A couple of days ago I was ranting about timing. Today I’d ranting about settings. The first thing I did when I got up this morning, after getting breakfast for Scamp and before getting my own, was to fry off the ox tail that was to be my dinner tonight. Once that was done and in the slow cooker, I chopped up and fried off the veg and covered the meat with it. Set it to cook for 7 hours and then had my breakfast. It was a dull day, but not really raining, just dull. What’s become summer in Scotland this year. It’s not all that cold, just boringly dull. No texture in the sky and no directional light to give form to anything. Very disappointing for all the poor kids and teachers on holiday. Even worse for the parents of those kids who need to devise some form of entertainment for them. However, we shouldn’t complain. That’s what we signed up for when we chose to live (or stay living) in Scotland. We get the scenery, but not the weather.
After the meat had been cooking for about about five hours, I decided to decant it into a cast iron Le Creuset casserole pot and continue to cook it in the oven as we were going out later and the residual heat from the cast iron would keep it cooking nicely. Set the gas to 5 and went for a walk to St Mo’s with the Nikon and the Tamron lens. Got what looked like a good shot of a common blue damselfly and then a dragonfly posed on top of a knapweed flower. Just after that I startled a young deer and added that to my tally. Light was low, but I was still getting 1/250th with a decent ISO reading.
Came home and switched off the oven and got ready to go out dancing. I’d deal with the photos when I got back. Came home and found that the meat was dried out and the veg frazzled. Gas mark 5 was not the right setting. Ox tail in the bin. So it was potatoes, cabbage and bacon for dinner – not a bad meal. Checked the photos and discovered why I was getting such a good shutter speed and ISO rating on such a dull day. The aperture was set wide open. Instead of my usual setting of Manual, I had the camera set to Program. Out of the 30 odd shots I managed to get about 8 ones that could be worked on and further reduced that to 4 that were worthwhile posting.
It IS all about the light, but the settings play a big part too, both in cooking or in photography.