Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I heart Faces - Water

Nikon D3100; shutter speed: 1/4000s; focal length: 70.0mm; f-stop: f/4.5; ISO: 1600

iheartfaces this week is featuring WATER! Water is such a fun and challenging subject matter. I like the fast shutter speed photos, capturing each individual water droplet coming out of the source (the sprinkler, in this case).

This is Audrey, cooling off in the sprinkler a few weeks ago.

Check out more water shots at iheartfaces.com

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Double" Exposure

Digital cameras are fun.  And the extent to which one can play and edit the photos on the computer is endless.  Which sometimes makes simple things from the days of film cameras boring.  Or even more fun and cool.

A double (or triple or ....) exposure on a film camera takes a lot of deliberate work.  It takes a special button. It's tedious to ensure that the subject is centered and fills the frame fully.  With a digital camera you know you can edit afterwards and crop properly or adjust lighting if necessary.

I had a vision for a double exposure - a flag blowing in the wind with a firework going off.  I grabbed my first photo, the flag.  Although the wind wasn't blowing, so I settled for dangling from the flag pole.  Then to get my next photo.  To get a full dramatic effect, I desperately wanted to get a firework at is exploded into a million pieces in the sky, as opposed to shooting straight up from the ground.  Well, those that shoot into the sky go so fast and I could never tell what kind of firework my neighbors were lighting, so I had to guess.  I missed them every single time.  Finally, with my camera on video mode, I managed to get a couple seconds of one going up into the sky and falling to the ground.  Then in Picasa I was able to snag a snapshot from it and superimpose it over my photo of the flag.  The following is the result:

I'm quite pleased with this as a first attempt at both fireworks and multiple exposure.  I'm anxious to improve my fireworks photography next summer.


Warning, this post has several photos.

Fireworks are legal in our city.  We are the only city in our region of the bay where fireworks are legal.  These become HUGE fundraisers for nonprofit groups and the city really brings in a lot of money.  People come from all over the region to set off fireworks.  And the residents have a blast.  So instead of going to a professional fireworks show, which I thoroughly enjoy, we (along with our neighbors) hang out at home and watch the at-home displays.  I don't care for setting them off myself, so I just watch.  Our neighbors put on quite the display.  (in past years, cops have been stationed just outside our neighborhood waiting for the illegal fireworks to come out; this year our neighbors toned it down some).

The girls were both asleep, so I took the opportunity to sit outside and take some photos of the fun.  It was a great experience to shoot in low light and need a fast shutter speed.  And to really figure out the proper exposure for something so obnoxiously bright with a black background.  Because the fireworks happen so fast, there isn't much time to figure out the proper exposure.  This is one area where I'm very thankful for a digital camera, because I can see if my exposure is accurate before I shoot 50 pictures over or under exposed.

Some of my neighbors really know how to do it right.  They set up two tall ladders and placed a plank across them and used it as a stand for the fireworks.  It made for some neat angles for shooting pictures.

The following are some of my favorites:

I love how you can see his smile, which expresses the pure joy these kids get out of doing fireworks.  He's getting some great summer memories. 

the street on the following morning

the street on the following morning
As an aside, I'm amused how some of these photos look like space photos when viewed out of context.