light is king. and light is queen. i am the court jester.

I still struggle with lots of aspects of photography, especially with areas like flash photography, star/moon/night photography and portrait photography.  And then some aspects, like understanding white balance, I don’t struggle with at all.  Not because I’ve mastered it, but because I don’t really want to even waste the energy to struggle with it.  Right now I’m fixing stuff like that in post.   And then there’s post-processing.  Man o man that’s a steep learning curve for me.  I’m still barely understanding the basics of Lightroom.  This week, in order to free up space on my hard drive, I deleted like a mad woman only to find out that I lost all of my editing on all of my files.  The CR2’s and some resulting jpegs from editing are safely stored on an external drive, but I’ve lost everything else.   But, now I do have more memory. (Though it had nothing to do with deleting all of my previews)

One thing I am starting to understand is light.  Light is king.  Light is queen.  If you can find yourself good light, both inside and outside, you’re off to a great start.   One of my south windows is is 10 feet long, and mostly shaded by a big old oak tree, and if you haven’t noticed, many of my still life shots have been taken from that place.  I just bought a stand to hold my reflector/filter discs, which now gives me even more light options from which to choose.   These stands will also hold flash attachments, so that will be fun to explore in the future.   I used the white side of the reflector disc on this shot.  It helped with giving light to the left side of the photo.

AB0A9368-2Canon 5DMarkIII; EF100mm F2.8L IS USM; iso 50; f/4.5, 1/5 second.  (tripod mounted)

My pride wants to inject a comment here:  This is a compressed file, which again shows awful moire.   (the wavy groovy lines on the wall in the background) If you want to see the “big” files of my work, you can check out my flickr page.

rainy days and mondays

They actually don’t get me down.  I like rainy days. And my Monday has been quiet and peaceful.  So other than having to dry off from being outside (I made 3 attempts to take rain shots this morning) it’s been a lovely day.  I hope yours has been, too!AB0A2401-2

Canon 5DMarkIII; EF100mm 2.8L macro IS USM; iso 500; f4; 1/1250; aperture priority; continuous shooting mode.

corners

Lately, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to light when I take pictures.  Sometimes, like with the photo of the book corners,  I will set up my subjects just inside my front door, so I can open it to let in more light.  It works, but it can get pretty cold in the house if I don’t get the shot I want right away.  When it gets hot and the bugs start showing up, I will probably have to stop shooting by the door.  (Or maybe I should get a screen door.)

AB0A9663Food boxes:  Canon 5DMarkIII; EF100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM; iso 100; f9; 1/6 second; tripod mounted; light filter disc placed in the window.  (I have paned windows, and on sunny days, the panes cast a shadow over my subject.) AB0A0861-2Same camera and lens; iso 100; f3.2; 1/40second; tripod mounted, light reflector disc used (white side) because when I shot without the reflector disc, the wood background was largely shadowed.  I didn’t want so much contrast and I wanted to show more of the texture and color of the background, so I evened out the light by using a reflector disc.

 

 

spinning button

It was fun to experiment with motion blur yesterday.  I taped this button on a thread to the top of the door frame.  Then with my right hand, I twisted it and held it in place so I could use my left hand to get my focus point on the button hole area.  My camera was mounted on a tripod, so once I let go of the button, I just held the shutter button down  and let it continuously snap as the button spun.  I wanted to make sure there was one area that was sharp, so it would be easy to identify that it was a button.  Most of my shots didn’t turn out, because I was not being very careful when letting the button go and it was swinging too much as it spun. But I did manage to keep a couple from swinging:

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Canon 5DMarkIII; EF100mm f2.8L macro IS USM; iso 200; f5.6; 1/10 sec

low riders and high flyers

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New Year’s Eve day was a great day for taking pictures.  Mr. Gray Days came out to the lakes with me this time.  It’s fun to see how into it he gets.  It’s all about the strategy to him.  He had us crawling 30 feet through snow and brush to get in as close as we could before the birds saw us.  (It was 22 degrees out and I had on my Harry Potter yarn gloves and was carrying my camera and huge lens with one hand while we crawled.   My left arm is still sore)  I thought it was all kind of ridiculous…

until I got home and saw the shots.

Now he’s researching portable blinds for us to use.   I think we have found something to do when we become empty nesters in 2 years.