Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photo of the Week: February 25

Wow! Great group. Ten. Largest group yet. Yahoo.

Once again, place your vote by leaving a comment as to which number you 
prefer and why. Good luck!











Sunday, February 21, 2010

To All Followers....

Please feel free to enter a picture or two in the 'Photo of the Week'. Get them in
by Wednesday afternoon by emailing me: Vote by picking the
picture you like best, take the number by it and write a post.  For example: I like #5
because of the color, compostion and subject... or for whatever reason.  Thanks for joining

February 18th: apertures, sunlighting

We have talked a lot about the basic mode zones and what you can do with aperture priority and and shutter priority. The article that I am linking you to is to help you get out of those zones. Why? So that
you can start looking at the more creative aspects of photography. "How to bypass the Portrait Mode"
Be sure to visit all the links this article has.

Next, let's look at our class this past week.
Facing the sun, okay it sure "brightens" the face. It down right washes it out, makes you squint,
cover your eyes, close your eyes, look down, peek through your bangs, all kinds of 'attractive'
features.....NOT.  While the background isn't bad you still see the cars, the overhang and other
small distractions. So what did we do? We not only changed the direction of the sun, we change
the angle from which I was shooting.

Shooting down takes away the distractions. The background is plain the focus is on the subjects,
you. Putting the sun to your backs allows you to open your eyes, there are no harsh shadows 
across your faces, nor are they dark from shadow. I metered on your faces. In other words I 
exposed or used the exposure setting best for your faces. It meant the background would be a
bit washed out, but that's okay since you are my subjects. If I had a fill flash I could have used 
that to lighten your faces and keep the background if it were important. The other thing the sun
does is create nice highlights in your hair that frames each face. An angelic look. 
My depth of field or f-stop was probably not big enough if I wanted you all focus. I think I had it 
near f8. I should have gone higher to f16 to get everyone focus. A smaller opening to let in
less light would have created that. If I had used f2.8 (a large opening) probably just Sarilda,
Kinzie and Lily would be in focus and everyone else would gradually get more and more out
of focus.

Here, one subject is in focus and others are slightly out of focus. The sun is behind, 
colors pop and you still see smiley faces and highlighted hair.

Your Assignment: pick a subject and blur the background. Get them in ASAP

PLEASE remember to put 'WHS Photography Class' in your subject of your email. 
If you don't it gets lost in my email and I have no way of finding it again. Also please 
don't give me links to photobucket or other sites. Just sent your jpeg.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo of the Week-not exactly Valentine's but definitely Gold Rush, yay Melanie!!

Melanie did a super job with clarity, lines, color and adding tilt to show excitement of the ride.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pictures of the Week: Gold Rush

Remember, vote by picking the number of your favorite picture and leaving a comment. Thanks for participating. Good work to these photographers.





Gold Rush: A Valentine's Christmas/ASSIGNMENT

Looking at some of your pictures tells me that at least a couple of you took advantage of the Gold Rush Carnival of Lights. I love GRush for that reason. It's like shooting Christmas all over again, but enjoying the proximity of Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Eve I snuck down to the carnival at dusk and got some various shots. I always have to experiment with my settings until I get what I'm after, shutter speed being the all important factor. I have found this NIGHT-TIME Tutorial that puts it much better than I could put it down in words. I learned something too.  I didn't turn off my IS (image stablizing) when taking my shots. Do you think it shows?
Would my pictures be sharper? I don't know, probably.  I hope I remember next time.

Do you know how long it takes to wait for 'that moment'
when all things line up? Here, three of the rides are in
motion at once (that was a rarity) and I got a trailer with
lights to come through this outside lane for lower and 
upper streaks. That's photography luck!!

Last week we went over things we've learned and I tried to get a handle on what YOU
HAVE learned. Overwhelmingly you all seemed to want to learn more about aperture
and blurring your background. Again, at one of my favorite sites is an article on aperture.
Now, you DO have to read the article. You won't gain anything by just looking and it 
helps to have your camera handy to practice as you read. This weeks ASSIGNMENT:
Submit one picture with a subject and a blurred background. Then take that same subject
and make the background focused too. Get them in quickly. See you Thursday.
You should have no problem finding the link :)  Go to other links at the school if you
wish. Focus on the assignment first.

Monday, February 8, 2010

And this week's winner is a TIE!

The tie is between number 1 and number 4 both belong to Melanie Gay! Congratulations Melanie!!

Because of Valentine's I'd like our 'Picture of the Week' this week to be Valentine related. You be creative.  As long as it shows love or the Valentine's theme, it's good, do keep it clean :)  Remember to use all these good things you ARE learning!  ;)

Happy Valentine's from Aunt Laurie and Sarah!

Happy Snapping and Valentine's..... Mrs. Blakeley

February 4th: The Mona Lisa?

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.  --Ansel Adams
    I italicized the 'two' because if you apply it to portraits it should read 'at least two'. Unless it's a self-portrait you'd have to include the person getting their portrait done.

"The Mona Lisa?" you ask skeptically, "Really? What does that have to do with photography?"

Digging into the cobwebs of my mind and dusting of the recollections of my Art History classes, the Mona Lisa was a 1500's painting that rocked the world for portraitures. She set a new standard. Before her time, 1300 and 1400 paintings were detailed, stiff, rigid, mostly profiles and full length. Mona, shall we call her, brought us close up, intimate, personal, in your face! Gone were the minute details of the background, things took on a haze, a blur, in photography, Leonardo opened up his aperture. The colors of the background and her clothing are muted not to distract from the subject, 'beautious' Mona. There has been an unending debate (the last I knew anyway) about the unmatching halves.  Check them out. Is it a river, an upper lake, and how would they work together?

Now, check out her composition. She has been set in 'pyramid form'. Her hands are light and cross just off center, her elbow going out and up slightly. From there everything angles to the top of her head. This was a revelation in composition.

                               mona lisa painting

So what can we take to photography from Mona?

1. The pyramid can work for portraits.
2. Fill your frame, keep your subject intimate at eye level and turn the body away from the camera.
3. Backgrounds can greatly enhance or detract. Pay attention to them.
4.  Keep clothing and things around the subject subtle.

This picture of Phoebe is a similar pose Though not angled enough, her hands and position carry off the same type of compositon.

This is an example of 'blurring' your background. You would want to use Aperture Priority in the Basic Zone Modes of your camera or AV if you have Canon brand. You would then set the aperture wanting a large opening. If I was using my big white lens I'd put it at f2.8. That lets in a lot of light and therefore blurs the background. This pic is the Mona Lisa of chess. The pawn is in focus and the background is fuzzy.

Here everything is focused. We would be pre-Mona Lisa in the art world. You see all the details. With the camera you are still using AV mode but you are setting your aperture very small, an f22 would be good. "But that is a large number," you say. Yes. Aperture function is opposite. The smaller the number the Bigger the opening. The bigger the number the Smaller the opening. Less light=larger depth of field.

Assignment: Try some Mona Lisa type shots. Blur your background. Send them in. Have fun.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Picture of the Week 2

Winner: Lily Grote for Picture of the Week 1. There were 2 votes, both for #3. Check the comments at the bottom of the post.  Congratulations, Lily! 

Great shots this week!! Get on and vote everybody. Here are this weeks pictures, now go vote:







Hard decisions everybody. Vote away. Please leave your comment, you don't have to do it anonymously. Please only vote once. Do get your friends to log-in and vote and then go out and shoot some more.