Sunday, May 30, 2010

Heave Ho and Custom Functions

This image was made below deck on the Mayflower II, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.It was a three exposures which were later combined using Photomatix. This allows the detail on the left in the sunlit areas to retain detail and also the deep shadow areas on the right. The structure on the left, I believe is called a windlass and is used to raise and lower the anchors. It made work a lot easier for the sailors than hauling the anchor directly - if even possible. Using the machinery at hand can make work at lot easier and might even make something possible that might not otherwise be.

I discovered a way that has really made it easier to make HDR images. I can't take original credit for the fundamental idea, nor can I give credit since I don't remember the source. My camera (Canon 40D) has three custom function positions on the mode dial which I have never used - I spend 97% of my time on Av. But moving between normal Av and Auto-exposure-bracketing has always been a pain as it required going into the menus to turn it on and then off. Somebody in the blog-o-sphere or the pod-o-sphere reminded me that the C1, C2, and C3 settings are meant for the user to define. So that is what I did and I defined C1 as my HDR mode, the two main features are the exposure bracketing setting as well as a higher ISO, since I often am lazy and often do them handheld. But the nice thing about the custom mode settings, is that you can still change things from the stored settings.

So if you find yourself needing to fiddle with a lot of dials to get to a group of settings, use the custom function modes to get you there much more quickly. Why work hard when you can make your camera work for you.

Mayflower II, below deck, 16mm,  f/8.0 at 1.6s, 1/2s, and 1/10s with a Canon EF-S 10-22 mm and 40D.
Plymouth, Massachusetts.
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