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The subtitle of this post is ‘What I did on the Fourth of July’.  Yes, I did pause briefly to enjoy burgers and potato salad over at my mom’s house.  But for the most part I sat in my home office, watched YouTube videos, and took notes.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I took notes on YouTube.

Why?  Because for some reason, my typical method of learning–reading–was just not working for me in respect to my new quest–photography.  I have my Nikon for Dummies book right here, but I just couldn’t seem to get through it.  Don’t get me wrong–it is a very helpful book.  But I knew that I had very limited time to learn the basics before leaving on our fast-approaching trip.  Plus, I didn’t want to have to drag the book with me everywhere I went.  So I turned to the internet to teach me.  And what I came up with was this cheat sheet, already printed out and in my camera bag…

To change…
Shutter Speed: Turn command dial
Aperture: Press +/- and turn command dial
ISO: Press zoom in (magnifying+) and toggle

Shutter Speed Function/Use:
-large #, slower, brighter
-small #, faster, darker
-side effect is motion blur; use larger number to blur action, small number to freeze
-outside, daylight–set to 1/100

Aperture Function/Use:
-large #, closed, all in focus (and darker)
-small #, open, focus point only in focus (and brighter)
-side effect is depth of field; use larger number for landscape, smaller number for portrait

ISO Function/Use:
-large #, brighter shot
-small #, darker shot (but more clear)
-side effect is noise; only use high number if needed at night
-outside, daylight–set to 200
-inside, low light–set to 800

Special Circumstances…

Night Photos:
-use Manual mode
-Shutter Speed–1 second, increase to 1.6 if too bright
-Aperture–use low number
-ISO–as low as possible
-use tripod and timer if possible; turn off anti shake

To Blur Water:
-use longer exposure, slower shutter speed
-use Shutter Priority Mode (S)
-start with 1.6 and go down from there
-use tripod and timer if possible; turn off anti shake

Shooting with Sun Behind:
-try using flash even if outside

-if flash is needed, use slow sync

So there you have it.  The result of my several hours worth of note taking.  If that information exists in that short format elsewhere on the internet, please don’t tell me.  I may cry.

Yes folks, this is what the holiday of a person on permanent holiday looks like.  Or, rather, a person completely obsessed with learning as many new things as possible in one year’s time.  Now if only I could learn how to stop this damn rainbow wheel from popping up on my Mac every thirty seconds or so.  An extensive Google search taught me that 1.  I may not have enough RAM, 2.  There may be an issue with my hard drive, and 3.  I am too stupid to figure out how to diagnose and/or fix either of those problems!

But maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a good sunset photo whilst traveling later this month.  And then I can frame it, hang it above my computer, and stare at it for thirty seconds at a time whilst I wait for the stupid wheel to go away!