Day 98—When Will I Ever Learn?

Today I’ve been busy focusing(!) on pressing, non-camera related matters. I’ve been very preoccupied but about noon, I realized I still needed to think about what to do for my photo of the day. I saw that the white azaleas in the backyard were in full bloom so I thought I could take a few shots and be done with it. Nothing in my life these days seems to be that simple, however.

My azalea shots were plagued by clouds intermittently and unpredictably obscuring the bright sunlight. I was outside at noon (or the DST equivalent of noon) and when the sun WAS out, I had trouble finding correct exposure, the brilliant white display overpowering everything. After taking several shots I noticed that auto focus wasn’t functioning properly and many of the shots were out of focus. Then I realized that auto focus was set continuous from three days ago when I was photographing bees. When will I ever learn? No wonder I did not like many of the photos I took yesterday and the day before. It wasn’t only the incorrect white balance settings that threw everything off; I wondered why I wasn’t getting crisp focus on many shots.

Shortly after I got my camera, I read Ken Rockwell’s advice to reset the camera to default settings at the end of every photo shooting session. At the time I read this advice, I was so unfamiliar with the camera functions that I thought the suggestion ludicrous. Now I’m rethinking that opinion. I have had so many disappointing results from my failure to double check all of my settings that it it obvious I must do something to correct this problem. Starting today, on Day 98, I am going to try to remember to reset my camera to default settings every time I finish shooting. After all, this is NOT a point and shoot camera; the reason I got it was because of the inadequacies of my point and shoot camera.

Photographing white azaleas at midday is not the best way to do it, but the Sunny f/16 rule worked for me and I ended up with a few acceptable, if not great, photos. Here is the best of the bunch:

Lens at 200mm
ISO 200