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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

This weekend I spent some time at World Bird Sanctuary because they were hosting a Camera Day.  That is where they have some of their birds out of their cages so that you can get some nice photos in a more natural setting.  Here is a shot I got of a Great Horned Owl:

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/4 1/800

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/4 1/800

The good news is that I had a great time.  The bad news is that I forgot my tripod.  While it doesn’t matter too much for this particular photo, I will tell you that I have a lot of photos that will be heading for the electronic trash bin.

As you can see, it was a pretty bright day.  I set my ISO pretty low but because of the dark wood colors I did not set it at 100, but 320 looked like it would work.  When I am shooting in this situation I almost always try to shoot bracketed exposures.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that with light changing frequently in a wooded area, a bracketed exposure gives you more options per click of the shutter.  The exposure that would have worked a minute ago may now have changed.  Bracketing offers you some flexibility with the changing conditions. The second is I am almost always thinking of trying to make an HDR image out of a photo like this.  What you see above is HDR.  I really like bird images in HDR because in my opinion it really brings out the detail in their feathers.  I chose a low f-stop because I did want to blur out the background a bit.  I would like you to notice how well this bird blends in with its background, but I don’t want the background to compete too much with the bird.  Given that this owl is made to blend in with it’s environment, the balance between the subject and background can be a tough one.  Since the Great Horned Owl is often not seen but instead heard, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a bit eerie to suddenly hear it hooting.  I wouldn’t blame you for jumping a bit.

Eerie is the theme of the weekly photo challenge at WordPress and other entries can be found here.  Have you ever been startled by one of these birds? it’s happened to me more than once while out camping, in the dead of night of course!  Do you like this HDR version?  This is not my first time photographing the Great Horned Owl, here is another shot from last fall. Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

I love patterns in nature, so when I saw the topic of the photo challenge from WordPress this week was lines and patterns, I went back to this photo of a butterfly that I shot a few months ago but never finished editing.  Here is the edited version:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/30

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/30

To get this shot I used a tripod, just to get the image as still as possible.  I wanted to keep my ISO as low as possible. The shutter speed is slow to let in some of the light I was keeping out with my low ISO. Because of the tripod and also because the butterfly stopped for a minute, I was able to get away with a shutter speed on 1/30.  I chose a low f-stop, because the background is quite busy.

The editing I have done in Photoshop.  I created a duplicate layer and then used my history brush set of 35% opacity and color burn, with the brush I boosted the color in the butterfly to make it stand out a bit more from the background.  After doing that, I cropped and sharpened the photo.

Here is the original:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/30

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/30

What do you think? Do you like the outcome of my edited version? have you ever used the history brush to get a similar result?

Cheers!

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Canon 50D, Photography

A Colorful Photo

One assignment that I had for my digital photography class was to have the longest focal length and smallest f-stop that my camera was capable of using manual mode to take the photo.  Here was my result:

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

I really ended up liking this shot.  I suspect part of the reason I like it is because of the contrasting blue and orange colors.  This photo is marbles in a candle holder, sitting on top of my Mac that has a blue cover.  A pretty easy to stage photo.  As a bit of a weird side note, this is the second thing that I have taken a picture of that has broken within the next day.  The other was my mailbox, which I wrote about here.  This time it was the candle holder which shattered the next day.

Given the slow shutter speed, a tripod was necessary to get the shot.  I used my kit lens which is a 28-135mm.  The lowest shutter speed that you can get here is a f/5.6.  Given that it was a sunny day outside, there was more than enough light to get a good exposure, so I could have my ISO at 100 without a problem.

I think the other reason I am liking this photo today is that it is cold and rather dark here.  A bit of cheerful color just helps to brighten my day, I hope that you enjoy it as well.

Cheers!

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