Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is the best Camera? | Chase Jarvis

A well known photographer Chase Jarvis has been pioneering the movement of The Best Camera is the One That's With You (TM). A couple of weeks ago I downloaded the iPhone App and have been having fun playing around with it. It has given me a sense of calmness when I choose not to haul all of my camera gear with me.

I think it frees me up to look around and train my eye to see things differently through the lens. In the long term helping me with the larger camera. The photo above is SOOiP (straight out of iPhone) the one below has an action applied. Both were taken at Pioneer Place sky bridge in downtown Portland.

The iPhone App is pretty user friendly with several different 'actions' that you can apply to the photos that you take with your iPhone. It's not full blown editing software, but that's not the point right? The photo below was taken in front of an advertisement sign.

Whether you have an iPhone or not, take a week and shoot random photos with the camera that you can easily carry around. You might be very pleased with some of the shots!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cloud Study | Playing with the camera

I have been receiving many emails lately about shooting in manual mode. How to do it, is there an easy way to learn... unfortunately I don't have one answer and the many answers I have don't make it easy. One gal prefaced her email by saying please don't tell me to read my camera manual. Well Missy - how do you expect to learn your camera if you don't know where a certain button is? OR how do you know how to read the screen if you don't know what camera is saying to you? There is nothing wrong or bad with an instructor telling you to read your camera manual, it doesn't make them a BAD instructor.

You just need to get out and play in manual mode. I suggest starting out with something that can't talk back or move, a vase is a good subject! I would also suggest not learning manual mode during a child's graduation.

One of my fellow photog friends inspired me with a series of photos he took of clouds. It reminded me that I needed to get my behind out of my office and just go out in my backyard. Here in the NW the clouds are endless this time of year and plenty of different kinds. As I was going through my photos in Lightroom I thought these would be good examples to show shutter speed and aperture. If you are like me I had to hear it over and over again until it finally clicked.

The photos were taken in my backyard looking to the west - sun is setting. There was no post production or cropping done.

Missy [that isn't her real name] this is where your camera manual comes in. You need to know where to read your shutter speed - where is the reading. Then how do you change it? up and down. Where is your aperture reading and how do you adjust that up and down? Where is your ISO and how do you adjust that?

NOW start playing...

First photo: 1/100 shutter speed, f/22 aperture, ISO 100, taken with my prime 85mm. My shutter speed is slow so I am letting light in, but my aperture hole is small - great if you want a defined silhouette of the foreground. But I didn't like the detail of house on the right hand side and I didn't feel the clouds were dramatic enough.

Second photo: 1/500 shutter speed, f/20 aperture, ISO 100, taken with my prime 85mm. This time I wanted less light and more of an outline of the clouds. Plus I wanted everything in the foreground to go black. So I increased my shutter speed - 500, but made the aperture larger because I needed some of the light to come through. Now the clouds look more dramatic.

Third photo: 1/500 shutter speed, f/22 aperture, ISO 100, taken with my prime 85mm. Just for experiment sake I left the shutter speed the same but took the aperture back to f/22 - meaning I had a smaller hole. I would have thought this would be have been entirely too dark everywhere because of the fast shutter speed and the smaller aperture. But because the clouds were moving and allowing the sun to peek out more if gave me enough light to almost emulate the above photo. The only problem being that the lightest area of this photo is blown out.

What's going through my mind now is I realize that I didn't do any adjustment to my ISO - how would that have changed the rest of the settings? Note to myself: next time play around with the ISO. This is all part of the process. This is why you always hear photographers say 'practice, practice, practice, time on the camera'

Get out and experiment - this is how I learned. With the age of digital you can do this easily and fast, study your data when you upload your photos to view them. While the above settings are no where near being correct its fun to just play around. You will start to recognize the relationship that shutter speed, aperture and ISO have.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love | the movie

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love a couple of years ago and immediately had a girl crush on Elizabeth Gilbert. There were so many parts of her life that I could relate too and there were parts where I had so much respect for her. Taking a year off from everything and staying committed to her journey. That is brave.

"I used to have this appetite for my life, and it's just gone. I want to go someplace where I can marvel at something."

Here is the trailer - Elizabeth Gilbert is played by Julia Roberts, and after watching this I believe that this was great casting.

"if you could just clear out all that space in your mind, you would have a doorway. And you know what the universe would do? RUSH IN! and everything else will take care of itself"
Happy Friday

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Winters in the sun...

I have been dreaming of winters in the sun. I used to spend three months in Baja Mexico during the winter - five years on the beach, in the sun. I don't miss the boyfriend I did this with but I sure miss the lifestyle. Now fast forward to 2010 and there is a strong possibility we will be spending three to four months in the sun...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Energy of a Four Year Old

There are so many things wrong with this photo and there are so many things that I LOVE about this photo. Most people would dump it because you have been taught that you possibly don't have the time to scrapbook poor photos like this. Well I don't scrapbook any more and I get to do what I want. This is a keeper for me.

Would this have been the perfect shot if she was in focus? Maybe. What was my focus point doing in the WAY bottom? I have no idea - I don't ever move from the center focus point. I do know that my real point is she is four - she has the energy of a rechargeable battery. Most of my shots of her are blurry. Unless I specifically ask for a photo - then I get that constipated smile. [You know the one I am talking about] This represents her right now - moving, even both of her feet are up in the air, oh the joy! The stool represents the calmness that she experiences for short moments - when you are four.

These types of photos are keepers - whether you scrapbook them or not, whether you have time, whether you have space on your hard drive. Keep these. Then when you are drained at the end of the day wondering where your energy went...remember when you were four, moving so fast that your feet never touched the ground.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

From someone who thinks she's the Cadbury Easter bunny...

Then when I informed her that her ears were backwards and that she really wasn't the Cadbury Easter bunny, but nice try. This is what I got...

We hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday - enjoyed with family and friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March comes in like a lion

our spring has been just that - just yesterday it was 40 degrees and we woke up to snow in the the upper hills! Jesse is modeling the season...