Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sweet Spots

I have been having a tough time not being able to make any jewelry for the 
last two weeks.  It's such a part of me that the need to create swells up inside
of me and pushes at the light, forcing it to swirl in limbo, looking for ways to 
come out.

So, I pick up my new camera, determined to find it's sweet spots...
hoping that this outlet will suffice my itch for creation.
Learning those key settings for my environment that give the depth I want,
the highlights bright and the shadows just right.
making the camera show what I see.

I have favorite times of day to shoot, late afternoon faced at the sun
to allow the sunlight to filter through and speckle with spots and rays.
The blue hour of late evening when everything looks dreamy and romantic,
streaked with indigo.
First thing in the morning, when everything is covered in dew and washed clean
from a night of storytelling and traipsing down trails to the land of rock and rye.

But today, I challenged myself to shoot in the bright of the day... 2 pm. 
When it's the brightest time, the hottest time, the time of day that everything
seems a bit sluggish and dull.  

And here's what happened.

{These are all SOOC (straight out of camera), no Photoshopping.
My goal is to learn how to achieve the effects I want by being a better
photographer, not a better Photoshopper.}

 In the Front Yard Flower Gardens:

 
This little guy followed me around begging to be my subject.


f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 100




f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 100

 Red cone flowers in the side garden...



f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

Out Back in the Veggie Garden:


 My first cucumbers are in love with the Nasturtium blooms!

 
f. 5.6                    
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

Baby bloom ready to open


f. 5.6
SS: 1/640
ISO: 100

 The corn has grown leaps and bounds in the last week



f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

 These are the Kaleidoscope Carrots, local and in three different colors.

 

f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

 Some of my lettuce decided to start growing now that it's hot out... 
I think they are confused.  Or I planted them too late. Ha.

 

f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100



 
f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100


 The littlest peppers peeking out towards the sun

 

f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 100


 I am so excited for the tomatoes!  I planted 6 plants in 2 varieties.
And I planted 2 at a time, a month apart from each other,
so that after the first batch is done fruiting,  the last batch is just starting to fruit.
And the batch in the middle gets me through the in between.


f. 5.6
SS: 1/250
ISO: 100



f. 5.6
SS: 1/400
ISO: 160


The Nasturtium also loves my peppers, racing to see who can grow the tallest.


f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 160


To most photographers, including myself, photography is all about the lighting.
How much you allow in and what direction it's coming from are two of the easiest 
things to control.  Even indoors, you can do so much just by shooting with the light
from an open door or window.

But today, I learned a lot about the sweet spots in my yard during the 
brightest time of day.  If you used a regular point and shoot most of your pictures 
would be bright and washed out with very little low lights at this same time of day.
With a DSLR, you can really fine tune and adjust so that you're never limited in
extreme lighting conditions.

I shot all of these in Manual Mode with a Canon 60D.

I used an 18-135 EP Lens.  The lowest I could set the Aperture in most of these shots was f5.6.
I shot all of them with the Aperture at it's lowest (most wide open) which allows in a lot of light. 
This also allows me to focus on one spot and blur out the background. 
The higher in number your Aperture is, the more of your picture is in focus.
The lower your number is, the more your background is blurred.
I prefer a lower Aperture in up close shots pretty much 99% of the time.

To offset all of that light coming in, so that my shots aren't washed out, I set the ISO to 100, 
which in outdoor, 2 pm sunlight, is almost always high enough.
The lower your ISO, the less light it allows in.

Then I just adjusted my Shutter Speed in each shot to get the balance of shadow and light
just right.  You can adjust your exposure to do this as well, but I find it more dramatic
in macro shots to adjust the Shutter Speed. 

I decided that I really like sweet spots.
hmmm.

...
sj*
...

3 comments:

  1. Really beautiful shots Samantha! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful images! Thanks for all the technical information, I think I'll try to be more mindful when I'm out with my camera.

    ReplyDelete
  3. All it takes is a little knowledge and a little experimenting. The great thing about a digital camera is that every time you change a setting you can see what it did right away. Don't be afraid!

    ReplyDelete

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