4.24.2013

Wordy Wednesday

Today isn't Wordless Wednesday. It's a little Wordy Wednesday.

I just want to let those of you who follow me know that I'll be gone for a week and a half.

With no computer.

Hubby and I are headed off for a 25th anniversary trip!

I had hoped to get posts ready to go, but a medical emergency prevented that.

So, here is my little Wordy Wednesday post. It will have to do for now.

I'll be back with some fantastic shots of....it's a surprise.

Hope that you have a blessed week!

Mary


4.19.2013

Photo Tip Friday - Let's Discuss Some Photos

Welcome back to Photo Tip Friday.

The last 3 posts taught you about what the letters on your camera's dial mean.

You can read Part 1here, which covers an overview.
You can read Part 2 here, which covers Aperture Values.
You can read Part 3 here, which covers ISO and Time Values.

Today, we're going to start pulling it all together.

I'm going to show you some shots I took last autumn at a waterfall in North Carolina. I'm showing you shots that I wouldn't normally put up on my site. The reason? These aren't the best shots of the waterfall. But they are really powerful for illustrating how to use ISO, Aperture and Time to create a better shot.

And, if you're like me at all, you tend to compare yourself to others. I want to show you that while I have some shots I love and am proud of, not all pictures are created equal. You may need to take quite a few shots to get a few you love.

So, let's get started.

As you can see from this shot, the sky is a beautiful blue and the trees are in full fall color. In order to get this color, I shot the time at  an aperture of 2.8 which means the shutter was wide open and so lots of light could get in. This meant that the speed of the shutter had to be fast to not be overexposed. The shutter was open for 1/200th of a second.

And the color is great. But here's the problem. The area in the shadows around the fall is really dark. Too dark. And the water isn't "milky" smooth.

The camera "stopped" the water.

I got great color, but it isn't quite what I wanted.
So, I tried again.

Notice how different my settings were.

I maintained an ISO of 100 since it was bright outside.

But this time, I knew I wanted to make the water milky so I had to be able to leave the shutter open longer.

This meant I had to go to aperture f/22 which means the shutter opening was smaller. That meant I could then leave it open longer (time value) and not have the entire shot be washed out.

This time, the shutter was open for 1 second. (Yes, I was using a tripod.) Notice how smooth the water looks. But do notice the sky isn't as deeply blue and the foliage isn't as intense either.

In post photo processing, you can edit the color. I'm not going into that today. But you can't make the water milky in the first shot in post processing. 

And these shots have not been edited.

So start learning what's most important in the shot at the time you take it.

HELPFUL HINT: Shooting waterfalls in direct sunlight is difficult.  

On to the next examples.








Notice the low aperture of 2.8 which allows a lot of light in and.

So the shutter speed of 1/40 of a second is slower but still doesn't get the milky effect I wanted.






This time, I raised the aperture to f/11 and slowed the shutter speed more for a time of 1/3 of a second.

It gave me the milky effect I wanted, but again, the sky is more washed out than I wanted.

I haven't edited these shots.

Since I wasn't getting the effect I wanted, I decided to try a different angle.


I like this shot. And as you can see, though, I haven't cropped it so you can see the man on the left. Notice he's a little blurry.

Why?

Because I had the shutter open for 1/3 of a second to get the milky water effect. But the man moved and he's a tad blurry.


Finally, braving the extremely cold water, I headed directly toward the fall. Then, I got up against the rocks, with water swirling. Then I closed in on the bottom of fall and the water right in front of me. I love the uniqueness of this shot.

No one else there that day got this shot. None of them were silly enough like me to head into the cold water. But I'm happy with my shot.




So, which do you like best?

Any questions? :)

Hope these tips help.

Keep on clicking!

Mary





4.16.2013

4.15.2013

Monday's Musing - Lesson From a Bridal Shower

So, my daughter AnnaMarie is getting married soon. 

We're so excited! She and her fiance' are great for each other. And we're in the season of showers. Fun, fun!

Recently, one of her bridesmaids had a shower for her. Of course I took my camera along. 

My girl looked beautiful with her sash on. Then came the tiara. 







While my eldest daughter received her tiara, my younger daughter had a blast getting in the pictures where her older sister couldn't see. She photo bombed the shots. And they were hilarious. 

4.11.2013

Photo Tip Friday - What's That Dial For? Pt. 3

Welcome back to What's That Dial For? 

So far, we have covered what the letters on the dial stand for and an overall look at them. You can read that post which was Part 1 by clicking here. 

Then we covered Aperture Values. It was more in depth than Part 1. You can read about Part 2 here. 

The last post was a bit deep. But I want you to at least try and learn about aperture values. 

This week will be a little bit easier to talk about and understand. 


1) Time Value (Tv) - controls how long the shutter is open for. 


1/500th of a second
On my camera, I can have the shutter open for several seconds or have it take a picture in 1/4000th of a second. Yes, you read that right. 1/4000th of a second! It had better be bright for that shot! 

So leaving the shutter open for longer means that you're letting light in for a longer time. This is used for dark lighting situations. Think night time. 

The faster the shutter moves, the less light it lets in. So taking a shot at 1/4000th of a second needs very bright light to register the "image." The faster shutter speeds can be used to keep your photo from being washed out in bright light and is very effective in capturing movement without making it blurry. 

Helpful hint. If you have a shutter speed of less than 1/25 - 1/15 of a second for a shot, you will need to use a tripod or brace your camera. Set it down, lean up against a wall, set it on a railing.          

As long as I haven't had too much caffeine, I can hold it steady to 1/15th of a second. But I do brace my elbows against my body AND I have learned not to breath during the shot.

You can experiment and see how slow you can handhold your camera or cell phone. In the above photo, I set the camera on the rail on the right to steady it because I had to the leave the shutter for 1/2 a second to make the evening shot be bright enough.

2) ISO - How fast the speed of your film is. 

Let's go back to print days. Remember the range of ISO? 


ISO 100






ISO  64  - slides - highest quality - clearest 
ISO 100 - film - used for SUNLIGHT
ISO 200 - film - used for general purpose
ISO 400 - film - used indoors or to capture movement (sports)
ISO 800 - film - used in darker lighting
ISO 1600 - film - used in the darkest situations - think CANDLE - grainy


ISO 1600

My camera, a Canon Rebel T3i, has ISO values of 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and 6400. The great thing about digital cameras is that you can see your photo immediately and adjust the ISO with the click of a button or turn of a wheel. 

If you'll notice from the posts, some of the functions of Av, Tv and ISO overlap.  You can change each parameter and effect the shot. So next post, I will show you shots and how changing the different variables effects those shots. 

But in the meantime, do you use a particular ISO? 

Which is your favorite shot of these 4?

Hope this tips helps! 

Keep on clicking!

Mary

4.01.2013

Monday's Musing - Forgiven?

We celebrated Easter this past weekend. 

What's the point? 
Stores sent sales flyers that resembled those of Christmas advertising toys. 

So we're supposed to buy our kids new toys for Easter? Not sure exactly how that came about. Not participating in that. When I was a kid, I was thrilled to just get candy. 

Many people buy new clothes. This makes sense. Change is in the air and it's fun to move from the dark colors of winter to the bright colors of spring. 

Again, what's the point? 

It's to celebrate. 

What, you might ask?  

To celebrate forgiveness. Forgiveness of our sins, mistakes, regrets. 

This forgiveness came in the form of Jesus. He lived, died and rose again. And because of that, we can be made right with God. We can ask for forgiveness and be forgiven. 

Maybe you don't think you need it. 

I know I do. I could have some debilitating regrets without forgiveness.

I am grateful that there is a God who is in control. 
Who walks with me and gives me strength. 
Who loves me. 
But no more than he loves you. 

Who promises us new life, like that of spring. 
Who promises to wash away our sins. 
Who promises not make us pay for them.

Because his son came and took our place. Jesus said on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." 
Wow.  
Forgive them. 
For they know not what they do. 

No angry rants from Jesus. No curses. No arrogance. 

He willingly died. 

For you. 
For me.

All of our sins can be forgiven. 

Sometimes as believers, we think we've gone too far, should have known better and don't deserve continued forgiveness. So we wallow in our misery. Or beat ourselves up. 

But here's a thought. 

Jesus died before you were born. 
Or before I was born. 

Is there really anything I can do that's outside of his grace and forgiveness? 

No. 

Run to him when you fail. When you sin. When you hurt others. 

Forgiveness awaits us. And the strength to forgive others as we have been forgiven. 

I'm sorry if Christians have seemed self-righteous. I'm sure I've fallen into that category. When we focus on behavior instead of the heart, we can have a false sense of self-rigtheousness. 

Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are all sinners. And God loves each of us.

You no more than me and me no more than you. 

Don't let others stand in the way of you being in a loving relationship with God. 

He offers us love and forgiveness. Through Jesus. 

What are you celebrating in your life right now?

Me? 
Forgiveness. 
Restoration of relationships broken by sin. 
God showing me his love during the hard times. 

How about you?