Also added to One Word Sunday, Light.
Also added to One Word Sunday, Light.
You won’t have been a photographer for very long before you hear of the term the golden hour. It’s a great time to shoot outside as the light is usually really nice then. I appreciate that light, but honestly, sometimes I take photographs in whatever the conditions are because that’s when I could be there.
I was visiting Omaha Beach nowhere near the golden hour. The light was flat and hazy, usually a bad thing, but in this case a bit magical:
I love that the light was illuminating just one part of this Les Braves Memorial. The version you see above is an HDR image. It was created using three exposures, here is one of the original exposures:
One of the things combining the exposures did was combine the waves, which I like. You can also see that while I was editing I removed the fence. I used the spot healing brush tool in Photoshop to do that.
Further along the beach, I took this photo with my iPhone that I then posted to Instagram:
That photo is not edited, I think the natural light in it was perfect and skipped putting a filter on. My husband had brought along photos of the landing at Omaha and we lined up that classic image shot by Robert Capa with the approximate place on the beach. My husband had brought along several resources for us to look at while we exploring the beaches, which made our visit that much more moving.
Have you ever been out shooting in “bad” light only to find out that it was perfect? Do you like the HDR version or does the original memorial shot appeal to you more? Feel free to leave a comment below.
This post was added to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge.
Photography is like magic. This photo for instance:
Looks like a nice peaceful and quiet spot right? That’s exactly why I took the shot, because it stood out in stark contrast from the surrounding scene, a bustling Christmas Market at Ely Cathedral. But finding this little gem of a scene was just the beginning. The rest of the magic is in the editing. Here is the original file:
You can see now that I did some edits that have a pretty big impact on the final file. It wasn’t the first thing I did, but one of the edits that I think helped a lot was to use the healing brush tool in Photoshop to remove the mark on the column and some of the smudges on the pillar candle. I could have removed all the imperfections on the candle but chose not to because the marks do remind the viewer that this is a spot that is used by many people. I also warmed the temperature of the photo in Lightroom and applied a vignette to keep your eye in the frame. A version of the final is in my Picfair portfolio.
After taking my photo, I stayed here for a few minutes before heading back to the crowds and stalls of the market. Do you think photography is magical? What do you think of the moment I have created here? I hope you found it peaceful and relaxing, as that was my intent. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Fall is officially here in this part of the world. The leaves are starting to change here and the day is noticeably shorter. To me, the light during this time of year seems more intense, and I have been thinking about ways to grab that photographically. This week, I found myself thinking about creating backlit images, here is a link to some photos I was looking at this morning. Earlier this week, I was taking some photos at a local park, and the sun was causing some harsh shadows, so I decided to change up the way I was shooting and shoot into the sun instead of with my back to it. Here is the result:
This photo has been edited. It is actually an HDR image that I created using Photomatix. Changing a photo using editing can be fun, but there is another way to change and image and that is just to move. Here is what that scene looks like standing at street level:
But this particular morning, I wasn’t looking to just take a picture in the park, I was daydreaming about light and wide open spaces, so the top photo was my result. All it took was a few steps down the hill and a little editing and I was where I wanted to be.
How do you feel about changing an image to suit an idea rather than being an exact descriptor? Personally, I like trying to combine both things, so this image is a bit of stretch for me. Feel free to comment below about the changes I made in this case or to comment on how you feel about this type of change in your own work.
Spoiler alert, the spider webs in this post do not have spiders in them. So, if spiders creep you out, don’t worry, you can keep reading. This week’s WordPress photo challenge is about light. I was walking through a Christmas tree farm this weekend and I saw these webs reflecting the sunlight:
This image here has been processed as an HDR image using Photomatix. Usually when I am creating an HDR image I have shot my photos using the exposure bracketing feature on my camera. I did shoot the tree using bracketing, but then I was not happy with my results when I got home. The bracketing I had used was an exposure of -1, 0, +1. The +1 exposure was too bright and did not help bringing detail into the merged images. So, in this case, I took my 0 exposure and created two duplicates of that. One I changed the exposure to -0.96 and the other to -1.57. I did this step using Aperture. From there I put my three versions in Photomatix and used the default settings to create the HDR image. Then I opened the image in Photoshop, made a levels adjustment and sharpened the image.
As you can tell from the exposure settings that I used, it was really bright out when I took this photo. So, I did try to cut the light down by using a low ISO and high shutter speed. I could have cut even more light out by raising the f-stop to a higher number. This however, would have brought more of the webs in focus and really what I was after here was to have the ones in the foreground be clear but the ones in the background visible but not sharp.
So, what do you think? would you have guessed this is an HDR image if I had not told you? one of my goals in using HDR in this case was to bring out detail but not over process it, how do you think I did? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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:
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:
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:
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 Egg, In 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.
Maybe you don’t think too much about who living in your backyard. It is perhaps, just the background for the main attraction, your house. The most unattractive part of our backyard is the hedgerow. It is really overgrown and full of all kinds of plants, vines, and weeds. Despite its grubby looks though, it is home to a lot of animals and birds.
The other day when my youngest burst in the house, told me to not ask any questions and bring my camera, I should have known we were headed to the hedgerow. This is what had been spotted:
This is a very young Brown Thrasher. We have a few of pairs of adults living nearby this Spring, but I had not been aware that there was a nest in the hedgerow. While I was taking pictures the adults returned. Here is one:
They encouraged their young one to come back to the hedgerow. It took awhile, since the fledgling was not quite capable of flying yet, it had to hop back.
When I was taking these pictures it was quite bright out. I put the ISO to 100 as one way of darkening the image. I knew though that I wanted an f-stop of 5.6 or so; I thought that would maintain enough detail in the close up shots of the fledgling. In order to further eliminate some of the light, I used a fast shutter speed. On the fledgling, which was in full direct sunlight, I put it even higher than the shots of the adult birds. Since it worked out that I had several minutes to take photos of the fledgling, I did try different angles. The sun was really strong and a lot of detail is missing in some of the other photos. The one I used in this post was the one that had the most detail. In post-editing, I just cropped the images.
This post was written in part as a response to the WordPress weekly photo challenge. The theme this week is background.
Questions and comments are most welcome below.
I didn’t travel too far this week’s theme, light, I just went to a local elementary school. A friend of mine teaches there and they are doing a life cycles unit, which includes monitoring some chickens as they go from eggs to chicks. At day seven I went in to take some pictures of candling. Here is one of those from the series I took:
If you look at the lightest part of the image, you can see the head of the developing chicken. How cool is that?
The challenge to getting this image is, as you can see, that I was shooting in the dark. I used my tripod and asked my friend to stand very still. You will notice that the ISO is really high here. I could have tried a lower f-stop to let in more light, but I really did want to preserve a good amount of depth in the photo, so that is why it is set to f/6.3.
The photo I chose for the weekly photo challenge at WordPress is this one:
What I liked about it was the reflection within the reflection.