Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jan 30: New Year Fest 2010

Today we had our local annual Ultimate Frisbee tournament. As I still can't play due to my knee, I tried to document the day with pictures. The ladies that I am a captain for had two teams, so I spent time watching both of them plus the local guys' teams.

187mm, f/6.3, 1/1600s, ISO 400, sports mode, cropped

  • For those of you that don't play Ultimate, this is called a layout. This is a really good layout. I love the fact that I was able to capture the timing of this, but I am disappointed with the focus. Auto focus in sports mode really seems to be fickle. The uncropped version had a lot more of the car in the shot, so I guess that's why the camera chose it to focus on. If anyone has suggestions on how to avoid this, I'm all ears.
  • I was surprised that I only took ~160 photos today considering sports mode usually takes 2-3 shots at a time (it keeps taking shots as long as you hold down the button so you make sure to get good timing). I wish I took more. (The rest of the good ones can be found on my facebook page).
  • I made a conscience effort today to get more of the sideline action. Ultimate is exciting to watch, but unless you have some great layouts or jumps, not very exciting in pictures. I wanted to get more "people" shots. I think I did fairly well on that point.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Jan 29: Potted Succulent

I came home early from work today. I had my important work done, was tired, and just really didn't feel like being at work on such a beautiful Friday afternoon. So I did something I haven't done in a long time - took a nap outside! It was nice curling up on a blanket in the grass in the sun. There were lots of noises, but I was able to fall asleep for 30 minutes or so. One of the noises I heard was the hummingbirds, and I awoke to one at the feeder. I had taken pictures of the hummingbirds at the feeder before, but was disappointed with the color. I later figured out that it was because they were in the shade. Today the feeder was partly in the sun, but the hummingbirds did not cooperate - the only pictures I got today were of them in the shade. So I'll try again some other day.

As I was taking those pictures I realized that I would need to overexpose the picture in order to get details of the hummingbird, so I changed the settings to Manual (another thing I hardly do!). When I figured out that the hummingbirds weren't going to cooperate, I started playing with underexposing and overexposing other things in our yard.

127mm, 1/50s, f/4.0, ISO 400, manual mode, matrix metering

  • There's no way to tell after-the-fact (at least I don't know a way) if this was one that was over or under exposed (compared to what the meter told me). This one came out the best.
  • The colors are somewhat bland, but I love taking pictures of this pot. I've done it before and probably will again!
  • I should probably take out the mark at the top left, but for now I am leaving it in. What I really should have done is do some "gardening" (as my photo teacher would say) while I was shooting, and moved whatever it was.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jan 28: DVD player

Keith was excited to receive our new purchase today, so he suggested I take a picture:50mm, f/1.8, 1/60s, ISO 1250
  • I had to use a desk lamp for extra light, and I was limited to where I could put it. I perhaps should have tried moving it farther away so that the wood of the shelf looked better.
  • I tried some pictures straight on, and some with the tray open. I like the angle on this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jan 27: Magazines

I was lamenting to myself today about how I never take the time to read magazines much anymore. If I have extra time and Owen's awake I usually spend it with him. After he goes to bed I spend my extra time on the computer. Looking at the magazines on our rack, I thought they might look interesting in black and white.

50mm, f2.0, 1/125s, ISO 500, converted to black and white in Picasa
  • I was right about liking it better in black and white. I think it makes it less busy.
  • I'm curious what this would look like with everything in focus. Having one magazine completely in focus and the main thing you see might make it easier on the eyes, but that might not be the point of the picture.
  • I had to move around a bit to make sure I didn't get glare coming off of the magazines.
  • Now, to go read!! Probably the latest Rangefinder, which actually isn't pictured. (Keith gets The Atlantic; I included them because I thought the headlines were interesting. It may have actually been more interesting if it was all Atlantics.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jan 26: That Tickles!

Another normal day today: work for Keith and I, school for Owen, then some play time, dinner, and then a little play time before bath & bed for Owen. Owen and Daddy fit some tickling in there at some point:

50mm, f2.0, 1/50s, ISO 1250, matrix metering, aperture priority, light bulb white setting

  • I'm not sure why I'm afraid to go to 1600 ISO, but I am. I had to turn on two lights to get enough light to do this, and it's still pretty soft, especially since they are moving. But I also want to avoid the flash. The light in this picture seems harsh enough as it is.
  • I need to do some photos away from our house. Taking pics here is starting to become somewhat of a chore. Keith suggested I take the camera to work. We'll see about that, but I will be out and about this weekend a bit.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jan 25: Choo choo!!

I didn't have much time today since I had practice, so I looked around the family room for something to photograph.

50mm, f/2.0, 1/60s, ISO 1600, aperture priority, matrix metering

  • I ended up liking the vertical orientation on this, as it included less of the background and more of the feeling of a track. I tilted the camera to get a sense of movement.
  • I tried using a smaller aperture to get more depth of field, but the lighting was not sufficient to hand hold. I tried a few setting the camera on the floor and using the timer, but then I lost the tilt and vertical that I spoke of in the first comment.
  • Keith has noticed the orange tint to a lot of our indoor pictures. I need to play around with the white balance and color temperture settings.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jan 24: Owen and Toolman

Nana and Toolman (our nickname for Keith's Dad so that there isn't two grandpas) came over for lunch today. We gave Owen to Toolman after lunch so that Owen would fall asleep for his nap (it works every time!!). Owen looked really cute wearing Toolman's hat, so I grabbed the camera and took some shots.

50mm, 1/100sec, f2.0, ISO 250, no post-processing

  • I chose this picture because I thought Owen's expression was unique. There's some other good ones in the Runner's Up album.
  • I took a few where I focused the shot on Toolman, hoping the Depth of Field would be enough to get Owen in focus as well, but at f/2.0, it wasn't enough. (There is more DOF behind the point of focus than in front of it.) But I knew that it was important to get the main star (Owen) in focus, so most of the pictures have the focus on Owen's face.
  • It might be better to crop this to get a closer look at Owen's expression, but I kind of like seeing all of Toolman and more background.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jan 23: More tomato

Today Owen and I were checking out the garden, when we found two red grape (or are they cherry?) tomatoes, the first red tomatoes of the season. Perfect! One for him, one for me. As soon as he tasted it, he quickly said "mo tom-toe" (more tomato). Well, those were the only red ones on the vines, so later we came inside to eat some we got from the store. But before that we took a look at the other vines (larger tomatoes, but I can't recall the type right now):

50mm, 1/50s, f3.2, ISO250, some cropping, matrix metering mode, aperture priority mode

  • I just now realized this was at 1/50s, slower than my usual rule of 1/60sec or faster for hand holding (without IS). If I had realized that I would have turned up the ISO even more, but this was somewhat of a spur-of-the-moment shot (which it usually is with kids!).
  • If this was more of a planned shot, I would have also played with the exposure. Because of the dark background and the matrix metering, Owen's hand looks a bit overexposed (at least on this monitor). The tomato might also look a bit better if I underexposed a little.
  • I can't wait for "mo [red] tom-toes"!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jan 22: Blown Out Candle

I almost didn't take a picture today, as I was in the mood to get things done, and since that hardly ever happens, I didn't want to waste it. I got the things done that I wanted (including putting away Christmas decorations - now you know what I mean when I say I hardly ever get things done), and thought of an idea, so I went for it. This was the last decoration to put away, so this symbolizes the end of the Christmas season (yeah, I know that was weeks ago!):

50mm, 1.3sec, f/1.8, ISO 1000, manual mode, camera set on the table using the timer, no post-processing

  • To get this shot I lit the candle, started the timer on the camera, then right before it was going to shoot, I blew out the candle. I wanted to catch the smoke drifting up. The room was dark with some light coming in from another room.
  • I took a lot of pictures before this one for the setup. The focus is not the greatest, and I wish I had moved the camera so more of the smoke was in the frame, but I didn't want to take even more pictures because I was afraid the fire alarm would go off. (No, seriously.)
  • I learned a very important lesson today. When I was taking this picture in aperture priority mode, it kept being really dark. I finally figured out that with the timer, the camera records the exposure when you first start the timer (when I had the candle lit), NOT when it takes the picture 15 seconds later (when I had blown out the candle). So I tried not using the timer, but the picture came out too shaky. And then I had a revelation...MANUAL!!! I've been so stuck in aperture priority (it really does work for most shots), that I hardly ever use manual. I really should change that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan 21: Wind!

Today was a very interesting day weather wise (as I write this we have a tornado warning in effect). Lots of rain and wind. Earlier this week I wanted to capture a picture of the rain, so today I wanted to play with a slower exposure to "capture" the wind.

116mm, f/8.0, 1/8s, ISO 400, aperture priority mode, hand held with image stabilization, no post-processing
  • I knew using a tripod would probably be best, but I wanted to test out the IS on my lens to see how much movement it would capture. I thought this turned out pretty good for 1/8sec.
  • It was difficult finding something interesting to take a picture of that fit my criteria: has both something that does not move (to show that I had the camera still), and something that was moving with the wind. I thought this worked pretty well.
  • I had some problems with my other pictures because I was shooting through dirty (and in some cases, wet) windows. This was taken from our second story window.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jan 20: Hot Cocoa

No rain today (although tomorrow is supposed to be a doozy), but a bit colder, so I sat down for a nice hot cup of cocoa:

50mm, f/1.8, 1/320s, ISO 1250, matrix metering, aperture priority, changed to Sepia in post-processing
  • Ok, so really I partly made the cocoa just to take it's picture. And then I stood up taking the pictures until it got lukewarm. You can see the whipped cream has melted pretty good. I did enjoy it afterwards, even though I messed up and didn't put enough cocoa mix in. Ug.
  • I took pictures of exactly this in the past and was really disappointed with how they came out. So what did I change this time? NOTHING. I really need to think things through before I start shooting. I should have played around with the metering and moved the cup to a different location, maybe added some other props, etc. I guess I was in a hurry because I didn't want it to completely cool off.
  • The good news is, I finally found a picture I like in Sepia! Although I think I lost some of the details of the whipped cream and chocolate shavings, I think this looks better than the original picture and the black and white version.
  • My next equipment purchase (which will probably be a while) will likely be something for macro shooting. I couldn't get as close to this as I would have liked.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jan 19: Rain

Yep, it's raining here in the desert. Having been in Phoenix my whole life, I love the rain. So of course I made it the focus of my pictures today.

200mm, 1/30s, image stabilization, f/4.0, ISO 400, aperture priority mode, no post processing
  • I had a hard time picking today's photo (surprise, surprise!). It was between this one and one of rain drops on a window. The runner up is probably the more interesting picture because of the sun catcher, but I felt like this one focused more on the fact that it was raining.
  • It might look neat blown up as a background for something. I'll have to try that.

The forecast is for rain all week, so I might play around with this theme a little more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jan 18: Another day of P&S

Since I had to download the pictures from this weekend from the point and shoot, I decided to take today's picture with that camera as well:

5.8mm (37mm equiv), f2.6, 1/200s, cropped slightly

  • Since I don't know my p&s camera very well, I am frustrated with not knowing how to change the settings, but no willing to learn at this point. So I tried to get creative with composition. Not really sure if I succeeded here, although this is an angle you're not likely to view a bathroom sink at very often.
  • The picture quality is not so wonderful. I can't figure out how to tell what ISO the camera used, but that's what I'm going to blame (plus a cheap camera).
  • Maybe one of these days I'll do a P&S week to force me to get creative and learn the settings, but for now I want my DSLR back!!

Jan 15-17: Santa Monica

I'm back! Not that you missed me. Well, maybe some of you did. Anyway, this weekend the family packed up and went to Santa Monica so my husband could play in an Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament. Owen and I had fun on the sidelines. I was so busy with the logistics of getting there on Friday (a 6-7 hour drive), that I forgot to take a picture. My first no picture day!!! :-( Plus, I decided against bringing the good camera, so these pictures are with our Canon Power Shot A520 point and shoot. It was frustrating not knowing how to play around with the settings, so it kind of killed my creativity. So my pictures turned out pretty much like a normal tourist. Here's the one from Saturday:

16mm (equiv 114mm), f4.5, 1/400s, cropped slightly

  • This is a good example of why the rule of thirds works. Too many people put the horizon in the middle of the photo.

  • In deciding which third (the upper or lower) to put the horizon, decide which is more interesting, the foreground or sky. In this one it is obviously the foreground, since the sky was washed out.

  • The sand was more interesting here because it was taken near sunset and had lots of shadows. If this was taken at noon it would not have been anywhere near as interesting.

Sunday's photo:

5.8mm (45mm equiv), f/4.0, 1/500s, cropped
  • Sunday was cloudy, which I think helps with the colors in this photo.
  • Since the focus is on the kids, I went for a crop that I've never tried before 5:3 widescreen.
  • Not the best photo artistically, but it does sum up what I did for the weekend - play around with the kids on the beach! (That's my son Owen on the left.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jan 14: Cookbooks

I waited until after Owen went to bed to take any pictures today, so I looked around our kitchen for something quick, yet interesting, to take a picture of. We have a shelf of cookbooks that I thought might be made to be more interesting in black and white.

200mm, 1/25s (with image stabilization), f4.0, ISO 1600

  • I'm intrigued by how some "normal" things can look more artistic when taken up close or put in black and white. I took some other pictures that included the whole books, but I didn't find them as interesting. I guess it's what's left out of the picture that makes it interesting in your mind's eye.
  • I haven't played much with B&W. I've seen a lot of pictures lately in Sepia, but I haven't found one of mine that I like with that tint (it's a tan color).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jan 13: Neighborhood Collage

Owen and I went for another photo walk this afternoon after I got home from work (but before everyone else got home from work - I feel funny walking around the neighborhood taking pictures of other people's houses/yards with this huge lens). Here is the result:

  • This is obviously not just one picture, but it is one .jpg, so I don't consider it cheating. :-)
  • I felt like some of my photos had a theme or "feel" to them, so I felt like they needed to be seen together. Then I noticed the "collage" feature in Picasa, so I thought I'd try it.
  • The neighborhood is actually quite nice, so please don't judge it by just these pictures. I don't know the neighbor that has the "No Trespassing sign" in his front yard, and I'm not sure I want to. I thought the weird mailboxes were interesting, and I was a bit surprised they were allowed by the HOA.
  • I just realized that I also took a good picture of an old Ford truck that I should have included as well. Oh, well. It's too late to fix it now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jan 12: Old Man Cactus

Owen had a fever again today (took him to the doctor - ear infection), so I was home in the morning. I happened to look out the window to see the "Old Man Cactus" (I think that's it's actual common name, I'm not making that up) in our backyard backlit by the sun. This was taken around 9am:

70mm, 1/1000s, f4.0, ISO 200, aperture priority mode, matrix metering mode, no post-processing

  • The backlighting looks ok on this, not quite what I was hoping for, but decent.
  • I did not have my lens hood on for this shot. I wasn't thinking about lens flare, which I obviously should have been (lesson learned there!). I want to play around with deliberately trying to achieve lens flare, so I don't mind that it happened in this shot.
  • I took some shots in landscape orientation, which really didn't look good. When your subject is up right like this is, portrait orientation is the way to go. That's why most people shots should be in portrait orientation (duh, that's why they named it "portrait"!). I have to remind myself that all the time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jan 11: Lines and curves

First off, Keith noticed that sometimes I title my blog with "Day #", and sometimes with the date. I'm back to date now. Not that you even noticed.

Today Owen was feeling under the weather (maybe just teething, hopefully not something worse), so I had to take him home from school. I figured he would like a ride in the stroller (and a trip to the playground), so we went on a photo walk. I took mostly pictures of houses in our neighborhood or their yards. Lots of interesting things if you're looking for it. I had a hard time picking today's photo. At first I was going to go with one of the boring old flowers, but I figured I could take a picture of flowers almost any day.

121mm, 1/60s, f/4.0, ISO 320, aperture priority mode, matrix metering mode, no post-processing

  • This photo isn't too exciting color wise, but has lots of different lines, curves and textures.
    My photography teacher had us do an outing where we specifically looked for lines and curves. It's pretty neat what you can find. I posted the result of that class here.
  • It kind of felt weird taking pictures of other people's houses, I felt like I might be intruding. I was glad I had my long zoom.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 10: Bathtime

Most of you have already seen billions of pictures of Owen, so this is nothing new, but for anyone who may not know me, this is my son Owen, 22 months old. It only took me 10 days.

50mm, 1/100s, f/2.5, ISO 1250, aperture priority mode, matrix metering mode, no post-processing

  • I think I mentioned in yesterday's blog how important eye catch lights are in pictures of people. This photo would be vastly improved if he had some in his eyes. Some of the others I took did, but I like Owen's expression in this one.
  • I'm not a big fan of the color in this one, but not sure how to improve it. I think it's mainly the nature of the lights in that room.
  • One thing that sets apart good photographers from your everyday point-and-shooters is the composition. Too many people put their subject in the middle of the frame. One of the first things you learn if you study photography is the rule of thirds. While Owen's eyes aren't exactly at a 1/3 line (the photo probably would have been improved if they were), the extra space at his right makes this a more interesting picture then if he was right in the middle with space on both sides.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 9: Finn!

Keith made fun of me yesterday (no surprise there) for not including any pictures of "my favorite model", my son Owen, in my first week of pictures. So here is a picture of... adorable Finn (well, Owen's hand is in the picture). Finn is the 7 month old son of our good friends Megan and Bryan. I was babysitting today, so I tried getting a picture of the two of them together, but I liked this one best (you can see the others in the Runners Up album).

47mm (76mm equiv), 1/200s, f/2.8, ISO 400, matrix metering mode, aperture priority mode

  • The only thing I don't like in this photo is Owen's hand.
  • The only post-processing I did was to change the orientation. I actually took this standing behind Finn (to the right of the picture as it is) in landscape mode (so the right side of the picture was actually the bottom). That is how I got him to look up. I didn't plan on changing it, but I like this way much better.
  • During my class I took this fall we spent some time taking portraits. One thing that the teacher emphasized is that people need to have a catch light in their eye in order for the picture to look good. I've definitely noticed that in pictures since then, and I can see it in this picture as well.

What a cutie!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 8: Sunset

A few days ago someone posted on facebook on how awesome the sunset was, and I had no clue! I must have been inside at the time. As I was driving home today I noticed how great the clouds looked, all wispy and wavy (one of these days I'd like to study up on weather so I can learn what makes them that way and perhaps use more technical terms). So as soon as I got home I did something I haven't done in a long time - I put the wide angle lens on the camera. (We have a Tamron 17-50mm lens. )

17mm (28mm equiv), 1/60s, f/4.0, ISO 100, aperture priority, spot metering mode
  • I've been using the zoom lens so much lately that I was really surprised at how wide this lens was! Unfortunately I didn't have time to get to a spot with a better foreground. This was taken in front of our house (the houses in the picture are our neighbor's). Could you imagine the pictures that could have come from being on top of South Mountain tonight???!!!
  • I used spot metering on the sky so that it was exposed for the sky to get the bright colors. If I were to use matrix metering, you would see more of the foreground and the sky would be overexposed, which I didn't want. One thing that I have learned since getting into photography: you know those awesome professional photos that you see on calendars where the clouds in the sky look awesome and the ground looks perfectly exposed? They cheated! Well, ok cheating is not the right word, but in a lot of cases that is impossible to do without either a special filter (gradient filter), or post-processing (HDR - you take multiple exposures and combine them) or both.
  • I actually did some post-processing today! I almost didn't use this photo because one of the houses in the picture had their porch light on. But then I discovered that Picasa has a Retouch feature, where you can cover up blemishes. Awesome!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 7: Football

Today I decided to work on my sports photography. :-)

89mm (143mm equiv), 1/200s, f4.0, ISO 1600, flash white balance, no post-processing

  • Ok, so yeah, if it isn't obvious, that's from the tv. Hey, at least you know I really did take the photo today!
  • I feel this is sort of a cop out (I didn't even get a good action shot), but I decided to take it easy today. I did play around with different white balance settings, so it was still a learning experience. Now I know if I ever want to take a picture of something on tv, flash white balance is the way to go! :-)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 6: Sunrise

I just happened to notice that there were some nice clouds in the eastern sky this morning before sun-up, so I figured there could be a nice sunrise. Owen wasn't awake yet, so I decided to take a few pictures. I ended up taking 50! (Yes, Dad, I know, I better be careful or I'll run out of film! :-) ). After much deliberation, here's the one I chose:

200mm (522mm equiv), 1/40s (with image stabilization), f/8.0, ISO 800, aperture priority mode, spot metering, cloudy white balance setting, circular polarizer, cropped but no further post-processing

  • Since I took so many pictures, it was hard to pick one out. I ended up picking my favorites, doing something else, and then coming back to choose the one. Most of my other pictures included a palm tree, which is why I think I chose one without it.
  • I also chose this one because because while the colors of the sunrise are nice, I needed a different focal point to make it interesting.
  • As I was debating on which pic to choose I had an idea: spend a whole week taking ONLY one picture every day. No second, third or fiftieth take. That will 1) force me to think more about the picture before hitting the shutter button, and 2) save me time. I'll have to try that sometime.
  • I have noticed the last few days how different the pictures look on different monitors. So I also tried looking at these on a different computer before I made my choice. The colors on my main computer seem so much brighter than others.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5: Running Shoes

After work today I went to the gym at my work to do some jogging. As I mentioned yesterday, I am recovering from ACL surgery (surgery was Aug 21). I am done with physical therapy, but still need to do exercises to strengthen my left leg. I started running a few weeks ago at PT, so I am continuing to increase my time on the treadmill (I did 15 minutes today). As I was running I was thinking about what to take my picture for today of. Here's what (surprisingly!) came to mind:

50mm (81mm equiv), 1/200s, f/2.2, ISO 400, matrix metering mode, aperture priority, no post-processing

  • Even though I am now only jogging on a treadmill, I thought the photo would be best made on the street. The neighbors probably thought I was crazy for laying on the street to take pictures of my shoes!!!
  • Taking pictures at an angle is supposed to evoke movement. I thought that would be a good feeling for running shoes. I think it worked pretty well.
  • I kind of like the horizontal pictures I took better than vertical, but there were other things I liked better about this photo.
  • It would've been nice if I had noticed the little piece of shoe lace under the left shoe and moved it out of the picture. I need to get better at noticing things like that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4: Fake Flower

I was trying to figure out what to take pictures of while driving home from work today. I had Ultimate Frisbee practice tonight (not playing due to ACL recovery), so I knew I needed to work fast. I was planning on taking pictures of the Christmas decorations before I took them down, but felt uninspired doing that. Then I found a fake, faded purple flower in our yard. So I started putting it places and taking its picture. Here's my favorite:

50mm (81mm equiv), 1/1600s, f1.8, ISO 400, spot metering mode, cropped

  • I wasn't sure how this was going to come out, but I love this (cropped) composition and the blue colors (our pool).
  • My second choice of picture was this flower on a dead log which looked black and white. It's interesting how that contrasts with the lovely blue in this photo. I posted that pic in my Runner's Up file. There's also some good ones on a blue sponge, green lettuce, and red wagon.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jan 3: Fence

This afternoon we went for a walk with Owen and his new tricycle. We ended up going by a fence that I've wanted to take a picture of for some time. It's an older wood fence that looks really neat with the setting sun on it. I was disappointed with how the colors came out with my photos this time. I think the sun wasn't quite low enough in the sky to get really nice colors. I'll have to go back sometime and play with the settings on the camera (and try it with the polarizer which I didn't have on this lens). I'm reading a book on lighting right now that will hopefully help me on that.

50mm (89mm equiv), f1.8, 1/2000s, ISO 200

  • I took some from the side to get the light reflected on the nails, but they ended up with too much bokeh (out of focus) at f1.8.
  • I chose this because I like how the nails in the knots look like eyes looking to one side. It's fun to find things like that when you're looking at things closely. That's one reason why I like photography - it helps you look at things differently.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jan 2: Bubbles!

Owen really likes to go outside, and I don't mind obliging him, especially on a day like today (I think it was in the 70's). One of his favorite things to do is (to have us) blow bubbles. Keith took some good pictures of Owen a few days ago while we were blowing bubbles, so this time I focused on the bubbles themselves instead of Owen.

200mm (equiv 321mm), 1/200s, f4.0, ISO 200, no post-processing

  • I realized very quickly that auto focus was not going to work with bubbles. I'm not very good at manual focus, so this was good practice.
  • Even though the background is out of focus, it is still distracting.
  • The composition of this isn't the greatest, but I like having multiple bubbles in the same photo. I tried cropping so it just showed the bubble in focus, but then it looked like a huge bubble.
  • Did you notice the reflection in the bubble of the trees behind me? How cool is that!!?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jan 1: Lake Pleasant

Happy New Year everyone! Today my parents took Owen and I to Lake Pleasant for some boating. We did a lot of boating growing up, so it's a fun family event. We used to race in the Arizona Yacht Club (yes, it exists!), and now my parents are involved in the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club. My parents actually have two boats - the C-dory motorboat in the pictures from today, and a Montgomery 23 sailboat. We took the C-dory today as it's easier for Owen to move around in without us having to worry about him going overboard. I hope to get him out sailing soon.

I took a bunch of pictures at the lake, which can be viewed on my Picasa site. Keith picked this photo for me to post on the blog, as I wasn't sure which one to choose.

50mm (35mm equivalent 81mm), 1/640s, f/2.8, ISO 100, no post-processing

I was relatively happy with my pictures today. Some things of note:

  • When taking pictures of a body of water, it's important that you have the horizon straight, since it's pretty obvious when you don't!
  • It's fun to play with the sun sparkles on the water, but it can also wash out some photos.
  • I'm glad I thought to bring both my long lens (70-200mm) and my 50mm. It's hard to take photos with a long lens in a small cabin!
  • On this photo I was happy to see the little sparkle on the wheel. I feel like the items in the background at the top are a bit distracting, so I might play with cropping this even closer.