Bars of Light

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ss 1/80 f 4.5 ISO 500

About this photograph:  I am teaching a teen photography camp this week.  I have 15 students ranging from 11 to 15.   The camp sessions are from 9am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday.  During the morning hours, we simulate a classroom setting and I teach the students about photography.  Thus far we have reviewed manual settings and the technicalities of cameras, which none of the kids had previously been using, composition and light.  Today well talk about posing human subjects.   After the lessons, we venture outside to experiment with cameras and use the information learned.   After talking about light yesterday, we took a hike to a near by covered bridge.  In between answering questions and guiding the teens on how to use their cameras, reminding them of compositional “rules”, and pointing out light and it’s qualities, I took a few shots myself.  This photograph is taken of one of the walls of the bridge.  I noticed the light peaking through the slats, between the boards.  Instead of focusing, I intentionally decreased the focus so that I could create a bit of blur to capture the circles of light in each strip, which the shallow depth of field helped create.  As I was shooting, my intent was to convert the file to black and white.  I do think I like that edit better than the original, but the green and white strips of light are also appealing to me.

To see the photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia. Which do you prefer?

“Bashful”

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Last week when I was coming home from a run I noticed that my beloved peonies had all but wilted and the petals been discarded. At the time, there were only a few remaining flowers. Spring has been so rushed and harried with work and activities for the kids that I had almost missed the joy of photographing the peonies.  That afternoon, instead of ironing and doing the banking, I cut the last of the living peonies and did some still life work. This was a time to be inspired, to create, take a deep breath and recharge my soul.

I didn’t have time to go to the studio, which means I didn’t have any back drops to use.  I knew that for some of the shots I wanted a white back drop.  I could have used a white table-cloth, or a sheet and hung them from a door, but, I didn’t feel like going to the trouble and I knew I could create the white back drop myself using light.

Using my Nikon D800 and my Nikkor 105mm 2.8 lens I set out to create.  I grabbed some props, antique prescription bottles, an antique miniature milk bottle, a white cheese cloth, a black stool, some ribbon, and some sheets of music.  I don’t know how long I moved around in front of my front door playing and creating.  I lost all sense of time and felt so relaxed.

To create the white back drop effect I used only natural light.  I metered my exposure on the flower so that it would be properly exposed and the backlight would be blown out.  To avoid flare, I angled my lens down just enough to allow some haze, but to eliminate flare.  I wanted this shot to be flawless and dreamy therefore colorful flare spots were not welcome.  My settings are below for your reference:

ss 1/100 f 5.0 ISO 400

I could have worked with the above scenario for hours.   But, alas, the kids needed to be picked up from school and driven to activities, and, honestly, my equipment is so heavy that after a considerable amount of time, my neck and arms begin to tire.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my equipment and the Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses that I have give me great flexibility when working in the various areas of photography that I focus on.  I do love them, but I have recently been evaluating mirrorless cameras, especially for travel and street work.   Lighter weight cameras and lenses would be fabulous when having to hold or carry them for any length of time.   In addition, I just recently came across a new camera that I found interesting.  Light, is a compact camera that appears to have many features.  I don’t know that it has the flexibility I need, but I think it is worth checking into for travel and street work.  I thought I would share the link with you in the event you might have interest in a compact camera that appears to have a lot of great features.

To compare this photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia.

To view more of the photographs from this still life session, check back on the blog soon or follow me on Instagram.  I post to Instagram much more frequently there.

Icing on the Storm

Icing of the Storm I

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”

~George Eastman

To see a similar photograph in black and white, please visit Monochromia.

SS 1/2000, f 10, ISO 400

Gate of…

Gates of Emotion

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A shot from the New York City Public Library ~ I loved how the light streamed in over the rustic gate and left it’s mark on the swirled marble.

Settings: SS 1/60 f5.6 ISO 2500

Equipment: Nikon D800 with a 50mm prime lens

Shadows at Grandma’s

Shadows at Grandma

Shadows at Grandma’s

If you would like to see this image in black and white, please visit Monochromia today. Which do you prefer – color or black and white?

“From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sincere Generosity

Sincere Generosity

Sincere Generosity

ss 1/320  f18  ISO 400  60mm macro

“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.” Confucius

Galioli in the Victorian language of flowers means generosity and  I am sincere , thus the title of this image.

To capture this image, I used natural sunlight.  I put a black backdrop down on the grass and placed the flower upon it.  I used only the sun, no fill, and used manual exposure.  It was somewhat challenging because of the shadows and the significant contrast in light and shadow.  I did minimal post processing, just increased the blacks to darken the backdrop.  Light is such a magical thing.  When used correctly under the proper exposure we can create so much!

In addition, if you have a minute and are interested in black and white photography, stop by Monochromia to see my post for this week.  I posted two images of the same subject but using light in different perspectives.  More about light!

Have a great weekend!

Complexity and Simplicity

Complexity and Simplicity of Nature and Light

Complexity and Simplicity of Nature and Light

“To love is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” – Emily Dickinson