In the words of Charlie Brown, "Aaaarrrggghhh!!!" Why the quote from Charlie Brown in a moment.
First, as I undertake this project, as it is to be a learning tool, I am trying to use my new Canon P&S as much as possible initially. I also use a Nikon D300 DSLR which I have used for several years and am fairly familiar with (always something new to learn though.)
So tonight I began to look for something that is in my life. Aahh! Peaches! Peaches is my son's (my?) pet lovebird. Lovebirds bond for life and aren't too friendly with anybody else, thus I have learned to keep my fingers, hair, and anything else a healthy and respectable distance from the bird.
As noted earlier, P&S's have a shutter lag compared to DSLRs. So every time I tried to catch the photo, by the time the shutter clicked, the bird had moved!! Aarrrgghh. I know photographers say watch the birdy but in this case I wish the birdy would quit watching me. When I half pressed the shutter and the autofocus light came on, the bird would naturally react. So I just sat and waited, the focus was already set, sometimes on the bird and sometimes on the cage wires. Hard to see until post processing. those little LCD screens are not as detailed as one would want. Finally got the shot I wanted.
THEN I decided to experiment with the fish-eye effect. Since I don't have an expensive fisheye lens for my DSLR (in the DSLR world nothing is not expensive) I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to experiment and see how it worked.
Problem 1 - I can't find the camera instruction book. Turn the house upside down, look everywhere it could be and then can't be. Trying to figure who moved it and who was at fault. (Hey that's what we have spouses and kids or right?) Found the box and decided to call Canon and order a new book even though that won't help me tonight. Ah-hah! There is no instruction book beyond the quick start guide. I had forgotten it was a CD disk. Found the disk and everything was ok again.
Problem 2 - The BIRD KEEPS MOVING! Remember that shutter lag? Now as I tired to center the fisheye effect on the eye of the bird, by the time the shutter clicked, the bird moved. Where's that gun of mine, I'll fix this problem. --- Don't worry the bird is fine and there are no holes in the wall. I just kept trying until I got what I wanted.
Again, I finally got the shot I wanted.
This brings up a point for new digital photographers. It is often said that inexperienced digital camera users shoot tons of photos and hope one is good. Maybe but then again, I know of plenty of old pros who take countless shots to get the right one. Sometimes it isn't experience but simply circumstances that make the difference.
What did I learn tonight?
1) P&S cameras are different. The shutter lag is the biggest negative. In other ways my new one has features that my D300 doesn't have or would cost a lot to have (fish-eye lens would be expensive and movie recording is impossible to add on although the new models have it.)
2) Planning the shot is important but so is recognizing what is not under the photographers control and trying to figure how to work around that. Patience is important.
3) The owners manual is on a CD and nobody moved it. Now to go fix some barbeque wings.