Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Maker's Mark

I can't decide which of these three shots I like best.

This one is without the flash.  You can see the rich color of the Maker's and see the legs running down the glass.  Also, you can almost read all of the caption at the bottom of the glass "The Glencairn Glass"

This one I took with the Flash Exposure Compensation turned down a couple of notches.  I like the way it turned out. 

This is with full flash on a different background.  I like the way the color of the Maker's shows up.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Christ on Cross Picture

I knew this would be really tough to shoot. So, while playing with my flash and lighting I tried to get a picture of this piece of art.  At first I thought I liked the one on the left with no flash better because the one with the flash looks blown out.  But, I think I should probably have worked with the flash compensation to turn down the flash a little and taken an in-between shot.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Around the House

I attended a meeting of the West Chester Photography Club on Tuesday and they have an assignment to take pictures around the house this month and submit them for review. I'm really having trouble finding good shots to take in the house.  So, today I played around with trying to just get the best shots I could of some subjects that I thought might be pretty tough to shoot.  Of the almost 80 pictures I took. I only kept less than ten.  Here's one:

Given that I don't have professional lights. I think this turned out pretty decent.  I set it on the kitchen table below our fixture that acts almost like a heat lamp and I used the flash on my camera since all the light was coming from the top of the bowl.  The colors are pretty true. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Day

School's out for Kayla.  I guess that means no one else works, either.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

White Balance Photography Lesson

Again taking some shots of the remodeled bathroom, I decided to work with the white balance setting on my camera.  Until I read the book I recently read, I had no idea what this setting was for or how to use it.  My P&S usually does a fine job selecting the white balance based on the automatic setting, or so I thought.  But, what I realize now is that often when I was getting bad results in low light shots it wasn't because I didn't have enough light but because the camera wasn't compensating for the kind of light.  The human eye compensates for the different colors of light and it does it so quickly we don't even notice.  Photographers refer to this as color temperature.  But, sunlight is different from fluorescent lights is different from tungsten (normal incandescent) lights and if we don't compensate correctly with the camera, we can end up with photos that have red or green or blue casts to them.

This shot was taken with my camera's white balance set to the standard AWB (not Average White Band, but Automatic White Balance). You may notice the orange-reddish cast to the picture.  When I was getting this before I thought I needed more light to get the shot. 

The exact same settings were used here, except I changed the white balance to "Tungsten".  Major difference.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Lunch at My Desk

The girls were watching Star Wars on the TV in the family room so I couldn't get my normal politics fix during lunch today and instead had my grilled cheese and soup at my desk (in my cave). I decided to mess around a bit with my camera taking some close up shots of my grilled cheese sandwich. Since my cave is dark, the flash popped up. I snapped the pictures on full auto, not customizing anything. I snapped about half a dozen pictures. I noticed a few things other than the more orange cheddar is the worse it tastes.

In this shot, I pushed in very close with the camera and saw "vignetting" which I had read about but never seen.  The subject was so close that the lens actually cast a shadow on the plate in front of my sandwich.  

In this shot, I tried changing the angle to see if I could more detail from the oozing cheese.  The vignetting actually got worse.

In this shot, I backed away with the camera and used the zoom to push in close.  The vignetting is mostly gone.  But, I noticed int this shot (and the others) that the depth of field is so shallow that parts of the sandwich (the very front and very back) are actually out of focus.  I'm guessing the depth of field is so shallow because the aperture was wide open (due to the dark room) and because I was so close to the subject.

I was just messing around.  If I really wanted to get a better shot of the sandwich, I'd turn on some lights and back away a little bit.
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Shayna's in another championship

The Heat are playing up in another Sixth Grade tournament (they're a fifth grade team).  Shayna's showing a little burn out saying basketball isn't as fun as it used to be.  But, she's still playing great.  The team is 3-0 in the tournament and playing in the finals tonight, I'm pretty sure against the team that knocked us out of the Christmas tournament at McGee's.  We were up by 7 with a few minutes to go before we collapsed and lost that game.  I think the girls can take 'em tonight.

notes on photo: the Tamron lens and upping the exposure on the photo a little is allowing me to get some pretty bright shots in a very dark gym.  And, I'm able to stop the action.  There's a little blur around the ball. But, I'm at the limit of my lens.  To stop it, I'd have to take the ISO higher than I want to.