Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Photo Class but.....

it's not completely over. Sunday is the "test photo shoot" and what an exciting day it will be. We will take all of the information we have learned in class PLUS the mini sessions we had on portraits and apply those skills in Sally's studio. She will have her lights and cameras set up and we will use all of her equipment to take portraits of the model we bring. To give you a little background, after each class, we were given instruction on taking portraits. The dos and don'ts, how to make adjustments for people of different weights, male and female, etc. In one class, we had to line up and photograph a model. Sounds easy? No! We had to take a photo that was different from ones that were previously taken using the portrait information we were given. I now have a REAL appreciation for photographers. After our portrait session, we are heading to a nearby semi-private park to do some outdoor photos. We are suppose to have great weather this weekend so I'm really looking forward to this last opportunity with Sally.

Last night we learned the difference between shooting photos in RAW vs. JPEG. This was a lot of information to process and I don't know if I'm completely sold on shooting exclusively in RAW. But, knowing the pros of shooting RAW, I will use it if that once in a life time photo opportunity arises.

We also finished up on Composition. Composition is an art and it is so easy to get lost in the photo moment that you break one of the composition rules. Composition is made up of leading lines, body positions, angles, diagonal photo positioning, frames, textures, etc. One of my weaknesses is leading lines. I have them in most of my photos but have since discovered, some of my leading lines need work.

Before I get too long winded, I thought I would share some photos from a shoot I did this past weekend with my son. This was a weird shoot in that we would get to the location and it would start raining. We would go back home and the sun would come out. Finally, we got a small window of opportunity and took advantage of it.....

This one has a bad leading line going straight through the head! Arggg! But I still like it!

And this is the photo I NAILED!! I got nearly perfect composition on this one!

One of the most important things I learned was to always print your photos. Your computer monitor does not show exposure levels correctly. I had a couple of photos from this shoot that were overexposed by a couple of stops. This was not discovered until I got the photos back from the lab. Also, printing your photos helps you to not only see the mistakes but to also train your eye to see the settings the photos were taken in. Trained photographers are challenged to take repeat photos by only looking at a photo. In other words, can you take the same photo months from now by only looking at the photo and not using your camera's history?

I hope you have enjoyed my photo learning adventure. I'll hopefully be back next week with some "test" photos. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's Friday!

I do love Fridays. Not as much as Saturdays and Sundays but it's a great day none the less.

Another photo class last night and we are really "getting it". It's hard to believe we only have one more class before our photo shoot (mini test). Last night we talked about ISOs and how the combinations of aperture, shutter speeds and ISOs make up different photo results. It's an art but getting away from the automatic modes on your camera to manual settings makes such a big impact. I've gotten some great feedback on some photos that I have brought in for review. There's just so much to think about when you look at the image in your view finder. Anywho, I promised I would share some photos from Monday's class.....

These photos focused on shutter speed and we were asked to photograph running/dripping water. I struggled getting these photos because of the weather. We have had very windy conditions, cloudy skies, sunny skies breaking in every so get the picture (no pun intended - LOL). Not the best conditions for taking photos with a slow shutter speed.

The photo below:
Shutter Speed: 1/10
Aperture: 27
Manual Mode
ISO 800
This is a great photo because I was able to capture the blurring of the water with a slow shutter speed, with the wind blowing AND it was taken without a tripod. Any photo taken slower than 1/60 runs the risk of camera shake without a tripod.

The photo below:
Shutter Speed: 1/4000
Aperture: 4.0
Manual Mode
ISO 800
This photo was taken with a fast shutter speed so I was able to "freeze" the water droplets.

(pictures were taken at St Mary's on the Hill Catholic Church)

This week's homework will consist of taking photos in different ISOs with different settings. We want to achieve noise in our photos and then adjust the settings to avoid as much noise as possible.

Fun? You betcha!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Photo Class Update

Photo classes continue and I'm still having fun. I haven't given up and I really believe I'm taking better pictures from the information I've been taught. I've even put the point and shoot away and have started using the BIG camera - LOL!

In Thursday's class, we learned about aperture. This is probably one of the hardest subjects to learn in photography. The rules are backwards, there's math and it's just one of those "procedures" you learn with practice. Our homework assignment for the weekend was to take photos of a single subject and take the photos changing only the aperture. Other settings, that we have not yet covered in class, were set on our cameras.

I went out Sunday and took these photos of a rose at the local university.....

Aperture: 1.4
Exposure: AV

Aperture: 5.6
Exposure: AV

Aperture: 16
Exposure: AV

These are just a few of the photos I took using a aperture range of 1.4 to 22. See the different effects you get using different aperture settings? Aperture gives you that nice blurred background vs. a sharp image based on the amount of light coming into the camera. Fun!!

Last night's class discussed shutter speed and I'll be back later this week with homework photos.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Apple Photo Update

Just wanted to let everyone know that you can look at the submitted photos from class on Sally Kolar's website . Just look for her Recent Blog Posts (bottom right hand corner) and click on the one titled "Photography Class Photos from the Scrap Shack". You can even vote on your favorite for the "picture of the week". There are only a few showing right now but I'm sure more will be posted through out the day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Tuesday Update....

Well, it's been a while since I've posted so I thought it best I show up and say hello.

Last night was the first night of my photography class and it was really fun. I took the Canon Digital Rebel XTI and my Canon Powershot A540 and actually had better luck with my point and shoot. I guess it's just I'm more comfortable with mine. Plus, I don't need to try and learn a new camera while I'm trying to learn the techniques. We had a mini photo shoot session at the end of class with an apple to get a little one-on-one advice. We took our apples home (homework!!) and we have to submit two photos with our apple before the next class.

Here are the photos I'm submitting:

Can't wait to get "critiqued"!