Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just For Fun

Occasionally I just want to post random photos here for grins, when the mood so strikes me. Today is one of those days. If there's something educational about a shot I might mention it, otherwise I'm just putting my feet up for this go-around.  :-)

This snap occurred as part of my continued efforts to refine what I discussed in yesterday's blog entry about exposure and shooting manually. In just one day we went from sub freezing weather and snow to temperatures in the 50's and a huge melt-off of the white stuff. So much for getting more practice shooting in snow. Doesn't last long in Texas!

Nikon D90, 38mm, 1/15 sec, F8, ISO 200, circular polarizer

My neighbor's place across the street, bathed in golden hour light. I like the play of shadows on the pierced block wall of the carport and brick:

Nikon D90, 62mm, f11, 1/100 sec, ISO 200, circular polarizer

Big Digger in the snow:

Nikon D90, 25mm, 1/160 sec, F16, ISO 200

I will mention one thing I learned since yesterday when the above shot was taken. This evening I was reading in Bryan Peterson's book, mentioned in yesterday's blog, about "Blue Sky Brothers" and "Mr. Green Jeans". He discussed how he often meters a blue sky in order to get stuff like snow to show as truly white vs. dirty laundry gray. This is what I was doing a lot of yesterday, and was pleased how white my snow shots were turning out. My eyes of understanding regarding metering have been opened wider due to this...light metering determines color correctness! So, that means I still need to more deeply grasp how this ties into white balance pertaining to digital photography. The learning adventure continues!

When you think about "Blue Sky Brothers", it makes perfect sense. Aside from direct sunlight striking an object, all other light one sees outdoors largely originates from the blue of the sky. Next time you're outdoors on a sunny day, look at a shadow on the ground, particularly if it's a building casting a deep shadow on light colored pavement. It will have a blueish color cast. In my first shot above, some of the remaining snow on the ground has a bluish cast to it, whereas the snow in sunlight is bright white. I don't consider this an error in exposure, as now my eye picks out this blue cast in shadows all the time whenever I'm out in sunny weather. The time of day in that shot also matters, as in the evening the sky above will tend to become more deeply blue as the sun sets. Remember my first blog entry and the early morning dawn in San Francisco? That sky had a rich deep blueness to it, and the sun was at least 15 minutes or more from rising.

Well I said this entry would be mainly for fun (learning is fun, right?) so back to random fun picture posting:

 Nikon D3000, 46mm, 1/250 sec, F8, ISO 100

My first DSLR was a Nikon D3000. Much maligned by photography gear reviewers and critics, it can be coaxed to turn out decent shots like the above snap. This house is part of a development in Austin, Texas known as SOL, or Solutions Oriented Living. All of the structures are modestly sized, modern in style, and are said to be significantly easier to heat and cool than more conventional structures with similar square footage. By the way, Peterson calls F8 a "who cares" aperture setting, in that if the focal plane is pretty evenly distant from the camera, and you want what you're shooting to be decently and evenly sharp, "who cares" about aperture (as long as it's somewhere between F8 and F11, he adds). Leave aperture set at your preferred "who cares" spot and then set and adjust the shutter speed for the light. Kind of like the admonition given to journalist photographers: "F8 and be there!" In the shot above I was still in my P Mode phase of photography, which in this case (as in many other shots I've made) it did just fine. It often does; I'm merely after even more precise control over what I choose to shoot, so my latest interest in refining "going manual".

Nikon D3000, 24mm, 1/100 sec, F5, ISO 100 -0.67EV

One of my favorite shots (above) from last summer's afternoon outings with the D3000. It was hotter than hell during this time, so trips to Fort Worth's Water Gardens was always a great choice for a bit of relief from lingering late afternoon swelter. Notice in this photo how the water foam in sunlight is white, and in the shade it has a blue cast. Hmm...I'm now curious to return to this spot and meter "Blue Sky Brothers" and then reshoot this scene to see if the water foam can become more evenly white. Might have to wait awhile for the light to approach how it was here, as the sun angle is different this time of year. Might be the shaded blue water will have a blue cast no matter what. Only practice and trial will resolve it for me.

Nikon D3000, 50mm, 1/125 sec, F5.6, ISO 100, -0.67EV

Shooting neon signs is fun. The Motel Capri sign in my first blog entry was my first night attempt at neon sign shooting. The sign above is for Leddy's western store on Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.

Another sign shot:

Nikon D90, 58mm, 1/320 sec, F5, ISO 200

The late afternoon sun made this shot nice and warm. It also makes me almost forget how chilly it was in Old Town Auburn, California, where the California Bar resides.

One last random photo and I'll call it a night for this go-around of Just For Fun:

Nikon D3000, 200mm, 1/500 sec, F5.6, ISO 100, -0.33 EV

If you ever hear anyone bad-mouthing the Nikon D3000, just show them this shot.  :-)

1 comment:

  1. I love that shot from the water gardens. I got Bryan Peterson book 'understanding exposure' Learnt allot from that book, I like his style of teaching. That last shot in your post is fab.