Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Sun is not My Friend

It's a gorgeous day. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Perfect to take some photos, right? Well kinda... Abby posed on the deck and I thought the sun half lighting her face would be a good thing. Actually it's a little harsh and I've lost the details in her face.
So I moved her into the shade...that's better.
But when she moved down off the porch I noticed the lighting pop on her face. She was facing her white house and it was acting as a perfect reflector.
 But if I angled her just right, I could get just a soft shading on her face with a soft highlight.
 Lesson - use the sun reflected rather than directly right on the subject.

ASSIGNMENT - Find someone to model for you and see if you can bounce some light off of something white (like a piece of posterboard) to get some soft reflected light on their face.

Feel free to post some photos to the Flickr group. Here's the info Flickr group - 1 Photo A Day ... With Bonnie McCaffery - You upload photos to your Flickr account and when you're in the 1photoaday Group page, that's where you select which of your Flickr photos to post to the group.

 - 1 Photo a Day....makes me happy (and a better photographer) Bonnie McCaffery (always a student)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Selecting the Background

I love bokeh (that soft blurry background pronounced like "bouquet") that you get when you use a larger f-stop. But even with that beautiful softness in the background, I found I liked the photos better when I chose the coloring of the background. While this photo has a lovely blurring in the background, there was just too much going on in the background.
Looking at this photo, I wished I had moved just a little so the blurry branch wasn't behind the photo.
The bark of the tree looked like a good possibility...
 ...So I moved around and put the tree bark behind the flower instead of the greenery.
 I love the subtle blur of bright green in the corner of this one.
 Two of my favorites this morning were the beautiful blue sky blur behind the pink flowers.
And the gorgeous rich darkness (from the dark woods far in the background) contrasting against the whiteness of the flowers.
 Lessons Learned
1. Think about what is behind the subject as well as the subject itself.

ASSIGNMENT - Take some photos being fully aware of what is in the backgrounds.

 - 1 Photo a Day....makes me happy (and a better photographer) Bonnie McCaffery (always a student)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Did you take 1 photo a day?

I should walk every day, but do you know what stops me from doing it? I'd have to change my shoes. Yup. I'm a lazy girl. So now I try to put my sneakers on when I get dressed.

To commit to taking 1 photo a day, you have to have your camera out and ready with the battery charged or a spare one nearby. While the commitment is 1 Photo a Day, once you pick up the camera you might be inclined to take a few more. And that's the take photos and learn as you go.

Several people have said they would like to go on this discovery journey with me. I will post an assignment each week. So sometime during the week think about this while you're taking your photos. These don't have to be the only photos you take, but at least think about the assignment once when you have the camera in hand (or not, the choice is yours, ha, ha). I'll set up a Flickr Group so we can share our photos. It will be a place to post your best photo of the week (1-3 photos a week). This way the group photos will be our best and we won't be flipping thru a bunch of "pretty goods". BTW "best" just means your best photo that week. None of us are pros, so they might not be perfect. But they should be worth sharing. ASSIGNMENT - this one will be an easy one (or maybe not). Take 1 Photo a Day. Pick your best shot for the week and post it to Flickr. Ok, there is a second part of the're going to have to sign up for our Flickr group. Flickr group - 1 Photo A Day ... With Bonnie McCaffery - I'm new to groups, so be patient with me. Any challenges, send me an email at bonnie@bonniemccaffery. I'm on the road a bit, so it could take a couple days to answer. Thanks for joining me. We're going to have a good time and learn along the way. - 1 Photo a Day....makes me happy (and a better photographer) Bonnie McCaffery (always a student)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Light, Medium, or Dark - Bracketing

I had a day off between teaching in Connecticut so I decided to just go for a ride and see what's could find to photograph. I drove awhile before seeing a little side street to the water - I love the water. At the end of the road, there they were...hundreds of swans. They were bathing, preening, swimming ...and offering me a perfect opportunity to play with my camera. I had a ball taking a ton of photos (isn't digital amazing? Just toss the photos that aren't good.)

I played with the Exposure Bracketing (called Exposure Comp. on my camera) on my camera...this lets you take 3 photos with 3 different exposure settings (one of them is bound to be good). I found it was a good idea to change from Single Shooting to Continuous Shooting so the camera would take 3 photos in a row.

The Lessons -
1. Just go for a ride and see where it leads just never know where the photo ops will be...
2. Play with the Exposure Comp. (AEB) settings on the camera.

 - 1 Photo a Day....makes me happy (and a better photographer) Bonnie McCaffery (always a student)