50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

I received some tulips as a gift this week from my oldest child, and was thinking of taking some photos of them this morning.  I hadn’t really settled on how I wanted to take the photos so when the weekly photo challenge theme was posted as blur, I figured I found my answer.

I shot the tulips using two different cameras but ended up liking the results from my 50D best.  For these photos I had screwed on a magnifying lens to my 50mm lens.  I ended up editing two shots.  Here they are:

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/640

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/640

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/320

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/320

For this challenge I decided I wanted one spot to be in sharp focus and the rest to be a soft blur. Making the f-stop 2.8 fairly easy way to accomplish this.  Before shooting I had considered adding all the blur in Photoshop, but decided this time around to get the blur in the camera instead.

The two photos were edited different ways.  For the top photo, I made a curves adjustment that I thought made the colors deeper and brought attention to the point of focus.  I then sharpened the image.  In the second image, I felt the point of focus was a bit less important than the overall soft feel.  I added an oil paint filter and a color overlay of very light purple.  Then I also multiplied the layer, just to deepen the colors.  Here are the original photos out of the camera:

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/640

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/640

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/320

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/320

Interesting what just a few edits can do isn’t it?  Do you have a favorite?  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

I find the rules of photography interesting. Interesting in that they are good guidelines, and challenging in that, as an image creator, you need to decide when the best time to break the rules are.  This week’s challenge pertains to my favorite rule, the rule of thirds. It’s my favorite because I find it to be the most challenging of rules.  It is almost always a good composition guideline but can be the most fun to try to creatively break.

I stuck with following the rule this time around because I am working on a project where I think the rule applies.   I am just starting to work on a series of images dealing with concussion.  My youngest has one, and it has meant serious restrictions on activity.  In this first image I am working on conveying the difficulty of reading when your vision is blurred.

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/20

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/20

I felt the rule of thirds worked for this image because putting the figure in the bottom right corner with the book out of focus and overwhelming in the image just seemed to make sense.  I shot this scene a few different ways, but this one, where even the figure was slightly out of focus, was my favorite.

I used my 50mm lens to get this image.  I was also trying out a magnifying lens that I inherited recently, but I liked the 50mm images better.  The shutter speed is slow on this image, so I started with my tripod but then ended up rearranging the image and just put the camera on the floor.  I’m using natural morning light only and even with a slow shutter speed, and an aperture of 3.5, I still needed to bump the ISO to 640.

Once I picked this image from the several different versions I had shot, I cropped it a bit in Photoshop and then added a bit more blur using the iris blur filter.

So what do you think, does this image convey what I am trying to get across? Do you think this was a good use of the rule of thirds?

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Climbing, Photo Editing, Photography

At the Rock Wall

For the past few weeks I have been working on a series of photos for my digital photography class.  The assignment was pretty wide open, but one option was a photojournalism series of nine photos.  I decided to do a series about rock wall climbing.  Basically the nine photos show the process of going on a climb.  Here are two from the series:

ISO 2000 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 2000 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 2000 50mm 0 ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 2000 50mm 0 ev f/3.5 1/125

Lighting was a huge challenge for this series.  I used my 50mm lens because I knew I would need a low f-stop.  I am also using a pretty high ISO.  These images are HDR images, processed using Photomatix.  After that, I put them in Photoshop and put a gradient mask on them.  I did that because I found the color in the originals was pretty distracting.  I also did noise reduction and sharpening in Photoshop.

For the assignment the prints are about 15×10.  I am turning in the assignment today, so wish me luck.

Cheers!

 

 

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

An Ongoing Project

I think we all have them, some project that we are working on.  In this case I am talking about a particular photo that I am trying to get.  I work on it from time to time.  I would just like a really good cardinal picture.  Here is my latest attempt:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

Really I think it would have helped if I had used my kit lens for this photo.  I used my 50mm and then cropped it later.  The good thing about using the 50 is that you get really good detail.  In this case though I just needed to be closer, and the the kit lens, which is a 28-135mm would have helped a bit here.  Looking at the photo again now I am also thinking I should have tried using my flash, just to maybe separate the black and red of the birds feathers.  I’m not sure if that would have worked, but it’s worth a try, so maybe next time I am working on this ongoing project, I will give it a try.

Cheers!

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

A little bit of beauty for your Monday

Here you go:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/10 1/10

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/10 1/10

I took this shot last week, but am sharing it now in the hopes that it will brighten your Monday!

I took this at the St. Louis Zoo, which is very nice and also free.  This butterfly was kind enough to hold still for a bit and I was also using my tripod.  I have noticed that when I have both my camera and tripod a lot of people stop and talk to me.  If you are a tripod user, have you noticed that as well?

The butterfly is centered in the frame because it was a digital photography assignment that required the subject to be in the center.  I did also bump up my ISO to 400, because I thought it captured the color detail a bit better than the shot I took at ISO 100.  I also had my f-stop about mid-range.  I wanted to make sure to get enough detail, but I wanted my background to be a bit out of focus so that it was not a distraction.

Thoughts on this photo? would you have shot it differently?  leave your comments below…

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: New

The travel theme for this week at Where’s My backpack? is new.  I am posting my response a bit later in the week than I normally do because I was waiting for this photograph to occur:

ISO 100 50mm -0.67ev f/7.1 1/80

ISO 100 50mm -0.67ev f/7.1 1/80

There are a lot of things that qualify as new, but I think a new snowfall is quite beautiful.

Cheers!

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

Just here, trying to take a picture

I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you can relate to what I am going to say.  It’s a busy time of year.  For me recently that has meant I have fewer opportunities to take pictures and edit them.  Like everyone else, I do the best I can.  I take pictures as often as possible, which is what led to this photo.

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/200

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/200

I took this a few nights ago at a local park.  I just happened to be there for another event, and had my camera with me.  My thought was to do a bracketed exposure, but I didn’t set my camera correctly, and so I just had a single image.  In Aperture I created two other versions of this photo and changed the exposure value on them.  So then I had three photos each with a different exposure value, -1, 0, and 1.  Then I put the three into Photomatix to make an HDR image.  Of the different versions, I liked a color version best. So I exported that back into Aperture.  Then I changed my mind.  About the color that is.  I converted the image into sepia and the result is what you see above.

Cheers!

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