I said I would blog about yesterday's photo well here's the blog!
When I posted, I said "This is what retirement looks like" Well I said that for a particular reason. As I contemplated what I wanted to shoot, my feet were hanging off the ledge and into the water. I sat there for must have been an hour waiting on the sunset, and colors I wanted. Enjoying the sound of the water lapping against the edge of the bay was quite relaxing. Getting bit by the bugs wasn't, though the over all experience was.
When I picked the spot earlier in the week I wasn't aware of where the sun would be setting at in relation to what I had composed in my head. So I sat there, and thought about how to take advantage of the evolving colors and clouds and make the most of my afternoon.
What I had originally wanted to capture was a picture of some pilings, with clouds and sunset and smoothed over waves due to a long exposure. I thought I knew the perfect location (map) What I got was this...
So rather than be disappointed about what was developing before my eyes. I tried to make the most of everything, and set up for a HDR exposure. Doing this means that I go into the menu portion of my camera and set for three exposures. To eliminate any shake on the camera, I also used the self timer and set it for a two second delay. This allows three consecutive exposures activated by the camera without me activating the shutter.
Once I got the exposures I wanted it was time to head back to the house and start the post processing. Using an HDR program called Photomatix, which I've blogged about before, I selected the three desired exposures and set to processing them. The program itself is pretty useful, and you'll find that it makes some preadjustments for you. If you want to tweak them you can, and many times need to, but the program aligning everything for you is just too handy. Plus for a beginner in the post processing world, it's a real time saver. Not to mention avoiding pulling your hair out, and I need to conserve mine.
Here's the photo from yesterday....
The details of the photo are: Focal Length 17mm, Shutter Speed 1/60 sec at f16 and ISO 100.
Been a bit since I've blogged or taken any pictures for that matter. In case you were wondering it was due to my retirement from the United States Air Force. The change so far hasn't hit me, though I expect it to once I start my new job.
As a result of this life changing event, the style of my pictures are going to have a different feel. Everything will appear more green. There will be more flowers and bugs. Such is the case for today's blog.
I was outside my mother-in-law's home looking at some things she was asking my help with when I noticed the spider web right where I was going to be working. Knowing how wonderful these can be to photograph I finished up with the day's tasks and then just as the sun was getting obscured by the trees clouds I set up to photograph the ornate web.
Not being early morning or recently raining I procured a small bottle in which I put some tap water, and set to atomize the water when sprayed. This technique is widely known among the serious hobbyists and professionals who do take pictures of spider webs. All you do is gently spray the water into the air, and let the wind or gravity take it to the web. Don't spray directly at the web or you will spook the spider, and possibly destroy the web.
Once you have the web sufficiently moistened begin your capturing of the web. Because this was still during the end of the day when the sun was fairly bright, I used my camera in aperture priority with ISO on auto. This allowed me the greatest flexibility to focus a narrow f-stop, and yet not be over or under exposed.
Photo details: Focal Length 100 (used a fixed macro lens), Exposure Speed 1/400 sec, Aperture f/2.8 and ISO 400.
A couple of times that I sprayed the water, the spider decided it wanted to leave. I had to wait a few minutes until the spider decided to return. I took a few other shots to try some more artsy feels, but ultimately I liked this one best.
Today's blog is about the picture you see here. It's a 2010 Lincoln MKZ, and is a dream to drive. But enough about the car.
I took the picture after dark so I didn't get any unwanted ambient lighting reflecting off of any of the surfaces. I also used a flash set up that I feature here in the post later.
Photo details: Focal Length 29mm, shutter speed 1/80 sec, f/4.0 ISO 100.
What is very important to note here is that I used an umbrella set up with an off camera flash on an umbrella stand using two separate flashes. One is the master or on camera flash, and the other is the slave or off camera flash. I use the set up to move the light off the camera so that the shadows and light add depth and detail to the subject within the flash.
I also set the flash to have a 1/3rd over exposure to what the camera was set for. This added a little more extra light to the image.
To the right you see the set up shot of the camera and umbrella. I have the camera and the flash/umbrella both on separate tripods. I used a Canon 580EX II on my camera to control the flash on the umbrella setup. I control all the over and under exposure through the flash on the camera
You may note that there are no power cords. This is particularly advantageous when you want your set up to be mobile for greater flexibility.
To make this set up happen, you need any standard photo umbrella, and any standard umbrella stand. To get the flash to sit where you want it, they sell a nifty little umbrella stand flash adapter (link).
The nice thing about using canon lights is they communicate via ETTL, so you don't need a bunch of receivers and a transmitter to get them all to work. The drawback though is if you don't have line of sight, the system doesn't work. For that you'll need to step up your game.
Today's blog is about taking great pictures regardless of what camera you're using.
The photo you see here was taken with my Android enabled Motorola cell phone. I took it yesterday morning.
After I took the photo I used Picasa to saturate the blue and orange colors as well as place a frame around the picture. The options I used were all default settings with slight adjustments to the slider bars of the particular features I selected.
Photo Details: Focal Length 4.6mm, Max Lens Aperture f/2.8, ISO 65535 (not a typo).
The point here is to show you that regardless of what camera you're using, or what you're taking a picture of, so long as you understand the need of good composure, and use of colors your picture can be great even if taken with your cell phone.
When I say use of good composure you need to note the placement of the elements of the photo. Notice that the tree is on the right third of the frame, as well as the light post. Had the light been working it would have improved the composition some. Also notice that the horizon is near the bottom third of the photo. This gives maximum exposure to the sky, leaving not doubt as to what the subject of the photo is. These two placements are called use of the rule of thirds. Not a rule really, but a good compositional guideline that will help the feel of your pictures. Sometimes that rule shouldn't be used, but this wasn't one of them for me.
Color selection, or use of color is as important as is how to frame the shot. The blue and orange transition well across the image, and the tree and horizon are silhouetted nicely to give context to the image. Adding the frame around the image that matched the colors of the sky was something I wanted to do to help tie the edges of the photo into the rest of the image and help keep the eye on the picture.
Today's image is coming to you from Ruidoso New Mexico in the south central part of the state (map).
The town gets its namesake from the Spanish word for Loud Water. Or so says the local signs that talk about the town's history.
Photo details: Focal Length 23mm, Shutter Speed 1/2500, Aperture f/4.0 and ISO 800.
The waterwheel is located next to the old mill. If you believe the folklore the old mill was owned by one of the founding members of the city who settled the area, and the mill is still in the hands of that family.
To capture the perspective I did, I had to sit on the sidewalk next to the mill. The road right there is pretty busy so composing a picture can be a little nerve wracking. Once composed however, it was a quick shot and leave.
Post processing was all done in Phtotomatix to make it HDR. Thus the deep rust colors and stand out grain of the wood. I saturated it a little to make the sky a more vibrant blue. If you time the weather right you might get lucky enough to capture the wheel with water moving it, or so I hear, but I've not been lucky enough to see that happening.