I was sitting in the office yesterday morning staring at my computer screen like a zombie from some George Romero film, the phone rings, and a guy hires me to winch his truck out of a mud hole WAY back in the middle of nowhere. Hey, a paid adventure, what’s not to love? Not only that, but we just completed a battery relocation in the Jeep, and I’m experimenting with adding a safety fuse to the main battery cable to prevent flames and smoke in case the cable gets cut in an accident. I’d been told my winch might draw so many amps it would be tough to fuse, so time for a test. They were nice guys and the winching went well — BUT there was the photography:
One of my struggles with photography is that I usually need more than what full auto will give me, yet I forget to check my camera settings. For the Canon “Program” mode I’m fond of using, my A620 camera stores settings between on-off cycles . I like that, but it means your tweaks for one shot have to be adjusted next time you turn the camera on. I keep forgetting that, whipping the camera out, then messing up the shot because of previously saved settings. Key for me is to develop the habit of checking a few settings each time I get ready for a shot, or if I’m in a hurry to switch to “Auto,” which obviates any stored settings and doesn’t allow any tweaks other than turning the flash on and off. The checklist is simple, perhaps if I write it down I’ll remember it:
First, switch to “auto” if I don’t have time for messing around. Otherise: 1. Is white balance on auto? 2.Quality setting where I want it? 3. Exposure compensation? 4. ISO where I want it? 5.If using flash, is it at correct level? 6. Focus point in correct location?
I know I know, it sounds simple and makes me look as dumb as I feel, but things happen fast sometimes, digital cameras obfuscate their settings with small dials and LCDs that you can hardly see in bright daylight, and details like looking at camera settings get lost in the race. If I could remember to check things I’d up my shot percentage by 20% at least. They say it takes about a month to create a solid habit. Well see how it goes. The list is now glued to my forehead.
|One of the shots I messed up. It was way under exposed because I forgot to check the exposure compensation, which I’d set low for a previous session. I photoshopped this one so it looks okay, but believe me, it really got messed up and is useless for printing or larger web display. Check out the guy’s truck augured up to the bumper in slime!|
|Battery relocation in our 1947 CJ2A Willys Jeep “Rumble Bee.” This is two small Hawker dry-cell deep cycle batteries located in the storage/tool box under the passenger seat. Dark object in front of batteries is the fuse holder.|
|175 amp fuse holds up to winching as well as in-gear hill starts. If the winch ever loads up enough to blow the fuse I can easily do a field fix by attaching both leads to the same mounting stud, thus bypassing the fuse.|