Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Photo Play #6: Learning to See

I'm hoping to get caught up with my photography lesson posts now that I've figured out my computer set up.  I appreciate the feedback that many of you have given me on this project.  That's one reason I really want to post about this effort, is to get some feedback (constructive criticism is welcome). The other reason is that my blog is my electronic record of what's going on in my life, so I'd like to have this project documented here too. So if you aren't into the photo stuff, no reason to read further.  Quilting posts will return for sure on Sunday (maybe Saturday this week, we'll see).  

The photos below are from mid to late February.  These photos were all taken with a Canon 70D, but not with the same lens.  The photos haven't been edited, unless specifically noted, other than to reduce the file size for posting.  

I finally felt brave enough to tackle exercise 4, which was to shut the door and take 20 pictures in the bathroom with a "normal" lens.  I wasn't sure what a normal lens was. My Guy suggested that the LensBaby Velvet 56 mm lens he gave me a few years ago was as close to a normal 50 mm lens as I was going to get without digging into all the photography equipment in the closet.  My only qualm about using the LensBaby is that it is 100% manual.  So you have to set the aperture and focus manually. Skills that I was working on, but hadn't really mastered. I took 23 photos, this is the only one out of that set that I think is different and unexpected.  

I only ended up with this shot because I forgot which way aperture worked.  If you can't tell it's a set of lights and their reflection in a mirror.  Most of the other shots from this exercise are rather bland and mundane, but I really liked this one, even though it resulted from a mistake. This isn't a shot I would have tried to take before. Now it's something I think about when taking photographs, what happens if I decrease the light to the lens?  

The following photos are all from the walking trail here in town, all shot with a Tamron 14-400 telephoto lens. 

I'm a big fan of macro photography. This close up of the peeling paint on one of the walking bridges fits that bill. I like the color contrast and the texture in this photo.  In one of my previous walks, I had taken photos of this walking bridge, but didn't really think any of the photos were all that good.  I did think that a close up might have worked better. It did.  

I'm not sure this one completely works, it's another shot where the light to the lens is limited.  The little leaf at the bottom is floating on a stream filled with algae (the green blogs in the photo).  So maybe not the most exciting subject matter, but it's not your typical photo of a pond either.  

This photo is taken from the same spot as the photo above, with the same camera settings, just zoomed out.  I like how the reflection at the top of the photo merges with the algae blooms at the bottom. The focus of these lessons is to get one to see possibilities.  To change how you view a scene, use different settings, lens, etc to capture something you might not otherwise. Not the most exciting subject matter, but proof that I'm trying.  

The photography lessons have made me pay a lot more attention to how light interacts with objects. One morning as I was drinking my morning coffee and noted how the increasing light played out on the glasses in the china cabinet.  

For once I may have captured how that light looked. I got the settings right and the focus right.  My Guy often notes that my photos look like ads, I guess this one would fit on a high end restaurant web site. I like how the light interacts with the crystal.  

This last shot isn't a good photo, but it hints at another approach. 

This is actually the first shot I took of the china cabinet that morning.  If you look in the lower left hand corner, you can just barely make out some gray shapes. that's one of the plates in the cabinet, if I'd opened up the aperture just one stop more, or slowed down the shutter speed, I might have a just barely there image of the plate. I have played around with this one in Photoshop Elements. 

I like the reflections in the just barely there plate.  The mostly black background appeals to me.  It's just a different way to see how light interacts with objects. 

My big take homes from this set of photos are:

1. Happy accidents can happen, go with them
2. Available light is another viewpoint. 
3. Reviewing your photos critically can pay off in better shots next time. 


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I don't have constructive criticism for you, but am fascinated to see what you try and what you learn! I especially love photos of water with reflections. Learning to "see" is a good thing in so many ways!

Libby in TN said...

The peeling paint colors would make a lovely quilt.

Sara said...

Yes - happy accidents do happen. In quilting too. I really like the texture you captured with the pealing paint. And now you have me thinking about light. :-)

Barbara said...

That was a fun read. I like hearing what you’re learning, and how you’re experimenting. You may have said this already, but I can’t remember. What book are you working from?

Linda said...

I really, really love the pond one and the closeup of the leaf. The crystal one does look like an ad. I like everything about it. Thank you for sharing and inviting constructive criticism. I have nothing but good to say. :D