Day 310 – Studio Fun – Part 1

Another visit to the Old Bakery Studio and this time experimenting with a variety of different lighting set ups and hands on experiments. I am going to share a few ideas that I got to try this week. On the images were taken it this session on my crop frame camera with a 16-35mm lens and in manual mode.

Abstract Images

The set up
The set up

This is the set up for the first image I am going to share … Continue reading

Advertisements

Day 305 – Experimenting with Bokeh

With dark evenings approaching and some lights up outside to celebrate Halloween, I wanted to see if I could create shaped Bokeh. I watched this video online and then I made my own lens cap to give it a try. The video did not detail what camera settings so I had to work that out for myself and I added up working in manual so that  I could have a go.

My top tips would be –

  • 50 mm lens
  • Wide aperture as possible
  • Shutter speed fast enough to avoid camera blur
  • Avoid focusing on the lights
First Attempt - ISO100, F1.8, 1/10sec
First Attempt – ISO100, F1.8, 1/10sec

As you can see some of the lights were pumpkins others small LED’s – the LED’s worked best, I then experimented with focusing distances and making sure that I kept the lights out of focus. On some of the shots I also played around with the white balance of the image and the hues in lightroom to see if I could create a different effect.

One of the other things I have been reading up on in a photography for bloggers course, was how to create a collage style image in the print module in Lightroom – print can not only be used to print images but to create jpgs, so you can easily customize images with watermarks, and design them to fit different social media platforms!

Bokeh collage created in Lightroom.
Bokeh collage created in Lightroom.

Day 290 – A visit to the sea

We had a visit at camera club on Monday by a local photographer – John Buttress who had been awarded a fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society (one of 841 people) and his specialty was exploring Coastlines. You can view his fellowship panel here.

It was an interesting evening, he shared with us photos from all around the UK and from Nova Scotia. Most of the photos were taken around the hours of dawn and dusk and had the most amazing light, but to me the photos gave me a different view of the beach he had looked at the details of the sea scape – the parts of the scene rather than the whole. I came away thinking that he had a great eye for creating pictures and that I could benefit from looking at more of the close up details – so this was my intention when visiting the beach today!

The beach - ISO100, F16, 1/125 sec
The beach – ISO100, F16, 1/125 sec

I was back at Highcliffe, this time with a battery in my camera and walking into the opposite direction… the light was interesting, the clouds diffusing it and at the same time allowing sun rays to shine through.  I wanted to make photos though from the beach rather than the bigger picture.

Paw prints in the sand - ISO100, F16, 1/100sec
Paw prints in the sand – ISO100, F16, 1/100sec

When on of the photo buddies ran along the wet sand – he left indents in the sand which quickly filled with water and then disappeared.  I captured them cause it gave me the feeling that I was not alone, and I loved how the waves retreated into the background adding a slight sense of timeless movement to the image.

A brick eroded on the beach - ISO640, F16, 1/200sec
A brick eroded on the beach – ISO640, F16, 1/200sec

This brick caught my eye – it was such a great colour, and when the tide washed around it and then back out to sea it uncovered a third stone – so I had three distinctively different stones, the power of red and a lovely indention in the sand – details can be interesting!

Where the sea meets the beach - IOS400, F16, 1/400sec
Where the sea meets the beach – IOS400, F16, 1/400sec

This is my favorite shot today – I love how the water is lit by the sunlight, how the bubbles add texture to the sea, how wet the sand looks and how symmetrical the image looks. I think the colours are great too. It is a relaxing, soothing image and contains a lot of negative space.  What do you think?

A pebble on the beach - ISO250, F16, 1/320sec
A pebble on the beach – ISO250, F16, 1/320sec

Watching how the water moved on the beach and the patterns that were left on the sand was interesting, and there were so many great textures to examine – I liked the diagonals on this image, as you are led through the picture, with the slight movement recorded on the water.

Wet Sand - ISO250, F16, 1/320sec
Wet Sand – ISO250, F16, 1/320sec

Wet Sand, another image inspired by John’s talk, his talk and images really highlighted to me that less is sometimes more. I don’t like the fact that you can not identify the location, but I do like the timeless feel the image has, and how it reminds me of the beach, the moment before wet sand ruined my shoes, family days out, my eldest’s first walk ( on a sandy beach 16 years ago) and I can really understand how the right light could add more to an image like this – my photos were captured mid morning.

Black and white coastline - ISO320, F16, 1/400sec
Black and white coastline – ISO320, F16, 1/400sec

The beach in black and white – the foam acts as a leading line to the sea, the items in the sand draw your eye and the reasonable shutter speed freezes most of the foam on the sea.

Reflections on the sand - ISO100, F16, 1/100 sec
Reflections on the sand – ISO100, F16, 1/100 sec

Stepping further back – there was also some amazing reflections on the wet beach of the sky, the texture of the wet sand provides all sorts of interest. I have boosted the yellow and blue colour saturation in this image, as I wanted those colours to be enhanced.

My final image is of a large piece of seaweed – the two stones lead into the image, and I chose a shallow depth of field so that the line of the sea weed would be softer and not draw you out of the picture. Timing was tricky here, as I wanted to freeze the moment that the sea touched the seaweed so I had a contrast of textures and so that the white foam highlighted the details on the sea weed even more.

Seaweed at the waters edge, ISO125, F6.3, 1/200sec
Seaweed at the waters edge, ISO125, F6.3, 1/200sec

I have certainly discovered this year that I enjoy taking photos in the natural environment. I have also discovered that hearing the stories behind other people’s images and seeing examples of their work can certainly inspire my own images. I think being a member of a camera club is a great idea – it brings variety to my photography and encourages me to see things differently. I have never followed or researched a famous photographer as I have always wanted to create my own images – but I think maybe I need to look at more work of others…

So today I am proposing a question… and would love to read your answer in the comments below … Who are your favorite photographers, who inspires your images or who do you think I should look at?

Day 225 – A bit of fun, Abstract Images

A fun abstract image… not sure how this would go do with camera club. Remember this image:

PhotoChallenge-Poppies-0452-1

I saw a video online where you can change any image to an abstract … you can watch it here: there has also been an article about it with some great examples. It is really simple, dead easy to do… and I actually quite like it – I tried it with a variety of images, see if you can guess:

  • Poppies
  • Bluebells
  • A flag on a tower
  • Spinnaker Tower at Night
  • Bluebell Railway

Photo 1
Photo 1

Photo2
Photo 2

Photo 1
Photo 3

Photo3
Photo 4

Photo 5
Photo 5
Have you a favorite? Do you think I should enter them into a Camera club competition? Share your views below… can you guess which is which?

Day 147 – All you need is love

“All you need is love” … I saw this saying on a pebble in a shop the other day and I thought it was a lovely saying and a great reminded that if you are loved or love something then that is all you need, and you will find a way to achieve what is possible… anyway I decided that the pebble did not belong in the shop but on a beach…

So I have took the pebble with me out and about and tried photographing it in a variety of natural environments, getting in close, and working with natural light and it is really interesting to see what effect different backgrounds make to my image. I never knew I could discover so many different beaches.

All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.
All you need is Love – photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.

I think the one below is my favorite one…. I was amazed at the amount of different textures you found when you started looking, how different the pebble looked in different environments, how different angles, the changing light and shadows all effected the end image …  I think I want to find another object to explore with.

All you need is Love - photos on the beach is natural light, different beaches.

Day 138 – Pencils.

Experimenting with my 100mm Canon EF Maco lens on my Canon 60d, I was trying to see how close I could go to the subject and what amount of detail I could capture, I am also doing Emma’s challenges (#Remarkable2015) one of which this week was to take around 20 photos of the same subject… so today was my opportunity to try this.

20 pictures … 20 subjects … well a packet of 20 coloured pencils…. I thought about:

  • Complimentary colours – so I selected groups of colours
  • Odd ones one – somehow making the photo different
  • Odd numbers then as the challenge was to think creativity even numbers too.
  • Choosing the depth of field for different effects
  • Choosing what was in focus.

The results were:

Interesting I discovered I liked the ones that broke the rules of photography more … and I think my favorite is this one, which is just colour… which surprised me… I really like the abstract feel,

ISO 100, F5, 1/3 sec
ISO 100, F5, 1/3 sec

Day 115 – Fields of Yellow

I love fields of yellow … when you drive along through our wonderful countryside, fields of yellow make me smile. It is like a whole field of sunshine.The plant in question is the rapeseed and farmers cultivate it for its oil, and it’s also used to manufacture biodiesel, but did you know it is part of the cabbage family…

Anyway today I had the chance to pop into the field and capture my own field of yellow. I took a variety of shots, changing my angle, my aperture and my shutter speed to capture my own sunshine photos!

Below – F13, I wanted to capture the details of the field – but in reality you struggle to know what to look at… to me this is like a photo I would have taken a few years ago and been happy with it.

ISO100, F13, 1/250 sec
ISO100, F13, 1/250 sec

This is a similar image but with a shallower depth of field, and more in the shade them the above shot, the shadows are less harsh amongst the plant and your eye is drawn more to the details in the foreground.

ISO100, F6.3 1/250 sec
ISO100, F6.3 1/250 sec

Standing out from the crowd … delighted with this one, by changing angles and looking across the field rather than down onto it I was able to draw out the detail in the flowers and yet see the sea of yellow with the complimentary blue sky.

ISO 200, F5.6, 1/2000 sec - focal length 120mm.
ISO 200, F5.6, 1/2000 sec – focal length 120mm.

I would never have thought to shoot upwards .. but today I did and the rapeseed looks stirking against the blue sky, composition was much harder though as I was trying to get the flowers pointing into the image and unwanted foilage caused shadows and blur where I did not want it and did not notice in the LCD screen.

ISO 200, F5, 1/4000 sec - focal length 63mm.
ISO 200, F5, 1/4000 sec – focal length 63mm.
ISO 200, F4.5, 1/3200 sec - focal length 24mm.
ISO 200, F4.5, 1/3200 sec – focal length 24mm.

I looked up, so I had to look down – amazing what a difference that made – a totally different feel to the photo! Could you have imagined that they created such different images?

ISO 250, F6.3, 1/250 sec - focal length 120mm.
ISO 250, F6.3, 1/250 sec – focal length 120mm.

I am still back button focusing – and I discovered something amazing today … I can focus on something, move the camera and create a completely abstract shot by taking the whole thing out of focus … I love it … a really impressionist feel that I want to look at to see what I can see.  A few years ago I would have thought it was out of focus, but now I am begining to get the concept that with my camera I can create an image, a feel, an impression!

ISO 200, F8, 1/1000 sec - focal length 95mm.
ISO 200, F8, 1/1000 sec – focal length 95mm.

I then tried selective focusing – I zoomed in onto the field and selected a plant to focus on – you can see it a third in and let the wide aperture blur the foreground and the background creating a layering effect. In the first photo I was kind of looking down onto the rapeseed and you can see lots of stalks….

ISO 100, F6.3, 1/800 sec - focal length 250mm.
ISO 100, F6.3, 1/800 sec – focal length 250mm.

Moving my feet … lowering my position and I got this shot – my favorite for today  – a field of yellow sunshine which draws you into the shot to see the band of flowers in focus and then to the blur beyond.

ISO 400, F8, 1/400 sec - focal length 250mm.
ISO 400, F8, 1/400 sec – focal length 250mm.

Who knew a field of rapeseed had so many photographic opportunities!

Day 106 – Zoom Blur

What is zoom blur?  It is when you use a longer shutter speed, and whilst the shutter is open – zoom in or out of the object you wish to focus on… it is great for creative shots and if you want to capture something different. You can read about it here:

I headed out last night with:

  • Tripod – needed to keep the camera steady, essential with longer shutter speeds
  • My 18-250 mm zoom lens.

I went back to revisit the swan and she was still on her nest in the forest. It is amazing how different light, using my tripod and changing the angle impacts of the same location as on day 91.

Swan - ISO 100, F19, 0.3 sec - 18-250mm lens, 35mm focal length
Swan – ISO 100, F19, 0.3 sec – 18-250mm lens, 35mm focal length

As the swan was only resting, I choose to experiment with lens zoom – I ensured that the swan was central to the shot and first of all zoomed in onto the swan, pressed the shutter and zoomed out to a wider angle as the photo was taken.

ISO 100, F25, 0.6sec - Zoomed out from the swan
ISO 100, F25, 0.6sec – Zoomed out from the swan

Without moving the camera, I took exactly the same shot – this time though starting with the widest angle of the camera and zooming in within the duration of time the shutter was open.

ISO 100, F25, 0.6sec- wide angle to zoom
ISO 100, F25, 0.6sec- wide angle to zoom

I was amazed how different the two effects were so I tried again…. this time selecting a tree as my point of focus… there was more light available and the shutter length had to be shorter, so I had to zoom faster.

ISO 100, F25, 1/15sec - wide to telephoto
ISO 100, F25, 1/15sec – wide to telephoto

Taking the shot from exactly the same place, but zooming out – I got this great abstract photo – you completely loose sight of the tree – but I like it. Do you?

ISO 100, F40, 1/5sec - Telephoto to wide angle
ISO 100, F40, 1/5sec – Telephoto to wide angle

Day 100 – Fruity Friday Flash Fun

On the 1st of January I would have never imagined I would have undertaken 100 different photographic challenges, experiments or moments and blogged about them. Today I have achieved that, so to celebrate I thought I would experiment with colour – not just any colour – colour diffusers for my flash. I celebrated by blowing my budget and investing  a whole £1.86 (including delivery)  on a 12 Color Flash Diffuser Kit – but what do they do … and are they any good?

I used the same set up as yesterday – but on the off camera flash that was pointing at the white studio background I fixed one of the 12 colour diffusers, to see what it did – and it was amazing… when the flash went off it created a whole different feel to my fruit and a whole different background – but cause the flash was aimed more to the back, I lost all the detail in the fruit, and it looks inedible…  so I had to think of a way to make it work, and it was time to experiment.

Flash with Turquoise Gel pointed at studio background.
Flash with Turquoise Gel pointed at studio background.

The photo below shows a different flash diffuser – a vibrant pink one this time – but I added a second flash  in front of the fruit, so that I could brighten up the fruit and OMG after a few experiments in worked, playing with the manual flash settings, I had the kind of image I wanted – I could see the orange fruit, the white flesh of the inside of the orange and a background lit by flash – no Photoshop wizardry, just in camera wizardry and interesting effect.

Off camera Flash with a pink gel fitted, and a directional flash pointing at the fruit.
Off camera Flash with a pink gel fitted, and a directional flash pointing at the fruit.

I was then curious about all the other colour diffusers too… so I took lots of photos – one with the front flash and one without for each of the diffusers and I ended up with the image below – I merged them into one picture in Photoshop – you can see with the front flash added the fruit is lit better, but the background colour is slightly weaker. It is defiantly not something I would have considered making into a picture 100 days ago… but I am to print this out and enter it into my next camera club competition – as something a bit different – who knows what the judge will think!

Fruity Friday Flash Fun
Fruity Friday Flash Fun