Thursday, March 29, 2012

In Full Bloom

This morning as I was driving to work I passed by soooo many beautiful, flowering trees and immediately I wanted to roam the streets with my camera capturing all the loveliness!  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera...and I had to go to work!  Fortunately, my apartment complex houses some trees that were in full flowering mode!  Since the day was overcast, the light was beautiful when I got off work and after a quick salad I made my way outside to do what I love.  And of course, I also wanted to make this a learning experience!

As of late, I have been trying to shoot only in Manual Mode, however, I was frustrated because I was not getting the depth of field that I wanted, even when my aperture was set to the lowest possible number.  So, I took this opportunity to practice some shooting in Aperture Priority Mode and was quite satisfied with the results!  I set my aperture to 5.6 and started shooting away!  Here are my results:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reading: Understanding Exposure

I am coming to learn that understanding exposure is quite a difficult task, but well worth the effort.  What you put into photography you will get out of it.  With all of the automatic features on DSLR cameras these days it is simple to take a great image, but I want to go further with my photography.  I want to create unique, clean and classic images based on my knowledge of how my camera works and how a good exposure is set.  I was able to test my knowledge of exposure in previous posts with my friend Mandy, and I am so grateful because along with getting to know my Canon better, I also learned a little about my shooting style and what I want that to be/not to be.  This all leads me to the book I have been reading this month: Understanding Exposure 3rd Edition by Bryan Peterson.  Knowing that I was about to have a shoot with Mandy, I wanted to be as prepared as possible so I began reading Understanding Exposure.  And I learned A LOT.  And there is still more reading to do!  Although I am not a pro yet, no where near it in fact, I definitely have a much better understanding of how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO work together to create a beautiful image. I would most definitely recommend this book to any beginning photographer.  It has helped me leaps and bounds already and I cannot wait to finish it and go out and practice some more!  (Unfortunately this week I have not been able to shoot much because I got poison ivy on my face :( from a mango!  But i'm on the way to recovery and plan to be out and shooting again very soon!!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Because: Mandy: Part 2

Once again I had to start this post off with a picture!  Just couldn't help myself!  Welcome to Part 2 of Mandy's session, we were able to finish and got some great images.  This time, I slowed down, and took the time to play with my settings whenever we were in new light and the results were phenominally better than in Part 1.  Some of these images are SOOC (straight out of the camera)!  These sessions with Mandy were an excellent learning experience for me and I am so grateful for her patience with me through the process.  Although I can clearly see that I have a lot more work and practice in my future, I am excited to be getting this invaluable shooting experience!  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just Because: Mandy

I had to start this post off with a picture, I just couldn't help it because I LOVE this shot!  Today I was fortunate to have a friend of mine, Mandy, agree to be my guinea pig as I attempted to put into practice all of the learning I have done regarding photography thus far!  I had a blast but, unfortunately, our time was cut short so we will be having a Part 2 hopefully within a few weeks!

I will be the first to admit that I did not have many great shots straight out of the camera...Picasa saved me on a few of these!  However, now I have a more specific list of things I need to research and practice.  One thing I know for sure is that I shot too early in the day.  We were originally planning on going a few hours before sunset (best light) but I was impatient and could NOT wait that long to get started!  So we headed out early and the light was incredibly harsh, lesson learned!  Also, all of these were shot in Manual Mode and I definitely need to continue experimenting and learning how to make a correct exposure, of course this is the task of every photographer.

And so, without further adue, please enjoy these images and feel free to leave feedback!  Mandy, thanks for being such a great sport and I cannot wait for Session 2!

 This, my friends, is how you do a hair flip!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Projects: Before

I have decided that I need a project, that I can also incorporate photography into.  So, I sought out some inspiration on the many blogs that I follow.  A lot of these blogs have numerous DIY projects and I decided to start my own!  Not having a specific project in mind, the hubby and I went to Goodwill last night to be inspired.  Luckily, inspiration stuck fairly quickly!  I found the most adorable jewelry box for $2.99 that will be beautiful with a little work.  I am going to strip, repaint, then antique this jewelry box for a great vintage feel!  I realize this is a tiny project, but I have not taken on something like this and I am very excited to see how it turns out!  Of course on any "before and after" project, you need before pictures to show the object you will be transforming.  I took this as a photographic opportunity and headed outside with my jewelry box to work on my manual shooting.  Once again, as before, I started out with a way overly exposed picture.  1/60  f/5.6  ISO 100.  I quickly realized that because it was so sunny, I needed to go to a higher aperture number so that the hole in my lens letting the light in would be smaller.  I was letting way too much light in which was causing the over-exposure.

After a few more test shots, I found an exposure I was happy with.  For reference, these pictures were taken approximately 11:00 AM on a bright, sunny day.  In these first shots, the sun was directly behind me. 
1/640  f/5.0

I then moved my jewelry box around for a new challenge so that the sun would be in front of me.  This makes a difference because the light would not be shining directly on the front of the box.  To adapt to this, I lowered my aperture number to 1/400 so that more light would be let in and the object would be lighted enough.
1/400  f/6.3 

I will provide an update once I have started taking on this project!