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

Who is Luckier?

So, who is luckier?, the kid who gets to play hockey or the parents who get to watch?

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

It’s a toss up I would say.

This photo I took at a game this morning.  I’ll show you the original in a moment.  When I take hockey photos, I always start with the white balance on Auto and take a photo of the rink.  Then I use that photo to set the Custom white balance in the camera.  That works in helping set the white balance correctly.  Given the conditions of the rink, I always have a high ISO and fast shutter speed.

When I get the photos on my computer, I open up Photoshop.  I shoot in RAW, so first I open the photo in Camera Raw and do a white balance adjustment.  Then I open the photo into Photoshop and do any cropping that I want.  Sometimes I also do a levels adjustment, although on this photo I did not.  Then I sharpen the photo.  From there I convert my RAW photo to a JPEG.  I make it into a JPEG because that makes it easier to share with other parents on the team.

Here is the original:

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/250

So, what do you think? who is luckier? What do you think of my adjustments and workflow?

Written in response to the Daily Post prompt: The Luckiest People

Cheers!

 

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

Travel Theme: Tilted

Sometimes I think it is nice to have a photo challenge to push you to take a photo that you have been thinking about but haven’t taken yet.  When I saw tilted was the theme this week at Where’s My backpack? I thought of this sunflower that I pass almost everyday but had yet to take a photograph of.  So, I grabbed my camera, walked out the door, and went and got this photo:

ISO 100 14mm 0ev f/5 1/50

ISO 100 14mm 0ev f/5 1/50

The camera I chose to take this photo was my Canon Powershot ELPH.  I chose that over my Canon 50D because I think that my point and shoot gets really nice closeup shots.  Plus, it was hot, really hot, and my point and shoot weighs less.

As I was taking this photo I noticed that I hadn’t really paid attention to the background the other times I had walked past without my camera.  I was so busy looking at the beautiful flower I had just ignored all that was around it.  When I got to taking the picture though, I could see how distracting the background was potentially going to be.  Other than the distracting background, I felt that the other challenge in this photo was going to be light.  Too much light in this case.  I had set the ISO to 100, but still the original was a bit washed out looking in my opinion.

So, after taking this photo, I edited it in Photoshop.  I used the “levels” setting to make the color pop a bit.  I also sharpened and cropped the photo.

Here is the original from the camera version:

ISO 100 14mm 0ev f/5 1/50

ISO 100 14mm 0ev f/5 1/50

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

In the early morning, I sometimes take my camera out to my hedgerow. We have a lot of wildlife living there.  But on the morning a few weeks ago that I got this photo, I went out because from my kitchen window I could see this robin fledgling:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

Since it is learning to fly, there is still the opportunity to get fairly close them.  I will show the original photo at the bottom of the post, so you will see that by cropping the photo I made it seem like I was even closer.  I also mention the cropping because when I saw this through the view finder I knew that I would crop it.  First because some of the surrounding detail was distracting and secondly because this robin is pretty much exactly on a point for the rule of thirds.  The rule of thirds is a photography rule that I don’t always follow, but I almost always consider.

The weekly photo challenge this week is the golden hour. This photo was taken in the early morning of an overcast day.  The challenge was to get the robin at such an angle, so that it was lit enough to show the detail in the feathers.  I also like to be able to see at least one eye, preferably with a catch light in it.  This photo was the one where that came together.  I have several other versions that went into the trash bin.  Because it was still a bit dark, I used an ISO of 800.  I think that my camera can handle that with almost no noise in the final image.  I set my shutter speed to 1/100 with the thought of freezing any motion in the bird.  I have my f-stop at f/5, because I thought I would get enough detail in the bird, and as I had said before, I knew I was going to do some cropping.

Here is the original image:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I like to follow the robins that live in my area.  While our nest by the kitchen this year had a bittersweet end to it, I have been glad to see that we do have several robin fledglings that seem to be doing well in the hedgerow.

Thoughts or questions about how I got the photo? Feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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

Chickens Move On

This will be my last post about chickens for the season.  The chickens are ready to move to the various farms and homes that are waiting for them.  Here is one group ready to go:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

Before they left, I took a few outside to stretch their legs and get some photos:

These chickens were all part of a life cycles unit for a second grade class.  If you missed my other posts, or just would like to take a second look they are here: Still in the EggIn the Incubator, and Small Chickens.

The challenge for all these chicken photos was dealing with the light.  Under the warming lights, it was bright and hard to get detail.  In the incubator, it was on the dark side, but the incubator needed to be left alone, so I worked with what I had.  Taking the chickens outside was bright, but the uneven light some times created a problem.  Taking photos of something that is moving is always tough.  In this case I was trying to stop the action and get as much detail as possible, so I always tried to get the shutter speed as fast as possible. I use my 50mm lens for shooting these chickens.  I can get close and the detail that a prime lens offers is great in this situation.

I hope you enjoyed following the growth and development of these chickens.  I had a great time taking photos, and the kids in the classroom learn so much!  I always appreciate comments, so feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

According to these signs, we are in the middle of World War II:

These signs are taken from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago where they have a German submarine, a U-505, on display.  This exhibit was really interesting, and I would highly recommend it.  I thought it was going to take us a half hour to walk through, it ended up taking closer to two.

Getting the photos of these signs was tough, the lighting was pretty dim overall, but then there were bright lights on the posters.  I used my lowest f-stop setting to let in as much light as possible, so f/1.8.  I also increased my ISO to 800.  The shutter speeds used were still pretty slow, so I braced myself against the wall to be as still as possible.  Looking at the photos now, I am thinking that I should have tried the ISO a little higher to see if I could get a faster shutter speed.

This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress.  The theme this week is: The Sign Says.

Your comments are most welcome below.

Cheers!

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