Day 156—Hit That Chive, Jack

“Hit That Jive, Jack” is one of my favorite Diana Krall songs and it popped into my head as I took photos of my newly planted chives. Yesterday, I planted tomatoes (about six weeks later than I usually plant them) and several different kinds of herbs, at the encouragement of Sue, my sister-in-law, who was visiting for the weekend. The chives occupy the top hole of a strawberry jar, and chervil, tarragon, spicy oregano (judgement about the taste of this herb remains to be seen), and Thai basil fill in the smaller holes beneath. That’s the chervil, out of focus in the bottom front of the photo.

As Karen Russell, the instructor of my soon-to-be-completed photography class, advised when class started, our photographs would get worse before they got better. Although class is winding down, my photographs continue to get worse instead of better. I have learned many things from this class and it is among the better photography classes I’ve taken to date, but I know I haven’t spent as much time studying and practicing as I should have and I continue to be experiencing all kinds of problems. Despite my cautious increase in ISO, it wasn’t enough so I still needed a Levels adjustment to correct the exposure of this photograph. I thought I was monitoring exposure but obviously not closely enough. I’m back to shooting manual, the mode I’m most comfortable shooting, but I still continue to struggle with learning the functions on my Nikon D800. I managed to freeze the focus point at an odd place and couldn’t find the release while shooting this morning, so I had to focus and recompose all my shots which does not always reliably keep focus, for me anyway. I focused closely on the chives and with the lens wide open my depth of field is too shallow, so too much of the chive plant, the subject of the shot, is out of focus. I tried various white balance settings, and everything seemed a bit too yellow, including the cloudy setting even though it’s very cloudy out. I should have set a custom white balance but it started to sprinkle and I didn’t want to get my camera wet. I used auto focus instead and felt guilt! So, I continue to struggle.

Focal Length 300mm
Manual Mode
ISO 320
f/5.6
1/80
Auto WB
levels