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

A Window in the Ceiling

I know you would usually call a window in the ceiling a skylight, but it really just seemed like a window to me:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

This was a difficult shot for me to get and the first constraint was time.  I was on a tour of the Minnesota State Capitol, so I only had a few minutes and I hadn’t really expected to stumble across this window either.  You may be wondering why I used such a high shutter speed.  I had been thinking of creating an HDR image, but as it turned out, I did not get a set of exposures that were perfect, so I decided against using HDR.   Also, in order for this to be a successful HRD image, the lines in the glass would have to be perfectly lined up in the exposures and they just weren’t; I would have needed a tripod to get the shot I needed for HDR editing.

When I was taking the shot, composition was a challenge.  I couldn’t fit the whole window in so I had to go for just part of it.  You will see the original shot  and note that I cropped it when I edited it and I also straightened it.  All my editing I did in Photoshop.  I converted the original color image to black and white using a blue filter setting.  My last step in editing was to sharpen it.

Here is the original:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

Despite the fact that this color version really only has a hint of color, it really does have a different feel than the black and white version, don’t you think?

This post was written for the weekly black and white photography challenge at Sonel’s Corner.  This week’s theme is windows and doors.

Cheers!

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

Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

In case you were wondering, hockey team evaluations start in just a few weeks.  So, my young player, who plays in the fall season (Sept-March) only, is back on the ice getting ready for the season:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/15

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/15

Because I knew I was shooting this photo with the theme of abstract in mind, I used a slow shutter speed, purposely blurring the skater.  Even though this is my skater, I wanted it to really represent any skater that might be getting ready for the upcoming season.  The tricky thing with a deliberate blur is that things can easily get too blurry.  So, I picked an f-stop of f/5.6 and focused on the skater’s face.  I didn’t want the face details to be precise, just good enough for the viewer to be sure it is a face.  You may notice that the ISO is on 1000.  If you have never shot inside an ice rink before, be prepared to bump your ISO way up.  Lighting in ice rinks is almost always poor in terms of getting good pictures.

This photo was edited in Photoshop.  I chose the “infrared” setting from the black and white settings because of all the settings, it retained the most texture in the photo.  Because the skater is slightly out of focus, I think that texture is important in this photo.  In order to emphasize the texture, I then sharpened the image.  This image has also been cropped.

Are you ready for the hockey season? we are in this household! Thoughts about the photo? feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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

Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge: Toys

Just for fun sometimes I like to pull out my kids toys and think of ways to shoot them.  I have never tried to then process them in black and white.  So, yesterday I tried just that.  Here is my favorite:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/80

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/80

It’s a lone wolf lurking in my front yard.  For this photo I went with an f-stop of 5.6 because I wanted the whole wolf to be in focus but I was OK with the background not being in focus.  I cropped the image in Aperture and then chose a  blue filter in Photoshop, then I sharpened the image a bit.

Thanks so much to Sonel for hosting this challenge.  I usually leave my images in color, so this is a fun chance to try black and white.

Cheers!

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

A Beautiful Spot in the Neighborhood

This photo and post were inspired by Sonel who is hosting a weekly black and white photo challenge.  This week’s topic is neighborhood. I took this photo at a park that is in my neighborhood:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/160

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/160

I love that our neighborhood has this green space.  I love even more that a lot of people use it.  It has playing fields, a playground, benches, a walking path, and a pond.  I just think it is healthy for people to spend time outdoors, so it always makes me happy to see so many of my neighbors here.

For this shot, I was thinking that I might want to do a HDR image, so I was using exposure bracketing.  It can be tough to get a flower exactly still so I was using a pretty fast shutter speed.  I was also using the fast shutter speed to cut out some of the light I was letting in by having my aperture so open at 3.5.  I knew I wanted a pretty shallow depth of field though, because I thought the background would distract from the flower if I didn’t.  Even though the background is blurred you can see that there is quite a bit there, imagine how distracting it would be if you could see all that detail.  I merged the three exposures in Photomatix and then did some sharpening in Photoshop.

I liked this shot well enough to then make a 5×7 card of it and put it for sale on my website.

Do you have any thoughts, comments, or questions about my image? feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Lost in the Details.  Any photographer will tell you that is easy to do when it comes to photography.  So interesting that it would be a challenge from WordPress.  There are all kinds of details to think about when it comes to photography.  I chose to focus on the details that you can get in a photograph when using HDR.  Here is one of the exposures that I used in my final image:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 0.5s

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 0.5s

Here is the image in HDR:

3 exposures together in Photomatix

3 exposures together in Photomatix

The difference is subtle but can be seen most in the lower part of the butterfly wings.  There is just more detail there.  I took three separate images that had different exposures and merged them together in Photomatix.

Just for fun, I then made a black and white version:

HDR in Black and White

HDR in Black and White

If you are interested, these HDR images are available for sale in this gallery on my website.

What I’d like to know is which version is your favorite?  If you have a moment and an opinion, please leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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