The Old Bear's Den

my hiding place from the world...

Learning curves, and salsa…

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We had a camera shuffle here in the last week.  Mama Bear got a new camera, in line with what she really wanted, a Canon 5D Mark III.  It is very nice, and she is already spending time deep in study to understand it and what she can do with it.

But, that also meant that both Baby Bear and I could “upgrade” by passing things around.  Baby Bear got my camera, which was the newest camera, a Canon T6i, for her birthday.  And I got Mama Bears old daily shooter, a Canon 6D.  Both of us are just as happy as Mama Bear is with her new camera I think, and in addition I get to use Baby Bears old camera, a Canon T3i for my budding astrophotography habit.

Yesterday the daytime weather forecasts had been calling for the clouds in our area to blow off by mid-evening, so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to pull out the telescope, tripods and both cameras and get some nighttime photography in as a learning experience with the new camera.  Unfortunately the cloud cover wasn’t cooperating, so we decided to call it a night, thinking tomorrow night might give us a better chance.

As I was shutting up the house for the night, I stopped in the kitchen to look out the window and saw that the moon was playing peek-a-boo with some passing breaks in the clouds.  I went back out and grabbed the 6D and a couple lenses, a 70-200mm with a 2X extender and the 100mm prime and ran back to the kitchen.

So began the learning curve…

In playing around with the camera earlier this week, I figured out that Mama Bear had been using Auto ISO, which adjusts the ISO automatically when you are making other adjustments while shooting.  This is a great for shooting events, where the light conditions can change frequently with the background or location.  But when you are shooting something like the moon you need to have more control because the light sensing is attuned to overall exposure, and in this case the moon is the brightest (and normally the only) object in the frame and tends to throw things off.  In short, the moon gets “blown out” (over exposed) because the camera is trying to let you see everything in the frame.  And I forgot it was set to auto… DUH

The first shot

The first shot

Unfortunately, I didn’t even notice it the whole time I was shooting.  I was in a slightly uncomfortable position, because I decided not to go get changed out of the stretchy gym shorts into real clothing, so I was crouching in the kitchen, shooting upwards at an angle from counter height to get beneath the roof overhang… LOL  Another lesson learned there, take the 3 minutes to go put on clothes and it would have been much more comfortable shooting from a tripod out front…

I took several shots at a wider angle with the 100mm getting a lot of lighting in the cloud, which was nice, even though I knew the moon was getting over exposed.  Mama Bear made the observation this morning while I was doing some review and post processing, that this could be the cover of a science fiction story, something with a black hole or white dwarf in a nebula on the cover.



Then I switched to the long lens and tried to get some more detailed shots.  Even though I was still struggling with the auto ISO and didn’t realize it, I did manage to get a couple shots that were not just totally white blobs, and still showed off some passing clouds.

The moon

The moon

So, the learning curve has begun, for all of us.  That is a good thing around here, we are all always learning new things, techniques, thinking of things to try, trying to understand why things behave the way they do, photography is just one example of that.

The other goal for the weekend is going to be more canning.

Mama Bear is on her way to the local fruit and veggie stand right now to bring home a bounty of salsa fixings.  Tomatoes and onions are in full swing, and we opened one of the jars I did a couple weeks ago last night to determine the tweaks that need to be done to make it better.  I thoroughly enjoyed the testing, but we did come up with a couple things to change, just to make exactly what we are looking for.

I’ll try to convince Mama Bear to play with her new camera today and grab some shots for me of the making and canning.  I’d like to do a full case today, well I’d love to do a couple cases, but I will settle for a dozen jars put up today.

I opened one of the jars of my 50-50 Bread and Butter sandwich slice pickles other day… they were good, really good.  But I’m thinking that pint jars of those are not nearly big enough.  I’m going to finish off a pint jar every 3-4 days, and I don’t have that many jars of them.  So I think I may make up some quart jars.

After doing a bunch of reading on home canning tomato sauce, and how to do it right, how we want to do it, you have to pressure can it.  And we aren’t set up for that this year, we are just learning water bath canning.  So that will be a project for next year maybe.

Which means I have a case of quart jars that just is begging to be filled with something else, and I’m thinking Bread and Butter sandwich slices is sounding awfully good…

But for today, SALSA



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