Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Butterflies tell the story…

If any of you have checked the blog since last Thursday, you will know that I have been neglectful. I had been trying to post photos every couple of days, but this week got away from me, so I needed to find a series of photos that would work together.

 I like concentrating on one subject when I am taking photos, and I am always pleased, after sorting and editing, when I see a story emerge. These photos were taken last spring at EPCOT's annual Flower & Garden Festival. There is always a butterfly tent and using my telephoto zoom lens I was able to get close to the action. I was shooting with the camera set to shutter priority at 1/160 of a second (with shutter priority you set the shutter speed and the camera adjusts the f-stop). All of these photos were taken at ISO 200. I think that if I get to the festival again this year I will use a higher ISO setting and a faster shutter speed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More about using ISO…

In the last post I showed a photo taken in low light using a very high ISO setting. The resulting image is well lit and has very little digital noise. In this post I am showing three versions of a photo where I used a higher ISO setting for a different purpose — capturing a moving object.

While waiting for Eddie outside the YMCA gym on Martin Luther King Day, two boys were skateboarding on the entrance ramp to the closed public library. I had a 70 to 300mm lens on the camera, and I wanted to shoot with a fast shutter speed to capture the motion. By uping the ISO, in this case just to 400, the image senor was able to capture the image with less light — and I was able to use a higher shutter speed to freeze the action. The camera was set at 1/2000th of a second at f/8.

The image was digitally processed in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. I decided that the background colors took away from the image, so I muted the background in Lightroom. Using Photoshop I added a blur to the background to add to the feeling of movement — although I am not sure I am really happy with the results of this last version of the image.

A final note If you have been following my blog since the beginning of 2010, you may have noted that the copyright notice on all of the photos, up until today, have said 2009. My mistake! Most of the photos were taken since New Year's, but I forgot to change the year on my import metadata. It has now been corrected.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Using ISO settings to your advantage…

I was wandering around an antique shop when I came across this stop light. I thought it would make a good photo, but the shop was way too dark for natural light photography. Not having a speed light flash with me, I compensated by cranking up the ISO from 200, the camera's normal setting, all the way up to 3200.

The ISO setting measures the sensitivity of the camera's image sensor to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive to light, and the less light you need to take photographs. The traditional trade-off for high ISO is noisy photos — the higher the ISO, the more digital noise in the photo — until now. I shot the traffic light photo with my year old Nikon D90 using an 18-70mm zoom lens. The aperture setting was f/4.5 at 1/5 of a second. The photo was processed in my digital darkroom using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Friday, January 15, 2010

Enjoying the return to nicer weather…

The pair of Sandhill Cranes that live at Travelers Rest Resort came out on Friday to enjoy the return of warmer weather. Cranes sometimes stand  on one leg, with the other leg tucked under a wing. I was really lucky to be following the birds with my camera when one of them decided to unfold their right leg from under the wing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Baby it's cold outside…"

As I said in my last post, it has been cold in Florida. As of today, January 11all of Florida has been affected by an extended cold spell. Most years it gets cold for a day or two, and then warms up, so this cold spell has taken everyone by surprise. Today I took a few photos around our RV resort — winter in Florida!

Every Monday and Thursday a local farm sells vegetables at the park. Today the customers were lined up as usual, but instead of standing around in shorts and t-shirts they were bundled up and shivering.

It is not only the people who are feeling the cold. Every night, and some days, all of the fragile plants need to be covered to protect them from the cold.

But even covering the plants doesn't always save them from damage.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Glimpse of Spring…

I took these series of tulip photos last spring. With everyone, including those of us in Florida, in the grips of a cold winter, I thought it would be a good time to post photos of flowers!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Silent Sentries…

For over five years I have been taking photos of statues, with the idea of making a handmade book of my statuary photos. Maybe this will be the year! At anyrate, these two statue photos were taken on Monday in the Lake Margaret garden at our RV resort. The gardens around the lake are very inviting, lush, and lovingly cared for by the garden club ladies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter in Florida…

It is cold here in central Florida. It is the middle of the afternoon, and I am not sure that the temperature has gone above 50ยบ. Overnight, for the past several nights, the temperature has been in the twenties. Brrr. During my photo walk through the park area on Monday, I did come across a tree with berries that did not appear to be affected by the cold. I think the common name for the tree is Juneberry.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Visions at Lake Margaret…

Sandhill Cranes are amazing creatures. This pair has been at our RV resort for several years. I took these shots with a telephoto lens this afternoon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Celebrating the New Year…

A friend suggested that a good way to begin my year of 365 photos would be with a celebration style photograph. And so, for my third photo of the year, I have posting a photo of fireworks taken last January at Disney World.

It can be tricky to get good photos of fireworks — I am working on getting results I am happy with. Many of the newer point and shoot digital camera have a setting for fireworks, and my new Panasonic point and shoot has such a setting. Since I always have the camera with me, I am going to give it a try next time we visit the Magic Kingdom. I also want to use my Nikon D90 DLR and try some of the tips that Pop Photo posted last July at

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year…

My wishes for a 

Happy, Healthy and 

Peaceful New Year.

In my last post I wrote that my blogging goal for 2010 is to post a photo a day — or 365 photos. I will certainly make me work for my photography. I need to get my my existing photo library organized, and I plan to spend a lot of time with my camera — and subsequently with my digital darkroom. I begin my quest (because it is a quest) with two photo for January 1 & 2. I had hoped to take a new photo to post on New Year's Day, but here in Central Florida it was raining a good part of the day. Instead, I looked to a series of photos from our stay in Hollywood last fall. In the mall behind Grauman's Chinese Theatre (yes, there is an urban mall behind the landmark theater) we saw this kiosk selling hats — mostly Yankee hats. I took a couple of shots before someone working at the kiosk said that photography was not allowed. I disagree — we were in a public venue — but I knew I already had some shots, so I moved on. I think the photos are fitting since our family is populated by avid Yankee fans, and there will be a Yankee themed family wedding next spring!