Basic Basic Digital Photography For Now

After the crazy English course during the summer (5 5-page papers in 5 or 6 weeks!!!) and Calculus last semester, I thought I’d take Digital Photography this semester cos it’d be fun. So far it has been surprisingly (cos I don’t know much about photography really) way too easy, but from the looks of the syllabus, we’re definitely going to get into stuff I don’t know pretty soon (basically everything else), like shutter speed and aperture and correcting distortion to pick three things at random. In case anyone’s interested, I thought I’d post up some of the more practical stuff we go over in class. :)

For the first class he talked about the half click/recompose technique. The basic idea is that when you half click (hold your shutter button down half way) you set your focus and exposure. So if you know that it’s a difficult situation for your camera (say you’re waiting to capture the moment when someone blows out their birthday candles) if you half click and hold it while everyone’s singing, then the camera’s done all the hard stuff that takes a long time so when the moment is right, you can just click it the rest of the way and the photo will actually take and you probably won’t miss the shot. The recompose bit comes into play when you want the focus or exposure to be somewhere besides the middle (the usual focus spot I guess). So for example if you’re taking a photo of two people, well it sucks if the background in between them is in focus instead of the people. So you center one of the people, half click, then frame your photo the way you actually want it and take the photo. The focus stays on the plane that you originally half clicked on, so it’s all good.

Suppose I wanted a photo of my lotion, but I don’t want it in the middle of the picture. Here it’s all focused on the bottom of the speakers.
Focus 2
If I point my camera at the lotion first, then half click, then repoint my camera at the speakers, the lotion stays in focus.
Focus 1
See? :)

Today, amongst other things, we talked about Image Size and Resolution, specifically how to change image size and resolution in Photoshop CS3 (open a photo, go to Image>Image Size, change the numbers). But every program does it differently, and I dunno this isn’t too complicated except for finding where the option is in the program you’re using to edit your photos. Oh and don’t resize it smaller for the web and then save over your original cos you’ll lose too much data. Oh and if you want to print your photo, 240 pixels/inch is a good resolution for your photos.

Class is Thursdays from 7pm to 10pm with practice time on the computers. :p

Class, Again

Wow it’s been forever. I think I was all writed out after that darned English class. Then we went to Vancouver (photos), and now, I’ve signed myself up for another class. Luckily this time not a 6 week long writing class, but instead calculus, for the 2nd time. I took it in high school but it was a long time ago, and I guess they like you to have taken it within the last ten years (am so aging myself here). But! That’s not even my complaint this time! I don’t even mind taking calculus; math is less scary than I used to think it was, especially since I’m only taking one class. It’s the textbook. OMG, it’s $200.10!!! I don’t remember any books at that price back in the day! (Am further aging myself.) I’m going to buy a used copy or new or something online and return this one before school starts. $200.10 is too much. Sheesh, is this normal nowadays?!

Free at Last

Today was the last day of class. OMG soooo relieved.

Still even though the essays and everything were pretty terrible (well not everyone thought so but five 5 page papers in 6 weeks, plus 4 other 2 page writing assignments plus midterm, plus presentation of some reading, etc is a lot to me) it was one of the best English classes I’ve ever taken. I felt like I learned a lot from the professor and all the class discussions too. So it was cool. But I’m still glad it’s over. I don’t think I could’ve dealt with one more writing assignment.


I have one more paper to write, just one: a 5 page argument type paper. But it’s due on Thursday and I haven’t picked a topic. I KNOW!!! So far, I’ve written on legalization of marijuana, the partial birth abortion ban act, and the death penalty. What should I write about now?! Gawd. Suggestions welcome!!! Actually suggestions please. :p


Last night (well really in the wee hours of the morning, but why quibble?) I stayed up writing my first 5 page paper for the class. It was a complete struggle, and after every paragraph I grumbled about dropping the damned class. But somehow I felt like if I dropped the class after a page, it’d be like I was admitting defeat! Like I was incapable of writing a stupid essay. So I finished it and turned it in. But I’m still thinking about dropping the class cos I hate writing and summer classes are so abbreviated, and a five page essay every week is a hecka lot! Except now I kinda feel like I already spent all that time writing that essay. Gaaaaaaah! Still, knowing that I can drop this class any time makes me feel better. Or something. And I know I can’t seem to talk about anything but this, and it’s getting boring, but it feels like school and work are consuming my life right now, so it’s not like I have anything better to talk about.

Things Stay the Same

I forgot to mention this yesterday ’cause I was so busy whining about school: yesterday I wore my shirt inside out for the whole morning! I haven’t done that since college when I was late for an exam once. But I have reason to hope that no one noticed — I had lunch with Yut and when I told him later that my shirt was inside out, he said, “You did?!” Oh yes! :D

It’s that time again!

Whine-about-school-time that is. Yes, after 1 semester off, I am back. This time, it’s Critical Thinking, which is an English class. Which means essays! OMG! 5 of them! 5 pages each! And 4 short reaction papers! 1.5-2 pages each! Geeeezus, what did I get myself into?! The only good thing is that the class is only 6 weeks long. Only that means 1 essay per week, which is ludicrous, possibly even ludicrisp (a la Mike Tyson).

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