Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday, 14 April 2013

Persimmons and pasta - learning manual camera settings

It has been a few weeks since I have posted any food photos - but I have been taking photos! 

I have been doing a photography course for the last eight weeks and learnt the joys of using completely "manual" settings on my camera. Somewhere along the line I have missed out on the "technical" side of photography - and now is the time to learn!Until now for my food photography I have been using Aperture Priority, including setting white balance and ISO. Now I am also setting the "shutter speed"

Manual settings are a whole new ball game - so much more to think about and consider and juggle to get a correct exposure. Lots to learn! Someone said once you learn to photograph with "manual" settings you will never go back to "automatic" again. I think they are right. (although you can't beat automatic for a quick snap!)

Below are some of my first attempts at food photography with all manual settings.
I am sure the ladies in my dance class thought I had gone quite mad when I exclaimed over this clutch of duck eggs and I said I wanted to take them home to photograph them!

How about some pasta photographed from above...........  

and some Quesadillas. Such a simple recipe - Melt some butter in a pan. Put a tortilla in the pan, throw on some grated cheese and chopped spinach leaves and chives. (you can also put chopped onion and chilli if you like) Top with another tortilla. Fry each side 30 seconds or so until lightly browned.  Lift out onto paper towell. Service with guacamole and sweet chilli sauce or salsa.  Easy and yummy!
I was chasing the dappled morning light on my patio for this one. 

And who can resist this persimmons  - here you can see early morning back lighting (top) and side lighting (bottom). Don't you wish you could bottle that gorgeous light!

And I have rediscovered my old attachable flash unit which I can use to "bounce" light. It hasn't been out of it's box since my film camera days....I took out the corroded batteries, and my husband cleaned up the bits inside, and hey-presto it worked! 

See here used on Persimmons photographed on my kitchen bench top, and then on a black tile.  Light from the flash bounced onto the ceiling.

and finally - rice bowl - minimalistic. This year I have joined the Photography Group of Bunbury. Every month there is a theme, and members present images for critique and judging. I won "gold" with this image. Photographed in my light box.

 How about you? Do you use manual camera settings?
If you search for "Digital Photography School" on the net there are lots of great tutorials, including a 4 part series on manual settings - click here to go to part 1 - aperture-priority-and-shutter-priority-exposure-lesson-1

I hope you have enjoyed stopping by. I love hearing from you and look forward to reading your comments. Thank you.
I am linking into Mosaic Monday at Little Red House and Our World Tuesday. Please click on the links to see wonderful images from contributors around the world. 

Have a wonderful, joyous and blessed week, wherever you are and whatever you do.

You might also like - 

 My food photography on Flickr    
Photographing Food on Black 
 Summer is here



  1. Very creative photography for MM ~ Wow! ~ ^_^ Food looks divine .

  2. I have to admit, I just use point and shoot! But I've always wanted to learn more about photography. Your photos are wonderful. It's been years since I've had a persimmon...but oh how I love them! They're pretty, too!

  3. I love all your food photos ... you are learning a lot and I admire your determination to improve your photography==though it looks good to me anyway! Nice mosaic!

  4. Your food photographs are gorgeous, Jill. I especially love the persimmons - they look as though they are glowing.
    I mostly use my scene mode, but am working a little bit with setting aperture and shutter settings. I don't have a full DSLR camera, just one that allows for some manual settings. That's enough for now.

  5. Jill, your food photos are wonderful.. I would love to learn more about photography and be able to use the manual settings. So far, I am a point & shoot that also has some manual settings. Wishing you a happy week ahead.

  6. Love your food shots and well done with your win. Valerie

  7. Lovely Jill....I'd like to put some of those photos on tile for the backsplash in our new kitchen...(if wishes were horses...).....

    You are so talented and I admire you for doing the class; I'd like to learn more about photography. So many things to learn....

  8. Love your minimalist photo of the rice, it is serene, pure, and eye catching. Thank you for the recipe! It seems simple enough for me to get right and will be a wonderful new brunch recipe to try one of these glorious Autumnal days sitting outside under dappled light.

  9. A very interesting series of photos. I guess I really should get to and learn some of the finer points of manual settings on my camera. Thanks for the motivation!

  10. Wonderful photos. The eggs, pasta and persimonns are excellent. There is no question as to why your rice bowl photo took gold. Great work.

  11. Your photos are beautiful and the food looks divine!

  12. Gosh this is such an informative and beautiful light posting. Each picture has the most incredible light, I will have to follow those links to learn about flash and light. cheers.

  13. Oh My Goodness Jill, you just conquered the technical side of your camera...yikes, it totally blows me away. I am so not technical savvy, or to read up on manuals just cause my mind to fall fast asleep. I always need someone to slowly;"( walk me through it, show me the way kind of thing and I am a huge note taker to. Your food photo images, whoosh, makes my hungry, they are so precise. You are doing very good things my friend!

  14. I have only ever owned point & click cameras (both film and digital) and the thought of manual SCARES me! But then, I learned to drive in an automatic car and manual scared me too. But 20 years later when I learned manual driving, I survived!! Is there a lesson there? Maybe one day ...

    LOVE your pics - the persimmons particularly for both artistic and sentimental reasons.

  15. It is one of my goals for the year - to take my camera off the 'auto' setting and try and learn the settings. I haven't made any progress on this so far. I love the lighting in your photos - especially the persimmon photos.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.