My Happy Place Day 29: Sunflowers

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Nikon D90, 18-200 lens, ISO 640, shutter speed 1/15, aperture f/6.3

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

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Digital 102 Assignment: Night Lights and Light Painting

My very first attempt at getting night lights!  You can't tell from this picture, but it was just after sunset and DARK!!  The only light was the passing lights of the cars.  It made me so happy to get this one first time out!! Settings: ISO2000 1/24sec f/18
My very first attempt at getting night lights! You can’t tell from this picture, but it was just after sunset and DARK!! The only light was the passing lights of the cars. It made me so happy to get this one first time out!!
Settings: ISO2000 1/24sec f/18

So I never updated you on my last week’s photography homework assignment. It was Night Lights and Light Painting. Of course it was the coldest week we’ve had to date in January since I started class, which made getting outside not so much fun. However that fact did give me an opportunity to use my new fingerless gloves that a friends surprised me with a couple weeks ago!

Also the fact that my husband was still fairly immobile made it a little hard to wander too far from home and be adventurous. I really would like to head into the city and try these again! Even still while I felt composition lacked some on the interest factor, I was thrilled to finally be able to understand the “technical” side of Night Light photography, and Light Painting.

The key ingredients are: tripod (so you eliminate camera shake with the low shutter speeds), wireless remotes or exposure timers, and low shutter speeds. The lower (or sometimes called slower) shutter speed allows the shutter to stay open longer and therefore capture as much available light as possible. For the newbies, it is also the thing that causes the streaking of car lights that you see in “city” night pictures. Since the cars are moving, the camera is capturing the light AND movement.

I was thrilled to discover the bulb setting for my shutter speed on my camera that let me determine the time elapse of my open shutter. Using my new wireless remote allowed me to really eliminate the need to touch my camera  and therefore I had almost no camera shake.  It made it so much easier!!  It amazes me how completely dark settings, can look like daytime with that option.

And for the record, my wireless remote is my new favorite photography toy!! Couldn’t have purchased it at a better time!!

Next weeks assignment is “Panning”, which is where you track a moving person or object, and capture the movement while keeping the subject in focus (more or less). Right after class my hubby and kids picked me up (they took a mini field trip to a local museum) and we headed over to a local park in the city and I already got some great shots. Can’t wait to post them. Be sure to check in Monday night or Tuesday for those.  We also have our “Field Trip” outing to a local train museum on Saturday morning!  I can’t wait.  I will be sure to post those pictures too!

Nightlights Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 5.3 seconds, aperture f/22
Nightlights
Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 5.3 seconds, aperture f/22
Nightlights Settings: ISO 320, shutter speed 2.9 seconds, aperture f/20
Nightlights
Settings: ISO 320, shutter speed 2.9 seconds, aperture f/20
Silhouettes Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/25 seconds, aperture f/11
Silhouettes
Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/25 seconds, aperture f/11
Silhouettes Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/10 seconds, aperture f/11
Silhouettes
Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/10 seconds, aperture f/11

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My Happy Place Day 28: Leopard Geckos!

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My Happy Place Day 28: Leopard geckos!! Particularly THIS leopard gecko!! Goobs (Short for Goober) is awesome!! I’m not a “creepy crawly lovin'” kind of girl, and I was sure I would be skeeved out when Nate convinced us to get this for his Christmas/b-day last year. But I love this little guy! He’s sweet and way less “creepy” then you would think. 🙂

Another example of the incredible creativity of God.

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My Happy Place Days 25-27

My Happy Place Day 25:  Bluebirds.  I love everything about them!  I was so happy to find a pair sitting in the tree next to my house the other day!
My Happy Place Day 25: Bluebirds. I love everything about them! I was so happy to find a pair sitting in the tree next to my house the other day!
My Happy Place Day 26: Deep belly, laugh till you cry, laughs.
My Happy Place Day 26: Deep belly, laugh till you cry, laughs.
My Happy Place Day 27: When nature surprises you! I stepped out of my car in downtown Atlanta and this little mockingbird was sitting in the bush eyeing me. I could have reaced out and touched him. He didn't even budge when I reached for my camera. Just sat there giving me the "I dare you" look! It totally made my day!
My Happy Place Day 27: When nature surprises you! I stepped out of my car in downtown Atlanta and this little mockingbird was sitting in the bush eyeing me. I could have reaced out and touched him. He didn’t even budge when I reached for my camera. Just sat there giving me the “I dare you” look! It totally made my day!

My Happy Place Days 20-24

Day 20:  Living in the "country".
Day 20: Living in the “country”.

It’s been a fairly stressful week for me. The kind of stress that makes me feel quiet and a need to retreat for awhile, which is why I’ve been quiet lately. So today I’m grateful for my camera and the joy I can find in capturing things I love. As well as the ability to express myself in pictures when I don’t have a lot of words to say. It goes a long way to helping me keep perspective in the midst of life’s “crazy”. So here’s to finding my “happy”.

Day 21:  Seeing my boy FINALLY excited about reading.  He read this book in two days!!  Makes a mama happy!

Day 21: Seeing my boy FINALLY excited about reading. He read this book in two days!! Makes a mama happy!
Day 22: Beautiful Sunsets
Day 22: Beautiful Sunsets
Day 23: Warm fires
Day 23: Warm fires
Day 24: How focused my girl gets when she is learning something new.
Day 24: How focused my girl gets when she is learning something new.

Digital 102 Metering Homework Assignment

matrix/evaluative metering - reading the light of the entire scene
matrix/evaluative metering – reading the light of the entire scene

I have to admit, I’m starting to LOVE Mondays…mostly because that’s when I get to go back to my photography class! It definitely makes starting back from the weekend much more bearable!!  This week was so crazy I wasn’t able to post my homework assignment earlier.  Our project was to take a portrait, landscape, and high contrast light in the three metering modes – matrix, spot and center-weighted. The idea was to try and see the difference in the way the camera reads light in these modes.

I think I had the most success in my high contrast light picture, where Ray was looking out our back door with only the porch light on. Poor guy, it was at the end of a long day, and he was still in pain, but he willingly modeled for me. Such a good guy!!  My portrait and landscape pictures showed less differences in the metering. However if you look close on the right side of “Tifa” (the cute little shih tzu) and the base of the tree, you can see the subtle light and detail differences.

Today in class we talked a little more in depth about composition, and different styles of photography, focusing a bit more on night photography, and light painting.  As well as the technical steps on  how to capture those difficult nighttime and low light shots.  This weeks assignment is to put some of that into practice, and I’m so excited. 

I took my first trip out tonight and got a couple cool really cool shots!  I also learned that it would be helpful to have a small flashlight with you to actually see menus on your camera, and find things like lenses that you put down after you switch out to your zoom lens!!  I almost lost my “nifty fifty” (photographer jargon for 50 mm fixed lens)  tonight in the dark…yikes!   I would have been heartbroken to loose that!

I will post soon, but after my influx of posts last night I think I will spread things out a bit!

Spot - using light from a one specific focus point,
Spot – using light from a one specific focus point,
Center-weighted - Using the light from the middle focusing point, as well as the points on either side.
Center-weighted – Using the light from the middle focusing point, as well as the points on either side.
matrix/evaluative
matrix/evaluative
Center-weighted
Center-weighted
Spot
Spot
Matrix/Evaluative
Matrix/Evaluative
Spot
Spot
Center-weighted
Center-weighted

My Happy Place Day 18: Sweet Puppies

Sweet Puppy
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I experimented a lot with black and whites and metering modes today. I needed to do a “portrait” in black and white, and in all three metering modes (matrix, spot, and center-weighted) for one of my class assignments tomorrow. Since my extended family was all together today and as you can see we love dogs, I decided to experiment with my family’s pooches for a little something different.

Between our family, my 2 sisters families and my parents, we have a total of 6 dogs between us. Here are just a couple of them…my other sis’s dachshunds I’m sure will be featured here soon as well. 😉

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Tifa

Emma
Emma
Rosie
Rosie

My Happy Place Day 17: Bright Colors and My Sweet Niece

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It’s been a crazy weekend, and I’m playing catch up tonight. It started with my husband having a pretty bad neck/back injury that has had him flat on his most of the weekend, my first of 4 Business of Photography classes (more on that later), and family birthday celebrations. I have to admit I’m cheating a little since I didn’t pick up the camera once on Saturday…but I took enough pictures today to more then make up.

Day 17’s Happy Place then comes by way of my sweet niece modeling a scarf my friend made. I LOVE this color. I could never pull it off like this sweet girl, but I still love it. And my niece, well she’s stolen a piece of my heart. She was more then happy to model for her Aunt Teri today. Such a little joy giver.