Sunday, September 30, 2007
It's an SOOC shot from my visit to LSU in May 2007 for my cousin Cat's graduation. Ironically, her degree is in Architecture, and this photo was taken inside the Design building. I liked how the light was streaming in from the skylight and making the shadows on the wall, with the ceiling reflected in the second story window, too. It's not a wonderful pic, but as I said in my last post, I don't have a great eye for composition. (Yet.) I've been trying to read up on it (here and here, among others), and pay attention to good examples (like here and here). If you have any suggestions, or other great photo-blogs to look at (in all my spare time - ha!), please let me know!
(I did manage to get some good architecture shots when I was in Italy - it's hard to take bad pictures in such an amazing place. I'll try to dig those up sometime!)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
One day, I'll graduate to Photoshop. For now, I can rock Picasa and Paint. Yes, Paint. No laughing. =)
One morning this summer, I was up at the mine, waiting, hoping, and praying that campers would show up for a tour. I know it was morning because I was bored enough to take this picture of myself:
(1) Big zit on chin. We didn't have running water. Cut me some slack.
(2) Greasy hair. See (1).
(3) Fly on hat. Again, no water = no shower. And the flies were bad no matter how delightful you smelled!
(4) Distracting ore bucket and rocks in the background.
(5) My arm.
Thanks to the computer, I can knock out all of those problems! First thing's first: crop! I love cropping, because I'm still not very good at composing pictures on the spot. I do much better looking at an image on a screen, and then figuring out where I want my focal point to be. I like the rule of thirds a lot. That probably is because I like fractions a lot. Sue me. So anyways, in this pic, I cropped out (3) the fly, (4) the distracting bits, and (5) most of my arm. I also got my eyes close to one of the rule of thirds lines.
It's alright, but sort of ick. I don't like b&w pics of me. I think it has something to do with my skin tone. Here's the sepia:
I sort of hate sepia because it looks washed out and faded. I have enough problems looking washed out and faded because of my pale skin. I don't need the computer to help me out on that one! So instead, I "warmify" the b&w. Warmify is a command in Picasa that I love. It helps rescue color pictures where the white balance is off, and can be layered on top of the b&w to give this:
I suspect it has an equivalent in Photoshop, because Ree does a similar thing to her pictures. So that hides (2) the greasy hair, and I like the tone. Last but not least, (1) the zit. Open that baby in Paint, magnify, and pencil over it, sampling colors from all around to get a good blend. If you look closely, you can see it's still a bit smudged there, but I'm ok with that. If you didn't know what you were looking for, you'd never see it. I also added some glow in Picasa. (I like to think of it as a combo of two of Ree's favorite Photoshop tricks: Portraiture and Slight Mug Shot Pop.) Et voila!
Friday, September 21, 2007
I miss these trees. I'm 99% sure I took this pic on the way from French to Pueblano one afternoon. It's pretty much my favorite hike on the Ranch, in part because of trees like this. Other highlights of the trail include: following the mighty South Ponil Creek the whole way, the change in the landscape as you drop in altitude, the fact that it's mostly downhill, the cool mining remnants you pass, and the fact that there are always loggers at the other end! Have a great weekend y'all! =)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Over the course of this blog, you'll probably see most of the good ones (or you can go check them out on Flickr...see the sidebar badge), but for now, here are two pictures of the same flower, a wild rose, and a mini-photography lesson.
Disclaimer: I know very very little about photography. But I am capable of reading (thank goodness) and am teaching myself, little by little. To learn more, click here and here.
Ok. Back to the photos:
Now, up until about three days ago, I didn't really understand depth of field or aperture settings or how they are connected. I always got shutter speed, because that makes sense to me. (The faster the speed, the less light comes in, the darker the pictures. And vice versa.) I shot on S a lot, and let the camera control aperture. I had a vague idea that aperture had to do with how wide the lens opened to let in light, but didn't really understand how that made a difference. I decided that I should probably learn. I found these two great articles (one and two) and they made a ton of sense. I also liked the Wikipedia article on aperture because it explains the math. (Yay math!)
Which got me thinking about the flower pics. I reckoned that the aperture must have been set very wide (which corresponds to a low number...) to get such a shallow depth of field that I could have either the petals or the stamens in focus, but not both. So I zipped over to Flickr and checked out the Exif data (for some reason I prefer to look at it on Flickr instead of on my computer...don't ask me why...), and sure enough, the aperture for both was f/5.3, which is close to the max for my lens at that zoom level. This means the lens opened really wide to let in a lot of light, and, as I suspected, made the depth of field very shallow. Cool!
I hope you enjoyed this mini-lesson, and that it made sense. Please feel free to comment and let me know other cool things about aperture, depth of field, wild roses, etc. (Also, please let me know (kindly!) if I have said anything incorrect.) Ooh, and if you know how to blog multiple Flickr photos into one post (I can only figure out how to get one photo in the post using 'blog this'), please please let me know!
Thanks y'all! Have a great week! =)