Saturday, 29 March 2014

Experimenting with flare

I have found that using flare as opposed to avoiding it, can be quite interesting in its effects.  I found this down feather on a fence at the park, and faced directly into the sun to see what flare effect I could get.  I was delighted!  The purple circles on the lens, plus the sun itself as a glowing white ball with flare lines erupting, so interesting, and you can still see the feather barb details.
Using flare for effect©Christine Linton

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Learning from experience

I have just been reading Rob Sheppard's blog about how important experience with your photography equipment is; I too find that, even though I read about how to get the best out of my camera, when I actually go out and start practicing what I have learnt in theory, that is the only way to integrate it into my understanding.  I had been reading about reflections in water as well as composition of shots.  This is a cormorant that I noticed when I had those things buzzing around in my head.  It was quite some distance away and I had a shutter speed of 1/1000 and F/2.8 in Aperture Priority, and I moved around to try to get the best background.  The background of grasses was the least distracting.   Eventually I narrowed it down on my computer to this shot, which I cropped to get the effect.  The reflection was almost complete - I found that was surprisingly difficult to capture, so many of the shots I took had fractured reflections, this was the closest.  I had expected the water to be still and show the reflection perfectly but there were ducks swimming around nearby which obviously was disturbing the surface.
My own reflections:  I think I should have changed the aperture - it was on 2.8 but being so far away, I should have tried for a greater depth of field.  I will try to change my aperture more in the future - I have tended to stick to 2.8 rather too much, and thinking about it, the cormorant was further away than it's reflection - so although I had the auto focus on 23 area, the clearest part is actually the water.
Cormorant, Lochiel Park wetland lake©Christine Linton
The blog I referred to at the top is here:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Manual Mode - always surprising!

This blog is about my experiments with photography - here is another one with Manual Mode.  Anything with Manual Mode to me is experimenting!  I put the focus on manual as well and used the little button underneath to get the focus on this hibiscus bud. It was early evening and the sun was low but a lot of the garden was still in sunshine, so this pot I moved to the edge of a shaded area, so that the pot itself was still in the sun and immediately behind it was heavy shade.

My aim was to get a photo of the bud with a dark background.  I set the aperture at f/5.6, and I see from the Properties that the shutter speed is 1/125 - yes I was following a book from the public library to work this out, though I had to make adjustments myself also.  The book said that the background would be dark and the flower bright.  I found the background wasn't dark enough; I could still see the trellis and - worse - the rubbish bins behind it.  So I used a technique I learnt from another book from the public library: that is, to aim at a bright area, press the AE/AF lock which will not only set the focal length for the image but also the exposure. Being aimed at an overbright area, it compensated by darkening.  I then swung back to the bud - which being in full sunlight stayed bright, but the background being in shade became dark, and clicked.
©Christine Linton
For an interesting article about how the photography is more important than the gear you use see this fascinating article by Rob Sheppard on his blog:

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A spider in the ginger lily

I found this spider in the ginger lily and took a close up shot of it.
spider in the ginger lily - web trapped leaf fragment©Christine Linton
Technical details: Aperture Priority, f/2.8, ISO 100, which gave a shutter speed of 1/320 second.  I used "Vivid" photo style; daylight white balance.  AF 1 area.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Polarising filter

Having read lots about polarising filters, I bought one.  Down by the Torrens river, I found due to the lighting situation where I was, I ended up using Manual mode, which I don't very often.  Aperture f/2.8 - though I could have gone for a smaller aperture as I was some distance away, but still got a good shot.  Shutter speed was 1/1000th of a second to partially freeze the flow, with ISO 6400 - so high because of dense shade and the polariser reduces the exposure by 2 stops also.  With the polariser on, I experimented with turning it until I could the bottom of the river, the glare having disappeared.  I couldn't freeze the flow quite as much as I wanted but pretty ok.
©Christine Linton