Sunday, December 5, 2010

5 Things I learned.

I came into this class having already read start up books on photography, watching intro DVD's that came with my camera when i boughtit, and I frequently photography magazines. So it was a little frustrating for me to start from the begining. I know as a teacher it has to be frustrating when kids come into the class with a point and shoot and not know what shutter speed is. I did benefit alot from this class, but it wasn't from the book ( i did try to read it but couldn't handle it). Where i benifited was when i met with you after class and got to bring up and discuss photography on a higher level then "this is what a DSLR is".

Learning how to clean sensors, and blow the dust out of the camera is something valuable that i learned. Watching someone do it is a lot better then reading about it in a book. Then the trick you showed us on how to inspect the senor by taking a picture of the sky and zooming in, is a technique i will remember and use.

My favorite thing i learned this year was how to create a HDR photo. I did alot almost too much of this, but i will walk away with the skill of being able to capture a landscape and make it look amazing with out making it look too fake. I love this kind of photography and i would not have learned it if i did not take this class.

Learning how to use photoshop is also something that is going to help me later on. I know i spend most of class working on my sisters senior pictures, but i feel like that is more challenging then putting a squirrel on the empire state building like others did. I think mastery of the software is messing with someones face on photoshop and not making it look fake. If you can do that, then you are ready to cut a piece of grass off of a bison.

Being exposed to the different type of lens out there was helpful too. I now have a better idea of what i want to get when i get some money to put in it. A nice telephoto is on that wish list for sure. this class did do a good job of teaching me what my camera does not have such as exposure bracketing.  I will be better prepaired to buy that stuff when the time comes now.

I learned alot about ethics in photography. You did a good job of disscussing both sides and you did not come across as if you were trying to tell us what is right and what is wrong. talking about the photographers who fake their pics or who shoot at zoo's does kind of make you ask the question if what they are doing is right and if it should be able to compete against a photographer who sits in a swamp getting malaria for six months.

I did enjoy this class, at the same time it was frustrating for me. I think there should be an upper level photography class that sets some limits on what kind of camera you have (no point and shoots), and if you have already taken the intro to photography course. I am aware that I did not complete all the journal entries. I did try, but I decided my other classes were more important then writing 5 paragraphs on each chapter. that seems like a little much, and that book was pretty much stating stuff that i already knew because i did take the intro class, i have read intro books, and watched intro DVD's on photography. I know that is a terrible attitude to have as a student. I am human, and my limited attention span does get the best of me. I feel like even though i didn't buy the book i took more away from this class then a majority of the class. Looking at some of the kids final pictures kind of made me wonder if they knew their camera had a mode other then auto. For example  pictures of the sky during the day with ISO numbers in the thousands?  What i did learn will stick with me, and i will use it forever. All in all i did like this class, i just felt like it would have been better if it had some prerequisites and if there was no book.


I took this HDR on our drive into YNP. I used my tripod and set my D3000 to manual mode. I chose a higher F stop to get a longer depth of field. I wanted everything to be sharp and in focus.  
1st expouser= 1/30 s, F/14,ISO200, 28mm FL
2nd expouser= 1/10s, F14,ISO200, 28mm FL
3rd expouser= 1/60s, F14, ISO200, 28mm FL
This is another HDR i took. This one i based my exposures off of what i wanted to be lit. So i used my light meter to figure out what was appropriate for the foreground, mid ground and background.
1st expouser= 1/60 s, F/4.8,ISO400, 100mm FL
2nd expouser= 1/30s, F4.8,ISO400, 100mm FL
3rd expouser= 1/200s, F4.8, ISO200, 100mm FL
I liked how this one turned out. I took it while we were in the forrest that had recently been burnt down. I like how the tree which is in focus pulls you through the picture to the human shape in the background. The fog in the background adds a nice effect to it too.
145mm FL
This picture really worked out nice for me. I like the lines the trees make, and how it leads up to the sun shinny through the fog. the contrast between the light background and the dark trees makes this picture pop. I didn't edit it other then adjusting the contrast a little bit. I was able to get it so dark by using a fast shutter speed and a high F stop.
1/1000s, F/16, ISO100, 55mm FL
I really got carried away with HDR photography this year. This being another one. I just like how vivid and bright it makes everything.  This is a well balanced picture to me. The tree on the left side brings you up to the water feature, which looks turbulent and flowing. this picture is how i saw the water fall in person. If i were to just take one exposure i do not beleive it would do any justice to the raw beauty of this waterfall.
1st expouser= 1/125 s, F/13,ISO100, 95mm FL
2nd expouser= 1/40s, F13,ISO100, 95mm FL
3rd expouser= 1/320s, F13, ISO100, 95mm FL
This is just another HDR that I took of the water fall, just i used my 55-200 mm lense and zoomed in close to the water. I really like the feeling the water portrays in this. Its exciting.
1st expouser= 1/100 s, F/13,ISO100, 105mm FL
2nd expouser= 1/320s, F13,ISO100, 105mm FL
3rd expouser= 1/30s, F13, ISO100, 105mm FL
I like capturing action, and freezing movement. When i took this picture there was direct sunlight out which makes for harsh pictures. I decided to take advantage of this crap lightening by turing my shutter speed up. I wanted to take a fast picture so i could freeze the water in the air and i wanted it to be fast enough to leave the picture dark and give it the look of a dark stormy cold world. I like how the purples came out and play into the water and this attitude i wanted.d I shot this in manual with out a tripod but with a polarizer

1/3200s, F/5.6, ISO200, 200mm
For this one i was just screwing around and wanted to take a macro shot. I dont like this one at all. I over exposed the edges of it. I just kind of like the clarity of the green. Perhaps some photoshop could make this look a little better, i think this falls under the saying "garbage in garbage out"
1/160th's, F 5.6, ISO100 200mm FL
This one i liked because of it kind of creates a sense of doubt when you first look at it. People are not sure what it is. Confusion is not a good virtue with a picture, but i like it. The water line just kind of cuts through the picture leaving the illision of a infinity pool. while the reflection of the trees make it a little interesting.
1/1000s, F/5.6, ISO100, 100mm
I dont like this picture either. I put it in here as proof that we saw a bear. Its over exposed and not exciting. I was limited by all the tourist there (even though i am also a tourist).  I did not have a powerful enough lense to get a picture worth taking. but i did at least give it the old "college try".
To me this picture does a good job at showing the rocky, isolated, harsh environment that these animals thrive in. It is cut in-half by the horizon. This does a good job of framing the mountain goats in. Using the sky as a background for the mountain goats help them to pop out and be seen.
1/800s, F/18, ISO200, 200mm

These two pictures of the goats where just taken on shutter priority mode, not very exciting pictures. The goats were eating dirt, not much to work with. It took alot of effort to even get them to notice us. The one with the singular goat i framed with him mostly on the left side of the picture. This created a balance that i enjoyed.
1/500s, F/11, ISO268, 200mm
This was at yellowstone park, my objective with it was to capture the buffalo walking and blur out the background by sweeping my camera and keeping it trained on the bison with a slower shutter speed. I think it worked fairly well, and i like how bright the background is. I did not edit this other then contrast. I shot this on shutter priority mode.
1/50s, f6.3, ISO 268, 185mmFL
For this one i chose a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion of the water and darken the bright sun.I was in manual mode and i was fully zoomed in with my 55-200mm lens. I really like the layers in this, and how the fog provides a good background for the water spout.
1/1600s, F5.6, ISO100, 200mm FL

The lightening was not very good. It put alot of harsh shadows on these goats.
 This was one of the first HDR photos i took. It is also one of my favorites.  One of my friends on facebook commented that it reminded him of a bad dream. I think a picture is successful if it evokes an emotion in someone, whether thats happiness or sadness all the same. The colors worked well in this one too, all it is missing is some melting clocks on the rims.
 Using HDR i was able to capture the depth of the clouds above me. This picture has a lot of emotion in it, and kind of portrays the "before the storm" motif.
 This was one i took of the sky. I took this picture on my way to work on the rims. It is a HDR, this was in my early stages when i was first trying to figure it out. It is a little over done and busy. I was able to capture the diagonal lines in the sun rays. This did work well.
 In this HDR i was trying to capture the depth and contrast of the clouds. I think this did well. The clouds come across very strong and bold. I do like this picture.
 This HDR ended up looking more like a painting then a photo. I did use 2-3 stops instead of one to make it look more vivid. I really like how the HDR softened up the vegetation on the rims too. that helps it feel more like a painting instead of a photo.
This HDR cloud one also turned out kind of cool because it looks like it has a face. I did up the contrast alot on this one to make it look so dark and deep.
I like how this picture is set up. My subject is in focus and you can get a sense of what she is trying to capture.  when you look at the picture you first see the girl, then you follow it up and see what she is doing, then you see her subject infront of her, and it completes the story.
1/80's, F6.3, ISO268, 157mm FL

This was just a random HDR one i took. I do like how it is set up with the diagonals running through it which are then cut apart by the vertical trees.
This one was at the Aspen grove.  I like how it is set up. I did have to adjust the Hue and saturation to get the colors where  I wanted them. I like how it is set up. The whispy clouds in the sky complements the positions of the trees to make the picture almost look circular.
1/60's F9, ISO268, 55mm FL
 In this picture i was working on my sweeping effect. I was using a slower shutter speed trying to match the dogs motion, so the background is blurry and the dog is in focus. This would have been a good effect to use on a wolf, but i did not get the opportunity to see one. I do like how this turned out, and i think the same rules apply in shooting non domesticated animals.
1/640s, F5.3, ISO268, 165mmFL
 This was a sunset i captured out at phipps park. I used my polarizer filter, set a high F stop and had a fast shutter speed to make up for the brightness of the sun.
1/400s, F32, ISO100 155mmFL
 In this picture i wanted to work on freezing motion, so i used a really fast shutter speed and a dog as my subject (no wild animals were available). This is tricky to get the timing right and to pull off using such a fast shutter speed with the lightening right.
1/800s, F8, ISO268, 120mm FL

this was a macro i took with my speed light. I set a low F stop to blur the background out. I like how it turned out, and i feel the speed light lit up the flowers evenly.
1/200s, F5, ISO400, 145mm FL

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

chapter three

This section was about wild life photography. It was about getting close to the animals you are trying to shoot, thinking ahead so you get the right shot of the animal you want, and setting up the shoot so you have all the right layers in it. You want the animal to be posing in an attractive position that some one would want to publish.

Chapter two!

First part of this chapter talks about getting the proper exposure in your pictures. It mentions using the histogram to make sure capture all the proper levels in your picture.  It also talks a lot about using the different exposure modes on your camera such as aperture priority, shutter, program, and manual. This reading is some what boring for me because i did watch the free DVD's that came with my camera, so this chapter sounded like a stuck record to me. The stuff about depth of field i  already knew about. The info on the lighten was kind of interesting, but i must say i have already read some books on lighten and i am fairly aware of it. I do have my own speed light that i carry in my bag. I am how ever some what of a greenhorn when it comes to using filters. I own a polarizer, but i really need to invest in some neutral density filters.

Chapter one! i finally barrowed a book!

The first chapter of this book discussed what gear to bring. The author talked alot about what basic features you want your camera to have, the significance of a tripod, how your next step should be a telephoto lens, followed by a super telephoto lens and the importance of having back up gear.  Then he went into what to wear when out in the field and basic common sense stuff like that. followed by sharing some good places to shoot in north America and what time to shoot in them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The D3000

 This week i am blogging about my nikon D3000. I would most likely not reccomend this camera to most people. only those on a really limited budget. My camera cost about $700 for everything. including one 18-55mm and one 55-200mm lens. One problem with the 55-200mm is that it does not come with vibration reduction which most of nikons 55-200mm do. This camera is very limited as far as which settings you would like to use. I really wish it had expouser bracketing and i all around more options. It is user friendly, but this is mostly due to the limited amount of settings on it. It also does not have a live view feature so getting low angle shots gets a little tricky.
          I have taken a far amount of pictures with my camera and it does do okay for a beginner camera but it does leave the user after about a year wanting more options. I added a 500 dg super flash to my camera and that helps it a fair amount. I was able to shoot some of my little sisters senior portraits this year and they turned out ok. This camera was good for getting a taste for photography, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10-21-10 article 2

 For this i read and article on Landscapes It was called "Special Techniques". It was pretty interesting. The first thing he talks about in it is how to shoot a black and white. He did a good job of explaing when it is appropriate to shoot black and white, and also the pros and cons of shooting with your camera on black and white or just going in later with software and making it black and white.

 The next thing he went into was HDR photos. I really like taking HDR pictures and he had some good adivce to give on that. the advice includded when it was appropriot to take an HDR, the pros and cons, how to set your camera up for it, what software to use, and how much of a differecne in F-stops you should use. I have been using mostly  1 stop, but he recommend experiment with 1.5-2 stops.

He then went into to talking about panoramics and  how to stitch the pictures together. Setting up the panoramic was interesting too. he talk about how you need to keep the interest up in the people who are looking at it. You do this by not having dead space and keep interesting things in it from one side to another.