When it comes to photography, I’m oldschool. I started with a fully manual SLR, and never saw any reason to change. When automatic SLRs came around, meh, why bother? I figured I could do anything I wanted to with a manual camera, and I knew exactly how all the knobs worked.
But then camera technology changed, and I was given a Nikon CoolPix, and, well, being able to take as many images as I liked (allowing for battery life and the size of the memory cards) is pretty damn seductive. The problem with the CoolPix was that it didn’t have knobs. It had PROGRAMMING. And functionality buried a few layers down in that programming. I kept forgetting how to set things, and it wasn’t an intuitive interface, so in the end I learned how to work with a couple of settings (fully automatic and manual with shutter priority) and that was pretty much all I used.
But a while ago I was given a DSLR—a Nikon D5100—for my birthday. Compared to the old manual SLRs, it’s pretty impressive. It has a lot of settings for pre-defined circumstances (who knew there was a setting for children?) and special effects (some of which would really be better done with image manipulation software, I mean really, “sketch”?).
To my delight, the interface is much more intuitive than that of the CoolPix, and I don’t have to refer to the manual every single time I want to do something. It’s almost like having knobs. It’s taking me a while to explore what it can do, though, and there are a few things that baffle me—such an apparent inability to turn off flash for a number of settings—such as shutter-priority—which is something that makes no sense to me. Must dig deeper, I suspect there’s a workaround.
Anyhow, today I decided to try the “night vision” effect, which is apparently what camera companies now call black and white. And there was the perfect subject: Our Dog. Not quite black and white, but close enough.