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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

There is no doubt about it, I love to be outside. I don’t always take my camera with me because I find that having my camera changes everything. I tend to be more analytical with my camera in hand. Sometimes, I find myself looking for photos instead of just enjoying the moment. Then there are the days when I plan to take my camera. A few weeks ago it was sunny and warm after a few days of cooler weather.  I went looking for bees, they didn’t disappoint:

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

Now there are some who would point out that the light is too harsh in this photo, that I went at the wrong time of day and the light is all wrong. Technically, they are right. My argument against that line of thinking goes something like this, to me this harsh light creates huge contrast between the light and dark parts of the image and that says Fall to me. Fall is what I was trying to capture here.  Also, being outside just makes me happy, the time of day doesn’t matter so much to me.

When I got this photo home, I was pleased with its clarity.  So, in Photoshop I cropped it, messed with the levels a bit to bring down the harshest of the highlights, and then sharpened it a bit.  Here is the original:

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

I think the crop helps this photo a lot.  I’ll also say that I used my 200mm lens to be able to get in close to the bee, but not be so close that I would bother it.

How about you, do you have a favorite place to shoot? would you consider yourself more of an indoor or outdoor person? Anything you’d like to say about the edits I have done?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photography

In Defense of your Point and Shoot Camera

Most of the time when I am taking photos I use my Canon 50D.  I have a Canon Powershot ELPH as well, but most of the time that is used for photos of the kids when we are out and about.  The Powershot is lightweight and easy to use.  I generally don’t think about it much, it might be fair to say I take it for granted.  For this post I would like to share two photos that would not have been possible without my small camera:

ISO 200 9mm 0ev f4.5 1/13

ISO 200 9mm 0ev f4.5 1/13

This photo was taken in a very tight space.  My 50D would not have been able to fit in this space and focus.  The Powershot settings I adjusted, waited for the robin to leave the nest,  took a quick picture, and then hurried away.  This shot is nothing complicated, it is just a quick shot, I wanted to be in that space for the least amount of time possible.

Then there are times when your larger camera is in use, but you see another photo:

ISO 200 20mm 0ev f/5.6 1/40

ISO 200 20mm 0ev f/5.6 1/40

I had my larger camera set up for documenting the robin’s nest, and this bunny was very curious about what was going on, or maybe just hungry.  Without the smaller camera, I would have no photo.

Now, I am not ready to give up my 50D, but I just wanted to put in a good word for my Powershot.  Any thoughts on your favorite camera(s)?  feel free to share in the comment section.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Canon 50D, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

You know how some weeks are kind of long? This week was that way for me.  Not that it was a bad week, it was just a very full week.  So, when I saw that this week’s photo challenge at WordPress was future tense, I thought I would show you what I was looking forward to all week:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

I was really looking forward to being outside for awhile this week. I stopped at Lone Elk Park which is a State Park in Missouri.  These elk were pretty close to the road, so I actually stayed in my car so I wouldn’t startle them.

The prompt at WordPress also indicated that since it was still phoneography month, I should also take some pictures with my phone.  So I did. Definitely one those times where the camera phone just isn’t enough:

Also, I’m wondering if phoneography can really count as a “month” if it doesn’t appear in spell check?

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another day, Another bee

I wrote yesterday about a bee that I had photographed and then edited into a sepia image.  The post is here if you would like to take a look.  Today I was looking at another series of bee shots and here is what one of the final images looks like:

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

I think it was the bright yellow of the flower that made me decide to keep this a color image.  I managed to get a pretty sharp photo, even with the movement of the bee and the flower.  I had used my tripod earlier in the shoot, but did not for this particular image.  I think the most challenging thing about this image is the background.  There is just a lot going on.  So, the original image I cropped to try and get some of the background out but still leave enough to convey the scene I was shooting.  In Aperture I corrected this photo a bit using curves, I just wanted to darken the image a little bit.  I have also sharpened the image.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Sepia in Spring

It has been cold here and while that is fine since it is winter, I do find myself looking forward to warmer weather and longer sunlit days.  A few days ago I was looking back through some photos from the spring and I found one I hadn’t yet edited.

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

I have a series of pictures of this bee and I have been trying to edit them in different ways.  Here is one edited version:

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

This version I edited in Aperture.  I cropped it, put it in a sepia tone, and sharpened it.  I like this version, not really sure if I love it.  I think this photo shows one of the downsides to not having a macro lens.  With a macro lens, this picture would be sharper, even before editing.  My kit lens did a decent job though.  I think the 50mm lens I have wouldn’t have worked because I was having trouble getting any closer to the bee.

So, what do you think? do you like sepia for this particular subject matter? Your comments are welcome in the comments section.

Cheers!

 

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Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Travel Theme: Liquid

This week’s theme over at Where’s my backpack? gave me the excuse to go back to a photo a took a few months ago.  If you take photos you have probably had this happen to you, you see a great subject but the light is awful.  Sometimes with photos like that, I edit them later into HDR images which is what I did with this photo:

HDR using Photomatix

This is a view of the St. Louis Art Museum that I thought would be interesting.  I took several shots of the fountains that day because they are quite nice.  When you see the original below, I think you will be surprised at what I managed to salvage:

ISO 200 28mm -1.67eb f/22 1/200

In order to make the HDR image I first created two additional copies of the original photo.  In Aperture I changed the exposure balance of the copies, one to a 0 ev, the other to +1.  Then I combined the three images in Photomatix.  The resulting photo I liked best was one of the “painterly” versions.

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: Bright

Last week’s theme at Where’s my backpack was spooky, so there were a lot of dark night photos.  It was a lot of fun, but this week’s theme is bright.  I was taking a lot of night photos this week, but as you can see, it was pretty bright out:

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5 21s

That would be the moon hanging over my house at 6:21am.  The moon was super bright, and there were not a lot of clouds.  This is a 21 second exposure.  You can see some stars as well.

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: Spooky

I could not pass up this week’s theme, spooky.  A lot of pre-Halloween fun going on over at Where’s my backpack, so I thought I would join in.  This past week in my Digital Photography class we have been working on night photography so a bunch of my posts in the near future will have that as a theme.  Here is my spooky night photo taken this past week:

ISO 160 f/18 18s 0ev 50mm

It was lurking in my front garden! This photo was taken at 6:13am using a tripod, flashlight, and laser pointer.

Cheers!

 

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

I took this picture at the Forest Park Balloon Festival.  I think it works with the theme silhouette, which is what is being covered this week at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

ISO 320 50mm -0.33ev f/13 1/400

This photo was taken just after 5pm when the balloons from the festival were taking off for the race portion of the event.  The sky had been pretty blah all day, but got nicer as the sun was going down.

In Aperture, I darkened the crowd a bit and sharpened the image to make the balloons stand out a bit more.  In the camera I had dropped the exposure a bit, because I preferred the way the sky turned out as compared to a 0 exposure.

Cheers!

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Uncategorized

Fall is here

It is getting cooler and the leaves are turning.  It was raining and I got this shot in front of my house:

ISO 320 70mm f/5 1/13

I love the color of fall!

Cheers!

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