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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

I’m not a very good gardener.  So in our garden we keep it simple.  I keep my eye out for native plants that don’t need a lot of care.  This year we tried two patches of wildflowers in our garden.  One worked really well and the other is struggling.  I think the patch that is struggling just doesn’t get enough sun. The patch that is doing well has produced some beautiful coneflowers:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/40

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/40

In order to get this photo I used my tripod.  These flowers are only somewhat protected by the house, so any breeze will blur the photo.  I could have overcome this by shooting at a higher ISO and shutter speed, but in this case the color is better if the ISO and shutter speed are low.  It is a subtle difference, but in this case it mattered to me.  I settled on an f-stop of 3.2.  That left enough in focus and blurred out enough of the background.  So, I was happy with this version of the photo, but I did want to create something a bit different:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/40

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/40

The theme of this week’s photo challenge by WordPress is carefree. So, I wanted to create a slightly dreamier looking version of my original photo.  I used Photoshop to do my editing.  I have applied an oil paint filter to the photo.  Then I used the high pass filter with soft light.  The result you see above is more mellow than the original photo.  Ironic isn’t it, that I had to do more work to look carefree?

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic in Missouri

It was a bit of a lucky coincidence that the theme for this week’s WordPress photography challenge is nostalgic and I just happened to be in St. Charles, Missouri.  Main Street in St. Charles is a fun place to poke around and have a bit of a look at the past.  Most of the buildings have plaques complete with photos of how the building use to look.  The  brick-lined streets just add to the mood of the place:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

I took this shot at about 8 in the morning before any of the shops were really open.  I chose this one for the post because despite the early hour, it was hard to get a shot that didn’t include a very modern looking car.

Just for fun I made a sepia version as well:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

What do you think?  Does the sepia feel more nostalgic to you or are you fine in color?

The shop in the photo is Olde Town Spice Shoppe. One thing we Americans like to do when something is suppose to have an old-time feel to it is add the letter “e” where we don’t usually. Having said that, if you happen to be in the area, this shop is well worth a visit if you like food.  They carry an impressive range of spices and other delicious things.

Cheers!

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Animals, Birds, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above, A Nest Story

I was super excited this spring when a robin began building a nest outside our kitchen window.  I have written about how I set up my camera to get images of the birds.  For the series of images in this post I am using my point and shoot camera.  Never underestimate the usefulness of your camera that is “just” a point and shoot.  I took all of these photo with my Canon Powershot:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/160

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/160

This year’s nest with five lovely blue robin eggs.

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f2.7 1/100

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f2.7 1/100

This robin was approximately two minutes old when I got this photo.  The mother had left the nest to discard the egg shells, I watched her leave and then got the photo.

ISO 800 14mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 800 14mm 0ev f/5 1/60

This photo was taken 8 hours later.  The feathers have started to form.  When I tweeted this picture, Chris at Learning, Running, and Creating, was the first to notice how clearly you can see the second robin making its way out.

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/160

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/160

So, no surprise the next morning there were two in the nest.

ISO 1600 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/200

ISO 1600 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/200

This photo and the next were taken this morning, and as you can see it was a busy 24 hours in the nest.

ISO 1600 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/250

ISO 1600 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/250

So now we are waiting for the last egg to hatch.  Hopefully all the birds will make it, but in all honesty, five is a lot for one nest.

So, you might wonder why I am taking this series with my point and shoot.  The answer is simple, space.  My Canon 50D does not fit in this space. Or, I guess to be more exact, it fits, but then can’t focus.  I have been unable to angle the 50D in a way that would allow for a picture.

Maybe you are wondering about how I get these shots with the grown robin parents around?  I spend a lot of time watching from inside.  My office has pretty much moved to the kitchen.  The adult birds have a pretty regular schedule.  Most mornings sometime after 7, and at about 4:30pm, they are out of the area.  I use that time to set up and adjust my camera equipment.  Also, for whatever reason, this year’s birds are pretty tolerant of me.  I eat my lunch outside near them most days, and they just stay on the nest.

Thoughts about this post? feel free to leave them below in the comments section. If you haven’t seen my photos from last year and would like too, you can click here.

I am also capable of saying things in 140 characters or less. I tweet about photography @marantophoto if you would like to follow along.

This post was written in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.  The theme this week is From Above.

Cheers!

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

Balance in Photography

This image I took for an assignment I had in my digital photography class:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/5 1/50

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/5 1/50

In this case we were to balance objects within the photo.  That’s a pretty broad assignment, and there are a lot of different ways you could approach that.  In this case I am looking at the balance between the butterfly and the flower.  It almost seems like it would be hard for the butterfly to perch there, and that was the tension I was looking for, so I took the shot.  I used f/5 for my f-stop setting because I wanted to show some detail of the surroundings.  At the same time I was afraid if you could see all the detail, it would be too distracting.  The butterfly was fairly still, so I don’t have a super high shutter speed, but I was also using a tripod.

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

A bit of color

We are working with color in my digital photography class.  Here is one picture that I turned in for that assignment:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/10 0.8s

I shot this in color.  I was out shooting that particular morning because it had been raining and I was looking to get some water drop photos.  It was a bit of a bust that way, so I thought I would try something different with the photos I did have and the result is what you see above.

I used a tripod, and not a super fast shutter speed.  There was not a whole lot of light out, but I set the white balance to shady, just to warm up the image a bit.

In Aperture I changed the image to black and white.  Then using one of the brushes, I brushed some of the color back in.

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

 

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

Single Fall Leaf

This past week I was working on a color assignment for my digital photography class as well as a natural symmetry themed contest.  This photo fits in both of those categories:

ISO 100 50mm f/2.2 1/160

I tried a bracketed exposure for this shot of -1,0,1 for editing in Photomatix.  Once I had put the photos in Photomatix, I picked a version which I felt was pretty natural looking because part of what I was wanting viewers to see was the way the red was basically imitating the overall shape of the whole leaf.  When I was composing and editing the shot I was trying to blur the background as much as possible.  I liked the green color, but didn’t want any competing detail.

Any thoughts?  feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Cheers!

 

 

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