Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Town in Black and White

Philadelphia, PA

Feature photos of your town...
but they need to be in black and white this week!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Favorite Vacations – Spotlight Photos

What a great My Town Friday Shoot-out.  This week’s participants really outdid themselves.  Everyone had more than one photo making my job extra hard.  First to choose just one from each then to try and post 5 or six of those.  We seemed to have an equal division of Foreign Lands, Home Country and Family spots.  Camillo just rolled his eyes back into his head as I talked about the cool places I’d like add to our vacation list. 

I gave up trying to be impartial –  I hope you enjoy the slideshow featuring one photo from each of us….

I am already looking forward to next week’s  My Town in Black and White. 

If you missed Rebecca’s tutorial backtrack back to Tutorial- Shallow Depth of Field and read all the way through from start to finish, I am sure you will find a few gems of information that will help improve you photography….. I know I did.   I think I need a new camera. (Camillo are you listening?)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 8/24: Vacation Spots

Where do you love to vacation?
Do you go on vacation to rest and relax...
or do you DO vacation and keep busy with activities?

Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

Tutorial: Shallow Depth of Field

A shallow depth of field in photography 
has the effect of making your subject pop 
because the subject will be clear and stand out
against a blurred background. 

This effect can be achieved in a couple of ways. 
We'll go from least to most technical.

1. Least Technical: Subject Placement
You can begin 
by keeping the subject as far away from a background as possible. 
The further away the background is from the subject, the easier it is to blur it out. 
It is not always possible to move the subject 
but keep this in mind when you experiment. 

2. A Tad Technical: Zoom In
Next, ZOOM! 
Stand further away from the subject and zoom into it. 
Not only will the help minimize facial distortion from being too close 
it also creates a shallow depth of field.

You knew it was coming....
technical basics:

In both cases, 
you will want to use the largest aperture possible. 
(Aperture is the opening in your lens, 
measured numerically in 'f-stops')
This is because the larger the aperture setting (f-stop), 
the more shallow the depth of field. 
Every lens has aperture settings.
Check your lens by reading the numbers on the front of it.
In the case below, the largest aperture is f3.5 when at 18mm (not zoomed in),
and is f/5.6 when zoomed in at 55mm.

Above: This is typical of cheaper lenses, 
a more expensive lens will maintain an aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom process. 
Non-zoom lenses can open wider that f/2.8.

The tricky part is, 
the larger the aperture (lens opening) the smaller the aperture number.
As shown below, f/2.8 is a larger opening than f/11.

3. A Bit More Technical:
Use the Portrait Mode
You will need to take the camera off Auto, 
but this is still pretty easy.
Choose the Portrait Mode setting on your camera. 
Portrait Mode tells the camera to use 
a shallow depth of field and will select the other settings accordingly 
to achieve proper exposure.



4. Semi-Technical: 
Use Aperture Priority Setting 

If your camera has it,
instead of switching to Portrait Mode, 
use the same dial to select Aperture Mode (A or Av.) 
In aperture mode you tell the camera to select a certain size lens opening 
and the camera will select the other settings accordingly 
to achieve proper exposure. 

For a shallow depth of field
select the smallest number you can achieve with your lens/camera.
You change the aperture selections
by using the a dial on your camera.
Each camera is a little different.

A great little exercise is to set up a subject against a background...
perhaps a flower.
Keep the camera in the same location, use a tripod if you have one.
Select Aperture Priority in the semi automatic settings.
Choose the largest aperture by dialing the aperture control dial. 
Take a photo.
Select the next aperture setting, one step smaller opening. 
Take a photo.
Select the next aperture setting, one step smaller opening.
Take a photo.
Select the next aperture setting, one step smaller opening.
Take a photo.

Keep doing that
then look at all of your images.
Take note of the effect the aperture setting has on your background.
If your aperture is f/5.6
the background will be more blurry than if your aperture is f/16

5. Buying A Lens
Selecting a large aperture opening
is the most common way to attain a shallow depth of field.
Each lens has different aperture settings.
The larger the aperture opens 
the more shallow the depth of field you can obtain,
but the more expensive the lens.

However, if you have a Canon DSLR
there is a nifty little lens that isn't too expensive compared to others.
It is the 50mm f/1.8 lens.
It does not zoom
but the depth of field is potentially much more shallow than
 the lens that came with your camera.
It is a great starting point for Canon users.
(PS. The top photo was taken with this lens.)

Now it is time to practice  
because our theme for September 7 is Shallow Depth of Field.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spotlight photos for "The work you do."

I loved this theme.
It made me feel as if I know everyone so much better.
A wonderful group of  folks out there and some different slants to our theme.

Dawn Treader's
Helping Others
Makes like worth living.

Jama's skills in the kitchen.
Yum, yum, yum
I can't visit her kitchen physically but virtually I can smell the cookies.

GingerV's love of travel and what she saw in
I won't ever get there so thanks to GingerV. I can go via her camera.

Looking at Daniellie's Simplicity,
an error with the settings is sometimes quite

I can almost feel the frustration living and surviving on a farm in Pauline's, Waters Rising.

Jarie Lyn gets around with her camera for special occasions.
I love the beauty of the couple, the angle this is shot from and the marvelous sky in the background.

An omen of blue and gray skis to come in life
faced with chin up and eyes shining.

Be ready for
Your Favorite Vacation Spots
next week


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 8/17: The Work You Do

We all work in some way or another. 
Weather it is a job, interest or hobby - 
tell us something about yourself and what you do.

Lobster Fishing in Maine, USA

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Spotlight photos for Children

Spotlight Photos for August 10th -theme- Children

How can one select a photo of a child over another.

Here are some guidelines given to us by Rebecca.

Get on their level!
Your photos will improve dramatically if you photograph 
children at their level 
rather than the standard adult looking down on the child. 
No Posing. 
Rather than trying to get posed shots,
let the kids play
and capture WHO they are
not just what they look like.

Continuous Shooting.
Children are active. 
Set you camera to the Continuous shoot option and 
capture a series of shots of them at play.  
Play Simon Says.
Simon can suggest actions 
or facial expressions that are fun. 
And when someone goofs, 
the reactions are fun too.

Give them Something to Do...then SHOOT!
Blow bubbles
Coloring in books 
Eating an ice cream cone 
Playing ball
With a Pet
On a swing 
Giving hugs.

I will do the best I can.

The indication of what's to come in the world of photography

Nothing is going to take my attention away from this delicious concoction of sweetness, I don't care what everyone else is looking at.

Using the rule of space in every direction.

The look of wonder and adventure.
Makes me want to know what is that in there?

What the world needs now is love, sweet love, that's the only thing there's not plenty of.
Ed and Reah

 John Wayne potential?

I knew you would like my pink hat and cup of water.
 Jurong Birdpark.
Everyone of these shots were taken using the guidelines listed above.
This was a great learning experience for me.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 8/10: Children

Photographing children can be a challenge, 
but also lots of fun. 
Here are some tips we posted previously.

Philadelphia Baby Photographer

Now it is your turn to share the children in your life.

I am away and have limited internet.
This week is auto posted -
hopefully linky will show up.
Otherwise, please leave your link in the comments.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spotlight photos for August 6th

The bridges of ...........
was the theme for this week's
Friday Shoot My Town.

Dawntrader's Nachen the neck, the Nix
a taste of faery land.

 This angle of Kim's bridge makes a very pleasing and balanced presentation.

 I like this because the bridge is visible but the unique focus on the trees gives it an otherworldly look.

Jama's view of the walking bridge points out the uniqueness of this bridge in Singapore.
I like the idea of a place to cross to the other side of the water and the idea of being able to view all that is going on in the area. 
The world's first double helix bridge.

Both of her shots of this bridge are quite interesting.
Would love to visit this.

GingerV's bright colorful and a little different take.
A ferry does BRIDGE the gap between land and island.

An amazing photo from Primo of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The kind I don't care to travel on.
One similar to this in St. Pete's Florida.

Showing my representation of rural bridges
even though this one was updated for display only.

Enjoy the world of photography and join us next week for


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 8/3: Bridges

This week we are sharing the Bridges of ______________ County/Parish/Township

For me it is The Bridges of Philadelphia County...
fill in the blank and share your photos.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Philadelphia, PA 

I am away and have limited internet.
This week and next week are auto posted -
hopefully linky will show up.
Otherwise, please leave your link in the comments.