Learning To Love My Nemesis

I hate to admit it but I’ve been reading over my camera manual and accessory flash “operating instructions” this morning.  It’s Greek to me.   Seriously.  Since I have no background in photography, reading crap like this just makes me feel like a dummy.  Big dummy.

DAd’s no help either.  “Don’t you do this and do that before you take any shot?”  No, DAd, I’m manic when it comes to photography.  If it looks good, I press the button.  If it doesn’t, I change the settings or the composition and try again.  And if it still sucks, I delete it.  That seems to be working so far.  DAd’s from the 35mm-completely-manual school of film photography – we don’t speak the same language.  But he means well.  And I love him for it.

I really have no “preparation” when I use the kahuna.  I understand the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and how they relate.  I get white balance and auto-focus metering.  I even figured out how to clean my sensor (which is done manually… this is where the XSi is much cooler than my XT). But flash stuff?  Fogetaboudit.  I hate the flash.

I think I may have figured it out though.  Enough for the two weddings I’m assisting this month.  The first is this Friday and I’m shooting alongside two buds that love their strobes (less pressure, I must say).  I’m hoping to get by with not having to use The  Black Widow since these guys rock the boat [rock the boat, baby] with their equipment and expertise.

What?  Kahuna… Paco… it was only a matter of time before I named the accessory flash.  And it’s only fitting to be named after a villain.  The Black Widow fits.  The flash is black.  And it’s a pesky little bitch.

The second wedding is my cousin’s.  I’ve been asked to spend the day with her [which I’m really looking forward to as she’s a hoot] and fire off the kahuna all the live long day.  My pleasure.  It’s the wedding stuff that actually makes me nervous.  So let’s hope that I’m not flying completely solo [or I might meltdown and require a superdiduper pep talk].

But if I do have to bust out The Black Widow, I think I know enough to squeak by.  I haven’t been able to “sync” it properly but in the TTL-mode, I’m able to still utilize my aperture-preferred mode on the kahuna.  If all fails [which is highly possible], I’ll have to switch over to that green box.  I dislike the green box (because it hinders my learning) but composition is key with the weddings.  If it sucks, the pictures suck.  Keep that in mind, toots – keep your eye on the ball, Boo.

So while I’m excited to try new things with the kahuna this month, I’m still nervous.  That flash is my nemesis so hopefully we can put aside our hate for one another and work well together.

Please, Black Widow, don’t let me fall flat on my face.  Because these are weddings – they’re a done deal, you don’t get to try again.  I’ll buy you an ice cream sundae if all goes well.  Pinky promise.

Note: My accessory flash is a Promaster 7500EDF.  If anyone has any advice, I’ll gladly accept it.  Because I’m a dummy.


~ by shutterboo on May 10, 2010.

8 Responses to “Learning To Love My Nemesis”

  1. I ended up with a borrowed Speedlighy SB600 for the week as well, so Friday will be an experiment for both of us. We’ll manage. Don’t worry. I plan on giving you a call this evening to coordinate driving up, times, etc.

  2. you lost me at TTL. But when you figure all this junk out, could you share with the rest of the group?
    that’d be great.

    • Yeah, I don’t know what it means either. But I’m pretty sure it’s the auto setting for the flash. This thing has so many buttons and things on the back of it – I got nothing.

  3. I hope you’ll appreciate this comment. The opening of your post made me think about it. I apologize if this is a jack.

    My wife and I just enjoyed nine glorious and continuous days away from work. One of our top priorities: take lots of pictures. And that we did. Hundreds and hundreds of them using our lame little point-and-shoot camera we’ve owned for a few years.

    On a few shots I got lucky and came up with images that were mildly intriguing. The most were a waste.

    On the ninth and final night I had a bright idea. I downloaded the manual for the camera and read a photography web site with some basic shooting tips. LOL! My wife and I learned a lot that night but it was too late. Something tells me we should have done the research before the trip!

    Oh well. Maybe next time. 🙂

    • The sad thing is I’ve read it before. I re-read it yesterday. And my brain just doesn’t function that way. I learn by doing – but I don’t like to use the flash if it isn’t needed.
      It’s my own fault. I should have practiced at home. But that sounds like it makes too much sense. Just call me Miss Lazy Bones.

  4. Good luck figuring out the Black Widow Boo. Wish I had something to offer but I’m still stumbling along with Heavy D’s basic functions. External flash? You might as well be speaking Russian.

  5. don’t feel too bad. I know nothing about technical things about a camera. I couldn’t tell u the difference of exposure & ISO were. what I tell people when they ask me what kinda camera they should get & what classes to take, I tell them to get a Nikon since it’s more starter-friendly & to skip the photo class & take Photoshop classes instead. it’s the secret to my photos… & cute dishes from anthropologie lol

    • Thx boogie – your pictures are beautiful and I love that you use the natural light. I’m a natural light kind a gal myself. The Black Widow is baaaaad. 😉

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