Friday, August 6, 2010

Assignment 10: Smoke!

We're back!  Ok, so I've been a mega slacker and not updating at all.  Well, I'm back.  I'm behind on doing my assignments like everyone else, but the show must go on... 

Now that we've taken photos of fire, let's take some shots of smoke! Smoke can be difficult to take good shots of as lighting will be key, and to get the shots you want you will have to be quick as well.  So you can do shots of just plain old smoke, or smoke in a scene, or anything in between.  Come up with something creative.  And as always, try to go outside your comfort zone and shoot how you normally wouldn't.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A week off!

So with this coming week I'll be off work on site doing a class for work, so I think I'm calling a week off.  I need to catch up anyway, and this will give others a chance to catch up too.  So relax, enjoy the week, we'll be coming back next week with a themed assignment, so be prepared!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cloudy Night

Yes, yes...I am part of the club and I am finally posting these! These really aren't good in my opinion. I started shooting the scene because it looked really beautiful. But I had a lot of problems with trying to get everything straight again. I can't get my photos lined up correctly.

Another thing I noticed....low speed of the shutter, combined with moving tree branches...not good. I really like how much texture is in this photo, only the branches are out of focus. I need to remember to increase the ISO. I never want to do it because I figure blurry is better than grainy.

One problem I noticed was that the light in this photo came out strange. It was much sharper in person. I had no idea how to fix this! I tried and tried but to no avail. Please leave a comment if you know what I did wrong.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Assignment 9: Motion

Now that we have captured a bunch of shots that allow us to setup and frame and be careful, let's move away from that and try to capture motion.  How you do that, or course, is up to you.  You can do some panning shots or blur the subject, or you can stop motion with a fast shutter.  There are plenty of options and flexibility to try things out so let's see what you got!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire

So fire is pretty hard to capture as well. The exposure of it is really challenging, both during the day and at night.  Most of it is because the level of light is so inconsistent within the fire itself.  I like some of the shots I got though, and others need some work. 

This first one is a shot of my lighting up the grill.  I planned on shooting a bit, so I overdid it on the lighter fluid.  This shot was also touched up in Photoshop.  I adjusted the contrast and the color a little to make it more red.  I also used the auto healing tool to remove the horizontal line in the middle that is from the lid of the grill.  Shot in fstop 4.5, shutter 1/2000.

This next one I took 4 little candles and set them up on my garage floor with the door closed so I could get darkness and took some shots.  This one is done with a brighter exposure and you can really see the detail of that garage floor, what a beautiful piece of concrete...  But the halo of the depth of field is pretty neato, I do like that.  I think I could do some neat things with a shaped bokeh on this.  Shot in fstop 1.4, shutter speed 1/30.

This is the same 4 candles, different angle.  Also different exposure.  I like the slight reflection off the floor, that was totally unintentional.  I like the composition of this one, but I have no idea why.  It just seems cool to me.  Shot in fstop 1.4, shutter speed 1/640

This last one was a piece of paper towel I found in the garage that I decided to light on fire and take shots of it burning up.  This is right at the end, and you can see the red hot ash floating up and away from it.  This was shot in fstop 1.4, shutter speed 1/200

Overall this was very educational for me in shooting light sources with high contrasts.  It may seem challenging, but it gives you a large diversity of shooting different shots of the same subject.  You can see the rest of my shots at my picasa album for Fire!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Assignment 8: Light

Light can be fun to capture.  You can do it by flat out pointing your camera at the sun, although that isn't recommended.  You  can go into complete darkness and shine a flashlight.  You can do some light graffiti. You can capture the rays of the sun poking through clouds. 

There are plenty of ways to do so, so use that flexibility to be creative. There are a million ways to do this, and that kind of broad spectrum (pun intended) can sometimes be too much rope to hang yourself.  And if you find something not working, post it and get feedback, it's what we're all here for.

So keep the posts rolling.  I look forward to seeing what everyone does with this one.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Event Horizon

Ok, so hopefully my photos aren't a black hole, so maybe this title isn't all that great.  But it is there and I totally can't edit these :)  Anyway, these were shot on my lunch that I did for Reflections and Horizons.  The settings on them are pretty much the same as the lighting conditions were the same and I wanted to get everything in focus.  A wide angle lens would be nice for these, but you make do with what you have.

This first one is a shot of a smokestack with one of the stages at the Summerfest Grounds, but I'm not sure which stage it is.  I thought it looked neat, and the smoke has an almost cartoony feel to it for some reason.  I did really learn on this session just how bad I am at keeping the camera level, so all of these were adjusted in Picasa for both straightness and contrast.  This one is in f16 and 1/250 shutter speed.

This second shot is the bridge to enter Lake Shore State Park, which is fairly new and really awesome for photos.  I only got in like 10% before I had to head back due to time, but it is great.  I probably would have taken more shots of the bridge, but it just seemed weird since there were a ton of people on it.  I need to learn to be more bold and not caring about others.  Anyway, done in f16 and 1/250 again.

This third one is from about the same position, but looking back at the Milwaukee Art Museum  and the beginning of the skyline of Milwaukee.  I wish I had framed this one better since in the lower right you can see the rusty old walls of the lake front, but oh wells, live and learn my friend, live and learn.  Also same settings on this one.

The fourth one is of Discovery World also on the lake front.  It's a great building to shoot, almost as good as the Calatrava, but I don't feel I really did it justice here.  Not sure why I feel that, but I do and you can't argue feelings.  I wish I could have gotten a lower vantage point, but I wasn't about to go climbing down on the rocks with my work clothes on.  This one is actually shot in f16 and 1/200, I know quite a difference from the others.

This last one is a panorama I put together with a nice free little program called Hugin.  It's easy to use, surprisingly, you just need to have good shots to be happy, which I was just quickly taking these without a tripod and thinking I might stitch them together.  It came out better than I thought it would though.  I think I'll have to make Panorama one of the assignments in the future, so be on the lookout!

Anyway, that's that.  If you want to view the whole session, you can do so at my Picasa album for Assignment 6.  There are also some non assignment related shots in there, as I was by the little pond and there was a big old fish by me that I thought was neat.  Enjoy!