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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

Part of Christmas is putting everything away.  I’ll admit, we are doing that a bit early this year, before the end of the Christmas season on the Church calendar.  This year, our packing up is a bit more involved.  We will be moving this coming year, so we are sorting though everything, and deciding what to keep, what to get rid of, and what is going into storage.  Since we are moving from the US to England, all our lights are going into storage.  That’s easy.  Harder is sorting through the decorations.  Or at least I thought it would be hard.  It turns out my kids thought it was fun.  Also, I drug out my camera to take some photos, and that is always fun.  Here is an ornament that will be coming with us:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

To shoot this photo, I used a magnifying, close-up lens on my 50mm lens. I lined Santa up so that the light would be smooth and luminous behind him.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

I cropped the photo and applied a vintage filter in Aperture:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

I liked the vintage feel, but thought it was too strong.  So to get the final version I started this post with, I opened the image in Photoshop and then duplicated it.  One layer I made into a black and white version, that was the top layer.  Then I dropped the opacity of that layer to about 50%.  I then made a mask on that layer and masked in the santa figure. The result was the more toned down vintage feel in the background.  That, to me, is more appealing.  What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

A version of this image is available on Picfair.

Happy New Year to all my readers and visitors.  This year will be a busy one in my household as we relocate. It is a cycle that we are use to, we move every few years for work reasons.  To me, it often seems like a circle, we move, get set-up, get situated, get ready to move again.  In a way this cycle feels like the smaller yearly cycle of celebrating Christmas.

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

I was taking some photos of our Christmas tree and processing them in Aperture just for fun so:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/20

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/20

to you and yours!  This photo was taken with my point and shoot on the macro setting and then in Aperture I applied the vintage setting.  But that was yesterday, this week’s photo challenge is all about now.  So this is me this morning:

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

There I am reflected in the screen on my computer as I take a photo with my phone.  This photo was edited in Aperture and a sepia low tone effect added.  How is this now? It’s me sitting at my desk thinking about the technical issues I am having with my technology and wondering how I am going to fix it all in the coming weeks.  It’s a work in progress and what I am working on right now.  It’s a lot to sort out but since it is important to me, I’m sure I will come up with something.

A very Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all of you.  Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment below, maybe even a line about what big projects are on your plate right now.

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: Tempting

Sometimes when I am traveling, I am tempted to put my camera away.  Sometimes there  is a good reason for that, but honestly most of the time it is because I am tired.  I was just on the verge of putting my camera away the other day when a docent came up and told me I had to take this picture:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/125

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/125

He was right, so three cheers for the docents at the St. Louis Zoo!

I am on a break from my Photoshop class, so for this photo I just did some cropping and sharpening in Aperture.  Is this an award winning photo? No, but it is a nice snapshot of this Red Panda in the morning light.  If you go to the zoo, I would recommend going early to get the best morning light and to beat the crowds.

This Red Panda spends a lot of its time resting and roaming around near the back of her home.  I have few photos of her, something I have written about before here and here.

Do you talk to docents when you visit places like the zoo? We do, they tend to be very knowledgeable and passionate about their subject matter.  Have you ever had a moment like this, where you were about to put the camera away and someone told you not to?

This post was written in response to the theme tempting at Where’s My Backpack?

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: Sculpture

Sculpture is theme at Where’s My backpack? this week.  This is one of those themes that at first I was thinking that I didn’t have anything, but once I took a look through my archives I realized that I had more than I thought.  I decided to go with this photo in honor of the 4th of July:

The edited photo

The edited photo

This World War II memorial is on the grounds of Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis Missouri. This memorial is on St. Louis County Parks property.  There is a National Cemetery right near the county park.

This photo was a tough one to get and I have to say, if I was to do it again, I would go at a different time.  This photo was taken in the middle of the day, so harsh light and shadows were a problem.  Having said that though, the reality is that I was there when I could be there, so I did the best I could.

At the bottom of this post I will put the original photo, just so you can see what I was up against.  I was thinking that I would use HDR to get a better end result.  So, I tried bracketing my photos, but didn’t really get a great result.  What you see in the above photo is a bit of a false HDR.  It is made from one single image.  In Aperture I made two additional copies of the original.  Then I changed the exposure to -1 on one and -2 on another.  The original I left at 0. These three I merged into HDR using Photomatix.  I ended up liking the version you see above which is using a “painterly” setting.  Then in Photoshop I sharpened and cropped the image.  That’s a bit of fixing for just one image, but here is the original:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/60

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/60

So, that was a bit of work for one photo, but I do like the HDR image better.  What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

A very happy 4th of July to my American readers.

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Searching for Spring

I know Spring is coming.  It has been a bit slow in getting here though.  We have had a lot of (needed) rain.  The other morning I went running at 7am and it was 29 degrees and windy, not my ideal!  With that in mind I went for a walk in the park searching for signs of Spring.  Here are two photos I found:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/1000

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/1000

I deliberately blurred the background because I found it distracting from the buds on the trees.  The fast shutter speed gives away the fact that it was windy and I needed the speed to freeze the motion of the branch.

Here is my next shot.  I was a bit sad to find these on the bench.  Someone picked them and then left them there, I’m not sure why you would do that.  Although given that this is at a playground, it is possible that it was a little someone who just didn’t know any better.  Anyway, daffodils are my favorite:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/800

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/800

I liked the color in the flowers contrasting with the lack of color in the bench.  I didn’t arrange this photo at all, the scene was just like this and I took the picture.  Kind of neat when that just happens!

I took both of these photos with my Canon Powershot ELPH.  In Aperture I cropped them.  No other editing for either photo.

Cheers!

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

Freezing on Friday

Well, we got some snow and ice yesterday.  That meant that my bird feeders were busier than usual.

I used my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens to get these shots.  I did stay inside, we have some nice windows by the bird feeders so that we can enjoy the birds without bothering them too much.  I shot both using AWB, but then edited them later in Aperture.  Both pictures have been cropped.  The bird looking to the sky has been bumped up one exposure stop in post editing.  The bird under the bush I just used the auto adjust function for white balance.

Today is forecasted to be another cold one here, so I am expecting a lot of bird visitors.

Cheers!

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

Similar Photos, Different Settings

One of the first assignments in my Digital Photography class this semester included taking two outdoor shots of the same scene, one using ISO 100, and one using ISO 2000.  Both had to turn out properly exposed.  Here are my two shots:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/10 1/13

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/10 1/13

ISO 2000 50mm 0ev f/10 1/320

ISO 2000 50mm 0ev f/10 1/320

Pretty similar right?  I used a tripod for both scenes.  In order to get the correct exposures I had to change the shutter speed in addition to the ISO.  The higher the ISO went the faster I had to set my shutter speed to get a good image.

I really liked this pumpkin photo.  I tweaked it  a little bit in Aperture and have put it on my website as a print and also a card.  They can be found in this gallery if you are interested in taking a look.

Thoughts on my pumpkins or your experiences with ISO and shutter speed?  Feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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