Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Week 9 - Day 61, June 30, 2009 "Moon Shot"

I was just heading out the door to drive to a spot that I want to photograph. It was late, and I wasn't sure that the lighting would be good. As I walked to the car I looked up, and saw the moon. I love taking moon shots. I couldn't resist. I put the car keys away. I then began to move around the yard to look for a place that would frame the photo since it was so high in the sky. These branches seemed to work well.

Lessons Learned:
  • I haven't learned this lesson yet, but I hope to. Don't worry about getting out to take a lot of photos. There are many opportunities all around. I just have to relax and look around when I have the opportunity.
  • Picasa takes my RAW images and automatically adjusts the contrast levels. When the program did this with these photos the moon was always way to bright, and it was impossible to see the craters. When I pulled up the Canon Digital Photo Professional the images looked fine. I cropped, and saved the image as a jpeg, and then the images displayed correctly in Picasa.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/8 sec, Aperture f/32.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 482mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

NOTE: click on image for a larger view.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 9 - Day 60, June 29, 2009, "Rainbow"

"When to shoot, and when not to shoot?", was a question that I was asking tonight. I knew that I need a photo for the blog, but nothing was catching my eye.

The first place I stopped had some ducks swimming on a river, but they were to far away for my lens. I took a few photos, a van drove by, and most of the ducks flew off. I took photos as they were flying. It was an interesting photo, but I was just to far away to make it a great photo.

The next place I stopped, there were deer eating on the other side of a field near the woods. I took some photos, but again the deer were just to far away for my lens. They were also very nervous, and were ready to take off at a moments notice. The deer out here in the country, are not as used to people as those in Ithaca, so it's much more difficult to get very close to them.

After I photographed the deer, I took some photos of sun light coming through the clouds over a barn. The photo looked OK, but not as good as my previous 2 barn photos for this week.

I began to think about all of these photos that I took, and whether I should have even took them. I think the answer is yes, because I learn from my bad photos as much as I learn from my good photos. If I was using film, I probably wouldn't have taken very many of the photos that I mentioned above. But, using digital it doesn't there's very little cost, and I think that it's worth looking at the results.

After dinner I walked outside to see if the clouds had changed enough for some interesting photographs. As I was walking up the road I saw this small rainbow. Ahhh relief, I would have a better photo after all. As I set up my camera, I continued to watch hoping that it wouldn't disappear. I got lucky.

Lessons Learned:
  • I can learn from my mistakes. (At least I hope that I can.)
  • It's very difficult to focus on a rainbow. I tried the auto-focus because my eyes aren't very good at looking at focal points through the eye piece. It didn't work. I had to manually focus this photo. I used a narrow aperture to give my camera a larger depth of field to make up for my poor focusing abilities. Although the aperture wasn't as narrow as I would like. See next lesson.
  • This isn't really a lesson that I learned today, but discovered awhile ago. When I use to narrow of an aperture the dirt that is on my CCD in the camera begins to show up. I've tried to clean it with air, but haven't had any luck. My camera is an older one that does not clean the CCD every time that it is turned on. It's very frustrating. Has anybody had any experience with this problem, and did you resolve it?
Photo details: Exposure time 1/15 sec, Aperture f/10.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 9 - Day 59, June 28, 2009 "Clover and Barn"

This photo is in many ways an illusion. The purple clover in the foreground is actually a lot further from the barn than it appears in this photo. There is also a road inbetween the clover blossoms and the barn. The road sits fairly high in this area. I took the photo while standing in a corn field about 4 feet lower than the road. There are enough plants to obscure the road.

I was also able to use a trick of using a telephoto lens. The telephoto lens tends to bring things in the distance a lot closer than the subject around you. In this case the barn is about 250 yards away from the clover.

I've wanted to photograph this barn for a while, but it is huge. I haven't been able to figure out the angle to capture the largeness of it, while still being still being a pleasing photograph. In this photo I still haven't accomplished that, but it was nice to be able to include a small piece of it.

Lessons Learned:
  • I had to think about where the sun is located. I tried to take this a few times in the evening, but the sun was in the sky beyond the barn. I had to come back for a morning shot so the sun would be at my back, and still shed enough light on the barn to have it become part of the photo.
  • When I originally saw the clover, there was also a rock pile under it. I thought that I would take a photo of the rocks with the clover above it. When I began to look around at the background, I saw the barn in the distance. I knew I also wanted to include that. A photo that included the rocks, the clover, and the barn became to busy. This arrangement seemed to work better for my taste.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/60s, Aperture f/22.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 73 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 119mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Week 9 - Day 58, June 27, 2009, "Pratt Falls"

This morning we took our son the Morrisville for Boy's State. On the way home we decided to stop at Pratt Falls. I was surprised at what a beautiful park this is. It's small, and the trails are not very long, so it's an excellent place for a quick hike, and glorious views. There are several ponds with willow trees that are also fun to walk around. Pratt Falls used to be a mill. At first it was a saw mill, then later it was converted to a flower mill. It's located off of route 20 in NY, just east of Cazanovia in the smaller town of Pompey. The speed limit of the park is also very humorous. It's 17 MPH. I also took a photo of that, and added it to my humours signs collection.

I only had one lens with me, and I didn't bring my tripod. I wasn't able to fit the complete falls into my frame of my 50 mm lens. I set the camera on the fence for a make shift tripod. I think it turned out fairly well.

Lessons Learned:
  • I need to remember to bring all my camera equipment whenever possible.
  • I'm starting to work with some themes. This photo was added to my waterfall collection. The speed limit side was the first of my humourous sign collection. I think there is some potential in various themes.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/10, Aperture f/22.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, set on fence.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Week 9 - Day 57, June 26, 2009, "Cummings Barn"

Sorry about not posting last night. Our DSL connection was down.

Last night the clouds were spectacular. I thought they would make a great back drop to the Cummings Farm up the road. This farm has been in the same family for 5 generations. While taking the photos Bill Cummings stopped by to see what I was doing. He had some great sugguestions on other places that I might also get some great shots. (Including on top of his silo. I'm not sure if I'm that brave.)
Lessons Learned:
  • I think that I need a gradiant filter. It was difficult to balance the bright sky, with the not so brightly lit barn. I think the gradiant filter will help with that.
  • Asking people for sugguestions on their favorite views. So, what are your favorite views in the area?

Photo details: Exposure time 1/320s, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Week 8 - Day 56, June 25, 2009, "Flower in Rain" Winner of Week 8 in Viewer Poll

I need help on this one. Do any of you know the name of this flower?
Today is our 26th anniversary, and I went to a funeral, and it rained, and we're going out to dinner. I had very little time to take photos.
The biggest difficulty I had was trying to hold the umbrella to set up the camera to take the photo. (I destroyed one camera in a rain storm at a cross country meet, and don't want to repeat that mistake.)
I like this photo because of the water on the leaves. I also used a wide aperture for a narrow field of focus. I think that worked well. I also like the reddish orange (artist help me on this color) of the buds. The blossom looks a little blurry. I think it is probably from the wind, or the rain.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/100 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 32 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 52mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

This photo was the top pick for week 8 in the viewer poll.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week 8 - Day 55, June 24, 2009, "A Study of Light"

I had an amazing photo shoot today by looking very closely at light. I was thinking about the sun on the way home. As I walked from my office to the bus stop, I thought about how harsh the sunlight was. Many times I don't like to take photos at this time unless it is in the shade. Instead I concentrated on shadows, and took a few photographs. I think I'm on to something, and will work on this for a future photo of the day.

Later as I was walking Tank, I was looking through our overgrown apple orchard. In the darkest parts where the myrtle is a very plush ground cover I noticed that the light was reflecting off the waxy leaves similar to the way it reflects off of water. I rushed home to get my camera, and was back in about 3 minutes. Tried as I might, I couldn't find what I had just seen a few minute before. It was then I realized that the sun moving across the dense branches were causing very rapid changes in the lighting. I spent the next 30 minutes of time photographing and observering the light. Each angle presented a different view. (Way to state the obvious, Steve.) A straight on shot, looking East to West, would create a similar effect to the light bounching off of water. A staight on shot, looking West to East, would produce a yellow color. Views from the side would give a green look. I think there is great potential in spending some time trying to optimize the light for the various effects. I'm sure I'll be back in the future.

Although very dark, I really like this shot. It almost has a black and white look to it, but there are hints of green. Click on the image for a larger view so that you can see the details. I'm not sure if Waldo is in this shot, but let me know if you see him.

I hope you're not getting sick of myrtle, but I think it has a lot of potential for some great photography.

Lessons Learned:

  • See above

Photo details: Exposure time .5 sec, Aperture f/22.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 22 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 65mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Week 8 - Day 54, June 23, 2009, "Red Tailed Hawk"

Judy and I were taking our dog Tank for a walk, and a Red Tailed Hawk flew over. I took several photos. It's difficult to try and focus the lens while the bird is way overhead.

I do like the colors, and the clouds over the head of the hawk. I think it was a little over exposed.

Lessons Learned:
  • Be careful about the sun. As I was photographing the hawk it flew in line with the sun, and was very bright through the lens.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/4000s, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 400, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 8 - Day 53, June 22, 2009 "Wild Rose in Myrtle"

Judy and I took Tank for a walk this evening, and on the way home Judy pointed out some wild roses growing in the myrtle. These roses are growing better then any of the others that we have. I really liked the previous photo of myrtle, so I thought this would also make a nice photo.

If you click on the image, you can see insects on some of the leaves. I think one of them looks like Waldo.

Lessons Learned:
  • A piece of masonite came in handy as a wind block. With long exposures a small breeze can move the flower and cause a blur. I used a piece of masonite to block the wind.
Photo details: Exposure time 2.5 sec, Aperture f/22.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 21 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 34mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week 8 - Day 52, June 21, 2009 "Black and Red Billards"

We had a busy day of Fathers Day. My kids took me to see the new Star Trek movie. A good time was had by all.

My son's favorite 2 colors are red and black. Today we tried some experimental colors of a photograph that I took. I've noticed some aliases along the edges that doesn't appear in the larger photo. (Please click on the image to see the full size.)

Lessons Learned:

  • When taking photos inside be very observant of the backgrounds.
  • Kyle's work lights came in handy once again for the dramatic lighting.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/25, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 1600, Focal Length 25 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 70mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, very small tripod. Many changes to the lighting with Picasa.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week 8 - Day 51, June 20, 2009 "Wedding"

What a day! I was asked by a friend to take photographs at his wedding. I'm both intrigued by the idea of photographing a wedding, as well as terrified. I have heard horror stories of people who have had a lot of problems photographing weddings. I agreed to take the photos when I learned that it was an informal wedding in a park.

The weather was rain most of the day. The wedding took place in a tent outside a pavilion in the park. The reception was inside that pavilion, and on the porch outside the pavilion. The wedding was incredible, and beautiful.

With all of these various areas, the lighting was a real challenge. Inside the pavilion there were florescent lights. Outside the pavilion there were cloud covered skies. In the tent there were no lights, so the contrast of light between the inside of the tent and the outside of the tent was large. I had to use a flash for most of the tent photos.

All in all I think the photos turned out well. I hope the couple enjoys them.

This is one of my favorite photos from the wedding.

Lessons Learned:
  • Taking photos at a wedding calls for some very quick changes of camera settings. The landscapes that I have been photographing allow me a lot of time to make changes on the camera, try something, and take another photo. At a wedding, if the camera isn't set correctly the moment is lost. I think that's why so many photographers take a lot of time after the wedding to recreate parts of the ceremony to get the photos right.
  • Using two cameras with two lenses helps. I borrowed my daughter's camera and had a wide angle lens on that camera, and my telephoto lens on my camera.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1000, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 26 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 43mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Week 8 - Day 50, June 19, 2009 "Basketball Offense"

A group of the Groton Basketball Team, including my son, are in a basketball camp this weekend at the University of Binghamton. This was right after the Groton team got the rebound, and began running down the court. They won their first 2 games on Friday night.

I enjoy taking photos at Basketball games. The method that I use is to set the camera in the right mode, find a good position, shoot as many photos as possible, and try to time the shutter at the most exciting moments. This is the first time since early spring that I've shot a basketball game, so I was a little out of practice.

Lessons Learned:
  • A black background makes for great basketball shooting.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/200s, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1600, Focal Length 100 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 267mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Week 7 - Day 49, June 18, 2009 "New Guitar" Winner of Week 7 in Viewer Poll, Tied in the Month of June Favorite Photo Poll

My Daughter's boyfriend received a graduation gift from his father. It's a Gretsch Electromatic, G5120. It's a semi hollow guitar designed to create a very clear and crisp sound. It sounds great even unplugged. Not quite Chet Atkins but close enough.

It was also an excellent opportunity for photography.

Lesson Learned:
  • My son's work lights help create a dramatic light effect. This is the first time I worked with external lights. I took photos from several angles, and this angle seemed the best. I think I'll try this more in the future.
  • Distracting the person having his/her photo taken creates a much more natural look. Derek was focusing on his playing not on the camera. Hey, that's the same lesson that I learned with Tank.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/400, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 1600, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, handheld.

This photo was the winner of week 7 in the Viewer Poll.

This photo was tied for the winner for the month of June in the Viewer Poll.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Week 7 - Day 48, June 17, 2009 "Weeding"

I knew that I didn't have a lot of time this evening. I have a meeting at 7:00, so my photography was limited. When I arrived home the wheel barrow full of weeds was tipped over. Garden weeding can get to be a real chore, and I thought this was a good metaphor for summer time weeding.
(I apologize to all of you who enjoy it.)

I hope you enjoy.

Lessons Learned:
  • At first I had the whole wheel barrow in the photo, but it looked to much like a snapshot. I think the partial view is more effective. I chose a Sepia to try an simulate the dry hot job that weeding can be. I think it worked for this type of photo.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/80s, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 85 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 137mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week 7 - Day 47, June 16, 2009 "Sunset over Groton"

One of the things that I'm finding is that on some outings I'll take a variety of photographs. When I look at the photos later, I often surprised by how some of the photos turn out. Later I'll return and shoot a more comprehensive set of photos on the same subject.

Back when I photographed the geese, I also took a couple of photos of this tree near sunset. Tonight when trying to think of ideas, I decided to go back and reshoot a similar photo. When I have more time with a single subject I use a variety of apertures, shutter speeds, and sometime various white balance settings. This allows me to choose the best of all the shots. I like the results of this one.

Lessons Learned:
  • It can be difficult to remove power lines from a photo. I actually selected a darker color photo because it helped hide the power lines that are in the lower part of the photo.
  • Around Groton it's difficult to find single trees that do not have other trees around them. I was trying to do that for this photo.
  • The day after I put up some photos I think, "What was I thinking on yesterday's photos." Some photos I seem to enjoy more as I think about them, others loose something with time, and still others loose something a few minutes after I put them on this blog.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/320s, Aperture f/20.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 108 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 175mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week 7 - Day 46, June 15, 2009, "Bugs Over Cat Tail"

I attempted to take photos of an old rock wall that is behind our neighbors house. It's an amazing wall that is about 6 feet tall, and 4 feet wide and about 100 feet long. I wasn't able to photograph it to capture any of it's immensity. As I was walking back to my house I saw a cluster of bugs flying around a cat tail. I took a few photographs of these, and liked this photo. I will return to the wall with some new ideas on how to photograph it. Stay tuned.

I like this photo, but the speed of the bugs is amazing. They look like worms when I in this photo because of their speed. I would need to shoot at a much faster shutter speed to try and achieve a greater clarity.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/125, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 200, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 7, Day 45, June 14, 2009, "Treman State Park"

When I woke up this morning, I asked Judy if she had any plans. She said that she didn't. I didn't have any plans either. After a few chores around the house, she asked if I wanted to hike in Robert H. Treman State Park. It's one of my favorite places, so of course I said yes.

These falls are just above the major falls. I like how the falls look like there are points of light bursting from the bottom of the falls, and around the rock just above the falls. I also like seeing some rock structure under the falls on the right side.

Lessons Learned:
  • Choosing a White Balance for a florescent light produces some interesting effects with water, and shale. (I tried my traditional White Balance, but in this photo I used the florescent setting. I think it had a nice effect)
  • (Although I learned this a while ago.) Setting to a narrow aperture, and a longer shutter speed produces this type of effect.
Photo details: Exposure time 2.000s, Aperture f/20.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Week 7 - Day 44, June 13, 2009, "The Pub"

We were invited over to a friends house for food, and musical entertainment. They have the greatest pub in their basement. The food was wonderful, the music fantastic. We had a great time. I took several photos during the evening.

Lessons Learned:
  • I had to really push the White Balance in this room to keep everything from turning red.
  • Mirrors can produce interesting photos.
Photo details: Exposure time1/13s, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 1600, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Week 7 - Day 43, June 12, 2009, "Chipmunk"

I had some extra time after work today to wonder around Cornell and take some photographs. The sun was harsh, so photography was difficult. I came upon a shady area with some sun peeking through, and this guy was posing for me. I couldn't resist.

Lessons Learn (but not yet utilized)
  • The fog was really cool this morning. I didn't have time to experiment, but will in the future. I noticed that as I drove, and walked to work object would start as faint shadows. As I approached them the became darking shadows and more distinct. I think a lot can be done by taking photographs from different distances in the fog, which will produce different effects. I look forward to trying it.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/400, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Week 6 - Day 42, June 11, 2009, "Iris"

I tried to perfect my photo skills with a flower shot today. I wanted the colors to represent the flower as closely as I could. So far this is the best that I could do. I like the colors.

Gary, is the purple in this flower the same color as your house?

Lessons Learned:
  • I used 3 different lenses, and ended up using my wider angle lens. I was suprised that this took the best photo.
  • Any little shift will ruin the clarity of the shot. I took several photos, but many of them were effected by just a little wind. I even had to stand still while the shutter was open. This is because I was using a long exposure time, and a ISO of 100.
Photo details: Exposure time 4.000s, Aperture f/16.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 65mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

I switched the photo after a little more editing based upon suggestions from Kari. (See comments.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Week 6 - Day 41, June 10, 2009, "Owasco Inlet"

Judy and I had a few minutes before the Groton Central Schools Sports Awards tonight so we drove down the Steven's Road and stopped near the bridge that crosses the Owasco Inlet. The reflection on the murky, slow moving water were nice, and the lighting wasn't to bad. So, tonight's photo is one of these photos.

Lessons Learned
  • Changing subject for this blog is ok. At first I was going to post a photo of an Iris. I've seen a few posted on facebook, so I was going to try my hand at it. I was able to photograph the flower well, but the composition was all wrong. The leaves in the background were very distracting. So, I ended up using on of my other photos from the day instead. I want to try and get the Iris photo just right before I publish it on the blog.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/30, Aperture f/13.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week 6 - Day 40, June 9, 2009, "Tank and Stick", Winner of Week 6 Viewer Poll

This one is for all you dog lovers out there.

We missed our dog, Tank, when we were in South Carolina. He still has a lot of puppy in him. He's only a year old, and loves to chew on sticks.

Lessons Learned:
  • Similar to the fern, this was another case where the light meter of the camera did not produce the correct exposure. I think because Tank is black, the camera had a difficult time. I used all manual settings to get this photo's colors correct.
  • Dogs are curious, so when I first started taking photos he was concentrating on me. This made for horrible shots. I found that if I just continued to photograph, after a while he became bored, and ignored me. (he does have a short attention span.) This is when I was able to get the best shots.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/320, Aperture f/3.2, ISO 1600 (I had it set to this because he Tank was running around, and I thought I would need it for an action shot.), Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, hand held.

This photo was the winner of week 6 in the Viewer Poll.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Week 6 - Day 39, June 8, 2009 , "Olive Oil"

We're heading home, and had a full day of travel. This limited my photography today. I grabbed the camera and took photos at dinner. My family became very silly, so many of the photos reflected that. I did like this one.

Lessons Learned:

The biggest lesson that I'm learning in this project is that some days I have several photos that I would like to publish. Especially when I'm at a very scenic location. Other days, like today, I have very limited time, and the subject is more limited. This can be frustrating, but I'm also finding that it is forcing me to become more creative.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/100, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 400, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, hand held.

Week 6 - Day 38, June 7, 2009, "Graduation"

Today was my niece's high school graduation.

I like this photo in that many graduation photos show the joy of the graduation. This photo was taken right after the graduation ceremony finished. I think most of the graduates are looking for the parents, but it almost seems as they are looking at the uncertainty of the future.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/160, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1600, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held from a long distance.

Week 6 - Day 37, June 6, 2009 , "Graduation Party"

Today was my niece's High School graduation party. Many of the photos that I took were of the band, the Leftorium, and one of the band member's young son playing with bubbles.

In this photo I like the colors in the bubble, and on my niece's shirt. I also like the lighting on her friend's face, and his concentration on the bubble.

Lessons learned:

  • Switching the type of camera settings can be very tricky. The graduates were also playing some action games in the middle of the day. I should have used a much faster shutter speed to capture the action, but I had been shooting photos like this most of the day.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/125, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, hand held.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Week 6 - Day 36 - June 5, 2009, "Lunch Time"

Today we toured the Magnolia Plantation that include an Auduban Swamp Garden. The Garden was incredible with so many birds. It was difficult to choose which photo to use.
I thought that this was a very special moment in which the child receives dinner from the mother.

Lessons Learned:
  • Remember to take the piece of equipment that screws on the bottom on the camera, and connects to the top of the tripod. I ended up carrying my tripod, but not using it because I forgot the piece. I hand held the camera for all the photos today.
  • Taking photos in a moving tram or boat has less than optimum results.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/250, Aperture f/5.6, ISO 400, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Week 5 - Day 35 - June 4, 2009, "Folley Beach Sunrise" - Winner of Week 5, Tied for Month of June Favorite Photo

This morning Judy and I woke up around 4:30 AM, and quickly drove to the Folley Beach South Carolina for the sun rise. It was a photographers paradise. It was incredible, and beautiful. It was difficult to choose which photograph to use.

Lessons Learned:
  • Sun rises, and beaches make for great photo opportunities.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/200, Aperture f/10.0, ISO 400, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.
This photo was the winner of week 5 in the viewer poll.

This photo was tied for the winner for the month of June in the Viewer Poll.

Week 5 - Day 34 - June 3, 2009, "Spanish Moss"

It's been several years since we have been to South Carolina. One of my memories from that last trip to see my sister was of the oak trees growing over the road with the Spanish moss. When we arrived this was one of the first things that I wanted to photograph.

I like the contrast between the dark branches, the green leaves, and the green/gray of the Spanish moss. I even kind of like the 55 mph sign tilted in the background. Being tilted it feels as if our man made objects are more temporary than the nature around it.

Lessons Learned:
  • I can't think of anything new in this photo.
  • In another photo of my Aunt that I took today, she stated that she disliked the photo. I really like the photo that I took of her. I think that for many of us, having our photo taken is like hearing our voice recorded. It doesn't seem to represent how we view and see ourselves. I think that when others see our photos, they have a better sense of whether the photo is a good representation or not. My cousin, daughter of the Aunt that I took the photo, said on facebook that she really liked the photo of her mother.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/4, Aperture f/13.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Week 5 - Day 33 - June 2, 2009, "North Carolina Clouds"

Today was a day of travel. I'm currently in North Carolina, on my way to my niece's graduation in South Carolina. (We'll arrive tomorrow)

Photography wise I spent the day shooting through the windshield. (When I wasn't driving.) This was the best shot I had for the day.

I played with setting the white balance to bring out the blues. A setting of a fluorescent seemed to work well for distant mountains and sky. For the photos of the clouds I also didn't use the recommendation of the cameras light meter, and used a slower shutter speed. This seems to make the whites whiter. Bruce Monger had told me that he had read that this was also a requirement for photographing snow, so I tried it with the clouds. It seemed to work well.

Lessons Learned:

  • Cool effects with white balance. (as mentioned above)
  • While taking photos in a moving vehicle, 1) don't drive, 2) don't bother with objects nearby when traveling 70 mph.
  • Snow settings for shutter speed seem to work well for clouds.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/125, Aperture f/14.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held, in a car, through a windshield, with one hand tied behind my back.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Week 5 - Day 32 - June 1, 2009, "Myrtle"

The other day I was thinking about whether any subject could be turned into a great photograph. At this point in my thought process, and definitely my abilities the answer is no. At the same time, I think that a great photographer can create a great photograph from a much larger variety of subject. I'm not there yet, but hope to improve my skills.

I didn't have a lot of time to take photographs today, so I began walking around our property. I've been reading about colors, so I looked for something that might be interesting. I like this photo for the simple flower, the few dots of red on the left, but I really like the green leaves underneath in the center of the photo in the top third. They almost look like ribbons. I think the lighting created this effect.

Lessons Learned:
  • Out of the 61 photos I took of this subject the ribbon effect that I described above only came out in this photo. Taking a lot of photos helps, but it's also very important for me to look closely at the photos that I do take.

I hope you enjoy.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/10, Aperture f/14.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 32 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 115mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Tomorrow I will be leaving for a week long trip. I will continue to take photos, and I will try and post them everyday. There may be a few days that I don't have an internet connection, so I may not be able to post the photo for that day, but will post it later.