Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Your Name in Photos

This is the last photography assignment I have to share with you. Spelling your name in photos. At first I was not to thrilled about doing this, but I love the end result so much that now I want to go find other letters and make a collage for each of my boys.  This would also make an amazing holiday gift for those people that have everything.

All these photos were taking on the same nature walk with my family. I love how all the photos seem to go together.  Each photo by themselves were not that great but together they are so much more.

If you decide to do this please let me know. I would love to see what you do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Putting it All Together

The last half of my photograph class has been putting all the rules and techniques we have learned to use.  We were introduced to the studio and all the lights, back drops and tables that can be used. Let me just say, I would love to have a studio in my home.  I loved doing the studio work.

We learned about the six different ways to light a person for a portrait. The best way to do a model shoot and how take photographs of objects.

My favorite studio shoot was for an advertising ad. Our assignment was to bring in our own props and design and shoot a magazine ad. I really enjoyed making this assignment come together. The best part was helping other people, I really learned so much by doing that. I think this was my kids favorite assignment too, because I needed to make cookies for my props.  Here is the final photo that was edited for a magazine page.

I could serious see doing this type of photography for a living. It was that much fun!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jumping in with Both Feet

When I fall off the wagon, I really fall. Yes, I fell off the imperfection wagon. My perfectionism was winning out and my life started to fall apart. I don't understand why that happens. You would think if you were trying to be perfect, everything would be perfect.  My problem is that I get so caught up in doing everything perfect that I don't start anything if I can not finish it to the 110% standard my perfectionist nature sets. So I've neglected myself, my blog, my home, my crafting and so many other things that I feel like I dug myself into a hole, a big hole.

As they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step. So I'm back on my quest and setting my sights on the things that are important to me and just doing my best, not being perfect, and enjoying myself.

One thing that I was thinking about doing, but the perfectionist was telling me I was crazy, was to sign up for Stacy Julian's class Twelve.

Big Picture Classes

I love Stacy's classes. She rocks!! I also know that her classes have a lot of content. After signing up and looking at the pre-class assignment, I kinda went "Oh, what did I just do." But I also feel the excitement on were this class will go and the new things that I will learn.

So now I'm off to figure out what type of muffins I'm going to make for the class - it's part of the pre-class assignment.  But before I go I have a question for my fellow bloggers.  I want to share more photos and stories on my blog, the problem I run into is getting the photos from my camera into blogger in a quick and easy way.  What is your process for getting your photos ready to be blogged?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Night Shots

This was a fun assignment. My family and I went to a downtown area near by at night. I set up my tri-pod at one of the intersections and started taking photos. It was funny how many people stopped to see what I was doing.

Here are some of the "rules" of taking a night (city) shot. 

Set you white balance to Day Light.  This is because the mix of lights that you will have in the photo.
Set your apeture around F8-F11
Use a super slow shutter speed 1 or 2 seconds
Keep ISO at 400 or lower
Turn off Auto Focus
and the most important - You must use a tripod or set your camera on something.

Another fun night shot is what my instructor called How many faces.  You set your shutter speed to 30 seconds and using a flashlight you see how many faces you can get into one photo.  You shine the light on your face, then turn the light off  and move. Turn the light on again, then turn it off and move. Keep doing this until the shutter is released.  I did the following picture with one of my jack-o-lanterns.

My kids really enjoyed trying to get as many faces as they could in 30 seconds and it was very funny looking at the end results.

Do you have a favorite go to technique when taking photos in low light or do you just avoid those type of photos?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Landscape Photos

For a traditional style landscape photo, you need to consider three things:

  1. You want Lots of Depth of Field. To get this remember these things
    • Use a big f-stop
    • Focus far away - distance increase depth of field
    • Use a short focal length - zoom out
  2. You want good light.  Early morning or evening will give you the softest light.
  3. Composition. Use the Rule of thirds.  Do not place your horizon in the middle of the photo. Place it either a third up or down.
For this assignment I took dozens of photos at a local park. Some were good others not so good. But I learned so much just playing around.  Another thing to consider when taking a landscape is to use a tri-pod. When shooting in low light you might need to use a slower shutter speed and you don't want any hand shake showing up in your photo.

For my class we could only turn in one photo with three edits using Light room to edit the photo. Here is the original photo.

And here are the three edits.

This one I wanted to bring out the cool tones in the picture.

For this photo I was going for old fashion with added noise for that antique look.


And finally I wanted to go dramatic with lots of contrast.

This was the first time I used lightroom to edit photos and I have to say I love it!!  Because I love it so much I decided I wanted to organize my supplies and photos in Light Room, so I'm currently going through the Free Light Room Class over at DigiSrcap 101.  So far this is a wonderful class.  I'm still in the beginning stages because I had a lot of supplies to organize. If you are in need of a good system to organize your stash check this out, it might be just what your looking for.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back lit Photography

I know some of the photograph assignments sound like Greek to some and I know the feeling.  I wish I knew how to describe these assignment in a better way, but I hope these short descriptions inspire you to explore and play with your camera.

The course I'm taking through our Community College has made all the difference. It was well worth the time and money.  It's a 16 week class that meets for 6 hours a week. I've learned so much about my photography by doing the assignment and seeing what others have done. If you ever get a chance to take a course like this, do it, you will learn so much.

Now on to the lesson. I was so excited to learn about back lit photography. I've had my share of pictures were the person was in silhouette because I didn't understand the proper way to shoot when my background was brighter then my subject.  Our assignment was to take three photos.

  1. Subject that is Backlit (background will be bright)
  2. Subject is  silhouetted
  3. Even exposure for background and subject

  For this photo, I metered my camera on the branches.  This caused the back ground to be overexposed, but the subject to be in proper exposure.

For this photo, I metered my camera on the sky. This caused the sky to be in proper exposure but my subject to be underexposed.

For this photo, I metered on the sky again, but I used my flash to fill in the subject for an even exposure of my subject.  This will only work if your subject is close enough for the flash to work on it.

Coming up is landscape and night scape photos.

Friday, November 18, 2011

In Focus

Here is the next lesson from my photography class I'm taking at our local college.  If you missed the other lesson go here to check it out.

Our next assignment in my photography class was Depth of Field.  This is what will be in focus in your picture and you use the aperture setting (or F-stop) to set your depth of field.

F-stop has always been a very confusing issue for me.  I still have to think hard about it but here is what you need to remember.

Bigger Aperture (or small F-stop) = shallow depth of field (less in focus)
Small Aperture (or large F-stop) = deep depth of field (more in focus)

Three things effect depth of field

1. camera to subject distance.  The farther away you are the more depth of field
2. focal length of the lens. The shorter the focal length the more depth of field.
3. Aperture setting. Bigger aperture more depth of field.

For the assignment.  Take two photos of the same scene. Keep the focal length of the lens and distance from subject the same.  Use extreme aperture settings to really see the difference.

f/5.0 1/500 sec. ISO 400 35 mm lens

f/25.0 1/60 sec ISO 800 35 mm lens

I wanted the tree in the forefront to be in focus both times.  When you change your F-stop you must also change your shutter speed (if you are in manual mode). The shutter speed and F-stop have a reciprocal relationship. That means if you move your aperture down one F-stop, you need to increase you shutter speed by one stop too. The reason the ISO changed in the photos was because I couldn't get the photo I wanted at ISO 400 with that large of an F-stop. I just didn't have enough light, so I increased the ISO to help.  

Play around with your aperture and see what results you get.  Remember if you use Aperture Priory setting on your camera, you only need to set the aperture and the camera will set everything else for you.  This is a good way to start to get out of the Automatic Mode on your camera.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Capturing Motion

My first graded assignment in my photography class was all about shutter speed and the different ways to capture motion.

There are three ways to capture motion in a photo.

  • Freeze the action
             To freeze the action into a still image you need to shot at a fast shutter speed.

  • Blur the action
            This type of photo has a clear background but the action is blurred.  For this type of image you shoot at the slowest shutter speed for your settings, without breaking the Golden Rule. (see below for Golden Rule).  The trick to this shot is that the background should be clear and crisp.

  • Pan with the action
             This shot breaks the Golden Rule big time.  Once again you will shot at a slow shutter speed. It's best to set your camera to continuous shot to help capture the subject.  As the subject moves into view you will pan your camera with the motion.  The end result will be a clear subject and a blurred background. 

So what is this Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule states: 
Generally speaking, when hand holding a camera, your shutter speed should be equal to or greater then the focal length of your lens.
You might be saying What?? right now.  That was my reaction the first 5 or 6 times my instructor said this. For most people this will mean you should shoot at 1/60 or faster when you are holding your camera.  This will eliminate hand shake in your photos. 

There are two other rules my instructor taught us.

1.  Follow the Rules.
2.  Break the Rules.

Learn the rules and how to use them and once you understand them, break them to expand your knowledge.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ten on 10

Ten things I must complete before Christmas:

1. Finish my final projects in my three college courses.

2. Buy gifts.

3. Make gifts.

4. Take Family photo for Christmas Cards or I might use one from the 12x Family Blog Hop.

5. Making cards and Sending them out.

6. Making lots of homemade cinnamon rolls.  These are gifts to teachers and friends so I mean LOTS
    and LOTS of rolls.

7. Pick out paint and carpet color for living room and hope we get it done before Christmas.

8. Hang Christmas lights up outside (before it gets too cold).

9. Watch A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and the Grinch that
    Stole Christmas.

10. Drink hot chocolate and watch the snow fall.

This post is linked back to  She will be starting her Journal your Christmas soon, so stop by to find out how you can join in on the fun.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Family x12 Blog Hop

Welcome to the next Family x12 Blog Hop!!  If you are new to this blog hop there is a brief description of what we are doing.

What is FAMILY x 12?
The goal is at least one family photo per month for a year.  It's not that easy getting everyone in front of the camera at the same time.  This blog hop has been helping me make sure I get a snapshot of my whole family each month.  It will be wonderful to see all the changes during the year with these photos. Thanks to Margie for inspiring this blog hop and project.

So let me start this month by saying "Yipeeee!!".  This process of taking a family photo is becoming more natural. I actually have two photos of all of us this month. In the past these activities would have come and gone and I would have been behind the camera instead of running in front of it. It's so nice when something starts to become normal.

Our photos for the month are a quick one where I set the camera on a picnic table, set the timer and ran.  It's not centered or the greatest photo but I still love it because it's my lovely family enjoying our day together.

The next photo is everyone ready for Halloween.

Thanks for stopping by, this is the end of the blog hop.  If you didn't start from the beginning, please head over to Margie's Blog to see her lovely family.  Here is the complete list of participants:

Carol Anne

Friday, November 4, 2011

Monthly Recap...

October is my favorite month. Not only is the landscape turning into brilliant colors, but the days are the perfect temperature. I love the crisp, clean feel of a fall day.  To add to the enjoyment, I also celebrated another birthday and there is Halloween to top it all off.  Here's what else I've been up to this past month.

1. What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

Oxygen & Clean Eating - my usually monthly magazines
Design Fundamentals for the Digital Age - by Linda Holtzchue, Edward Noriega
A Short Course in Digital Photography by Barbara London and Jim Stone
Irish Dreams  by Nora Roberts

2. What movies, television shows, plays, etc. Did I watch this month?

Crazy, Stupid Love

3. What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

Dinner with my Brothers
Date Night with Hubby - dinner and a movie
Friday Night Crop - Did homework, but still had a great time
Surprise party for my Brother's 50th at Bowling Alley
Corn Maze
Food Allergy Walk

Craving Pumpkins

4. What gifts did I give and/or recieve?

I received 2 Script CDs, a DS game - Professor Layton, North Face jacket and an everyday watch.

5. What special or unusual purchases did I make?

Halloween Costumes - Policeman, Faceless Phantom and Joker
Hubby bought large animated witch and skeleton
Turbo Fire workout
Down payment on replacing the rest of our windows

6. What illness or health concerns did I have?

EEG and MRI came back fine.  Working on getting more sleep and reducing my stress. That is helping with the problems.
7. What were my accomplishments this month?

Ran another 5K. This time with my 8 year old.

8. What disappointments this month?

Had to drop my Pilates class - it just wasn't at a good time.
I've also had to cut back on my personal trainer - it was not working into the budget.

9. How did I do on my goals for the month?

I did great on my goals this month.  I wanted to do one more race before winter and I did that with my son.

My other goal was to do deep breathing to relax. I've been doing that in the morning.

10.  Anything else noteworthy to include?

Had meeting with interior designer and carpenters. Phase one of living room remodel has started.
Coaching Lego robotics team.

Goals for next month:

Start my Christmas shopping early, so I'm not running around trying to find that special gift.
Take pictures for Christmas cards

This idea is from Katie the Scrapbook lady.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Little Word Blog Hop

It's November 1st. Only a few more months to explore my One Little Word - Ignite.  I have to admit I haven't been looking at my word much the last few months.  I have been scrambling at the last minute to pull together my prompts.  I actually worked on this months prompt on October 30th.  But I realized even thought I haven't been focusing on my word, my word has been in full bloom.

The prompt this month was to re-do the prompt from February which was to explore your word in photos.   Here are the photos that I took eight months ago.

For this months photos I went back and looked at pictures I took over the last eight months that represented my word, using the nine themes I typed on the original photos.

Strength - I'm still working hard at transforming my body.  Getting stronger and faster. It's a part of my life now.

Love - Of my family, of being outside, of being active.

Joy -Enjoying being with friends and celebrating the things in life that make me happy.

Adventure - Seeing new places and things. Going back to school and learning new things. Exploring my life and the world around me.

Creativity - Learning new ways of being creative.

Balance - Making time for my loved ones and myself. Finding balance with the computer and real life.

Health - Eating healthy. Learning to preserve my own food. Taking little steps.

Faith - Having faith in me. Cutting down on the negative talk within my our mind.

Peace - Finding the peace in me time and on the race trail.

All these themes ignite the power within me. I've really come to love my word. It's helped me so much this year and it's not even over.  Who knows what will be ignited in the next two month??  You'll have to come back to find out.

Thanks for stopping by on the One Little Word Blog Hop.  Your next stop is over at Rebekah's blog

Here is a list of all the participants.

Julie Ann