Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Cheese!

     The subject does not need to look at the camera and say cheese to get a good picture. A good picture tells a story. It captures that moment in time when an expression is natural. Here is a picture of my toddler niece trying so hard to blow bubbles that she became cross-eyed. Haha =P!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shutter Speed = Motion Blur or Action Freeze

     The shutter speed helps in capturing motion blur or freezing action. The slower shutter speed would blur the motion of the object that is moving while maintaining the clarity of the background.

Motion Blur
18-55mm lens at 28mm
f/8 for 1/20 sec

Action Freeze
You can see the defined shapes of the water droplets at a faster shutter speed.
18-55mm lens at 55mm
f/5.6 for 1/500 sec

Follow the moving 'object' with the camera while pressing the shutter.
18-55mm at 30mm
f/29 for 1/8 sec

     All these pictures were taken using trial and error to figure out how to manipulate shutter speed.

Aperture = Depth of Field

     The aperture setting in the camera determines the depth of field of the photo. Shallow depth of field would focus on the foreground and blur the background. The lowest number in the aperture setting would focus only on a particular area you choose to be sharp.

Shallow Depth of Field
18-55mm lens at 55mm
f/5.6 for 1/5000 sec

     Setting your camera to a higher number of aperture would show all the details, foreground and background, in the photo.This is called a deep depth of field.

Deep Depth of Field
18-55mm lens at 48mm
f/20 for 1/20 sec

     If shooting manual is not that comfortable yet, you can set your camera to Av or Aperture Priority Mode. Choose the aperture depending on the effect you want and the camera will automatically balance it with the Shutter Speed =).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camera + Heart

     Let me quote Arnold Newman who said "We do not take pictures with a camera but with our hearts..." Of course knowing the basics and the techniques are guides to creating better pictures. But it is the condition of our hearts when we shoot that determines the outcome of the photographs. It takes much effort to improve in this craft and there is always something new to learn. I believe the best way to start in photography is to take pictures of someone important to you. Then, practice, practice and practice some more =).

     All these pictures are SOOC. I was trying to learn black on black and white on white. Still need to improve my white balance.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great Combination

     I started to play with pictures when I got interested in scrapbooking. I learned how to use Photoshop Elements (PSE). I was able to crop, straighten, place captions on my photos. I was able to design albums and make cards, calendars and invitations. I cannot say I am a master of the software but I could manipulate it and get the desired results. There is still so much room for improvement though. I made the header of this blog in PSE thanks to the free digital kits from Shabby Princess.

     I was introduced to Lightroom in my basic photography class. This software is geared towards photographers since using this to edit is easier. There are presets that can be applied and sliders to play with which instantly show what the effects on the photo are. The latest version, Lightroom 3 has the super easy watermark option.

     Since it is not all the time that we get the best SOOC (straight out of the camera) photos, post processing is a helpful tool.

What's In The Bag

     In my Jill-E red leather camera bag which I bought in ebay (smart huh =]?), I have a Canon EOS Rebel XS. It is an entry level dslr which came as a kit with an 18-55mm IS standard zoom lens. I bought an additional lens, a 55-250mm IS telephoto so I can shoot the boys' school and sports activities from a good distance.

     After reading the three volumes of Scott Kelby's The Digital Photography Book, I now have a loooong wish list of all the lens and accessories I want to acquire. Note to self: It's not the camera but the photographer who creates good pictures =).

Beginning To See

     I have been a point and shoot fan for so long. Almost every family memory has been captured by my ever reliable portable companion. I made so many excuses why not to buy a dslr camera. Aside from being expensive, I dreaded having to need to learn. Why should I complicate my life? Until I decided to upgrade. I thought, the dslr has an automatic mode anyway and it will shoot better quality pictures. In the beginning I was content using the dslr like I used the point and shoot. But my curiosity grew and grew. I have a tool in my hands that I wanted to explore. Take note, wanted, not just needed. There is this nagging part of me which aims for perfection and strives for excellence so I enrolled in a basic class of photography. It was intimidating at first. All the new words, the theories which have to be put in action. It was like learning to play a musical instrument; needing to know which keys to touch and when, to make a beautiful melody, each a unique piece of yourself. Now I see the lines, the shapes, the colors and my EYE WILL TRAVEL in the viewfinder to discover the possibilities.