Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sexy Cowboys and Cowgirls! - It's YouTube Tuesday

Be on your baddest behavior!

On Loan from Its Tiger Time 

Share your favorite Video Every Tuesday. Be Creative, Have Fun. The video can be about anything. Leave your link here so we can drop by and see your choice.

Shake it up!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Magnificent Monday - Flower Power!

Flower Power! For some of us "Flower Power" takes us back to our 1960s youth.
 From Wikipedia- 

"Flower power was a slogan used by the American counterculture movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a symbol of passive resistance and non-violence ideology. It is rooted in the opposition movement to the Vietnam War.  

The expression was coined by the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles. Hippies embraced the symbolism by dressing in clothing with embroidered flowers and vibrant colors, wearing flowers in their hair, and distributing flowers to the public, becoming known as flower children."

So now you know about my flower power coming of age. Can you relate?

On another note, for my Monday offering I've chosen an original photograph taken in my garden last week. Using photo editing software, I made two digital art pieces from the original image. Each digital art piece was created by adding various textured layers I've made and blending them over the top of the original.

Gladiolas (gladiolus) are magnificent perennial flowers grown from bulbs. They create a stunning show in the garden blooming in a variety of colors. I grow mine in masses of riotous color along the back of my flower beds with smaller flowers in front.  

Let me know in your comment which of these three you like best. Be sure and add your own Flower Power photo in your comment box. The directions are below.

Original Photo

Digital Art - Gold Reflections

Digital Art - Vintage Feel

Jim McIntosh of Holes in My Soles has created a community forum called Magnificent Monday to “kick off the week on a high note”. Each week a theme is introduced and all are invited to share posts and photos that relate to it. This week’s theme is "Flower Power!".  Join in or just follow the links on the Magnificent Monday page to other stories and photos!  

To add your own Flower Power Photo here - open a comment box, click the + sign in lower left corner, upload photo. Click on thumbnail photo to enlarge. We'd love to see your work.

Happy clicking to all you photographers!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Aperture Made Easy

Introduction to Aperture - Part 1.

In this introduction to aperture I’m covering the bare bones basics of aperture, f-stops and depth of field (dof). As I go on with this series I’ll go into detail on aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I’ll break it down in small bites so it’s easy – honest! Your photos will thank you immensely if you follow along.

For simplicity sake, let’s consider aperture numbers from f/2 to f/16.
It’s a bit confusing so don’t go glassy eyed on me. A small f-stop is f/16 and a large f-stop is f/2 with a bunch of f-stops in-between. This is important to memorize. See the Lens Aperture Chart below. Why is 16 smaller than 2? Looking at the Chart below, you can see that f/16 has a tiny grey dot in the middle and f/2 is completely grey. These grey areas represent the amount of light the lens lets into the camera at these settings. The amount of light that enters the camera's lens has a huge impact on your photos. 

Aperture, or f-stop, helps control:
  • How much light enters your camera.
  • Depth of field (DOF).

Don’t let me lose you here but a very low number like f2.8 is called a large aperture opening. See the Lens Aperture Chart below. We’ll cover this in each series on aperture.

Depth of field is how much of your photo is in focus vs. how much is blurred.

Want a blurred background? Use an aperture like f/2 for a narrow depth of field (dof).  Portraits are especially nice using a narrow dof. The narrow dof in a portrait draws the viewers attention to the subject not the image background.

Distracting backgrounds are also a great reason to use a narrow dof. The background in this photo would have been of parked cars if I'd used a wide dof.

Apertures like f/16 and f/22 are called small or narrow aperture openings giving you maximum or wide depth of field, where everything is in focus. Again, see the Lens Aperture Chart.

Again, a very low number like f/2 is called a large aperture opening and gives a narrow (blurred) depth of field.  An f-stop like f/16 is called a narrow aperture opening and gives a wide depth of field with little or no blur. See the Lens Aperture Chart below. We’ll cover this in each series on aperture.

Simply put, for this first lesson, aperture controls light and blur or lack of blur in your photo. More detail to come next lesson.

I’ll let you digest this, and next time, more on aperture setting and coordinating with Shutter Speed setting.

Recommended Reading:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Street Photography - Guest Photographers

My last blog on street photography shared images from some of the classics in this genre. Today I'd like to present several of my favorite street photographers who are less well known but still classics. 

I've asked each to tell us what they enjoy about street photography and what type of camera they use. You'll get interesting insight from their views that will help you in your own photography no matter what you photograph.

My first guest is Kewal Rai, an amazing photographer whose images cover several genres including portraits, parties, food and beautiful women. A very well rounded guy. Below are images of his street photography. 

What Kewal has to say:
I do believe I'm a voyeur (aren't we all to some extent?), always used to love sitting and sipping some coffee and watching people from all walks of life passing by and the surrounding. Each in their own pace, sporting varied expressions. Carrying feelings which might be similiar to us or different. But in the end, each of us having a story, our own stories.

So when Im out in the streets, geared with a camera, I do end up clicking quite a bit (I have to control myself which I've become quite good at these days) and trying to capture a story that I see or an unseen story which I might be able to perceive when I sit down and view that frozen-in-time frame of that moment. 

To me street photography helps me connects me with the world with others, with my surroudings. Strangers we all might be but when I freeze a moment of another person's life, strangers we arent anymore, well not for a moment anyway when we connect through that frozen moment of time/frame. Thats what I like to think anyway.

I've had my Nikon D90 for nearly 2 yrs now and have just upgraded to D700. Got a Nikon 80-200 AFS f2.8, Sigma 24-70 EX DG f2.8 and Nikon 50 f1.5 lenses. Normally I use the telephoto as this helps me from not invading others personal space and capture those natural moments. I'm also shy and find it hard to approach people but have done it a few times and want to get better at it. Do use the other 2 lenses when I feel the surrounding plays a major part in the story.

View more of  Kewal's photos.

Syed Alfandi is a fellow photographer with a beautiful blog. I encourage you to visit and follow. His images of Malaysian scenery and people are stunning.

What Syed has to say:
My name is Syed Alfandi and I am a photographer in Malaysia. I don't dabble much with street photography. I am more into landscape and macro. But for this particular pic, this is more of an event photography. What I love is having a good background..as in the pic, old buildings. This gives me the freedom to choose a particular feel to a pic, such as black and white or sepia. I've chosen sepia toning as not to give too much contrast to the pic, so you can clearly see the buildings and the smiling faces...but that is just me, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Thank you to Mari for giving me this opportunity...

View more of  Syed Alfandi Phtography

17 Year old Ron Bezbarua is off to a great photographic start. His work is exciting, interesting, and comes with a fresh new perspective. 

Eva Manya has a special touch capturing interesting street scenes. She is at her most eloquent with her candids of people. Be sure and see her Faces Set on flickr

What Eva has to say:
I use a Sony DSC T700 - point and shoot camera. 

These photos were all taken through Auto settings and I do not know the technical side of it. 

"Photography is a hobby I have recently taken up. I have always caught myself observing people and my surroundings. So it was a natural inclination for me to experiment with street photography. I am just a beginner and definitely have 'miles to go' before I can be truly comfortable behind the lens! "

View more of Eva's images.

Christine Tandoc shows everyday life in Singapore freezing intimate bits of life into works of art. Her black and white photography is a special favorite of mine.

What Christine has to say:
Shooting landscapes had always been my passion as I travel a lot, however since I am based in Singapore, where there were less of scenic views of landscapes replaced by modernized, gargantuan edifices, I had resorted to street photography. It brought interest in me and desire to take pictures of spontaneity which depicts emotions and tells a story. It's very hard. However it's always worth the wait since perfect photographic moments in the streets only comes once in a blue moon. 
Thank you..

 Nikon d90, 105mm DC

Nikon d90, 135mm DC (Defocus Control)

Nikon d90, 70-200mm

View more of Christine's images 

Aaron Offord is offering a multi-post series for beginners interested in street photography at his blog, streetography, link below.  Be sure and follow his blog via email. His work captures the emotion of the street and his subject.

What Aaron has to say:
Street photography is such a wonderful genre of photography. It is pure, perfect, and untouched. It is a moment frozen in time that will never be repeated.I think that is what makes it so powerful, it is raw. 

There are no rules in street photography, it is art and therefore up to the artist to create. Some people will like their art, while others could find it displeasing and offensive. That is the beauty of art. It is supposed to spark an emotional connection or response within the viewer.

I like to keep my street photography discreet. I don't like to disturb or influence the subject, but rather document that moment of beauty. But above all else, street photography to me is my documentation of the raw untouched beauty I see all around me. 

ISO 64, f4, 1/620s 28mm

ISO 100, f4, 1/320s 28mm

ISO 100, f4, 1/540s 28mm

View more of Aaron's images at streetography.

A huge thank you to each of today's guest photographers. You each have your own style which makes viewing your stunning work all the more interesting. 

Please visit their sites and leave comments. Also please "Stumble" this post as added recognition for my guests. Stumble button=top right corner or under comments.

If you are interested in being a guest photographer let me know in a comment box below. You may also leave a photo in your comment box: click into comment box, click + sign in left corner, upload photo, click thumbnail photo to view full size. We'd all love to see your work!

Recommended reading:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

YouTube Tuesday - Swimming In A Birdbath With Snorkels

YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.

Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be.
Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

Swimming In A Birdbath is a family video from approximately 1959. What can I say other than this is one of the cutest, most innocent videos you'll ever see.

Recommended Reading:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Magnificent Monday - I Love ........

It's Magnificent Monday again and this week's theme is - "I Love...".
Post about something you love and check out links to other "I Love" posts here.

I love….
belonging to an affectionate, loving family who accepts me without reservation. I love my country and the many freedoms it provides. 

But I thought I'd blog about horses. Why? I've loved them, ridden them and shown them since I was a little girl and still do. It runs in the family.

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.  ~Sharon Ralls Lemon

Photography Tips:
Your Camera’s Enemies:
  1. Extreme heat and cold
  2. Water and moisture
  3. Suntan lotion and insect repellent
  4. Dust and sand
  5. Thieves
  6. accident causing breakage
Watch for a future post with details on how to protect your valuable investment in your camera and gear.

Recommended reading:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Street Photography - The Classics

This is a very brief tour of a few classic street photographers showing some of my favorite images. Study each image carefully. It's quite a learning experience to pick up the nuances from photographer to photographer. Each has an amazing style of their own honed from years of experience, trial and error and practice.

Elliott Erwitt (b. 1928)

Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894–1986)

Roger Mayne (b. 1929)

Bill Brandt (1904–1983)

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004)

Helen Levitt (1913–2009)

Walker Evans (1903–1975)

Weegee (1899–1968)

Lisette Model (1901–1983)

Robert Frank (b. 1924)

Joel Meyerowitz (b. 1938)

Harry Callahan (1912–1999)

Jeff Mermelstein (b. 1957)

Bruce Gilden (b. 1946)

Nick Turpin (b. 1969)

Image source: http://www.wikipedia.org

Be a classic too! Please leave any type street photography image, candid or portrait, in your comment box. Open your comment box, click the + sign in lower left corner, upload photo. Click on photo thumbnail to view larger size.

Who's your favorite street photographer? Let us know when you leave your comment.

Recommended reading: