Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pink It Is

I am not into flowers or plants that much so I can not tell you what this is, but I can tell you it is pretty.  I have a huge bush that these bloom on about  two times a year and they are so pretty.  They don't last very long, so I have to enjoy them while I can.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I am scared to death of snakes.  Twice I have photographed snakes.  That makes a lot of sense right!  The most recent time, I was at a State Park in Panama City, Florida.  I was walking down a long planked walk way toward and alligator pond when something went streaking across my path.  I thought it was a stick, but then I saw it was a little snake!  I freaked out, did a little scared dance and then….jumped off the path and went after it.  Yeah, when you love taking pictures you do that kind of thing!  The little fellow was so stinking cute (for a creepy snake of course) that I snapped away, until I heard a growl sound from the woods beside me; that was when I remembered I was standing by an alligator pond in the first place and I wished the snake luck and hot footed it out of there. Got to love it!      

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Need, The Need for Speed

The cameras that I use both take SD cards.  I know, I know – the pros use compact flash – well not this lady!  I love the size and convenience of SD cards, and well, I love the price!  They are super cheap!  On my Nikon D7000, a 16gb card is only about 500 photos ( I shoot large RAW files), so I can run through cards super quick.  I like that when I have a big job, at the end, I can keep the card as an extra back up and just buy a new one.  One thing though to be careful of with SD cards, make sure the write speed is fast enough.  It was a rookie mistake that it took me a while to figure out, but a slow card will mean that you could miss great shots while your camera tries to push data to your card.  A write speed of 2 is out of the question for me.  It cannot keep up with any form of rapid fire shooting.  My preference is a write speed of 10.  That is labeled ‘professional’ on most SD packaging.  It works great for me, but I think probably a 6 or higher would work for most people.  Just a tip that I took the long and slow way around to learn!  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pan and Click

I am not a fan of tripods.  I know I should be because they give you sharper images, but to be honest, I am a bit lazy when it comes to my shooting style.  I like to catch a moment a grab the camera and go, and a tripod is normally the first thing I forget to bring!  With that said though, if you want to be serious about your shooting, you have to get a tripod, and sometimes you have to use it.  This picture is an example of why.  I took this photo on a bird watching trip.  I was locked onto a tripod and was able to smoothly pan along with this bird snapping photos.  Because this little guy was a LONG way off, the tack sharp shot could be cropped down to accent the bird.  It is in this times that I have to say, I love my tripod ;) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lesson 2 - Last 1 (I promise!)

Leading Lines:  I will admit that my example is not great for leading lines, but it kind of shows the idea.  Look for lines and curves that take your viewers eye across the image or through the image.  On this photo the natural lines of the wood draw your eye across the photo and may hold your interest just a touch longer than if there were no lines at all.  (and yes, I know that caterpillar is not tack sharp, the little buga would not be still!). 

Lesson 2 Continued (again)

 Border Control:  no this has nothing to do with Mexico!  When you take an image, it is easy to capture extra 'stuff' that is not part of the image that you want and it make take away from your subject. 
In the first image, there is a little too much going on.  There are extra ducks and a leave floating that take away from the subjects (which were the yellow and the brownish ducklings).  By cropping and cleaning the image just a bit, it changes it and leads the eye to focus on the two subjects. 

Lesson 2 Continued

Suggestion of Thirds:  I love that Mr. Fortney calls this the suggestion and not a rule (which is what it is normally called).  The basics around the rule of thirds it to off set your image.  If you image there are 9 segments to your image (made up of three horizontal lines and three vertical lines) the points where they segment are the areas you make like your subject to be.  (google: rule of thirds if my description boogles the mind). 

This image is a great example of using the rule of third. It adds depth and interest.  If the deer were in the middle, it would be a deer in the middle.  But because the deer is off to the left, it causes the mind to want to wander off and think about the deer and the woods and were it may be going, etc.  There is power in the 'suggestion' of thirds. 

Lesson 2 Composition

Composition - the ability to say "here is what I saw and here is what I thought was important".  That was a great way for Bill Fortney to explain the importance to proper composition to photography.  They key ideas to composition are: fill the frame, the suggestion of thirds, border control, and leading lines. Now to see if I can come up with an image to explain each of these!

Fill the Frame:  the definition is in the title!  but to elaborate, cut the noise, and the distraction and just have your subject be the entire image.  In this image, the subject is the cat's eyes.  One of the biggest mistakes photographers make (guilty) is having to much extra in the shot that is not necessary.

Learning to Shoot Photographically - Lesson 1

There is an amazing lesson on Kelby Training called "Learning to Shoot Photographically" and it is led by Bill Fortney. 

The first concepts that were covered talked about light and the two main lighting situations that we daylight photographers incur.

The first is: Specular Light

This first image is an example of Specular light. Had I been next to anything to show shadows, there would have been deep shadowing from the harsh bright light. This lighting can create some very vivid images, but you have to catch it at the right time of day. 

The second is: Diffused Light.
This photograph was taken right when some storm clouds were rolling in and this sailboat was heading to the safety of its harbor. There are no harsh shadows are strong lighting lines. There is soft even light. 

It is easy as a nature or outdoor photographer to forget what lighting you are using, but taking a moment to think about it can make a huge difference in your images and how you set them up.

Kelby Training

Awww, Kelby Training!  For those of you who don't know, I am a die hard Scott Kelby fan girl.  Mr. Kelby is an amazing photographer/photography legend and I believe president of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals.  I recently signed up for a year of Kelby Training to sharpen (no pun intended) my photography skills. 

I thought there would be no better way to drive home the lessons than to blog about them, so that is what you will be finding here over the next year.  I hope you enjoy and will check back frequently to see what I have learned.