An Interlude to Consider – photography learning and practicing

A little camera exploration today because I am still learning how to do things. Luckily the FujiFilm X100F is very forgiving and since I walk slower I can take a second photograph if one seems strange.

I shoot primarily on aperture priority with auto ISO enabled so when walking around the city I don’t worry about setting too many things. The goto F stops I use around the city are F/5.6 and F/8. I think these are the sweet spots for doing urban photography or street shots of moving people and stuff. The primary difference between the two is available light. I think F8 is one of those things like the famous photographer said,

F8 and be there.

If you can manage to be there and set the camera to F8 you are likely to get a good shot of a thing. I really think that it offers the best especially for learning. I think when learning photography you need to practice one thing and not have too many intervening variables. As an example to me, I could not suddenly be trying to set the ISO as well as decide what aperture I should be at. Its easier to just let the camera do that most of the time.

But what I am interested in is setting the camera to manual focus and then focusing on a zone at F8 say a thing that is 10 feet away and sitting still as the scene unfolds. I have not done this for awhile but I practiced it in Hiroshima at a mall. It would be harder to do this on the move I think. Maybe better photographer have a method and quickness but for a novice learning a single thing and then practicing that thing seems easier. So tomorrow I will find a place and practice manual focusing at F8 and do that for awhile.

I think its important to try to learn both techniques but I have to say that simply using auto focus and then deciding on the available light whether its F5.6 or F8 is pretty darned easy and the return is good.

Its also easier to practice in a dynamic environment where there are people, cars, buses, signs and benches to practice the manual stuff on. Today I felt pretty good getting out around the city and just practicing. Its fun and profitable how the walking I like to do goes with the photography I am learning to do. Its like they go together at a cosmic level and I like that.

I also have the two lens for the X100F that I got on eBay. The telephoto and wide angle lens which I have not practiced that much at. Soon though I will be breaking those out and learning. Each thing takes time for me though. I need to feel that the basics are in place with the “naked camera” before going out and doing other things.

I’ll post an update later this evening to this with a few of the frames I took today. It was a good day even if it rained ;-).

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.