.... and when she was not hanging off my leg I was worried about where she had gone. Seriously, how do these other Clickin Moms manage so much better?

18mm; f/3.5; 1/80; ISO 1600

18mm; f/3.5; 1/60; ISO 3200

18mm; f/3.5; 1/50; ISO 3200

18mm; f/3.5; 1/40; ISO 1600
Without a doubt I would have achieved better photos with my 50mm. Lesson learnt. 

Let's just focus a bit more on how much I have learned about white balance... and the beauty that is the Gordon Setter.