Baby…You Could Photograph A Firework!

Where I live, we do fireworks backwards, fireworks happen the day before the 4th, unless it rains, then it’s the day after! (Apparently it’s cheaper…) but this years fireworks were spectacular!  And I wasn’t going to miss out on a photography opportunity!  I’d been doing a lot of reading about taking photos of fireworks, Clickin Moms was very helpful!  So with my tripod & camera in hand, my husband, sister and I set out to find the perfect spot!  Now the trick to taking photos of fireworks is a low shutter speed and a closed aperture (higher number).  And to make sure there is no grain on your pictures is to have a low ISO…and the tripod makes this all possible because there should be no camera blur!  If you have a remote, PERFECT!  It’s easier, the D700 has a way to set up interval timer shooting…but I haven’t read up on that yet, so next year!  But the key is too pick where your settings should be and then play from there once you see them on the screen!  (But remember to enjoy yourself too!)  I stuck with ISO 200, shutter speed around 2-4 seconds (2 worked the best) and aperture around 16!

This is my favorite holiday, maybe because it’s summer and there’s no school or it gives us an excuse to BBQ, eat sweets, be with family and see beautiful colors in the sky…I’m not sure…but, Happy 4th of July, I hope your holiday was safe & fun…and Happy Birthday America and thank you to all that keep us safe so we can all be free!

My two biggest fans!

200, f/16, 2seconds

200, f/16, 2seconds

200, f/16, 2seconds

200, f/16, 4seconds

200, f/16, 2seconds

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Creative Exercise-A Day in the Life…

I’m always looking for new projects to do with my camera and when I saw this on Click It Up A Notch the other day I jumped at the challenge too!  What better way to practice than to on a typical, normal, everyday day…What do you need?  Your camera for starters!  And a timer, she suggestions setting a timer to go off every hour or so…I however thought I could remember…(I would suggest using a timer :p).  The best part is you can be as creative as you want, to help plan you should think about your typical day start to finish and that can help you think of some great shots before they happen, but remember those spontaneous shots are priceless too!

Summers are a bit slow for me right now, so I can’t say my day was typical, but this is what I came up with…

It started with setting the alarm for the next morning (wake up call for the hubby…not me!)

Can’t go wrong with breakfast and the Today Show…

Zoe always looks at me funny.

A fit a workout in!

It rained for the first few days of this week, so this was the first day the Blue Angels could practice, needless to say, they flew right over my house!  Pre Air-show, show! (I caught him with the 70-200mm 4-5.6)

Driving to the SeaDogs Game!

A perfect finish to a great day!

Now it’s your turn to document your everyday life, you’ll be surprised how much you can fit in!

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Motion Blur: My First Creativity Exercise

For those in the photography world that don’t know, (but many of you already know), there are TONS & TONS of photography related blogs/websites out there!  Many of which I follow on a daily basis.  One of which is called Clickinmoms,yes I know, I’m not a mom…yet…but aspiring moms can be photographers too! (hehe)  Anyway, my New Years Resolution to myself was to join their forum and become a lifetime member and it was the BEST DECISION ever!!!  There are loads of information, videos, & links, there are workshops you can take, and the best of all, the SUPPORT you get from others is amazing!  Everyone is learning, doesn’t matter if you are a Pro or a newbie with a point and shoot.  It is a place where you can have others critique your work and give you feedback, or a space to just share what you are doing, and best of all, just ask questions about anything and everything!

As I was perusing through the forum one night I stumbled upon a few posts labeled Creativity Exercise, each with a number attached to it.  Along this journey of mine, I have been so focused on making sure my settings were correct, my exposure was perfect and so worried about getting it right each time in camera that I was missing out on the chance to be creative!  I have already had the opportunity to assistant in 2 weddings this year (with no pressure attached–meaning I can just shoot away and if the main photographer likes some of my pictures she can/will use them!)  Fantastic, right?…I get to build my portfolio without the stress of the bride & groom killing me!  This was my opportunity to shoot outside the box, be creative, find my own style, play with the light, my shutter speed, & my depth of field…but I had been too focused on doing the wrong things, getting in the way of guests, and being intrusive that I was hesitate to try.

So that ends today!  I’m hoping to do this weekly, but life does get in the way, so monthly might be more realistic!

This is where I am going pick a different technique and practice my skills, so when it comes time to use them in a high-pressure, stressful situation, I’ll be able to utilize them effectively!!  That’s the plan at least!

So before this becomes to long of a post, I want to show you my first technique.  MOTION BLUR!  I coach track in the spring and what better way to practice motion blur than on moving children!

So there are two times of Motion Blur you can shoot:

1.  The subject can be blurred and the background is in focus.  (For example, someone running, cars moving down a highway…(Example) *most popular and easier; keep focused on the background, tripods can/should be used if shutter speed gets to low.


2.  The background is blurred and your subject is in focus.  (A couple dancing while people move (blurred) around them) *the key is to track your subject while it’s moving to keep them in focus and the background blurry  (in my case, the runner on the track).

Both give a neat effect when done right; just think of things around you that move!  Rides at the fair, cars on the road, water flowing, & moving children!!  One thing to keep in mind is your settings:  to capture movement you want a slow shutter speed (I started with 1/30 and make adjustments from there.  *I shoot in manual which allows me to customize my settings depending on the environment).  Remember too, when using a slower shutter speed you have to adjust your aperture to capture correct exposure… a smaller opening is key, or higher number, for example F11 or F13.

My Creations:

1.  200, 1/40, F16

2.   200, 1/15, F13

Now it’s your turn!  Happy Shooting!