Photography Browsing

As often happens with many people, I have lots of photographs on my computer. I take them. I look at them in the 2 inch viewfinder. I load them onto my computer. I kind of forget about them. My wife and I have been talking about getting some of the pictures printed and framed for our home, but it just hasn’t happened yet with all of the other things that need to get done. Today, however, I had some time and I started looking. What did I discover? Well I take a lot of pictures. A LOT! and quite a few are almost meaningless to me know that the event has passed. That said, there are some that are a pleasant surprise, and others that are worth revisiting. Not everything is worth printing, but they do deserve a second look. Here are some of the photos I found that deserves a second look. These pictures were predominantly taken at various point in the last year.

Let me know what you think. May be I should do a keep or pitch type activity at some point, but not today. I just started looking at and organizing the pictures.

Trying New Photography Tricks

Over the last little while I have been trying some new things with my camera.  What’s the point of having the thing if I’m not going to try to use some of its cool features.  Also, I want to get back to taking pictures like I did with my first real, and trusty, camera — a 1970’s Pentax K1000.  That’s right, my first camera is that old, and I really did STOP using the AUTO setting.  After years of point-and-shoot cameras and phones with increasingly improved cameras, I am taking more time with, and getting more enjoyment from, my DSLR.  Actually I pretty much moved away from that basic AUTO setting when I bought the current camera, but every once in a while I fall back too or some of the other presets so I have been making a concerted effort to take different types of photos.

Here are two photos I recently took as I try to expand my skills.  I still have a lot to learn, but it was fun researching how to take the pictures (sometimes afterwards) and seeing what I managed to take.

Unedited image of lightning strike over Cobden

Unedited image of lightning strike over Cobden

RAW photo

Unedited long exposure star trail photo

The lightning strike image was taken fairly quickly as the storm rolled through the Ottawa Valley.  I didn’t really set up the camera properly, which is why the image is a bit blurry.  Also, I didn’t have a god sense of all the settings needed for a good shot.  The star trail shot was taken with a 90 minute exposure in my backyard.  I had done some reading about how to take this kind of shot, but it was really just a shot in the dark in terms of what I would get.  There is a fair bit of ambient light from neighbours’ windows, a street light, and the moon so I’m amazed I managed to get anything at all.

After I played with the Nikon photo editing software, which is relatively basic stuff but good for me to start with, I ended up with these images.

Lightning Stike Storm in Cobden Mother's Day Weeekend 2015

Lightning Strike Storm in Cobden Mother’s Day Weekend 2015

Star Trails test Shot over Ottawa May 2015

Star Trails Test Shot over Ottawa May 2015

I still have lots to learn about the photographic techniques required for these shots, as well as the post processing tricks, but I’m actually pretty happy with the results.

As always, tips and suggestions are welcome.

Learning to Look More Carefully

Maybe I should have a made a reference in my title to the Boy Scout motto to “Be Prepared”, but the basic message is the same. I let a colleague have a look at my camera recently, but I did not check the settings when she gave it back to me.  Of course when I went to take some pictures on the weekend, I had more than a few problems.  The camera wasn’t working the way I expected it to.  I made some quick adjustments and managed to get some good shots.  Great, problem solved — or so I thought.  When I downloaded them to my computer I discovered the other setting she had changed.  I was no longer shooting in RAW, only JPEG.  Turns out I actually like to shoot in RAW because of the editing options it can offer.  IN the grand scheme of things it’s really no harm no foul, but this experience did teach me a valuable lesson to check my gear BEFORE I plan to shoot.  I wonder if there is a market for slightly blurry pictures of trees and lightning?

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Clouds

I’ve often considered posting to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, but I never had the nerve/confidence to put my pictures up there with so many other great photographers.   Today I’m home with a sick child and I actually have some time to go through some of the ridiculous number of pictures my family has taken.  I figured why not put some out there, if only to get the pictures seen by people, and maybe to get a little feedback.  Enjoy!