Thursday, October 28, 2010

"On Your Feet"

The challenge subject is "On Your Feet" and since it's World Series time, here's a shot of what's on Jamie's feet! We bought the shoes a few years ago, and I found a couple of old Giants hat patches on eBay for about $6. I sewed them on and voila! Custom Giants Chuck Taylors!
Image shot at f/1.8, ISO 200, 85mm

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Playing with RAW

I've always known that RAW existed as a way to shoot digital; I knew my camera could do it. I was also totally intimidated. I read an article once that said that National Geographic photographers shoot in RAW because you can't create a RAW file, so it was a way of proving ownership of an image (or something. It was a long time ago) I knew it allowed a greater level of control in post-processing, but I was only shooting snapshots, so I was fine with the occassional playing around in Photoshop, and I didn't feel the need to switch.
Now that I've switched (to RAW) I can't imagine going back to JPG!

I took Max to a pumpkin patch near my parents house today; it was just the 2 of us, which was nice, but I'd wanted to stop and steal (I mean borrow; I had permission!) one of my dad's nice lenses... as I dug through his camera bag, I saw his 85mm 1.8 and snagged it.

Here's an example of what RAW can do for you! :) (SOOC means Straight Out Of Camera)

Images shot at f/2.2, ISO 400, 85mm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"A Special Object"

The challenge was to shoot a "special object" and I chose Max's Blue Dog. Blue Dog was one of the first gifts Jamie's mom gave Max when he was born; Blue Dog lived in his isolette in the NICU, rode in his car seat when he finally came home, and now lives in Max's crib and he can't sleep without his Blue Dog.

f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm lens @ 35mm

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 3 - Light

The Assignment: Take a photo of a specific object using a variety of preset white balance options and then set a custom white balance and shoot using that.

All photos shot at ISO 800, f/5.6, using my 18-55mm lens at 32mm

Auto WB

Tungsten WB (On my D50, it's labeled as "Incandescent")

Flourescent WB

Custom WB (Created by shooting a piece of white paper and setting it based on that image)

For me, the interesting thing is how close the flourescent and custom white balances are... the light fixture in my dining room (where I shot these) has CFL bulbs in it; I'm going to reshoot this tomorrow in my living room to see if I get different results.

In thinking more about these, I decided that maybe it's weird because the pumpkin isn't a bright white, it's more a pale beige... so I reshot, using a white Apple mug I have. The results:
Auto WB

Incandescent WB

Flourescent WB

Custom WB

Week 2 - ISO & Shutter Speed

I know it hasn't really been a week, but I'm trying to get caught up with a group that's been at this since the beginning of the month! LOL Bear with me!

The assignment: The Kitchen Sink Test. Photograph running water at a high shutter speed and a low one to see the difference effect it has on the moving water.

Both photos shot using "S" (Shutter Priority) mode, at 55mm, ISO 1600

Shutter speed: 1/320 s (f/5.6)

Shutter speed: 1/13 s (f/13)

Week 1 - Aperture

The assignment: Take 3 photos of the same thing, using the lowest possible aperture, a mid-point aperture and the largest possible aperture.

f/5.6, ISO 200, 18-55mm lens at 55mm, focusing on the "H" block

f/10, ISO 200, 18-55mm lens at 55mm, focusing on the "H" block

f/36, ISO 200, 18-55mm lens at 55mm, focusing on the "H" block

Starting Anew

I've always played with cameras.
When I was a kid, my dad let me borrow (read: play with) his old Nikon SLR... I'd shoot rolls and rolls of film, playing with focus and composition, and waiting anxiously for my photos to show up again in the bins at Costco.
I took photography in high school, and discovered the wonders of the darkroom and black and white photography... my dad built me a darkroom of my very own, in the guest bathroom at my parents house.
I had one of the first widely available digital cameras, a Nikon CoolPix 880 (or was it 850?) It's so old I can't find a photo of it on the entire internet! I just looked.
I paid $1200 for all 1.2mp of it!
In 2006, Jamie bought me my first DSLR, a Nikon D50, which came with an 18-55mm lens and because it was part of a kit, it also came with a 55-200 lens, which I basically never use.
For Christmas 2007, my dad gave me a flash to round out my options, and that's all the equipment I have these days.

Where was I?

Right, my Nikon. So I've been using it for the last 5 or so years as a glorified point and shoot... I've played a little with its capabilites, but I haven't put any real effort into learning more about the digital side of photography, or translating my existing skillset into something that's useable in this new media.

Which brings me to this new blog. I'm doing a series of online classes through 2Peas, and have joined an online message board with a focus on photography. I'm starting this blog as a place to keep track of my progress overall and generally put my photos in one place.