Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Photo Shoot - Cemetery

Taking a short break from vacation photos (yes, I still have more to blog).

I needed to get out of the house and go shoot some photos.  Many months ago, a friend suggested going to a cemetery.  There was one close by that was easy to get to, and since I was short on time, it was the perfect destination.

This cemetery is small.  I would guess roughly 200 people buried here.  It is, however, historic.  It's located next to the city's historic church and museums.  Many of the city's founders are buried here.  I recognized a lto of names as I walked by the headstones.  

I'm not one to venture into cemeteries.  In fact, with the exception of my grandfather's graveside service (and I use that term loosely since it wasn't really a service, just us watching them lower the casket), I've only been in 1 cemetery one time, and it was because my boyfriend's mom thought it would be fun to drive through.  I didn't (and still don't) understand the attraction to spending one's leisure time looking at graves of strangers.  However I had a different mission today.  To look at things through a photographer's eye and capture some unique and eye-catching images.

However, being interested in history, I found myself being as curious about the stories of the people there as I was about getting artsy photos.

While it's not super artsy, I was captured by the dates.  Their birthdays were 1 day apart.  And he died 6 months after her. The romantic in me says he died of a broken heart. But being 78 probably didn't help things any.

I was captured by this spider web and the way it glistened in the sun.  Trying to respect the grave sites, I was unable to get a great angle, but I thought this was pretty good.

Poor little girl.  She was born 4 days before my sister.  And only 19 months when she passed away.  I don't even want to entertain thoughts as to why she died so young.

These were pretty.

This was a large pillar marking the family's site.  One of the 2 middle schools in the city is named for him.

Another big name in the city.  One of the major roads is named after this family.

I was captured by this bench, crumbing and falling over.  The tree behind it.
It was a lot more enthralling than I could capture.

From an artistic perspective, this was difficult to capture because of the drastic lighting differences.  I'm still not sure how to properly meter for shade and sun on the same subject.  But my heart was broken by the size of the grave markers.  This was one family, and the two smallest sites were young children, 4 and 7 I believe.  

Initially I was caught off-guard with the name. It's the same last name as one of Andrew's friends - I wonder if there's any relation.  It's a beautiful headstone.  I love the softness of the bushes around the stone.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vacation Photos - 5

No trip to the Northern California coast is complete without a jaunt through Redwoods.  I LOVE redwoods.  I am fascinated by them.  I am amazed by their enormity.  I am in awe at their stature.  They have character.  The "speak" to me.  I can't get enough of them.  When walking through the forest I forget that I'm supposed to be taking photos and just stare at them.  Take in all their beauty.  Like the ocean, I could stare mindlessly at redwood trees for hours.  

Looking up; low-angle; sun-burst
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 18.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/100s; f/4.5; ISO: 200

Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 70.0mm; shutter speed: 1/15s; f/4.5; ISO: 200
Went to take a close-up of the flowers and there was an insect on them.  It stayed there long enough to get a couple shots.
Flowers; Close-up; Insect
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 48.0mm; shutter speed: 1/125s; f/5.3; ISO 400
I was captured by the fence construction.  Really simple, but with the moss growing on it, it made for great a photographic subject.
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 40.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/13s; f/5.3; ISO: 400
There was this cool tree that had obviously been burned some how.  Not sure what happened, because it's the only tree in the area that is dead due to fire, so it must've been something small.  The sun was behind the tree, so I had to work around the sun, and attempted to get fancy sun burst through the holes in the tree.  This was the best one.  I think if I had more time I could definitely get something better, but for a backlit photo of this nature combined with my inexperience, I'm pleased.  Perhaps a lower ISO setting in dealing with the bright sun, then I can decrease my shutter speed so the tree isn't underexposed.
backlighting; sun burst; tree
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 55.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/15s; f/5.6; ISO 400
Another low-angle photo showing the massiveness of the trees.  I love the braided look of the bark on this one.
Tree; low-angle
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 18.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/8s; f/5.0; ISO: 400
An attempt to get a landscape view of part of the forest, using the path for a leading line, leading out of the forest.
landscape; trees; forest
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 30.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/4s; f/4.0; ISO: 400
Same idea, but showing the height of the trees.
forest; tree; landscape; leading lines
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 18.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/10s; f/9.0; ISO: 400

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vacation Photos - 4

Another set of vacation photos.  

This is a small seashell on the beach.  The foreground and background were the same distance from the lens, so it requires the "Who-Cares Aperture" of f/8.  This allows for maximum sharpness throughout the whole photo.  It's a super easy composition and I just LOVE the result.  I couldn't stop shooting these when I found them on the beach.  I like that this one has some other "stuff" in the shot.  Adds a little character to the tiny shell.
"Who Cares Aperture"; seashell; sand; beach
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 48.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/800s; f/8; ISO 200
Another "who cares" aperture with a stone
"Who Cares Aperture"; stone; sand; beach
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 55.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/1000s; f/8; ISO 200
So one of the state parks in the area has an old dock/pier that has nothing left but the support posts.  It created for a really fun compositions. This was one of my favorites.
Landscape; beach; sand; ocean; leading lines
Panasonic DMC-FH20; Focal Length: 9.6 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/320s; f/4.0; ISO 80
The beach isn't nice white sand, but little tiny gravels.  It made for lousy sand castles, but neat photographs.
gravel; macro
Panasonic DMC-FH20; Focal Length: 5.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/250s; f/3.3; ISO 80
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vacation Photos - 3

More vacation photos.

The first two were an experiment.  I wanted to get Audrey's footprints, but she wasn't heavy enough to make imprints in the sand.  While they are very similar photos, the second one is my favorite.  I liked that I had the focus on the water, so the out of focus footprints lead to the in focus water ... as opposed to the in focus feet leading to out of focus water.  It believe the little adjustment makes a much stronger photo.

footprints; beach; water
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 45.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/2500s; f/5.3; ISO 200

footprints; water; sand
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 55.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/2500s; f/5.6; ISO 200

landscape; beach; ocean; water
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 34.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/125s; f/22; ISO 200

This one was super cool.  I was trying to not drop my camera bag in the water, not let Audrey run away, prevent my shoes from washing away in the waves, and get the angle that I wanted on this rock.  I shot 3 or 4 (all without really looking because I didn't want to lay down in the wet sand) and this was my best shot.  I was quite impressed with how it turned out, since I didn't have time to fully compose the photo or  really even look at what I was shooting.  If I were to get this shot again I think I'd go for focusing in on the water drops in the background.  I like how the water leads up to the rock, but I wonder what would happen if the water led to the drops.
water; leading lines; beach
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 50.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/320s; f/8.0; ISO 100

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Vacation Photos - 2

One thing we enjoyed a lot while we were on vacation was the ocean and beach.  I'm a sucker for a good ocean view, whether it's from the beach or the cliffside or the road.  I love to watch the waves roll in and crash on the rocks/sand.  I love the color of the ocean.  I love the interaction of the still, unanimated land with the moving water of the ocean.  It's all very cool and amazing to me.  (Can you tell I grew up in a landlocked stated?)

Ahhh ... ocean landscape.  I'm in heaven.  I liked this photo for the small beach, the large cliffs, and the tiny people down below. Not the prettiest beach in the area, nor the prettiest ocean, the view just grabs me.  Landscape photo, wanting to capture the whole story.  Trying to achieve a "beginning, middle and end" in the photo.  I don't have a wide angle lens specifically, but my stock lens zoomed all the way out does OK.
Landscape, Ocean, beach.  Mendocino Headlands
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 18.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/50s; f/22.0; ISO 200

I love the small boat in this picture.  It gives the viewer something other than the ocean and hills to look at.  It also shows how massive nature is and how small man (and man-made things) is.
Landscape; Ocean; Beach. Mendocino Headlands
Nikon D3100; Focal Length 18.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/50s; f/22.0; ISO 200

I know ... I tend to do these a lot.  They're fun.  Looking at normal "things" in a different sort of way.  
leading lines
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 18.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/1250s; f/4.5; ISO 200

Yep ... another one of these.  I had to manually place the flowers on the log to achieve this look.  I tried without the flowers there, but without something close to focus on, the image just didn't jump.  I was very pleased with the outcome of this.
Leading Lines, flowers
Nikon D3100; Focal Length; 40mm; Shutter Speed: 1/2000s; f/5.3; ISO 200

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Vacation Photos...

Just returned from a long overdo vacation.  Not only was it great fun and relaxing, but it was a chance for me to practice many of the photography techniques I read about and wanted to try or have been working on.  I took probably close to 1,000 photos, uploaded 200 to my flickr page, and have about 30-40 I want to share.  So I'll do this in phases and in no particular order.

Sleeping Baby; low-light
Nikon D3100; focal length: 52mm; Shutter Speed: 1/3 sec; F-stop: 5.6; ISO 3200

Spiral Staircase from below; low-light
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 18.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/3 s; f/5.0; ISO: 3200

Leading Lines
Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 45.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/200s; F/7.1; ISO: 100

AUTO MODE: Panasonic DMC-FH20; Focal Length: 5.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/125s; f/3.3; ISO 160

Nikon D3100; Focal Length: 42.0 mm; Shutter Speed: 1/500s; f/5.6; ISO: 200

Flowers, hands
NIKON D3100; Focal Length: 40.0mm; Shutter Speed: 1/1000; f/5.6; ISO: 200

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