Monday, March 29, 2010

I Heart Faces - Dramatic B&W

This weeks challenge at I Heart Faces is to capture an emotional picture and transform it into a dramatic B&W photo. I was wracking my brain this whole weekend trying to figure out where I could come up with an emotional photo and my mind constantly went to crying, or sad, or mad. I neglected to think about these photos I took just a couple weeks ago of my son playing with my husband in our back yard, and the total elation across his face. He was having so much fun.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fix-It Friday

Fix It Friday is back at I Heart Faces. Go visit if you'd like to participate. Download the original and do some edits yourself and share!


What a great picture! I didn't crop the photo in any of my edits because I love the angle and how this beautiful girl is just off center. Its a great shot!

Edit 1:
Boosted color, sharpened, brightened.

Edit 2:
PW's "Soft and ethereal" action

Edit 3:
Converted to black and white with a little adjustment in the contrast.

Loved this picture!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Before And After Blog Hop

Monica from Pixel Perfect is hosting the Before and After Blog Hop again this week and I am excited to participate. I've been playing with my PSE a lot this week, trying to get to know it a little better, and have started playing with actions as well.

A couple weekends ago we went down to Boston to visit the New England Aquarium and I got some great shots of the area. It was a gorgeous day so we had a bright blue sky and plenty of time to walk around outside. Right next to the aquarium, on Long Wharf, sits this landmark: Custom House Block



To get this result, using PSE 7, I cropped the photo, saturated the colors, slide the levels slider to the right then used Coffee Shop's vintage news action. I changed the action a little bit - adjusted the vignetting away from the center and played with the color a little bit. I like it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Heart Faces - A different Angle

Today's I Heart Faces challenge is about pictures at a different angle. As soon as I read that I knew which photo I was going to use. I absolutely adore this photo of my son, who I was looking down at, as he was smelling this pine cone.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Heart Faces - "Bundled Up"

I Heart Faces week 11 Photo Challenge - "Bundled Up"
We've had plenty of snowy, bundled up days around here! Enjoy :-)

The Sunny 16 Rule

All advice you get about photography states that you should avoid shooting in midday sun as much as possible. High in the sky sun creates harsh shadows, can cause blown-out photos and just overall doesn't help create a great picture. Reality is, though, that it isn't always possible to avoid that bright midday sunlight.

The Sunny 16 Rule is an aid for getting good exposure in bright sun. It isn't a miraculous fix, and it won't solve all your midday sun problems, but it will help, and as far as I'm concerned I can use all the help I can get!

Exposure is made up of three factors - ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. The Sunny 16 Rule simply says that at F-stop 16 you should set your shutter speed nearest to your ISO as possible. Once your aperture is set to 16, check out your ISO (for example - set at 100). Next, set your shutter speed so it is at 1/100 (or as close as possible to that). If you move your ISO to 200, move your shutter speed to as close to 1/200 as you can get. If your ISO, for some reason, is set at 800, move your shutter speed to 1/800, or as close as you can get. Get the idea? Keeping these numbers relative to each other in a sunny setting should get you a great exposure. SHOULD.

What if you want a different aperture to get a blurry background? Well, since there are three factors, as long as one is constant you can change the other two and get the same results. To get a wider aperture (smaller f/number) you can change that down and switch the shutter speed to a faster number. Since the aperture controls how much light is let it, changing the shutter speed to control how much is let in for how long will give the same effect. Confused? Hows this:
These f-stops correlate with the following shutter speeds if your ISO stays at 100.
f/16 - 1/125 sec
f/11 - 1/250 sec
f/8 - 1/500 sec
f/5.6 - 1/1000 sec
f/4 _ 1/2000 sec

Now, what about those non sunny situations? Isn't there help for that?

Changing your aperture in these situations will make great exposures:
f/16 for Sunny
f/11 for Slight Overcast
f/8 for Overcast
f/5.6 for Heavy Overcast
f/4 for SunsetFor these f-stops follow the same rule - match the shutter speed nearest to the ISO as possible.

Good luck, and happy shooting!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Photography Class Gone Wrong, Then Right.

Last month I began a photography class I signed up  for through Adult Ed in a nearby town. Now, I realize taking a photog class through Adult Ed doesn't exactly scream professional, but it was a great price and the way I see it is that even if I get one thing out of the class it'll be worth it. You can see my first impression here.

Week by week by week by week went by and I held my hopes high of getting some new information. The reality of the situation was that I have more information that the teacher does and I was getting frustrated about it. I kept reminding myself, though, that all I needed was one thing and I'd be happy.

Last week was a prime example of students teaching teacher. She was trying to explain aperture to the class but had it completely backwards. Eventually I spoke up and corrected her and others in the class were asking ME questions. By no means am I a wealth of photography information (hello! Thats why I'm taking a class!), but I am learning - on my own - and I get it. I've read so many books, I could tell you everything about my camera and what it takes to get a good shot - its executing it that I want help with.

Finally last night I got my money's worth. Finally I was able to leave knowing more than I did when I got there. What a great feeling! I wasn't frustrated, I wasn't bored - I was happy! Finally.

So, since I am feeling so great about it, and since I feel like I now have some really great information, I am going to share it! I am not taking credit for any of it - I am simply passing it along. Stay tuned for some photography posts that I sincerely hope will help you, even just a little bit.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fix-It Friday

Another Friday, another fix! Join in over at iheartfaces to do your own fix to this picture!



This Fix was the most challenging yet. The original was a bit dark and to me became a bit grainy once I lightened and cropped it. So, I turned it into a b&w and added a glimmering lights texture to it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fix-It Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!


Edit 1:

Edit 2:

Edit 3: