Beyond the Basic Zone

“It’s never set it, and forget it, with photography.”

I have a hard time remembering all I should in all areas of my life these days. For some odd reason, however, I never forget the old adage that a good photographer is never comfortable just setting their camera on auto and forgetting about it.

My Canon camera is so much better than any of the other ones I previously owned that it is tempting to ignore this rule. Nevertheless, I do know that the right settings produce much better photos over the long run. As part of my personal continuous improvement process, I initially migrated from the auto setting to what Canon refers to as the “Basic Zone.” The basic settings allow you to turn the flash on or off as you desire, and it helps you better account for shooting everything from athletic events and flower close ups to landscapes and night shots. There are great photos to be made in the Basic Zone.

Over time, I have also started to experiment with Canon’s “Creative Zone.” Liking the results here, I’ve been studying up on completing my training with these settings by developing an ability to set my own ISO, aperture (or F stop) and shutter speed settings.

October Sunrise in Anthem

So, when pain basically prevented me from sleeping past 4-4:30 a.m. yesterday morning, I decided to grab my camera gear and practice on the “Creative Zone” settings while catching sunrise overlooking one of the picturesque lakes at the Anthem Community Park.

The good news? I made progress with the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings during a time period that can test one’s ability in those areas. It also got my mind off the pain I was experiencing while failing (again) at attempting to get some much needed additional sleep. It also inspired me to work on improving my ability to photograph the bees (one of my favorite photographic pursuits) in my backyard garden later in the day.

The bad news? I did too much and spent much of the rest of the day with ice on my lower back and cranking up the TENS  unit for my neck and right arm.

I’m still sorer than normal today, but I’ve learned my lesson for now. That’s why I’m going to send the text for this post and two or three photos to Will. No more computer time or photos for me today.  I’ll let him “land the plane.” He’s good like that!

Live and learn? For me, it’s usually two steps forward and one step back. It’s not ideal, but I’m an optimist. Let’s chalk it up as progress!

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