High Tea at McFarland Ranch

On October 10th, 2017 the Galt Area Historical Society hosted its annual tea party in behalf of the McFarland Living History Ranch. It included tours of the homestead, antique farm equipment, fancy hats, and tiny food.

My wife enjoyed the leisurely step back in time when women were gracious and dressed in finery. You know, the “good old days” when barbers cut hair, pulled teeth, performed bloodletting and the occasional enema.

Anyway, it gave me the opportunity to shoot something different and donate a few photos to the Historical Society.

Available Light

Please consider using available light instead of a strobe … especially when shooting hand-held. You’re camera may signal you to use a flash or automatically pop up a tiny one on your camera. Ignore it! Instead, switch to manual mode and up the ISO to 800, 1600, 3200 (depending on how dark it is). Then open up your aperture all the way (represented by the smallest f/stop number like f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.8, f/1.4) Finally, set your shutter at a slow speed like 1/60th of a second or 1/125th. Take a shot and see what you get. If you need more light, increase the ISO. If you need less light, that’s good … simply raise the shutter speed and/or reduce the ISO until you’re happy with the exposure. If you’re really starving for light, try exposing for the lightest areas and let the dark areas go dark. You may discover the latent artist in you.

To get the most from this exercise you’ll need to find ways to steady yourself. Your stance is important for balance, keep your arms in, and if necessary, lean against a solid object like a wall or antique tractor.


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