Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Wow - it works!

As one of the volunteer gophers on some of the informal social or hobby email aliases at work, I tend to learn lots of weird and wonderful stuff - basically someone asks a question of the alias and answers are forthcoming from those people who either (a) know the answer or (b) are clever enough to use a search engine ("clever" here really means the opposite of lazy).
This week I have mainly been learning about perigee (or perigree, almost dog food, as I started with) and apogee (which always reminds me of Jethro Tull). If you want to take photos of the moon, you're better off waiting for the eliptical path to bring it nearer (perigree) and there's about 11% difference in it's size at that time (and completely unrelated to the existence of optical illusions when the moon is near the horizon). With handy calculators, you can determine when in August the moon is both full and closest - today and tomorrow respectively.
I bemoaned the quality of my camera in taking shots of the moon that didn't look like bright white circles until others in the alias convinced me that I should be able to do something with its manual settings.
Now I have NO idea where the user manual is but - as I mentioned before - I am clever enough to use search engines and a review site spake forth:

"Exposure options include the usual Program "point-n-shoot" mode as well as Shutter and Aperture Priority."

So THAT'S what the P, S and A letters on the camera screen meant!

[[Thought bubble appears over my head with work colleague saying "You need a surprisingly fast shutter speed to photograph the moon"...]]

It was all starting to make sense. I read further...

"To get into extended shutter speed mode: While in S-Mode press the SET button and (down) on the 4-way switch - you can now go beyond the normal 2 second maximum shutter speed barrier. Change speeds using the (up) or (down) switch as usual."

1/1000 of a second - THAT should do to start with and so off I trotted into the garden. Chucked in 6x optical/digital zoom with timer to avoid handshake and...

the bloody thing worked!

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