Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's About the Light . . .


Someone asked me on Facebook the other day if I'd ever thought about doing a photography workshop. I had to be honest and say I don't even understand f stops and always shoot on the automatic settings -- and only some of them.  My camera (a Nikon D 90) does all the work -- and could do more if I'd apply myself to learn its ways. 

One of the few things I know is that I get better pictures in early morning or late afternoon --when there's light and shadow.  And that flowers generally look better with the light behind them.  

Judicious cropping, courtesy of the Picasa app (free download) is the other thing I rely on. I was about to delete the day lily pic below because the right side was blurry. Then I noticed the glowing orange of the opening bloom on the left. A few seconds with the cropping tool and I had, not a great picture, but one that I liked better.


 These next two pictures were taken around 10:30 AM -- I was in the garden pulling weeds -- and the light's too direct. The flowers look flat. I need to catch them with the light coming through them, if possible.

But I was so excited to see them bloom. These are the California poppies from seeds my friend Josie sent me. They didn't get planted last year but I found a spot for them this year and here they are -- first time I've ever grown this flower.

Thank you, Josie!

11 comments:

Thérèse said...

You are right light is everything in photography. And California poppies are such a joy to have around.

Merisi said...

"Painting with light" = photography

You have a great eye for the right moment, I knew that the instant I looked at the first pictures of yours I came across. And you handle your D90 very well, no need to overcomplicate things.

From what I see, your automatic setting (P?) does a really good job in choosing depth of field for you. I imagine there being the one or other moment where the automatic setting chooses the wrong spot and a too shallow depth of field, though. It is easier to get the focus everywhere you want it to be by selecting the "depth of field" yourself, using the "A" programme. All you need to know is that the smaller the f-stop number, the narrower the depth of field will be. Once you select the f-stop, the camera will automatically chose the exposure time.

Merisi said...

"Painting with light" = photography

You have a great eye for the right moment, I knew that the instant I looked at the first pictures of yours I came across. And you handle your D90 very well, no need to overcomplicate things.

From what I see, your automatic setting (P?) does a really good job in choosing depth of field for you. I imagine there being the one or other moment where the automatic setting chooses the wrong spot and a too shallow depth of field, though. It is easier to get the focus everywhere you want it to be by selecting the "depth of field" yourself, using the "A" programme. All you need to know is that the smaller the f-stop number, the narrower the depth of field will be. Once you select the f-stop, the camera will automatically chose the exposure time.

Merisi said...

"Painting with light" = photography

You have a great eye for the right moment, I knew that the instant I looked at the first pictures of yours I came across. And you handle your D90 very well, no need to overcomplicate things.

From what I see, your automatic setting (P?) does a really good job in choosing depth of field for you. I imagine there being the one or other moment where the automatic setting chooses the wrong spot and a too shallow depth of field, though. It is easier to get the focus everywhere you want it to be by selecting the "depth of field" yourself, using the "A" programme. All you need to know is that the smaller the f-stop number, the narrower the depth of field will be. Once you select the f-stop, the camera will automatically chose the exposure time.

agentrodsmith said...

Sound advice from Merisi, Vicki. Someone whose work we both admire, very much.

Brian Miller said...

smiles....regardless the camera and skills...its the eye that matters....without that the tools would be useless...

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Wonderful beautiful flowers...a simple camera tool, and voila'
Thanks for keeping on looking, and editing, and publishing! :)

Darla said...

Oh my goodness…that first photo is splendid! I saved a copy for later use as a contemplative writing prompt. And I'm tickled to see your Calif. Poppy … so similar to our Az. Poppies that crop up everywhere once Monsoon season starts …

L. D. said...

All of the photos are so enhanced by the perfect light of you day. You take great shots.

Joan Horton said...

Such beautiful flower pics, enjoy your pics, lifts my spirit. Enjoy your blog

Lise said...

These photos are stunning. I agree that back lighting flowers produces awesome results. I've used flashlights to create that mood when the natural light wasn't cooperating.