Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Black and White Wednesday: Capitol Building Corridor 08.28.11

What an exhausting day! Tomorrow is the first day of school and I spent the day prepping and getting my classroom ready. Now the nervousness and excitement sets in as I get ready to meet my students and start the year. I hope to continue to post every day as it is such a great outlet for me and allows me to focus my energies on a creative pursuit outside of my work life. 

The photo for today is from my Washington State Capitol Building photo shoot from this weekend seen also in earlier posts this week. This one is of one of the many hallways in the building. I love the arches, marble and light fixtures. I decided to attempt a black and white conversion after watching another fabulous Lightroom video by Courtney from Click it Up a Notch. If you have not checked out her editing videos yet, they are a must! She has simple tips, tricks and techniques that do so much for your photos! My goal with the conversion was to maintain the lighting and details, but to change the mood of the photo. 

I would love to here your thoughts, suggestions and tips for black and white conversions. Thank you for visiting!

Settings: ISO 400, 18mm, ss 1/25, f/5.6
"Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness." - Frank Gehry

Linking up with Black and White Wednesday. Head over and check out the other beautiful photos!

the long road

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Capitol Building Entry 08.28.11

Here is another beautiful shot from inside the Washington State Capitol Building. The architecture is stunning and I learned that the light fixtures were all done by the Tiffany Company in New York City. My goal was to capture the intricate designs on the ceiling of the entryway. In post processing I worked with temperature, tint, contrast, saturation, vibrance and added a vignette. 

Thoughts and suggestions are always welcome!

Settings: ISO 400, 18mm, ss 1/20, f/4.5
"All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space." - Philip Johnson

Linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday. Head over and check out the other shots!
Sweet Shot Day

I Clicked it Up a Notch - August

I have shown this picture a multitude of times on my blog - first here and then here. It also happens to be my desktop background on my computer :o). It is my favorite this month for a few reasons. Number one because of the accomplishment I felt in shooting it on full manual mode and the beautiful straight out of camera (SOOC) shot that I was the result. Number two because of the edit I was able to take it to another level. And finally number three because I am in love with the purple sky. I hope you aren't sick of it yet!

"A good snapshot stops a moment from running away." - Eudora Welty

Linking up with I Clicked it Up a Notch Contest - August. Head over and check out the other wonderful entries!

Click It Up A Notch

Monday, August 29, 2011

Capitol Building Shadows 08.28.11

As I mentioned in yesterday's post I was able to spend some time at the Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia, WA. It is a beautiful building and we were able to explore the interior and I was able to photograph many of the architectural elements. I love exploring old buildings and historical sites. My favorite vacation was to Washington D.C. and the reasons I loved it are the same reasons I had such a great time at the Capitol Building - the beautiful building, the history and the historical significance. 

One of the things that struck my immediately when entering the building, beside the size of the rotunda, were the huge windows with light streaming in. The inside of the building is fairly dark and I unfortunately forgot my tripod, which I never do :o(. However, the windows had a ton of light and I loved how the sunlight made patterns on the walls. In post processing, I played with temperature, contrast and vibrance to bring out the shadows and the blue sky outside of the windows. The simplicity of the subject and the composition is what I wanted to convey with the photo and the edit. 

Settings: ISO 400, 55mm, ss 1/1250, f/5.6
"Shadow owes its birth to light." - John Gay

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Project 64: Blue Wheelbarrows 08.28.11

This week's color at Project 64 was blue and was the most challenging for me to find so far. 

When I go out to shoot I am drawn to nature and can see compositions and framing in natural elements. The color blue is not made in abundance by mother nature. I have discovered it to be more of a man-made color. This presented a problem as I had to work harder to see shots with the color blue in them. This is purpose of this project, though, to expand my eye and photographic abilities. 

Today we went to Olympia, the capitol of Washington State. We were able to go in the Captiol Building, which is beautiful and will be the subject of some later posts this week :o). We then went to Capitol Lake Park and on the way there we drove past a True Value store. Sitting outside the store was a line of wheelbarrows in various colors, one of which was blue. I would not have noticed it if I wasn't looking for the color, but when I did there was something visually interesting about the shapes, colors and lines. In post processing I upped the temperature and tint, upped the saturation and contrast and decreased the brightness. I ran a lens correction and finally added a bit of a vignette (my first!). I really liked how it turned out. My first man-made subject photoblog post!

Thoughts and suggestions are always welcome!

Settings: ISO 400, 50mm, ss 1/640, f/5.6
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keffe

Linking up with Project 64, go check out the other blue entries!
project64 button

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Flashback: Whale Watching 06.25.11

For my birthday this year my brother and his girlfriend bought tickets to go whale watching for the three of us and our mom. We boarded the Puget Sound Express in Port Angeles, WA and headed out to sea. The company is run by a family and the crew was knowledgeable and fun. This was my second time whale watching. The first time I went with my best friend from Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands on Orcas Island Eclipse Charters. We had the rare pleasure of seeing all of the pods that live in the area greeting each other after being out to sea. This time we had to chase the whales into Canada off the coast of Victoria. We saw a group of about 6 whales, one of which was a baby, swimming and possibly sleeping as their behaviors somewhat indicated. They also did some spy hopping, which is where their head comes out of the water vertically. It is an amazing experience that I highly recommend!

The photo below was taken before I decided to switch to shooting in manual mode. It was taken on full auto with my zoom lens. I was impressed by the speed of the shooting even with not being on sport mode and the ability of the zoom lens to get closer pictures as the rule for boats is to stay 200 yards away from the whales. I love the spy hopping I was able capture and the dorsal fins of the two other whales. I am thinking that a higher aperture number would have helped the picture. I am glad I am shooting manual now, but I am wondering if I would have been able to shoot manual with the fast movement of the whales. If you have any thoughts or suggestions I would love to hear them :o)!

Flashback #6
Location: Off the coast of Victoria BC on the Puget Sound Express
Date: June 25th, 2011
Settings: Shot in Auto ISO 200, 250mm, ss1/2000, f/5.6
Post Processing: Cropped, all the basic settings were played with
What I Like: The orcas and the line of the land
What I Think Needs Work: The depth of field, the sharpness
"Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent." - H.P. Lovecraft

Friday, August 26, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Enumclaw Sunset Edit 08.21.11

It has been quite the week with meeting my future students and getting my classroom ready for the upcoming school year. With all the stressors I have been grateful to have this outlet through my photography and the blog. There is something about the creative process of composing a shot, shooting it, editing it and sharing that is good for my soul. One unexpectedly wonderful outcome of this whole process has also been learning from other photographers who not only have exquisite work, but are more than happy to share what they know. I am continuing to enjoy this journey and look forward to what will come!

My favorite photo of this week is a sunset photo, which I am sure is shocking after a week's worth of them ;o). I picked the photo I posted yesterday of my creative edit of one of my sunset photos. I LOVE the colors as my favorite color is purple and how even with the over the top colors, the integrity of the composition remains. Mother Nature can put on a beautiful show! Mother Nature can also put on a scary show. I know I will be sending thoughts and prayers to all those on the east coast as they endure Hurricane Irene. I hope you will do that same and that they will stay safe as they weather the storm. 

Settings: ISO 100, ss 1/16, f/18 (full manual on tripod)
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." - Edgar Degas

Linking up with Fabulous Fridays and Favorite Photo of the Week. Head over and check out the other favorites!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Before and After: Enumclaw Sunset 08.21.11

This week I have been working my way through my plethora of pictures that I took during the sunset on Sunday (as you can see from all of my posts this week :o). The shots are very similar, yet different in lighting, sky and the grasses. I love the subtle changes. For this before and after I went with a creative edit as the last edit I did was more clean. I again used Courtney's (from Click it Up a Notch) tips for editing silhouettes that I used on one of my previous sunset posts. I upped the blacks and contrast, the temperature and tint, vibrance, clarity and saturation and finally underexposed it a little bit. I usually like the more natural look when editing my photos. I know this time I went a bit over the top with the colors, but there is something, that in this case, I love about that.

I would love to hear your thoughts and critiques on what works and what I could have done differently. Thank you for stopping by!

Taken with Canon EOS Rebel Ti1
Settings: ISO 100, ss 1/16, f/18 (full manual on tripod)

Edited with Adobe Lightroom
"A picture is a poem without words." - Horace

Linking up with Pixel Perfect Blog Hop. Head over and see the over before and afters!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Learned: Enumclaw Sunset 08.21.11

I learned two things this week:

1. A photo plan should be flexible and willing to follow the light.
2. Lightroom makes me want to learn more!

As I mentioned in my last two posts, I spent Sunday evening photographing a glorious sunset. This was not my intention at the beginning of evening as I wanted to take some pictures at Nolte State Park. While the park is beautiful with the lake and the trees, the light just wasn't adding to the shot. I was disappointed and was just going to head home. On the way, though, I noticed the beautiful sky and the light changing minute by minute. I decided to stop and just see what the light was going to do. It was amazing. I am so glad I didn't give up. Sometimes the most stunning shot is right around the corner!

One of the shots I took as I watched the light was of Mount Rainier with the setting sun hitting it. I liked how it turned out SOOC, but it was missing a bit of highlighting in the sky and on the mountain.

Settings: ISO 100, ss 0.5sec, f/18 (full manual on tripod)

For the edit I played around with most of the basic settings and did a little noise reduction. I love how you can view before and after in Lightroom and how you can use the history to step back one or more steps to see what your changes did to picture. I love the ease of use and I love learning more about the program through tutorials. Especially Courtney's from Click it Up a Notch. Her videos are so helpful!

"Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

I do find that I sometimes don't know when to stop editing or how to do specific tasks like how to combine the sliders in sharpening and noise reduction to get it to do what I want. I would love feedback/critiques on this SOOC and edit. What works and what needs improvement? If you have any tips for when to stop editing and how to sharpen/noise reduce I would also love those.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I so enjoy learning from you!

Click It Up A Notch

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Enumclaw Sunset 08.21.11

As promised yesterday here is one of my favorite shots from the Sunday sunset shoot. My goal was to capture the light. This was one of the prettiest lit sunsets I have seen in a long time. There is little for me to say other than I was captivated and feel blessed to have photographed this sky. In post processing I used tips from Courtney's editing silhouettes in Lightroom video. I upped the blacks, played with the temperature and tint, upped the contrast a bit and did the same with the vibrance. More sunset photos to come, this may just be a sunset week :o)!

Settings: ISO 100, ss 1/10, f/18 (full manual on tripod)
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." - Rabindranath Tagore

Linky up with Sweet Shot Tuesday. Go check out the other "sweet shots!"
Sweet Shot Day

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Moment in Time 08.21.11

Last night I set out to photograph the sunset at a local park. Upon arriving at the park it became clear that the setting was not going to yield what I wanted. Jumping back in the car with the sun slipping further below the horizon, we raced to find the perfect spot. The sunset was stunning and I was able to create some beautiful shots, but that was after one stop on the side of a country road. While I plan to post sunset pictures later in the week, the photo below is from the stop before the sunset. My goal was simply to capture a moment in time. The shot is straight out of camera with a minor crop. I planned to edit it more but everything I did just seemed to pull focus to the details and distract from the picture as a whole. I would love to know your thoughts, so please share!

Settings: ISO 100, ss 1/5, f/20 (on a tripod, full manual)
“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph." – Matt Hardy

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Project 64: Green Yellow 08.18.11

Another shot from Chasing the Light shoot in my backyard. This is actually what I was shooting right before turning around and spotting the deer. I was looking for the color green yellow for this week at Project 64. 

I found this leaf in between all of the green leaves on a large plant. I think it is more yellow than I would have liked, but with the other green leaves I feel it works. My goal was to frame the shot so that it showed how I found the leaf - peeking through what was around it. I did this by having the depth of field be small, which is why I used a lower aperture. This is pretty much a straight out of camera shot with just lens correction done in Lightroom. There is something simple to this capture that I really like. 

Settings: ISO 100, ss 1/10, f/4.5
"The secret of living in peace with all people lies in the art of understanding each one by his own individuality." - Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

Linking up with with Project 64 for this week's color: Green Yellow. Head on over and check out other green yellow finds!

project64 button

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lake Washington at Night 08.19.11

The weather in Washington has been beautiful for the past few days with blue skies and sunshine. If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest, you know that is something to rejoice in. Last night after work my mom and I decided to try to see a sunset on Lake Washington. We headed to St. Edwards State Park first. It is a beautiful park, but requires quite a hike to get down to the water. There was no way to make it down before sunset. We then headed to nearby O.O. Denny Park just as the sun had set. While we did not win the race for the sunset, the sky was still beautiful. I was able to capture some pretty post sunset shots and then a few night shots (luckily I bring my tripod with me everywhere!).

The photo I am posting today is one of those night shots. My goal was to communicate the peaceful atmosphere and showcase the light from across the lake reflecting on the water. I opened the shutter for a long exposure to get this shot and bumped up the ISO. The one thing I think it is lacking is some sharpness with the lights on the shore. Should I have gone with a much higher ISO and lower shutter speed? Or is there another solution? I would love suggestions!

I am putting up the straight out of the camera shot (SOOC) and an edit I did. It is a vertical shot, too!

Settings: ISO 400, 30 sec, f/13 (full manual, on tripod)

I think this is what would be called a creative edit as I went for a more artistic interpretation rather than going with trying to make the picture match what I saw with my naked eye. For this edit I used the custom white balance tool in Lightroom, played with the tone curve and maxed out the vibrance. What do you think?

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." - Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, August 19, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Dahlias Alight 08.18.11

I feel a celebration is in order! This is the first week I have been back to work and I was able to meet my goal of a post a day even with such a drastic change to my schedule. I am proud of this accomplishment. After visiting Jaymi's blog Live, Love, TRAVEL and seeing her list of photo challenges, I thought a great way to celebrate would be to participate in some Favorite Photo of the Week contests/challenges. 

The photo below is by far my favorite of the week. I took it yesterday evening in my back yard. To read about the shooting session and the unexpected encounter during it, go here. I picked this photo as my favorite for two reasons. Number one - I LOVE the lighting, especially how it is shining through the back of the flower. Number two - I captured this shot using full manual mode and was able to get the camera to do what I wanted it to do and had to do only minor edits with brightness, contrast and clarity. I think this means I am learning!

Settings: ISO 100, 1/20, f/5.6
"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul." - Luther Burbank

I would love to know your thoughts on this picture - what works, how it could be improved, etc. I have been getting such wonderful and thoughtful comments and suggestions on other pictures. I feel blessed to have such talented photographs giving me pointers and helping me grow. Thank you to everyone who has commented on my photos since I started this blog, keep them coming! Also thank you to those who are following along, I can't wait to share more of this journey with you!

Linking up with Fabulous Fridays and Favorite Photo of the Week. Head over and check out the other fantastic entries!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chasing the Light 08.18.11

What a fantastic day of photographing! Today I decided to chase the light all over my front and back yard. One of the catalysts to starting this blog was a show my dad shared with me when I went to visit him recently. It was an episode of Outdoor Idaho called "Chasing the Light."It was all about landscape photographers in Idaho and how they use the light to capture the beauty of the state. Their passion for photography was evident and my dad said that he saw that same passion and drive in me. This was a push that I needed to delve into becoming a better photographer.

Another result of watching the show was becoming more aware of the light. While shooting in my front and back yards today I decided to focus on following the light and shooting to capture it. My goal was to use the light to highlight and enhance what I was shooting. The photos below are my favorites - one looking up into the trees, one of a spider on its web and one of dahlias, my favorite flower.

Settings: ISO 100, 1/10, f/7.1
Post Processing: Very minor work with brightness, contrast and sharpness

Settings: ISO 100, 1/25, f/5.6
Post Processing: White balance, brightness, contrast, green color levels

Settings: ISO 100, 1/20, f/5.6
Post Processing: Very minor work with brightness, contrast and clarity
"A photograph is a portrait painted by the sun." - Unknown

Unexpected Encounter during shooting - At one point during my shooting I turned around and noticed I was being watched by a doe and her two fawns. I stood still and after she checked me out for a moment she went back to eating apples in the neighbors yard. I tried to take a few picture without disturbing them and stealthily followed them to the front yard. They ran away after being scared by a dog. Below are the pictures I was able to get, all of them on auto mode as I was not quick enough at adjusting my settings. What a cool experience!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Learned: Flower Field 05.21.11

This week I learned the power of a good editing program. I have been working hard on developing my skills with manual mode and hope to begin to do all I can to make my shots look wonderful straight out of the camera (SOOC). At the same time, though, I know how much editing can do for a photo. I want to become more skilled at taking a picture to the next level with my edits. I had been using a free program called Gimp and have had fine results with it. However, after a reading a wonderfully helpful comment from Melissa about how Photoshop features can help with the editing process I decided to look at other programs. After some research I downloaded a trial version of Lightroom and the picture below is my first edit using it. I have also included the SOOC photo and would love to know what you think about my edit - what works, what I could do differently and any tips for using Lightroom. I really enjoyed using the program and found the ability to look at the before and after at the same time very helpful.

I realized when putting this post together that this photo was taken on the same road trip home as my I Learned from last week, which was not planned. Driving home from Lincoln City, one of my favorite Oregon Coast towns, I saw this beautiful field of flowers on the side of the highway. We turned around and spent some time photographing it. I loved the clouds in the sky and the colors of the entire scene. In post processing I cropped the picture to play with the rule of thirds, worked on the red, blue and green color levels, and played with the contrast and brightness.

Settings: Auto Mode - 1/250, f/11

Original Photo

Edited Photo
"Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs." - Susan Sontag

This is what I learned this week, head over to Click it Up a Notch to see what others have learned.

Click it Up a Notch

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flashback: Nehalem Bay State Park 08.05.11

I was tempted to skip posting today as I was not feeling well after a difficult dentist appointment, but I saw this picture in my files and felt compelled to put it up. This photo was taken at Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon. My mom and I spent the day exploring this beach we had not been to before and discovered an Oregon beach one on the beach. The walk from the parking lot to the beach is a bit of a trek over the dunes, but beyond worth it for the solitude and the beauty. On this day the sky was a mixture of storm clouds and sun, which made for some beautiful lighting. What I love about this photo is that it captures what the beach is about for me - the expansiveness and sheer space that always makes me feel connected to the world. The leading lines have a lot to do with this as I think they draw your eye to a distant point far off on the horizon. The waves leaving their imprint on the shore and the various hues of the sand also stand out to me in this shot. I think this picture conveys all that I love about the beach!

Flashback #5
Date: August 5th, 2011
Settings: Shot in Auto on Landscape Mode - 1/160, f/13
Post Processing: Color levels, contrast, brightness and sharpening
What I Like: The leading lines, the waves and the cloud patterns
What I Think Needs Work: The hills on the left side

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more." - George Byron

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flashback: Valley Sky 04.08.11

It was an exciting and tiring day of meeting new students and getting back into the swing of school. After decompressing for a bit I decided to pick a flashback picture for today's post. I wanted something from a "shoot" I had not posted yet. I noticed, after putting all the blog photos on my Facebook page, that I have posted no vertically oriented pictures yet. 

(Side note - I would love to put up a like box for the Facebook page but I don't have enough people who "Like" page, so if you want to check it out  search for "Scattered Horizons Photography" and like the page with the lighthouse as the profile picture :o). There are some other photos I have not shared on here yet and I would love for you to see them!)

Looking through my photo files I noticed that is a theme, either because I am not drawn to the vertical or because the nature of my favorite subjects (the beach and other landscapes) does not call for vertical often. I will definitely be putting vertical shots on my photography bucket list inspired by Click it Up a NotchAfter some searching I did find one picture of the sky near my house as the sun was setting behind the trees that was vertical and that I liked. I like the tree line and how the sky colors show through the spindly branches. I certainly think vertical works in this case. 

Flashback #4
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Date: April 8th, 2011
Settings: Shot in Auto - 1/100, f/4
Post Processing: Minor work with color levels, contrast, brightness and sharpening
What I Like: The shapes of the trees and the variety of colors in the sky
What I Think Needs Work: The focal point and what is going on in the bottom of the frame (too much)

"I look out of this window and I think this is a cosmos, this is a huge creation, this is one small corner of it. The trees and birds and everything else and I'm part of it. I didn't ask to be put here, I've been lucky in finding myself here." - Morris West

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daisies and Grape Leaves 08.14.11

Today has been a busy day with lots of errands to get ready for the unofficial and official start of the school year. I unofficially start tomorrow with a camp to get students ready for school and officially start in a couple of weeks. After all the errands I came home and watched Soul Surfer, which is an inspirational and heartwarming movie. It inspired me to head outside in the back yard and take some photos. This picture is the first area of the back yard I was drawn to and the first picture I took. My goal was to showcase the contrasting colors of the daisies and the grape leaves. In post processing I did some very minor work with color levels, brightness and contrast. There is a simplicity to all parts of the photo that I think works well. 

Settings: ISO 100, 1/15, f/5.6
"Don't hurry, don't worry. You're only here for a short visit. So be sure to stop and smell the flowers." - Walter Hagen

I plan to have Mr. Hagen's advice be my motto for the school year and for my photography. I look forward to the journey!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Project 64: Cadet Blue at Del Ray Beach 08.09.11

My favorite place to be is the beach. I feel the most centered and content when walking barefoot in the sand listening to the waves crash on the shore. I have been to many beaches in Washington and Oregon and find that each has something special to offer. This photo was taken at Del Ray State Park in Oregon, which is a beach I have never been to before. It was the last day of visiting my dad in Astoria and my brother and I had just finished lunch. We were driving and I noticed that a bit of the sun was coming out and turning the edges of the clouds Cadet Blue, the color of the week at Project 64. Other than the color of the sky, the first thing that struck me about Del Ray beach is that it is secluded and peaceful. Walking over the dunes from the parking lot to the sand the sights and sounds of the ocean were revealed. This day they were doing construction on the beach (moving sand) and even that did not disrupt the calm atmosphere. 

My goal with the photo was to express the vastness of the ocean and communicate the beauty of the sky. I find that scattered clouds add so much to the sky. I also wanted to showcase the color. In post processing I adjusted the color levels to play up the blue and worked with the contrast. I find the composition interesting with the many lines and the reflection of the sky, but I am wondering if there is something missing. Can it hold its own or does it need a vertical line? 

Settings: ISO 100, 1/80, f/20 (full manual mode :o) with a tripod)
“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” - Robert Henri

This is an entry for Project 64: Cadet Blue. Check out the other entries and find out more about this fun and inspiring challenge!

project64 button

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rock the Shot: August Silhouettes Challenge

A couple of days ago I mentioned "the race for the sunset" that my mom and I aimed to win. This is what was waiting for us at the finish line. I would say we won :o)!

This photo was taken at Alki Beach with the sun setting beyond the Olympic Mountains. In post processing I played around with color levels and contrast to highlight the silhouette and the sunset colors. 

"It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream." - Bern Williams

This is an entry in the Rock the Shot August Silhouette Challenge. Go take a look at the other breathtaking entries! 
Rock the Shot

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Flashback: Cathlamet Marina 06.11.11

It seems my photographic life is now split into "pre-manual mode" and "post manual mode" :o). This picture is a "pre-manual mode" picture taken in the small southern Washington town of Cathlamet. I was visiting my dad for the weekend and he took my brother and I on a ferry ride across the Columbia River from Westport, Oregon to Puget Island, Wa. I have been in many ferry rides having been a Western Washington resident for most of my life, but this one was different. It is very small with a wonderful $5.00 price, it is across a river and not the sound and it is completely open. It also feels different...more intimate and connected to nature. It was a fun experience I would definitely recommend.

Once we disembarked from the ferry we headed to the small town of Cathlamet and explored the town, including the house of Julia Butler Hansen. We then headed to the marina and I was instantly drawn to the flowers for their color and the interest provided in the background. I shot this photo in auto mode and focused on the flowers with no thought to what the background would look like (in terms of focus). I do like how it turned out, but think I could have done it differently in manual mode. The composition and framing are what I love most about this shot with the line formed by the flowers and the visual interest in the background. 

Flashback #3
Date: June 11th, 2011
Settings: Shot in Auto - 1/200, f/10
Post Processing: Sharpening, Color Levels (to bring out more of the green and magenta)
What I Like: The framing and composition
What I Think Needs Work: The lighting and sharpness

"Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." - Hans Christian Anderson

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Learned: On the Road with Hipstamatic 05.21.11

One of the first apps I got on my iPhone was Hipstamatic. I had heard about it on a few websites and really liked what it added to the photos I saw. I decided to download it while walking on the beach in Lincoln City, where there was very little signal. Needless to say it did not download until I got back in the car and headed for home. Once it did finish downloading I had to try it out, but was riding in the car (passenger seat :o) on a stretch of highway where it was difficult to pull over. I decided to take some pictures out the window and just see what happened. This picture is one of my favorites from those shots. I was impressed with the colors and the antique feel of the photographs. I used the combination of the John lens and Ina film for my first pictures and that continues to be my favorite pairing, by far!

Since that day I have enjoyed using Hipstamatic for the interesting, unpredicted and instant outcome of having a photo where the only thinking involved is in the subject matter and composition. It is nice to focus and develop one part of my photography skills. However, this week as I have been making the switch and commitment to manual mode, I have learned that creating and controlling my pictures can be fulfilling and rewarding on such a deeper level. With Hipstamatic I pressed the button and the app did the work, but with manual mode I created the photo. Don't get me wrong, I love Hipstamatic and LemeLeme and other iPhone photography apps. But I am loving owning my pictures in a way I haven't in a long time.

Flashback #2
Location: On the road back from Lincoln City
Date: May 21st, 2011
Settings: Lens - John S, Film - Ina's 1969
What I Like: The colors and the lighting
What I Think Needs Work: The subject is a little too centered and linear for me

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel's sake.  The great affair is to move." - Robert Louis Stevenson

That is what I learned this week, head over to Click it Up a Notch to see what others have learned.

Click it Up a Notch

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Project 64: Forest Green Macro

The inspiration for me to start a photo blog came from a desire to grow as a photographer and share my pictures with others. This desire grew in part from exploring different photography websites and blogs and seeing the community that exists of photographers helping other photographers. In my search of the many wonderful blogs out there I found a plethora of creative photo contests. One of the most unique ones I found is Project 64 where each week a different color of crayon from a 64 box is the inspiration for a photo. I love the idea of exploring different hues and trying to find them in the world around me. This is my first attempt at Project 64. My goal was to of course capture the color of this week, Forest Green, but also to play around with macro photography. I went bolder than I usually do with the color levels in post processing after reading a post on Rock the Shot. I had to be creative as I don't have Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom (yet) and instead use a free program called Gimp. 

I plan to try next week's color, Cadet Blue, as well. I have already been looking for it :o).

Settings: ISO 100, 1/200, f/5.6 (I tried a low aperture this time in order to blur the background)

"The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man."  ~Author Unknown

project64 button