The dog is an Italian Spinoza that I saw as I was walking to the shops a couple of weeks ago.
He was being stroked by a woman who was a friend of the owner and I moved around trying to get a shot.
I wanted to capture as much of him as possible while not including the woman’s arm or the bicycle rack in the background.
The reason I am mentioning this is that what was also going through my mind were the following thoughts:
Will the woman object to me taking the photos?
How am I going to get the dog to look at me? (I tried clicking my tongue.)
How brave you are, David, not being too concerned about whether the woman objects.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a photo on the street.
I wonder what kind of dog it is?
It’s a lovely dog. I wonder whether my camera is going to focus well?
I didn’t think too much about the camera settings, but looking at the EXIF data I must have opened up the aperture a couple of stops from the setting at which I normally keep it.
I must have done this as I was approaching the dog or as I got my camera out of the bag.
Knowing what aperture I wanted (and ISO setting) is half the battle and comes with experience. But equally important is to know the camera really well so that there is no hesitation wondering which dial to twiddle or which menu to dive into.
When I first got the camera – it’s an Olympus E-PM1 – I spent a while working out how to change the settings that are important to me. I thought it was going to be fiddly to change aperture and exposure compensation, but eventually I worked out how to do it quickly.
The camera came with a bulky manual, but I soon realised it was in fact a small quick-start manual of just a few pages, but in 76 different languages.
The main manual is on the DVD that came in the box, but I have never looked at it.
Here is the EXIF data that the Mac ‘i’ shows. (the ‘i’ is at the top of the Finder window, or you can use Cmd+i.) One thing it doesn’t show is the ISO.
And here is the EXIF data in Adobe Bridge (which does show the ISO):
Making An Ecard
I wanted to use the shot for an ecard with a quote (don’t you think the quote from Kahlil Gibran that Tamara found fits well?), so I had to mask out the background to an overall colour that would fit with the colours of the dog.
I chose this colour by eye, and I am not sure what to call it – maybe it’s taupe?