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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I begin

While I am a very inexperienced photographer I am not a complete newbie. Years ago I saw a Powerpoint on how to take good outdoor photos that talked about the rule of thirds and depth of field when composing your photos.  I've only had very very basic cameras so depth of field was something that I had no control over but I've always installed gridlines on the viewfinder if that camera had that feature.  I'm somewhat proficient at rule of thirds so with this new camera I turned my attention to depth of field.

I am using a series by Graham Houghton on You Tube to guide my learning. He recommends you start out in intelligent auto or IA mode which sounded good to me. The first subject he tackled after setting up the camera is understanding how to set up background defocus mode and change the focal point of your picture. Knowing how to do this will help you change your depth of field in the IA mode. In peeking ahead at the topics I think he covers this later on in the series when you are in manual mode but the idea of manual mode makes me feel faint right now. 

One of the disadvantages of being self taught using a You Tube video is that you can't ask questions when you have done something wrong. You just have to keep plinking away and reviewing the video.

For example after I set the background defocus mode to an aperture of 4 (which doesn't really defocus the background but allows you to change your focal point) I missed the instruction on how to move the focal point by pressing the grid icon to the left of the Menu/Set button after you engage the background defocus mode. If you fail to press this button (or fail to engage background defocus mode first) and try to move the focal point square on the screen the camera beeps at you.

Another fun fail: if you don't engage the background defocus mode OR if you don't press the button on the left of the Menu, AND if you try to move the focal point square using the Menu/Set controls without first pressing the grid icon you will find yourself changing the white balance towards warmer or cooler. Changing the white balance of the photo is all well and good if that is what is you want to do but somewhat frustrating if you want to change the  focal point and don't realize you missed an instruction. And let's not discuss how frustrating it is to have the camera beep at you.

Yes, PLEASE do not discuss the beeping.

So in review, the lesson that I've been working on is trying to figure out the aperture. I can set the aperture to a predetermined point using the Fn2 (Function 2) button and toggle back and forth between an automatic aperture and Fn2 aperture.

Here's where things get tricky if I want to toggle: to turn the background defocus mode on, I press the Fn2 button once. I half press the shutter button to verify. To turn the defocus mode off I press the Fn2 button twice. I do not need to half press the shutter button to verify.

When the camera is in background defocus mode I can change the focal point by pressing on the grid icon on the Menu wheel. That will allow me to move the point. Pressing on the grid icon when the camera is not in background defocus mode will not allow me change the focal point. And it will beep if I try to move the focal point.

Man, will it beep.