Last week my friend and I were eating lunch in the park when a pair of Air Force helicopters roared through, the wind from their blades blowing bags off our bench.
By the time I’d pulled the camera from my bike panniers, the choppers were directly overhead. I clicked away until they were gone, then looked at my photos.
I confess that sometimes I’m rather lazy with my camera settings, thinking, “Ah well, I’ll fix it in Photoshop.” But after a month spent thinking and writing about creative exposures, the first thing I thought when I saw these photos was, “Oops.”
While, yes, I managed to catch photos of the helicopters, I hadn’t checked a single one of my settings before doing so.
Firstly, my exposure compensation was down, making the photos darker than they should be. Secondly, my ISO was all the way up at 800, meaning both that the images are grainy, and that the shutter speed was at 1/4000 to balance out the ISO, freezing every bit of motion in the photos.
I did get a couple of photos I liked (that is, three or four out of fiftyish), but I would love to have captured the whoosh of the blades spinning around, and the helicopters sweeping through the air. Instead most of my photos seem to be of black chunks of metal hanging stationary in a white sky.
Ah well, another thing to chalk up to experience. I now know that no amount of Photoshop can equal using the right camera settings to begin with.
(P.S. Does anyone know what kind of helicopter these are? I’m curious.)