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What do you see, how do you feel?

Last weeks assignment was how to use light & shadow to create an abstract composition.  I had to actually sit down and think about this one.  I’m not sure if it’s just the season but it’s been making me procrastinate a little bit more than usually.  So actually getting motivated and getting out there to shoot is getting harder and harder to do.  But I did finish the assignment on time.  Not only do I enjoy taking photographs and trying to expand my creativity each week, I think I enjoy our weekly critiques during class.  It helps explain her (Jodi, our teacher’s) vision a little bit more.  It’s also fun looking at everyone elses work and how they decipher the assignment.  Plus it’s nice to get praise for your photos and some constructive criticism for next time.  You really only remember your mistakes, but I guess that’s good because then you learn how to fix them!

How does this make you feel?

800, 1/160, F3.2

Within the Shadows…

800, 1/200, F6.3

What do you think it is?

800, 1/13, F16

What do you see?

800, 6.5, F11

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My Last Assignment

I’ve been slacky lately on posting, but Christmas is around the corner, so most of my time online has been dedicated to online shopping!  But I did want to share my last class assignment.  It focused on night photography & sunsets.  My last post was part of it!  For this project as a class we were to focus on bracketing and practice our metering.  I have to say I’m feeling more comfortable about metering now than I did a few weeks ago!  Though I need translate metering into my everyday photographing.  I feel like I take the time to go over the steps to take a great picture when I have to do an assignment, but when I’m just “taking photos” just because, I forget…but practice makes prefect, right!

But I did learn how to take better sunset photos and who doesn’t want to learn how to take a great sunset photo!  It does work better if you are in an area free from distraction, (buildings, lots of tress, etc.), and probably better in the summertime too.  Since it’s nearing winter here, the sun isn’t as dramatic.  Also, something else to remember, when shooting into the sun, most things will fall in silhouette (in-black).  So if you want to shoot people, silhouettes can be very neat, but if you want to capture their faces, metering comes in handy! 

The key is to meter for the sky at different angles, we metered at 15 degrees, 35 degrees, and 45 degrees to see how different the readings would be.  Time is not on your side here either, the sun dips below the horizon very quickly now adays, so metering quickly is important.  (Not sure if I discussed how to meter in the first place, but the easiest way, or the way I do it, is put your camera in Program Mode (P), and point & focus on whatever you want to take a picture of, in this case, meter the sky…now I’ve discovered not to meter directly into the sun, because then you won’t capture those beautiful, vibrant colors, instead move away from the sun a few degrees…now metering is a guide and you want to use the information it gives you, but then you should bracket.  Bracketing is basically a technique of taking serveral shots of the same subject/object using different camera settings (usually different F-stops).  It is useful in situations that make it difficult to get a great photo with one shot.

Example:

250, 1/320, F3.5

250, 1/320, F8

250, 1/320, F22

 See how the colors change between each photo.  In the first shot, the sun is blow out and even though you can see more details in the foreground and the sky it looks overexposured.  In the last, even though it looks underexposured, the colors are deeper in saturation and you can see the tree branches fall into silhouette.  At the end of the day, it really is personal preference, but just food for thought when wanting to capture the prefect sunset!

I’ll leave you with one more thing, my Cityscape, this was taken around 5:00pm, with a tripod (since the shutter speed was too slow to hold the camera).  It was a learning experience to understand what the “magic hour” means and how to successfully shoot a cityscape at night.  Here are two of my favorites:

Twilight 400, 1/10, F3.8

400, 1/5, F3.8

 


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Explore…

This is the topic for our up and coming FINAL project!  We have two weeks to explore with our cameras.  This might be one of my favorite assignments so far, like the paper assignment she told us what we had to photograph.  For our final assignment we have to pick a TREE and try to tell a story, a convey a message or meaning, using either one great photograph or a series of photographs!  Growing up in Maine, I love trees, my father was a forestry major in school, so I know a lot about trees that a person just really shouldn’t have to know! (but I’m a better person for it! thanks dad 🙂 )  This time of year is especially perfect for taking pictures, the foliage is beautiful, the leaves are colorful, bold, and unique!  I’ve always believed that trees tell their own story, most all have been around longer than all of us, and they have seen much change in the world.  They sit patiently listening and dreaming about the world around them, trees can be somber, peaceful, and calming.  But they can also be dangerous, destructive, and powerful.  Like everybody, they have two sides.  Trees are very symbolic in our lives.  Trees give us food, shelter, and materials for living.  Some of the greatest authors in the world have use trees in their writing, look at Shel Silverstein with The Giving Tree, it is a touching, warm-felt book about the relationship between a boy and a tree!  We are also  lucky to live in a country that have some of the tallest trees in the world, I was fortunate enough to visit the Redwoods on my honeymoon and talk about a jaw-dropping experience, the scale was astronomical, it hurt our necks just looking up, most of the time you couldn’t even see the tops, it was like a whole different world!

So let’s just say I’m excited to take on this challenge!  A few people in my class agreed, they had a love for trees too and were already brainstorming which tree to chose.  It’s just something about them, their mysterious and it makes us curious to find out more about them!

I wish I knew more about our camera before we went on our honeymoon, but I think we captured some great moments:

See the sense of scale!

 

I couldn't believe it

looking up

 

the biggest we saw

 

finally figured out the self-timer!

tree hugger