Camera Challenge Part 1 in Port Hope

I am following along with the camera challenge with the Littlest Thistle. Part One is to compare photos taking with full automatic setting to those taking with presets — I used Portrait, Sports, Landscape, and Beach/snow, which comes under “Scene” and has funky effects as well as settings for specific light conditions. You will note the snow and ice in these photos–normally I use the beach/snow setting on my camera for all pictures such as these. Despite the cloudy day, the snow reflects the light everywhere and cameras have a hard time metering.

Tonight as I was editing I discovered that neither of my (very basic) photo editing programs on my desktop will give me the EXIF data, so I popped the photos into Flickr. Hmm, now, how do I interpret these 72 lines of data? I didn’t really keep track of my settings as I was snapping away… Click on the photos to go to my Flickr stream if you want to see the EXIF yourself. The other challenge I had was actually taking the same shot with the different settings as I walked along with my daughter.

First up, my daughter in (Left to right) Portrait and Beach/snow settings. See how much better the colours are in Beach/snow?
Portrait 1Portrait 3
Portrait f/8.0, 1/250, ISO360 .Beach/snow f/10.0,1/250,ISO400

Next, a little fast moving action. Really cool how the spilling snow looks. No comparison shot for this one, but I did discover that Sport gives me 2 or 3 quick pictures.
Sport f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO 400

Now, a nice Landscape photo of the derelict building across the road. This is the old Nicholson File Factory (where they made files, you know, for taking rough edges off of wood or metal, not nail files). A previous owner made the mistake of making it a historically significant property, which helps reduce property taxes but limits what can be done to renovate (or demolish) the property. The current owner has done some repairs but seems to have run out of money because nothing is happening.

File Factory Port HopeFile Factory Port Hope
Auto f/9.0, 1/320, ISO 200. Landscape f/11.0, 1/400, ISO 400.

And while we were out, we did get a chance to see a little wildlife along the Ganaraska River. Looking up this bird when we got home, it is a White-winged Scaup, come south to find open water. Not the best shot for lighting since they were under the bridge. And this is only the third mink I have ever seen in the wild and it’s only 5 minutes from my house.

white winged scaupmink 1

At any rate, this was a fun homework exercise, and I look forward to the next challenge, hopefully on a slightly warmer day.



  1. thelittlestthistle · ·

    Well I’m afraid I’m going to take issue with you on the colours, as the portrait one looks much better than the snow/beach one on my screen (but then my screen is hooked up to a balancer gizmo that renders the colours correctly according to the light where I am by automatically adjusting the monitor settings, it could be your monitor is set to be too bright and it looks washed out?) The portrait one is doing a better job of getting things in the background less sharply in focus, as is the aim of that mode, the beach/snow mode looks like it’s the equivalent of full auto with an automatic exposure shift to the left so whites don’t blow out (by being overexposed), hence everything else looks darker than in the portrait version. Looks like you have a great model to play with anyway!

    The sports mode did a good job of freezing the action of the falling snow as you snapped it, and the multiple shots is probably your focus tracking kicking in :o)

    I can see the landscape one tried to be sharper front to back compared to auto, but as the building fills the shot it’s not an effect that you’d notice so much here – if you want another go (on a warmer day ;o) ) Try and get more of a row of buildings or something to try it on, or a bit of countryside if you’re close enough – actually the river would do it, although I can’t guarantee the wildlife returns lol.

    You’ll be pleased to know that much of the next challenge can be done indoors :oD

    1. Thanks for your feedback, I did take some pictures of the river so I should go back and take another look at them. Composition is something I know I need to work on too. And my husband was complaining about the monitor the other day, so I should check its settings. On 2015-02-14 3:19 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  2. That falling snow shot is great!

    1. I was hoping to see someone letting a dog run so I could try the Sports mode, but I was lucky to get the snow! On 2015-02-15 4:34 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  3. One thing that is fun to try if you have no pets on hand for a fast moving subject is a colorful umbrella and get someone to spin it for you. You can get some lovely sharp versus blurred shots playing with the settings doing that. When I was learning I had my OH ride up and down the road on a bicycle too!

  4. I really need to give this a try! I’m a sucker for just tunring my camera on and using the auto function. Which is probably a huge waste of money considering i bought the fancy camera to take better pictures!! And that snow falling shot is fantastic!

  5. The portrait photo of your daughter is wonderful. Her face shows clearly and she looks so happy in spite of the cold.

    1. Thanks, she’s a great kid. On 2015-02-22 10:21 AM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


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