I cleverly went to bed…

I cleverly went to bed at 8, so when Kavi woke me at 3:15, it wasn't so miserable. I'm tired, but I don't feel like I'm going to collapse. Kevin tried to get her to quiet down, but it took long enough that I woke up thoroughly. Sigh. So I came and got her, and he went to bed, and after a while, I managed to get her to fall asleep again. So here we are. We have got to figure out something better than this.

I guess I can take this opportunity to show you a couple of photos. I mentioned that a group I hang out on on Flickr does various challenges, right? Well, I'm learning a little about photography in the process, which is cool. The last one was slow shutter speed, which you can do with an digital camera. On mine, you switch to manual mode, select ISO, and move it to the smallest number you've got. In my case, ISO 50. If you're scared of the manual mode on your camera like me, don't worry -- that's the only thing you'll be changing! Then you can just go back to point-and-shoot.

You can use slow shutter speed for a variety of effects -- this article gives some nice examples and explanation. You can pan, to keep a moving subject sharp while the background blurs. You can blur the subject, like in this waterfall photo. You can use it at night to make light trails from car headlights or fire spinning. (There are some more effects discussed in the article, and here are a bunch of examples from our contest.) I haven't really done any of these -- I'm not even sure if the two photos that I did take with slow shutter speed are good examples of what you're supposed to be able to do with it. But I like them both anyway...

This is a little fountain we have near my plants; I like the gel-like look of the water here, almost as if the stone and metal were coated in plastic. Only prettier than that makes it sound.

And here's ghost-dog Ellie. Spooky!

Obviously, I still have a lot of practicing to do with slow shutter speed, lots to learn. But it's really nice having a new function of my camera that I'm not scared to use. I like doing these challenges once every few weeks; it's much less intimidating than actually trying to read through my camera's manual!

If you've got a cool slow shutter speed photo to share, feel free to post it in comments. Also to correct anything I've said above if I got it wrong!

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