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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops!

For this week’s challenge, I invite you to take you on a walk around the zoo with me as I go in search of a photo. I take a lot of photos and I’m grateful for digital photography.  It’s easy to go ahead and take a photo, try another angle, another setting perhaps.  Think for a minute, try something else.  The beauty of digital is that you can throw away all the duds.  My laptop trash bin often has a lot in it. Here is a little gallery of our walk:

You can roll over any of the photos to see why they will not be making it into a blog post other than this one where I show you all my oops moments.  For those of you who visit regularly, you will recognize that cheetah.  He was in last week’s post looking like this:

I see you

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

To get that one photo, I took one hundred and twenty two photos, for me that is almost nothing.

I have a few that I will keep.  I’ll edit those, make sure they are tagged, and save them to a separate hard drive too.  The rest, well those are headed for the bulging trash bin.

Thanks for taking a walk with me. I always like chatting about photography.  Feel free to comment below, either about what I have done here or about your own creative process.

Cheers!

 

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

On an overcast day this past week I was able to get some bird shots that featured reflections:

ISO 2000 70mm 0ev f/7.1 1/15

ISO 2000 70mm 0ev f/7.1 1/15

This Cattle Egret has an almost identical replica of itself right beneath its feet.  The somewhat dark, overcast morning allowed for some vivid reflections.  It did mean however that I had to raise my ISO and lower my shutter speed to attempt to get the photo I was after.  This bird paused for a moment, so I was able to get the shot.  I have plenty of other shots that will be headed straight to the trash bin.  As far as editing, I stuck some pretty basic moves, I cropped the photo, increased the temperature rating in Camera Raw to warm it up a bit, and sharpened it.  Here is the original:

ISO 2000 70mm 0ev f/7.1 1/15

ISO 2000 70mm 0ev f/7.1 1/15

I think the edits make for a more compelling photo, what do you think?  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Deepest Night

I enjoy walking through cemeteries and looking at grave markers.  Today I found one that I would not want to run across at night:

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

This iron lady sitting at the foot of the cross I found somewhat intimidating.  I think it is the stern look on her face.

It was a tough grave marker to get a photo of as well, so I figured I was going to have to take some liberties in the editing process to get the image that I wanted.  Lighting was a issue.  Although it was a sunny day, the marker was in the shade.  Also the grey stone was very light in color and the lady was a very dark green.  I took a bracketed shot.  So one exposure in the middle, then one a stop higher and one a stop lower.  With those three shots on the computer I put them in Photomatix and then created an image using the painterly setting.  With that finished I opened the photo in Photoshop, cropped it to straighten in a bit and then sharpened it.  Here is the original middle exposure:

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

What do you think of my final interpretation? Do you enjoy walking through cemeteries?  If you do, and happen to be in St. Louis Missouri I would recommend Bellefontaine, it is a beautiful place.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

Nothing goes together like a bug and flower:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/160

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/160

I was walking in the woods when I came across this wildflower and it’s bug companion.  I thought it would make a good composition for this week’s photo challenge at WordPress.

I did not have my tripod with me, but I knew that I could use a fast shutter speed instead and come up with the image I wanted.  I loved the yellow and green colors, but thought it would be best if the yellow was really in sharp focus and the green less so.  An f-stop of 6.3 gave me the look I was going for.  I put my ISO to 400 because of the shade. When I got this photo in Aperture, I cropped it a bit and also sharpened it a bit.

Cheers!

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