A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Digital Camera Mode Dial B, Av, Tv, P, A+ what does it all mean

A lot will depend on your make and model of camera but for the sake of this blog post I will refer to  Canon and Nikon SLR, mirror-less and bridge digital cameras as shown in the first picture.

Ignoring C3 C2 C1 which I will deal with later in the post lets start with B or Bulb this allow time exposures ideal for dusk, night use where the camera will usually be on a tripod, the shutter will stay open until the shutter is released with the shutter or cable release button.

M or manual where the user has control over aperture, shutter speed and ISO I use this when I need to change often all three settings. For example in the picture below I wanted to control the aperture to get more of the group in focus a fast shutter speed to counter any subject movement and a high ISO number to allow for the dedicated flash to bounced off the ceiling. Correct exposure was controlled by the meter seen through the viewfinder. More on this when we get to the P and M setting.

Av Aperture priority, user sets the aperture the camera will control the shutter speed and ISO accordingly, useful for landscapes etc to control depth of field to get more of the subject in focus the picture of the poppy below was taken on this setting of f1.2 to get the background (bokeh) out of focus

Tv Shutter priority to set a higher shutter speed for example fast moving subjects a moving car or flower, a bird in flight?  again the camera will set the aperture and ISO

P Program mode here the camera sets shutter, aperture and ISO automatically but is controllable for correct exposure by the thumbwheel at the rear of the camera. I recommend this setting and the Green (auto) + for most of the time since you are unlikely to miss a shot when first picking the camera up unlike the previous modes.

A+  Fully automatic where the camera sets correct exposure of aperture and shutter speed according to the subject setting.

To summarise A+ for foolproof results P for automatic function with some control, for more creative  work B, Tv, Av and the mode I use the most M or manual let me explain in more detail using the group photograph picture above.

My dedicated flash gun when mounted on the hot shoe of the camera in the P mode causes the camera to a default setting of 1/60 sec at f4. and ISO of 400.
1/60sec is too slow in case of subject movement and f4 is insufficient for a good depth of field, however setting the camera to M manual allowed me to set 1/200th sec and a aperture of f8. To get a correct exposure I dialled in the ISO manually to 3200 which allowed me to bounce the flash off the ceiling to avoid harsh shadows.

And finally C1 C2 C3 are custom settings (you may not have them) to allow your favourite colour, ,
speed, aperture, brightness, contrast and other settings for example landscapes, children, and portraits to be stored at those values you prefer.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Canon 50Mp 5Ds R digital SLR Camera

I have recently purchase a 5Ds R I have a trusty 24Mp 5D MkIII and I was interested to see how the 50Mp full frame sensor would behave under various conditions

Squeezing that many pixels into a a full frame sensor was asking a lot and because of that the noise levels at moderate ISO's say1600 are quite high compared with the 5D which will go to very high levels with ease due to its  larger pixel size.

So I have been experimenting with a base ISO of 100 to get the best results that means in low light a tripod, in good light Canon's 4 stop IS lenses suffice.

The level of detail available with this sensor is amazing providing the best Canon lenses are used, I use a 16-35mm f4 IS L lens, a 24-70mm 2.8 mkii L and a 100-400mm IS Mkii L lens which covers most of my needs.

File size in RAW at maximum is about 65Mp a huge file size which means a large capacity fast memory card and a very large capacity hard drive.

I am using a Apple iMac and uploading some images to iCloud to save on hard disc space.

Below are two pictures where I cropped the road sign from the centre of the large image file size in RAW was 65mb to gauge enlargement potential.

These images have been exported in small jpeg size for showing here. I chose the "fine detail" setting in the menu and no post edit sharpening was applied

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Brodie F1 Brussels sprout

We tried these for the first time as they were recommended to us for their sweet taste.They have been picked whilst small to improve the flavour and reduce cooking time.
We have eaten the small amount of Brussel tops but sadly the snails on the allotment plot had most of them.
The effort to net them was worthwhile to keep the large white butterflies off, so all in all a successful but small crop with beneficial health properties.

Friday, 3 November 2017


We use to get lots of finches in our garden, sadly that is no longer the case. The general bird numbers visiting our garden in Eastbourne East Sussex are down in significant numbers, even starlings, herring gulls however are ever present in large numbers driven inland by the plentiful amount of food waste giving them lots of free offerings.
It was therefore a surprise to have a goldfinch visit albeit fleetingly today.
My friend Sue at glallotments here  recommends sunflower hearts here for all birds especially goldfinches, I intend to try those in addition to small bird seed mix and fat balls.

sunflower hearts here

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A very surprising 50p purchase and its not the goat

I've had a Nikon D200 digital camera for some years but haven't used it for a long while since changing over to Canon cameras and lenses.
I happened upon, in a junk shop, a very early first model Nikon 18-55mm plastic bodied lens with fungus inside and a scratched front element for 50p not expecting much I popped it on the camera and got this frankly surprising sharp and well defined picture of a goat and fishing lake at our local farm shop.
A closer look revealed the fungus and lens scratches were towards the edges of the glass, so at f7.1 (the aperture of these pictures) wouldn't appear but wide open at f3.5 they probably would, so the lens will likely be of limited use for indoor work........still, I now have a usable lens/camera combination.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Shingle replacement and school children on Holywell beach

Contractors have been doing the annual task of shingle replacement due to longshore drift 

Children on the beach doing geography lesson on the shingle losses due to longshore drift

Longshore drift, the erosion of shingle due to wind and tides (see above)