Even the best photos that I took yesterday at Rock Creek Farm disappointed me. While the views were stunning, they weren’t sharp.
I was sure that the problem was me instead of the camera — “user error.” But I had made so many changes to the setup of my new Canon 50D single lens reflex camera that it took me a few hours last night to figure out where I had gone wrong.
The day before a local professional photographer, Doug Goodin, came over to my apartment and graciously spent more than two hours educating me. His visit was great fun, and he taught me more tricks and tips than I had picked up from any other source.
Doug is a photographic purist who generally avoids filters and doesn’t boost sharpness or saturation in his pictures.
“The colors in your pictures can’t possibly be real!” people have told him.
“Have you been there at sunrise?” he replies. That stops them. And I decided to follow.
One of the changes that I made in my camera setup after Doug’s visit was to cut the sharpness. But instead of setting it to normal, in my ignorance I set it to be completely unsharp. My fault, not Doug’s!
After hoping that I had fixed the problem, I was anxious to get out on the trail today. The hike I chose was the “East Boulder Trail,” which is just nine miles northeast of my apartment. I got there just before sunrise on a surprisingly warm morning that didn’t require a jacket or gloves (although I did carry a hand warmer in each hand).
Years ago I used to hike this beautiful trail. But for some reason that I don’t understand, I haven’t been there for a couple of years.
Today it was even more beautiful than I remembered it.
These “tack sharp” photos make me a lot happier than I was with those that I took yesterday.