Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weeks 4 and 5: A day in the life of and close encounters with the Police

Week 4: So the project I had picked for week 4 was to have a day I just took my camera around and took pictures of what I did etc. Let's just say, nothing really interesting really ever happens. The project suggestion came from a book and it suggested to take pictures of family, co-workers, your food, chores etc. Since I picked a day I had off, no co-workers and just family. About the most interesting thing I had a picture of was my lunch that day!

Yep it was an exciting day!

Week 5: On my way to work on Friday, the ground fog was thick and the skies were clear. I pass by a local community college. Next to the college is what is known as the Cyber Innovation Center. The front of the CIC has these spires out front, and from the road with the fog surrounding the building it looked really cool. On Saturday I decided I would try and take some pictures of the building in the morning as the sun came up. No fog, wind was to strong, but still I thought it might look pretty cool. While I was waiting for the sun to come up, the local police department paid me a visit and asked me politely to leave, which I did. Something about needing premission to take pictures of the building and be on the property. Good grief, next time I will just park on the public road next to the CIC and take my pictures.

Since I wasn't able to get the picture I wanted I drove home, with really nothing to show for the effort. I turned around as I was about to pull into the driveway and went in search of something else, since the sun was just now peeking over the trees. I stopped and saw this:

Yes, I know, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we don't wear crosses or have crosses on our churches, but this was just a really neat image to capture! I took several pictures of this but this was what I thought was the best of the 5 minutes of picture taking. This is the unedited version of the photo, I am sure that cropping it and making some minor adjustments would make it better, but looks pretty good as it is right now!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 3: The Black and White Attempt

Last week I decided instead of just going out and taking random pictures of stuff, I would have a focus or objective that I was going to try to accomplish. I settled on trying to take a photo in Black and White.

I have always thought black and white photography was really cool. Ansel Adams really has some of the best black and whites. Truly amazing stuff. Every once in awhile I get lucky and a picture I take in color and convert to black and white really works. That was what I was attempting to do this week.

I took several pictures of a shed along the side of the road and was able to convert a few of them into black and whites using the software in the camera. Some of the pictures were ok, this was one of the better ones, not great but hey, when you get one day to go out and take pictures sometimes you get what you get. This particular photo was changed using Photoshop Elements 8. I used the software to convert to black and white.

This is the same photo, this time as it was orginally taken in color. Not that interesting, but then again, the black and white version isn't all that great.

Here's another angle of the same shed. This one has a bit more texture i.e. the ridges on the roofing material, the look of the wood etc. Again, as I take more pictures I am learning as I go. At least I remembered the lens hood for this outing!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week 2: The Range

It's been way to long since Nate and I went to the range. We had tried last week but it was closed, figures. Anyway, it was open today and I took my camera for some pictures.
Here's the best shot from the two plus hours at the range. I have been reading about the rule of thirds. Basically, think of the frame as being divided into thirds top to bottom and left to right. Where the lines would intersect, is where you should place the object being photo graphed. Here you can see my attempt to use that rule. Actually in all of the photos I take I am trying to do that, sometimes more successful than others. What I like about this photo is that when you look at Nate you are drawn into the picture as he is pointing his shotgun at the clay and I am looking up at it as well.

An update from last weeks post. I was looking at some of the photos I had taken from my fly fishing trip and thought I would see if I could save one or two of them using Photoshop. This is one of the 5 or 6 saved photos! Really turned out nice, good thing there is software to save my bacon when I goof, guess that's why they sell the software.

In week three I am going to see if I can accomplish one of the projects in one of the photo books I have. I may have to see about taking my camera with me more often.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

White Balance, Lens Hoods and other stuff

Go figure that I get a lesson on my first ever fly fishing trip on the importance of checking the white balance, and what the heck the lens hood is really for! A friend of mine invited me to try out fly fishing, something I have always wanted to try. For some reason the vision of me standing in the Yellowstone River and casting for trout has always sounded like it would be a lot of fun. I, of course, said yes and thought I'd bring my camera along for the ride. 
This photo is one of about 5 or 6 that clued me into the whole purpose of the lens hood that came with the camera. I had read in a book that it helps reduce glare of the sun off the lens glass. I've never really had any problems until I am stuck with the angle I have here. I could have packed up my stuff and headed down stream to get a better angle with the sun at my back but thought this would turn out alright.
You can tell I figured out the importance of the lens hood here as in the top left hand corner you can see my sleeve in an attempt to use my hand to create a little shade to help reduce glare. Kinda worked but not really.
One other thing I figured out, make sure the white balance is set correctly on the camera. There is a setting that allows you to use the auto setting the camera has. All of the books I have read say that the camera default white balance does an adequate job, however, you really need to turn that off. I have this function off but keep forgetting to make sure its set correctly. You can tell here that it is not set correctly as the overall tone of the picture has a blueish tone and feels cool overall. Trust me it was cold but not what I wanted to convey with the sunlight highlighting the guys on the river.

Alright, this may not be the best example but I did remember to set the correct White Balance and you can see that it has a warmer feel to the photo.

Overall, I had a great time and learned a little along the way both about taking pictures and fly fishing. Here's what I feel is the best photo of the 89 I took.
Really I like the action here. The fly line in flight etc.

Last thing, I am hoping to make this more of a project this year. I've had the blog for a few years now and not really done anything with it. We have a family friend that does a 365 project, one picture a day for the year. My current job doesn't really allow that so I am going to modify it to a 52 week project. Post something once a week for 52 weeks. I am sure that I will learn a ton as I embark on this and hope to follow thru.

Friday, July 1, 2011

So maybe I need to post more often?

Ok, I am the worlds worst blogger, whatever. Not like I have been busy. I have done some reading on photography and taken lots of pictures, just never got around to posting, maybe one day. Anyway, here are two recent pictures.

Our closest friends recently got orders to Alaska and left today. This is the final picture of the two families before they packed up and drove away. To say Nathan was upset would be an understatement, but then again, both Kaye and I felt the same way.

The picture below is of the LDS Temple in Dallas, TX. While Kaye and Hillary were inside the temple for a sealing of some friends from Bossier. I took the opportunity to take some pictures. I recently bought a polarized filter for the camera, and the difference it makes is huge. It helps add color where it would otherwise be washed out and difficult to get some of the colors back with out some major photoshopping. This looked best in landscape versus portrait.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hawai'i photos

First off, I use Photoshop Elements 8, thanks for asking Corey. I meant to reply back to you but forgot. Anyway, it has been great, although I use maybe 0.05 percent of its capabilities at the current time. So here are the pictures (okay only 4 of the 448 I took while in Hawai'i). This Nate running on the beach. Hickam AFB is right there close by and they rent snorkle gear cheap so we went there for the day. Snorkling there is terrible, but for a first timer like Nate it was good to get him in the water and get some experience. This was shot using the 18-55mm lens and then cropped using ADP Elements 8. A lot of my photo's from the trip have a bluish filter to them, the result of shooting with the light meter set for flourescent lighting and not changing it back. Funny when I adjusted the camera for Nate, Kaye or the unsuspecting tourist to take our picture the bluish tinge went away. I will one day figure out there is an "Auto" function that will adjust for lighting. Anyway, the camera was set for 1/500 with f/14.
On one of the days where we had time to bum around we went looking for the northshore and missed it by hitting the east side of Oahu (we didn't have a map, and yes, pilots are navigationally challenged). The larger photo has the black volcanic rock and the surf coming in, this is cropped. I liked the way the water looked in the left side of the picture. My attempt at being artistic.

It wouldn't be a Hawai'ian vacation without any photos of a surfer. No, I didn't attempt surfing, I value my neck and the ability to walk, looks like fun though.
We went to the island version of Sea World and did the dolphin encounter. Afterward the did the dolphin show. This guy is about 10 feet in the air when I snapped this picture using my 55-200mm lens. I set the camera in the sports mode for action (hence the picture looks normal not heavy on the blue) and then for continuous shooting for multiple picutres. I was zoomed out to 110mm on the lens and then cropped it using ADP Elements 8. If you zoom in you can see sheets of water, like on a car that is in the rain.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

One on One

Saturday was beautiful and instead of sitting in the house after Nathan's basketball game we went outside and shot baskets. Kaye and Nathan were showing off their basketball "skillz" while I practiced my photography. At least they could move and I could shoot with no complaining from the natives about taking to long to take my pictures. Nathan's skills have really improved this year in basketball. Although he is no Michael Jordan yet, he has gotten better. As he gets taller and develops a little more strength, he may give me a run for my money.
You can see that he is the perfect height to stick his hand in Kaye's face and disrupt her vision. I give him another year and then she may be in for a more difficult game when he is looking her in the eye's or worse yet, looking down on his mother. Really, he's supposed to be this tiny baby that fit so nicely in the crook of my arm, like a football!
As you can see, he has some mad dribblin' skillz as well. Kaye hurt for the rest of the day, knee's, ankle's, wrists etc. from the game.

This picture is proof that we do not have a flat driveway. It slopes away from the house and provides a less than stellar basketball court, but we make do. The free throw line is just a little far for him yet. He has a better average from the line than Shaq does though.

Before I bought my camera I heard that you should take pictures from high and low angles, not just the angle that someone who is six foot one would always see. I broke out the ladder and grabbed a few pictures as well. This one was, I think the best of the group. I used the smaller of my two lenses, 18-55mm shooting at 1/1000 and f7.1 with the lens set at 18mm. This would be a really cool picture with even a wider angle on the lens to distort the edges giving a more "fish eye" type look to the photo.