70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

As I was thinking about how to respond to this week’s photo challenge, serenity, it occurred to me that I would say serenity is an idea that shows up a lot in my photography.  For this week, I chose this image:

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

The image itself was taken this past fall.  I stopped, looked up, and saw this lovely pattern of light that I thought would turn out well in a photograph.  This final edited version is actually a fusion of two identical images shot using different exposures and then edited in Photomatix Pro.   Here are the two originals:

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 100 185mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

I felt that creating an HDR image would bring out the jewel tones in the leaves and the bokeh effect in the background of the image.  When I took the original photos, it was a bright day so I had lowered my ISO to 100.  It was also a bit breezy, and in this case I wanted the leaves to be still, so that is the reason for the fast shutter speed.  I settled on an f-stop of 5.6 after a couple of other tries, because I felt like that was the right balance of bokeh in the background and clarity in the leaves.

As for serenity, it’s been a bit elusive in my life lately.  I’ve missed the last few photo challenges.  It’s nice to be back, and I’m looking forward to getting caught up on my comments and visits to other blogs.  As for serenity in a photo, this particular image works for me but what do you think? your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

When I think of minimalist photography, I always think of an image that is more poetry than novel. To me poetry as a writing form allows for more interpretation than the fully formed narrative of a novel. Minimalism allows for more breathing room.  So for this week’s challenge, I chose to edit an image that I took a few weeks ago in a very peaceful garden:

ISO 500 100mm 0ev f/10 1/500

ISO 500 100mm 0ev f/10 1/500

To get this image, I chose an f-stop of f/10, because I wanted the water and the bridge to be in focus.  This image is more about taking in an entire scene than it is about just the elements in the foreground. I also chose a fast shutter speed because it was pretty windy that day but I knew I wanted an image that was more serene.

When I got to the editing phase, I first cropped the image because I felt there were elements in the photo that were distracting.  Then I put a warming filter on it in Photoshop.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 500 100mm 0ev f/10 1/500

ISO 500 100mm 0ev f/10 1/500

What do you think? Does this qualify as a minimalist image to you, or does it still have too many elements? How about the filter, I think it conveys a sense of calm that helps the image seem more minimalist, do you agree? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Peaceful

This weekend I made a short visit to the St. Louis Zoo.  I had my 50mm lens on my camera when I saw this very peaceful looking lion:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/160

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/160

And right there you see the limitation of a 50mm lens.  I can’t get any closer to the subject, so that is as good of a shot as I am going to get.  So I switched to my 28-135mm lens for these next two shots:

ISO 400 135mm 0ev f/7.1 1/60

ISO 400 135mm 0ev f/7.1 1/60

How peaceful looking is that? but remember to stay alert around wildlife because I took this picture 15 seconds later:

ISO 400 135mm 0ev f/7.1 1/80

ISO 400 135mm 0ev f/7.1 1/80

Hello there, not asleep!

For the two shots taken with my 28-135mm lens I did have to increase the ISO and decrease the shutter speed to get the depth of field that I wanted.  I don’t find the rock outcropping that she is sleeping on to be distracting, so I wanted to keep it in focus.

My blogging friend Rosemarie wrote about the St. Louis Zoo recently and also took some great photos.

This post was written in part as for the weekly travel-theme challenge that is hosted on the blog, Where’s my backpack? this week featuring peaceful as its theme.

Thoughts? Comments? feel free to leave them below!

Cheers!

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Canon 50D, Photography

A Colorful Photo

One assignment that I had for my digital photography class was to have the longest focal length and smallest f-stop that my camera was capable of using manual mode to take the photo.  Here was my result:

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

I really ended up liking this shot.  I suspect part of the reason I like it is because of the contrasting blue and orange colors.  This photo is marbles in a candle holder, sitting on top of my Mac that has a blue cover.  A pretty easy to stage photo.  As a bit of a weird side note, this is the second thing that I have taken a picture of that has broken within the next day.  The other was my mailbox, which I wrote about here.  This time it was the candle holder which shattered the next day.

Given the slow shutter speed, a tripod was necessary to get the shot.  I used my kit lens which is a 28-135mm.  The lowest shutter speed that you can get here is a f/5.6.  Given that it was a sunny day outside, there was more than enough light to get a good exposure, so I could have my ISO at 100 without a problem.

I think the other reason I am liking this photo today is that it is cold and rather dark here.  A bit of cheerful color just helps to brighten my day, I hope that you enjoy it as well.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another day, Another bee

I wrote yesterday about a bee that I had photographed and then edited into a sepia image.  The post is here if you would like to take a look.  Today I was looking at another series of bee shots and here is what one of the final images looks like:

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

I think it was the bright yellow of the flower that made me decide to keep this a color image.  I managed to get a pretty sharp photo, even with the movement of the bee and the flower.  I had used my tripod earlier in the shoot, but did not for this particular image.  I think the most challenging thing about this image is the background.  There is just a lot going on.  So, the original image I cropped to try and get some of the background out but still leave enough to convey the scene I was shooting.  In Aperture I corrected this photo a bit using curves, I just wanted to darken the image a little bit.  I have also sharpened the image.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Sepia in Spring

It has been cold here and while that is fine since it is winter, I do find myself looking forward to warmer weather and longer sunlit days.  A few days ago I was looking back through some photos from the spring and I found one I hadn’t yet edited.

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

I have a series of pictures of this bee and I have been trying to edit them in different ways.  Here is one edited version:

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

This version I edited in Aperture.  I cropped it, put it in a sepia tone, and sharpened it.  I like this version, not really sure if I love it.  I think this photo shows one of the downsides to not having a macro lens.  With a macro lens, this picture would be sharper, even before editing.  My kit lens did a decent job though.  I think the 50mm lens I have wouldn’t have worked because I was having trouble getting any closer to the bee.

So, what do you think? do you like sepia for this particular subject matter? Your comments are welcome in the comments section.

Cheers!

 

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Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photography

Peregrine Falcon with a 28-135mm lens

If you read yesterday’s post you pretty much knew what was coming today.  Here is the same peregrine falcon featured yesterday taken with the 28-135mm lens:

ISO 800 115mm f/5.6 1/60

A similar looking shot to one from yesterday, but this one has not been cropped.

ISO 100 135mm f/5.6 1/10

A nice, tight, shot.  As you can imagine though, with the slower shutter speed, I have a lot of shots from this series that are quite blurry.  Both pictures were taken using a tripod.

Cheers!

 

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