Birds, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Instagram, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Where is your Focus?

I have a small point and shoot camera. It’s a nice camera but the one I am least likely to have with me. I almost always have my iPhone with me, and when I know I am going to be taking photos, I usually choose my Canon 50D over the Canon Powershot that is in the point and shoot range of cameras. A few weeks ago, I decided to make an effort to carry around the point and shoot more which is why I had it on a visit to the lake where I took this picture:

ISO 100 19mm f/5.6 1/200sec

I visit this lake a lot. As a result, those swans are seen frequently here on my blog and also my Instagram feed:

If you are a regular reader of this blog and are wondering about these swans, yes, this is the pair that had four cygnets this Spring. Unfortunately, all of them have now gone missing.  It’s sad, as they would have been too young to make it on their own.

This particular morning, in addition to having my least used camera, I was also thinking about a way to photograph the swans a bit differently.  The file above is what I came up with and this was the final edit:

ISO 100 19mm f/5.6 1/200sec

For the photo itself, I focused on the vegetation on the shore, which softens the focus of the birds on the lake. The thought I had in framing this shot was to have the plant seem to be pointing to the birds and leading your eye into the frame. The crop was to decrease the amount of vegetation on the far bank. I’ve also decreased the highlights, sharpened the photo, and added a vignette to darken the edges.

It’s a different photo for me, I tend to like everything in focus. What do you think of this interpretation of the swans? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Soft.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

In terms of this week’s photo challenge, orange, I guess I just got lucky.  Today was the start of Art in Bloom at the St. Louis Art Museum. The challenge for local floral gurus in the area is to create a floral arrangement that represents a piece of art work they are assigned.  It is a fun and very crowded exhibit to see.  For this blog post I chose to show the floral arrangement of Catherine Thoele who was assigned Octagonal Jar with Design of Cherry Trees, Peonies, and Chrysanthemums.

Of the ones I saw, this was my favorite interpretive arrangement.  I loved the orange of the flowers, but one of the details that I appreciated was the leaves that had blue paint flecks on them, it was a nice tie-in to the original art work.

The challenges as a photographer to get these photos included low light, no flash allowed, and the crowds.  I chose to take my point and shoot, it is easier to handle in a crowded situation.  I used two different settings to get the photos.  One was Auto.  The other was a program mode that allows me to shoot macro.  I got some nice close-ups of individual photos in that mode.  As far as post-editing, I have kept that to a minimum. I did some cropping on a few.  The biggest adjustment I made was on the vase photo, where I applied an Iris blur filter.  I made that choice because the background was truly distracting.

I think it is because I enjoy looking at interpretations of art that this is one of my favorite exhibits of the year at the St. Louis Art Museum.  What do you think? should interpretations like this be featured in museums? Also, it was mentioned in the challenge to try a different gallery format for the photos.  I generally insert my photos one at a time in a fairly large format, so this gallery is a change for me.  What do you think of the format?  I think I can get away with it in this post, but I don’t think I be changing my normal format any time soon.  Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

I found out this week that this photo won an honorable mention in a photo contest that I entered it in:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50

I titled this one, Siblings, it was taken last spring as part of a series of images I took of a the nest that was just outside our kitchen window.  This particular image was taken with my point and shoot camera.  I then cropped it and sharpened it in Photoshop.  To be honest, I did minimal post editing with this photo because I thought that the picture told the story without anything added to it.

I was pleased to have won with this photo, it seems like quite an achievement to me considering the quality of competition that my camera club offers.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room to Roam

I was camping a few weekends ago and spotted this False Map Turtle:

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

Basking in the sun, which is an activity you are likely to find these turtles engaged in on rock outcroppings at lakes here in Missouri.  After a few minutes of posing for photos, he wandered off:

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/400

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/400

I was at the water’s edge with both my DSLR and point and shoot camera but reached for my point and shoot to get these photos.  I used my smaller camera because I really like the macro setting on it.  The other reason was that for the first photo I have my camera pretty much on the ground.  Getting a photo from that angle is just easier with a smaller camera.

Once I got home, I edited these photos in Photoshop.  I used a levels adjustment layer to get the color to be a bit more true to the actual coloring of the turtle.  The original images were a bit overexposed despite the low ISO and fast shutter speed.  The top image was also cropped a bit and both images were sharpened.

This post was written in part as a response to the theme room.  My favorite room? outdoors, where there is some room to roam.

I wrote a few weeks ago that I was a bit behind on my blog and that I was hoping to catch up soon.  I’m sorry to say that that hasn’t happened.  I’ve been under the weather for just over a week now, so I’m even more behind than before.  I’m happy to say though, that I am feeling better and am happy to publish this post after about a week off.

Thoughts on my turtle images? Do you have a favorite setting on your point and shoot camera? they seem to come with so many these days.

Cheers and good health to you!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photo Challenges, Photography

So What Does That Say About Me?

I spend a lot of time watching hockey.  Yesterday it was two live games.  One featuring my hockey child and one NHL game.  At the level my hockey child plays, there is no fighting.  The NHL is a different story, here is a shot from yesterday’s game:

ISO 500 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/100

ISO 500 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/100

I shot this photo using my point and shoot and then left it unedited, just a snapshot from a game.

I love watching hockey, and I don’t mind a good fight that works with the flow of the game.  I’m not a fan of fighting that breaks up the flow of the game.  How complicated of me. Allowing fighting in games is a hot topic of discussion among fans, and I have to say if they got rid of it in the NHL, I would still watch.

But what does it say about me that I think fighting can be a good part of the game? Something for me to think about as I write this post in response to the WordPress Photo Challenge, “Selfie”.

Have a thought about this post? feel free to leave a comment below, but no need to drop the gloves, this a “no fighting” blog.

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: Illuminated

This week for the travel theme illuminated, you will have to humor me because the traveling I am talking about is in my mind.  I started a new semester this week, so here is my desk as I am trying to illuminate my mind with Photoshop:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50

To take this image I used my Canon PowerShot.  I chose my point and shoot because I wanted to try a few of the creative settings it has to see if I could tell a story using one of the settings.  The settings I tried before this one were fisheye and toy camera. Neither struck my imagination.  Then I decided to use the setting which lets you choose one accent color and the rest of the image is rendered in black and white.  I knew the accent color I wanted was green.  I wanted to pick up the file that I was working on, the dinosaurs in my screen saver, the textbook, and a hint of the photo that is sitting on the desk.  Because that is a lot to look at, I think it is important that the rest of the image is black and white.

I did choose to blow out the background by having a lot of light behind the desk.  Do you like that effect?  What so you think of the use of the single color green?

I’d also like to know that my awesome screen background was created by The Queen Creative and a link to a blog about that background can be found here.

For those of you who stop by on a regular basis, I would like to let you know that I got an A in the first semester of this class and I’d like to say thanks to all of you who wished me luck and encouraged me through the semester.

Cheers!

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Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Travel Theme: Through

I had been going through some older pictures this week including some from a trip to Yellowstone.  It was interesting that the theme at Where’s My backpack? for this week was through.  I thought that this photo of a geyser bursting through the earth fit the topic, so I did some editing, and here is my version for the challenge:

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

I’ll show the original at the bottom, but the photo was a bit flat and some of the details were lost.  From the original I created two adjustment layers, one was exposure and one was levels.  I did the levels layer first.  I chose a section of the grass and then created a mask, then I painted in white, to reveal the lighter ground.  For the exposure level, I chose a section of the trees, then created a mask and again painted in white to reveal a bit of detail in them.  Then I flattened the image and did a shadows/highlights/midtone adjustment.  Then I sharpened the photo a bit.

Here is the original:

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/7 1/500

Part of the reason I chose this photo to edit was that I really like the sky in the original version. What do you think of the edited version?  Do you edit your vacation photos, or do you prefer to leave them as is?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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