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Archive for May, 2010

Still seeking images in the yard, looking for a different point of view.  I like this straight-down view of the chives with the different levels of clarity created by the shallow depth of field but most of all I like the color contrast created by the green stems as a background for the purple blooms.

Aperture Prioirty at f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec.
Focal Length:129mm
ISO 400

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I was searching around the yard for images to fulfill the Friday photowalk tip for subjects close to home and the weedy grass in the front yard was tall and had gone to seed.  The low sunlight was giving a nice backlight and these blades of grass seed made a perfect subject for shallow depth of field.  I like how I’m getting three different levels of clarity in the blades of grass with the last one in the back just glowing white round orbs of light.

Aperture Priority at f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
Focal Length: 218mm
ISO 400

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Rusty

Last Friday’s photowalk tip was to find your subject close to home.  This image is a close up of a rusty old mik can that sits on our patio.

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This old farm tractor has it’s share of circles too, but they don’t dominate the image like they do in the previous shots.  Peaceful is what comes to mind when I view this image – a silent tractor at a standstill, waiting at the edge of the field bordered by trees.  Viewing this you’d think you were in the middle of the open countryside – in reality, it’s just a few hundred feet from a busy road and one of the larger wineries on Long Island.

Shutter Priority at 1/1000 sec.
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 109mm
ISO: 100

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A rusty old seat from a piece of farm equipment provided some nice circles and some nice texture as an added bonus.

Aperture Priority at f/5.6
Shutter Speed 1/250 sec.
Focal Length: 249mm
ISO: 400

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Side view of a grinding stone – lots of little circles in the steel but what I really like is how your eyes and brain tend to complete the curved lines in the side of the stone, seeing them as circles too.

Aperture Priority at f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec.
Focal Length: 208mm
ISO 100

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Old gas pump at the Hallockville Museum Farm on Long Island’s North Fork. 

We headed out there for the Fleece and Fiber Festival to check out the sheep, alpaca and llama sheering, spinning and herding demonstrations.  I discovered that there are a lot of CIRCLES on a farm.  I’ll be sharing a few of them with you over the next few days.

Aperture Priority at f/8.0
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec.
Focal Length: 135mm
ISO: 100

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Lots of nice textures and colors on the surfaces of this old cellar door – wood, concrete with lichen and copper oxidized with a beautiful blue-green patina.

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Along the trail we found this pair of chairs, apparently being punished for something they did – left far from civilization, chained up in the woods…  (DH thinks it was just to keep anyone from throwing them in the water – he’s got no imagination).

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No walk in a nature preserve is perfect without spotting some unexpected wildlife!  We heard something crashing through the woods and a deer went bounding by.  More noise alerted us to his companions.  This fellow was just as interested in seeing us as we were in him.  It’s not a perfect picture, but I am pleased with a few things about it. 

Compositionally, I like that he is staring right at us and lowered his head to get a better view under the branches.  I was ready and grabbed the shot.  I like how those branches frame his face (too bad there was one small twig in the foreground that’s creating a bit of blur across his face).  

From a technical standpoint, I’m happy that I was thinking fast enough, and that I’m getting comfortable enough with my camera to make some quick changes hoping to improve the results.  I increased the ISO to let more light in and get a faster shutter speed to try to freeze any movement (I should have bumped it higher), I increased the aperture to get more depth of field (that reduced the light, resulting in a slower shutter speed hence the 1/13 sec. which is pretty slow without a tripod, and the reason I should have bumped the ISO higher) and I switched to manual focus to dial in on the face so the auto-focus didn’t lock in on a leaf or branch in the foreground.  Next time: increase the ISO a little more to get a faster shutter speed and maybe go with f/14 to let in a little more light.  At least that’s my thinking on this – I’d love to hear from any of our more experienced photowalkers with any additional advice on what settings would be advised.

Focal Length: 270mm
ISO 400
Aperture: f/18
Shutter Speed: 1/13 sec.

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This shot was taken from the same spot as the shot posted yesterday, aiming at an area of the water that was halfway between the reeds in the background and the higher shoreline I was standing on.  Sometimes just a small change in your point of view yields an entirely different image.

Focal Length: 300mm
ISO 200
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec.

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Lines

Seatuck, a new nature center, opened to the public this spring so today we trekked over to check it out.  The north trail was closed due to wet trails but we hiked two other short trails that took us through marshlands and wooded areas.  I’ll be sharing some of the photos from our hike over the next couple of days.  The lines and reflections caught my eye – it wasn’t until I downloaded the photos that I noted the red-winged blackbird in the background.

What I’d do different next time:  Increase aperture to something longer – f/11 or higher to get better sharpness on the bird and reeds in the background.  Increase ISO if necessary to maintain a fairly fast shutter speed

Focal Length: 300mm
ISO 200
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec

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Last of this series – trying a different set up.  I’m torn between the three when it comes to picking a favorite.  I think each one has elements that work.  Which is your favorite?

ISO 100
135 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
1/80th sec

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Adding a few more elements to the image this time around – keeping the focus on the blooms in front, letting the shallow depth of focus blur the teacup and crystal vase in the background.

ISO 100
77 mm
Aperture: f/5
1/50th sec

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More lightbox work – wanting to rely less on the seamless white background, trying to set a mood with props.  An antique linen tablecloth with a hand-crocheted lace boarder seemed to fit the delicacy of the pink Azalea.

ISO 100

300 mm
Aperture: f/11
1/8th sec

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I need to get out and search for some new subjects, but in lieu of that since time did not permit, I trekked out to the garden and snipped a few chives to play around with in the lightbox.  The goal today, try to set up a pleasing composition in addition to working on getting the lighting and exposure right.  The clarity and depth of field are getting better – I guess it pays off to keep practicing.

ISO 100
135mm
Aperture: f/10
1/60 sec.

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Yellow

These little yellow wildflowers almost didn’t look real.  The intense shade of yellow was almost more than you’d expect to find in a little half-inch bloom.

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The Virtual Photowalk Mini-Assignment for May is Silhouettes.  Here’s my first submission but it won’t be my last.  I enjoyed trying something different and I want to pursue this technique further.

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