Day 31 – Photo Study

I am studying up on my digital photography skills. Now that we have a good, new, expensive camera, I need to make sure the shots I take are worthy of it. I’m reading “The Digital Photography Book” by Scott Kelby first.

It seems the first part of a continuously growing series of books. What appeals is the very to-the-point advice, although I find the over-wrought attempt at humour early in the book a little distracting. Most of the chapters focus on one type of photography, or one specific skill: 1 – taking sharp pictures, 2 – photographing flowers, 3 – wedding photography, etc.

This seemed somewhat narrow at first, but a lot of the tips carry over well outside the designated topic. For example, “wedding photography” has a lot of good tips for photographing people in general in a variety of out-and-about settings. Perhaps Scott chose the specific topic because of the high stress levels and “must-get-it-right-ness” of the situation.

Deep into the Material
Deep into the Material

Some of the content can seem a little dogmatic; taking all pictures with a tripod can seem like over-kill (and he does temper it with tips for when there is no other choice than to forego the tripod), but the fact remains that whenever it is possible to use a tripod you get better results because it leaves more room to dial the ISO back down and reduce the amount of noise you might get.

On the other hand, some of the recommendations seem quite unconventional to me as well… flowers look better after the rain. So, when you want to take pictures of flowers bring a spray bottle along so you can make your own rain.

Okay… sure…

And others quick-shot tips clearly come from professional experience, but merely sound odd. Taking outside pictures of people, you can get better results with an indirect flash because it eliminates harsh daylight shadows on the faces. I would never have considered flash something you’d use when there is already plenty of light out.

Next Page...
Next Page…

There are another 6-7 chapters to go, but I think I like the style of the writing, even when it is perhaps a little more verbose than necessary. The author seems to have felt like a book has to have a narrative throughout. I think this book would have been just as strong, if not stronger, if the narrative was left to the opening of each chapter followed by just a series of well-labelled quick-fire tips.

Having said that…

I will be reading the rest of the book. I will be practicing the tips in each chapter. I will try to blog my successes and failures with these tips as I go along.

And… I think I’ll probably end up buying the remaining (currently) 3 further volumes in the series for whatever nuggets they may contain as well.

Feet to the Water

I didn’t want to make today’s feature post about photography again. And the fake/real post was actually more interesting than the photography today I think, but that could be my degree talking for me.

Abbey and Lexi and Bronte and I drove out to the park today for some late afternoon photography in the setting sun. And the conclusion from my last photography post still stands; with tripod is always better. The Book, It Knows Things! *flips to read the next chapter*

We moved to the side of an artificial lake for some more photography, and the grass was just too comfortable. I ended up on my back, feet to the water till the sun was setting.

It really is nothing like winter right now; I think we’re skipping straight from Autumn into Spring this year.

I can’t wait to take the camera to the beach.

Easter Storm

About ten minutes into the storm tonight it occurred to me that I had access to a tripod and a good quality DSLR. The view out the front rooms has always been great for lightning; the house is on the raised side of the street and we have a rather good view out over the suburb here.

Lots of sky.

First lightning strike
First lightning strike
Second lightning strike
Second lightning strike

Unfortunately it turned out that most of the lightning was happening behind the cloud cover, so I got only a few single bolts, and lots of ho-hum shots with purple/blue clouds.

Passing cars
Passing cars
Rain bucketing down in the headlights
Rain bucketing down in the headlights

After a day of no driving (everything is closed on Sunday, so there wasn’t really anywhere to go) it seemed like everyone started driving along as soon as the rain started. Most of my shots have streaky headlights in the bottom. I kept a few of the better ones to show off how wet the weather was. Especially the last one shows off the bucketing rain in the headlights of a passing car.

Now… what was I doing before all this started happening?