Thursday, January 10, 2013

Workin' on my resolutions...

Current Mood : Studious

Started off one of my New Year’s Resolutions today ! While my much-used Fujifilm FinePix S5200 camera is about six years old, it’s a sturdy, easy-to-use workhorse and does what I need it to, so we’re not upgrading anytime soon. Hard to believe we paid $200. for it so long ago, Christmas 2005 or ‘06, I think. In any case, I don’t even want to replace it – too many other things to spend that kinda cash on ! – but I know I’m not using it to its full potential. Just because I’m an ‘aim and shoot’ kinda photographer doesn’t forgive my decades of lazy photography, or continuing that way.

I confess, I never read the manual much. Just looked up a few things, tossed the book aside. I’m not even sure where it is. Still have manuals from two exploded microwave ovens ago, but not the camera I cling to like a raft most days. Luckily, it’s still available for download from, so I snagged it today. One of my resolutions is to learn how to use it better, and no time like the present.

I realized this when I was recycling tape from the packaging from a doll shoe purchase – thanks again, Marian ! I love it all, especially that surprise gift mask ! – and a snip of paper to cover up the flash a bit. That flash is pretty bright, and half the time it makes my MH  dolls look like Bratz by washing out their noses. Still. This is a digital camera. There has to be some way to cut the flash down in a setting somewhere , I just don’t know what it is or how to do it. And that tape and paper arrangement just looked silly. I’d have probably done better to lose the paper and use the bubble-wrap !

And discovered why I probably never did this before. Manual is a small book – I read thinner ones for high school assignments – and is chock fulla good information for photographers. Problem is, I soon realized I’m no photographer. But if I wanted better photos, I’d have to educate m’self. After 20 minutes of study about exposures, f-stops, and shutter rates, I set a few dials in unfamiliar areas  – they’re usually all set to ‘Auto’ – and took a buncha photos. I think an exposure of 30 to 100 on the manual setting gives me what I want. It was kind of exciting, really. I’m normally only concerned with two settings – flash and not flash, and don’t forget the ‘macro’ flower-thing. I think that now, I can shape my light a little better.

Unfortunately, today’s DLaura image was done with paper and tape. But that’s an option, and I hope to refine what I can do with settings as the year progresses. I was able to reproduce a similar effect with the dials, but the pose and expression was better on the cop-out version.

And, yup. She’s wearing another fork-bow headband. Yeah, I’m  that poor tutorial site owner’s gonna wonder why she’s suddenly getting clicks from some dumb doll blog she’s never heard of. Deduced last night that a seven-inch strip of ribbon tied into a bow, sewn with about 1 ¼” of matching width elastic, makes a pretty good headband. Still gotta test those numbers with ribbon that’s a little wider than 1/8”, though. Those were the scrap bits of ribbon – and some brand-new elastic - I had lying around.

Tomorrow…Operetta’s Deluxe Fashion Pack gets cracked open, just in time for the weekend ! 

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