Sunday, January 29, 2006

A learning experience

Woke up at 4 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep...I just laid around waiting for M's alarm to go off at 5:30 and then I got up and made us egg sandwiches. It's warm and windy and rainy outside. I have all the windows open (just a little, so the wind doesn't blow the rain in). Not bad for January.

Last night I thought I'd give some night shots a try with my new camera. I drove over to Winton Lake and set up my tripod. Here are a few:
I took this one while standing on a walking-path bridge that goes over the lake. I like the balance of orange and blue. I exposed the shot for three seconds at f/4.5, at 200 ISO. You can see the rest of the settings here if you're interested. I was taking a lot of shots and didn't bother to use the eyepiece cover. It isn't a big deal in this shot, but in later shots I can definitely tell, like this one:
See those vertical lines right in the middle that kind of go over where the path is? They're light haze from the reflections...I also learned that it's a good idea to take off the UV filter when shooting lights reflecting in water like this at night. If you look at the big version, you can see the kind of double-halos around the lights.

Here's one I ran through PhotoShop:
I've discovered that the best way to focus in low-light situations is to move the camera so that it focuses on something bright, like one of the lights, and either put on the AF lock or switch it to manual focus so that it doesn't try to refocus when you hit the shutter. I'm also remote-less at this point so I'm using the timer for all my shots. I'm reading a book about night and low-light photography and apparently I should be using the lens hood at night too--I assumed it was only for sunlit conditions, but according to this book it does wonders for all your shots, not just sunlit ones.

It's great to have this going on. This photography thing. I feel like I've found the right art medium, after all those fumbling attempts at writing and drawing and making music. This one is it. This is the one I love best. Every morning when I wake up, I think, what will I take pictures of today?

Which is neat.

13 Comments:

At January 29, 2006 3:34 PM, Blogger BG said...

Great!!! I had no clue of what you were talking about (maybe I need some photo classes or books). I'm happy you're having such great time with this :) but keep writing... you're great at that.

 
At January 29, 2006 4:27 PM, Blogger deputyswife said...

Cripes you take great pictures!

 
At January 29, 2006 6:19 PM, Blogger Tay Hota said...

from my brain to your mouth? loving the photography as well, its just the computer part thats driving me bonkers (pictures only show on my hard drive at random...) so no new pics for the blog ... yet... still in love with your blog... (thanks for the tip on the uv filter... i need to get one but still dont understand their function. read that they simply protect the lens.. is that really it? good for my many bar pics...)

 
At January 29, 2006 7:28 PM, Blogger Sorted Lives said...

Again, fabulous!! I just love your work. I hope to make it to Cincinnasty one day so you can show me how to do what you do...

 
At January 29, 2006 11:25 PM, Blogger HM said...

Haha, funny to just finish writing a huge post about my "thing" and come here to find yours.

I LOVE the first picture, it looks so incredibly peaceful; I could just get lost in it right now.

I wrote you an e-mail!

 
At January 31, 2006 6:03 AM, Blogger Fitèna said...

Sounds like greek to me but the pictures are great!!!! I do wish we had photography classes here... the ones we do have are much too costly!

I love black and white pics! I like The first one too! All that blueness!

Fitèna

 
At January 31, 2006 10:13 AM, Blogger Indigo said...

I like them all! My pictures suck compared to yours.

 
At January 31, 2006 4:53 PM, Blogger Sweet. said...

The first and second pics are amazing. Making the scene black and white disturbs me though. It was so beautiful in color. Why drain it? Now I know what people were feeling when they switched to color film.

Kodachrooooooooooome...

 
At February 01, 2006 8:02 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Rightfully so. You have a gift. You'll always have a fan here in RI.

 
At February 01, 2006 8:46 PM, Blogger d.K. said...

Very neat, J! And we're all the luckier for your discovery. I continue to really enjoy your art!

 
At February 02, 2006 9:49 AM, Blogger Sangroncito said...

Nice photos!
I just uploaded my first photos from my new camera...the quality is poor and I need change the pixels and learn how to use the darn thing properly! But at least I can now upload photos directly using the cable...my other camera, besides having the problem with the lens not opening completely, didn't have a cable (it was lost) so I was spending too much money transferring my photos to CDs in order to upload...hopefully once I get the hang of the new one the photo quality will improve.

 
At February 02, 2006 9:56 AM, Blogger HM said...

Yes, I'm leaving two posts here. Visited again just to check in... still could stare at that first picture and be all peaceful for days. Hope you're having a good week!

 
At February 02, 2006 10:27 PM, Anonymous atpanda said...

J? Where are you J?

 

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