Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photos from Rachael's birthday dinner aka experimenting with digital photography

Last night we went to a lovely dinner to celebrate our friend Rachael's birthday.  I'm going to share some photos I took because:

  • we had a great night and this blog is about happy, homely things like friends and good food
  • the cafe was unique
  • I was experimenting with new techniques I learnt at a digital photography course last weekend.
The cafe is the Fireworks Cafe in Austinmer a cute little beachside suburb of Wollongong. I had never been down Moore Street before but I'll be going back to explore in the daytime. The street is tree lined with old timber holiday homes and a few old shop fronts. The post office is now a bridal store and the cafe, well it used to be a butchers shop. 
Now a comfy, homely cafe with white tiled walls and a simple concrete floor. The cold room is now just a storeroom. And you go down the side passage between it and the building next door and up some steep stairs to get to the bathroom. Somewhere like Bondi is full of these old buildings turned into trendy galleries and restaurants but they are rare in Wollongong. So I'm glad to see this one saved. I was a little worried about the atmosphere, not generally being the type to cope with butchers shops but it was great. And served great vegetarian food. You have to love the irony!  The menu was intriguing - haloumi with watermelon. All yummy but I didn't eat them together as such.... 
I really like the upside down lamp shades. Very cute. 

Here's the birthday girl.  If you look at the wall behind Rachael you can see the menu written on the tiles in black pen. 

Now for the photography bit. At my course I began to learn how to take my camera off automatic. And why to take it off point and shoot. We learnt about adjusting white balance and exposure correction and was reminded about changing the ISO.  Even though not dictated by what film you are using the ISO can still help determine how much light the camera will capture. All the photos above were taken without flash. 

The photo below what all the photos would have looked like without flash and with the camera on fully automatic. The light's ambient but not realistic or terribly attractive.

Below is the same scene with ISO and white balance adjusted to make better use of what light existed naturally. I haven't corrected the flare at the back, but should have. Otherwise the colour came out well and you can see how pretty the fairy lights were.
I've plenty more to learn about good digital photography but I'm happy with the start I've made. 
I also need to learn to make flourless chocolate cake. Yum!  

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