Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The other day it was so nice here in North Carolina that I just had to get outside and take a few photos of the kids playing at the church playground. I am definitely ready for the warmer weather!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
This week at "i ♥ faces" the theme is "hands on fun." Of course the first thing I thought of was our recent celebration of Johnathan's first Birthday. Now that's hands-on fun!
Labels: i heart faces
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Textures Again! I was out enjoying the snow capped Holly bushes and thought this photo could use a little added texture!
Roll-over the photo to see the original image!
Well it snowed again here in North Carolina! I just had a few minutes to go take some photos. This snow capped fire hydrant caught my eye as well as a chipper Mocking Bird in the brush!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
We just celebrated our son's first Birthday with his very own cake! Need I say more? You can only imagine how wired he was about an hour and a half afterward! He thoroughly enjoyed himself, to say the least!
Friday, February 5, 2010
This week at "i ♥ faces" the theme is "kisses." These are a couple of Sisters I had recently and I thought this turned out so well!
Join in and see other photos at the "i heart faces" website!
There are many photo-sharing websites and each one has its particular benefits and shortcomings. I've been using Flickr and really enjoy it. The great thing about Flickr is the Photographic community and the interaction between photographers. It is very easy to mark other's photos as favorites or add them to personal galleries. You can also add your photos to similar interest photo groups. The only problem with Flickr is that any one can upload photos of any quality. That is why I like to browse high-quality photo groups like "Top 20 Children's Portraits."
Top 20 Children's Portraits is a sort of Child Portraiture competition that is open to everyone. This group is unique in that there can only be 20 photos in the group at one time. The point to this group is that when you add your own photo you delete one other photo from the group (the portrait of the lowest quality). The newer photos are at the top of the list and the older photos are at the bottom. Therefore, only the photos that everyone agrees are the best make it to the bottom (winning) position. The winning photos can then be placed in the discussion thread for the winning photos of that month. It is so much fun to browse the winning photos to get ideas and inspiration for future photo shoots!
Here are a few of my favorite winners!
Note that although Flickr has a content filter, strong discretion is advised. By no means to I endorse all the content on Flickr or any of its groups.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I just got a new Baby! Actually, I adopted it from a fine lady in Kansas City, Mo! I came across this lens on Craigslist and I found this seller to be reasonable enough in her asking price. I'm excited to get this new (to me) Nikon Mount, 200mm, f2.8, Prime Lens made by Japanese Soligor.
I'm often asked why I like prime lenses. These lenses have no zoom feature, you cannot zoom in or out. The only zoom it has is very manual - to zoom in you simply take a few steps closer; zoom out by taking a few steps away! (Although, even this can be an advantage as it helps your creativity and keeps you from becoming a lazy photographer.) So why would I be so excited about this new lens even though I already have a 70-300mm Nikkor lens?
Despite the "disadvantages," there are some very useful benefits to prime lenses.
1. Faster Shutter speed
Because Prime lenses generally have a larger aperture (lower f-stop number) they let more light in at a time. More light coming in at one time means that the shutter does not have to be open as long to let that same amount of light in for proper exposure. This means that in low-light situations, I can set the aperture wide open and then set the shutter speed much faster. This results in fewer blurry images.
Bokeh comes from the Japanese word for "blur." Basically, it refers to the aesthetically pleasing quality of the out-of-focus blur in the background/foreground of photos. The design of prime lenses, naturally results in better bokeh.
3. Depth of Field
This refers to the range of photo that is in focus. The large aperture of a prime results in very small depth of field. This means that in portrait photography, I can focus on the subjects face and everything in front and behind the subject will be out-of-focus. This effectively eliminates distracting backgrounds and properly isolates the subject from the rest of the scene.
These two photos were taken in the exact same place with the same settings except for the focusing point. It is obvious how the small depth-of-field emphasizes the green branches of the the evergreen bush.
4. Optical Quality
Because the glass elements in prime lenses are not designed to constantly move back and forth for various zoom levels, the prime is permanently set to optimal quality for that one focal length. This eliminates most vignetting, barrel distortions, chromatic aberrations, and other optical problems often found in zoom lenses.
If you do not have a prime lens, you really should open up a whole new world of photography. The 50mm f1.8 was my first prime and is a great place to start.