So you’re trying to tell me that shutter speed is not the same as film speed.

For the few of you who have subscribed to this blog so far in the week I’ve been posting, a) thank you and b) this little story will give you an idea just how remarkably retarded I am when it comes to even the basics of photography (like that needs any further explanation.)

Yesterday I went to Rosie’s dog beach in Long Beach so Schroeder (my puppy) could run around and spend some more time near the water. He’s supposed to be a water dog but I think I got a broken one, he doesn’t like getting his paws wet. 

I was reading my book on the D3S (now on page 89 out of SIX. HUNDRED.) and I remembered that Friday morning on my semi-daily hike before work I had noticed bands of God rays coming through the oak trees. I wondered what kind of settings I’d need to capture them as richly as my eyes were seeing them. I also wondered if God rays would be as interesting to photograph vs. say, some interesting subject placed within the God rays.

[I should also note that I did not take either of the hyperlinked photos above, but I do know who took the latter one of the Lucent dancer, and he’s been quite an artistic (I hate that word) to me.]

Anyway, I asked Michele about it (who happens to have a photography degree) and she said something offhand about shutter speed and ISO and aperture. It still takes me a minute to process mentally (I need to define it in my head and think about each one’s function separately as it’s still not second nature to me) but when she said “shutter speed” I thought “film speed” remembering back in the days when I was a kid before digital cameras  when I’d buy disposable cameras in either 200 (cloudy sky icon) or 400 (sunny sky icon.)

I asked a question about shutter speed as it related to ISO and she looked at me funny and said “No, your shutter speed is the number on the top of the camera and your ISO number is on the back of your camera, they’re different.”

Mind. Blown. 

This entire time I wasn’t sure what the difference was between the top number and what the back number did and I kept confusing ISO and shutter speed and now something clicked and I feel like the world just came together for me. Also, man I feel dumb.

Later this week I’m going to try to get those God rays. I think I need a tripod though. Until then here’s a couple photos I took on my last trip to Hawaii using a D300 and … I’m unsure what the lens was actually.

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