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Monday, August 7, 2017

Light bulb moment

I could not understand why my pictures in Manual mode turned out good, and then didn't in Av mode. But I discovered that in Manual mode the camera sets the exposure compensation automatically and doesn't in Av mode. So when I shoot in Av and set the compensation I get better photos. Somehow my brain works to think Av should be more automatic than Manual, but it's just automatic in different areas.* My warranty expires in 10 days but I'm going to assume I'm the problem and keep the camera. Hey, life is not without its risks.

This morning I could get close enough to the arroyo to photograph my soapberry thicket. Everything in the oasis was alive and somewhat healthy before this big rain, thanks to what I pumped from the upper dirt tank 3 times, but now everything will get lush and lovely. However, I don't water this soapberry thicket so it wasn't looking very good before. I'll photograph it again in a month for comparison.

I was servicing my feeders this morning when this female Lucifer headed for the nesting material. Grabbed my camera without adjusting the settings and hoped for the best. They were really overblown but I adjusted some of that on photoshop. For some forgotten reason the camera was in Manual mode with a high ISO (1600) and a fast shutter speed (1500). Next time I don't have time to make adjustments I should just switch to a more automatic mode, like P.

When I installed the feeder poles I added perches. The hummers love them. Here's a migrating male Ruby-throated juvenile. This photo gives a size perspective.

This next Lucifer female I photographed because she's so dark in coloration. They range from almost white to this dark. She looked duskier in person than she does on these photos, however.

Here's a juvenile male displaying to a female. This photo would be funny if it wasn't so frustrating. As sparsely as that tree is leafed, it's still almost impossible to see the action. So typical.


*I think Manual mode should be called EC mode (exposure compensation mode because it does it automatically). And Av mode should be called SS mode (that mode sets shutter speed automatically).


  1. I'm still trying to figure out my new camera.

  2. Oh, dear, that's not encouraging. LOL

  3. Carolyn, I think you should be shooting in TV mode. There you set shutter speed and the camera does the rest, setting the aperture. This ensures that you have a fast shutter speed. Also, I would set the ISO on auto. Then shoot away and have fun. BTW, you can also then adjust the EC as needed if it is real dark or extra white. Bob Zeller

  4. Thanks, Bob. There sure makes sense to me. I'm definitely going to do that. I didn't even know you could set the ISO to auto. I'll let you know how it goes.

  5. Hey. Overblown looks pretty arty.