Monday, October 31, 2011

Rock Out!! - Happy Halloween Birthday from Paul McCartney and Me

Happy birthday fellow Halloween babies!

Best viewed large and LouD on YouTube:

Sir Paul McCartney
Rusty Anderson - Lead Guitar
Abe Laboriel Jr. - Drums
Paul "Wix" Wickens - Key board
Brian Ray - Rhythm guitar/bass

Red square, Moscow

I'm heading off for a flying great Halloween Birthday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Use the Psychology of Color in Your Photography

To understand how colors affect the mood of your images and your viewer’s experience with your photography it’s important to understand the psychology of color. Colors often have different meanings in different cultures so I’m somewhat generalizing in this post. 

Colors also may have very different meanings depending on the context used. For example, black can be evil or sexy.  By using color psychology, you can send a positive or negative message in your image. Here are some basics.

Orange is the color associated with fun, flamboyance, happy days and warmth. Like red, there is nothing calm associated with this color.

Red is the real attention getter. It is often where the eye looks first. It's associated with movement and excitement - think fast cars and motorcycles. If your subject is wearing red clothes they will appear a bit heavier so be careful! It is the color of romance – think red roses and Valentine’s Day.

Scanned film photo of my son

Yellow is a cheerful attention getter. It is considered an optimistic color associated with laughter and happiness.

Pink, like red, is also considered the color of romance. Pink is the color of love and gentle feelings and is the most calming of all colors.

Blue is one of the most popular colors. It is peaceful and tranquil. Maybe it’s because we see so much blue in our world with our blue skies and oceans.

Green represents nature and is the gentlest color on the eye. It’s a calming, refreshing color.

Purple is feminine, romantic and mysterious. Use purple to lend an air of femininity, romance and mystery to your images.

Black is the color of power and sophistication. It can represent sexiness or evil. Depending on its use it can be a somber color that can easily overwhelm people emotionally. Black clothes make people appear thinner in photographs.

But sometimes black can be just darn cute:

Spontaneous smooching for my camera - Harley Davidson owners

Please leave comments regarding your ideas on the use of color. What colors are you drawn to? 

And, as always, please leave a photo in your comment box for all of us to share and enjoy. Click open your comment box, click on the + sign in the lower left corner and follow the directions. Click the uploaded thumbnail to view large.

Happy clicking!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Please Welcome My Guest Photographer: Sarah-Jane Klemis

Sarah-Jane's photographs caught my eye a while back. Her work has a unique style - and that style is engaging, enticing and full of joy. Her images make me smile and brighten my day. Be sure and follow the links at the bottom of this post to her photography sites and leave comments letting her know how much you enjoyed her guest post.

Now I'll turn it over to Sarah-Jane:

When Mari asked me if I’d like to guest photog on her blog I had a 101 thoughts and emotions that went through me.

Can I do that? WOW she’s asking me! OMG! Panic!

You see I’ve only recently started a photography diploma so my confidence in my ability is still a bit shaky.  I’ve always loved snapping away and I see things that I think would make a great picture but I was never really any good, I tend to cut off people’s heads or focus on the wrong thing.  Nowadays I do cut off their heads but it’s more structured and seems to work better.  I had a point and shoot camera and after a little mishap with a bathtub if was never quite the same.

At Christmas, Michael (my lovely patient partner) bought me a DSLR, it was the ideal present and one that I had absolutely no idea how to use it.  As soon as I opened it I was photographing everything from buttons to random passers by and I was in heaven but I wanted to be able to do more.  

I had no idea about focus or aperture and shutter speed to me was how fast I could pull my curtains.  People like Mari inspire me - I see what she creates and I really want to be able to do that myself.  There was one snag to that theory - Mari is amazingly talented and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing (I may have a little bit of a better clue but I still have a long way to go.) 

I love to be creative with my photographs and you could say I’m still finding my style but I see something and I want to capture it.  I have a moment, a memory and I’m aware that age isn’t being favourable to me so I want to have something that really signifies that moment, something I can keep.

Portraiture is supposed to be posed but to me when I’m taking photo’s it’s a mixture of candid moments, you could call mine candid portraits (I’ve probably just made a 1000 photographers want to gun me down, or I’ve just guessed at something that is an actual style of photography - who knows but realistically if it’s candid (naturally/unposed) or its portraiture (framed/posed) classically, I think it probably has to be one or the other).  

This one here looks like a candid photo but Samuel (my son) was well aware I was taking it and just refused to look at the camera because he was enjoying his ice cream too much:

My favourite subject is Samuel, children have such a way of not letting the camera affect them, whereas adults tend to either over play or become overly conscious as soon as a camera points in their direction.  

This was on the way to the park, we must of passed this wall a hundred times without so much of a second glance but once I had camera fever it became the backdrop of a 5 minute photo shoot.  I love how the surroundings we pass by everyday can create something so fun or even magical:

For my friends they have to put up with it, if they are anywhere in the vicinity, my camera will soon be there in their face.  As annoying as I am they love me really!  (I love how Vickie was trying to whip off the hat before I snapped her but she wasn’t quite quick enough):

Sometimes I find I have two photo’s (without realising it) that compliment each other, so I’ll combine them into a template.  I love this one of Samuel and his Dad, although you can’t see Samuel in the left one properly, you can see him in his Dad’s sunglasses and I love the way they are looking at each other.  This isn’t just for me, they only see each other every other weekend so this is also for them:

A few months ago I never thought I would be able to produce anything I was proud of.  I’m only a quarter of the way through the course and I’m looking forward to the next year when I (fingers crossed) complete it.  Samuel is nearly a teenager now and I really wish I had done this course a lot sooner.  

My advice to anyone who thinks they can’t, you can! Sometimes you just need a little help and advice to point you in the right direction. I didn’t have a camera when he was young so my pictures are from a disposable.  I guess that’s why as he’s now getting older, every chance I get I take a picture, some will be portraits:

but I’m saving up ammunition for when he really annoys me at 17+.

Sarah-Jane, thank you so much for brightening our day with your post and photography. As you've discovered, it's never to late to start photographing the things you love with style and pizzazz! Sarah-Jane's work is a real inspiration for us all.

We will be watching your blog and website for more of your images.

Here's links to Sarah-Jane, be sure and visit, comment and follow:
Samuel Michaels Photography
Samuel Michaels Photography on Facebook

Please also leave comments for her below.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Magnificent Monday: Water

Hi and welcome again to Magnificent Monday and our theme this week is ''Water".

Waves, rivers, water sports, waterspouts, reflections on water, boats on water, boats underwater, body boards, surfboards, seashores, and more.  Bring them all over and link them up in the Mr Linky Tool at Holes In My Soles. 

Also be sure and leave a link to your post in your comment box below so we can some visit. 

Hope you enjoy my digital art contribution to Magnificent Monday. Textures were layered over my original photographs to create these images.

If you'd like to leave a photo in your comment box for all of us to share, open a comment box, click the + sign in the left corner and upload your photo. We'd love to see your images.

Happy clicking!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943

These colored slides were taken from 1939 to 1943 by photographers from the Farm Security Administration and are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural populations. Over the next few months I'll show photos from the entire collection.

The photographs are great study material for today's photographers. Pay particular attention to the composition and content of each photo in this series.

There's a touch of mystery in the first photo. Why are these people crowded around the barn? What's going on? Who are they? Notice the balance in the image from right to left, it's very interesting. Two sets of "rule of thirds" on each side and a wagon in the center. But the line recedes from the couple on the right to the wagon in the middle to the people on the left. Our eye is drawn in and through the photo, up the silo and across into the crowded barn and back to the couple on the right. A complete circle.

Farm auction. Derby, Connecticut, September 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Breaking the rules: the front line of the tent (a horizon line of sorts) is not level. The top corner of the banner is deliberately not included in the photo. However, these elements work extremely well with the ropes and poles holding the tent and the lines in the graphics and signage. Lots of action in the lines of this photo make a very interesting and lively image. The photograph was taken from a low point of view (pov) adding power.

Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The photographer used a magnificent play of light and shadow to grab our attention. The arcs of light draw us in to the center of the image. Notice the welder on the right side of the photo. The rule of thirds!

A welder who works in the round-house at the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company's Proviso yard. Chicago, Illinois, December 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Here the entire scene is well balanced from the calendar and clock on the wall, to the way the women are seated around the table to the items spread out on the table. However, the photographer has made the image look casual and candid.

Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The photographer gave this image a very powerful look by shooting at an upward angle giving his subject a very commanding appearance. Very commanding!  

Mike Evans, a welder, at the rip tracks at Proviso yard of the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Chicago, Illinois, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

All photos by Jack Delano

Hope you enjoy these images and photography tips!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pinktober Post - For The Cure

These photos were taken at an equestrian eventCowgirl Ride for The Cure, which took place several years ago. Notice the pink horse tack, ribbons, saddle pads, and pink paint on some of the horses. The girls had lots of fun decorating their horses and themselves for the Event. It was a fun day that raised money and awareness for breast cancer and The Cure. 

All photos were taken with my Point & Shoot Camera set to "action".  I'd been out of photography for a few years and was rusty. Most of these are blurred.  But you always have to start, or restart, somewhere. So get your camera out, get clicking, and post some photos in your comment box for all of us to share.

But most of all remember Pinktober and do something, anything, that will help find a cure for breast cancer. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Guest Photographer Michael Long - Tips on Indoor Photography

Michael, thank you for your guest appearance today. Not only do I love both your blogs, Michael's Kitchen and Photography By Michael Long, but I have learned much from each of them. Your blogs discuss two of my favorite subjects, food and photography. 

First, tell us a little about yourself:

"I retired in 2002.  In 1973 got my Degree in Photography, freelanced doing mostly Modeling portfolio's, Beauty Pageants, Country Western Singers, and finally worked for one of the major news agencies. Decided it was time to get into something else so I got into furniture making and did that for a number of years. until my health started down hill. Married to a wonderful lady with a lot of patience. After retiring I got into Gourmet Cooking, and from that French, Italian, and Chocolates. Oh, yes I have my time in commercial kitchens, working as a line cook. And now back into photography, doing mostly still life, photo work for my blog and several small customers, doing mostly catalog type things. And enjoying my retirement to the fullest."

Michael, you've had a very interesting and varied career and put two of your loves, photography and cooking, to excellent use. I know my followers will enjoy viewing your blogs and following you. 

Here's some of Michael's photography and his description of some tricks of the trade:

Photo #1

Michael's description of Photo #1: Vanilla bean sugar cookies done for one of my blogs.  The background was peel and stick lino tile, on a piece of particle board, the plate was fiesta ware, and the napkin was paper. Light was from left side window. and a white card reflector on the right.  This was photographed shooting straight down. Photo editing was slight, with a darkened corners only. The camera was a point and shoot about 10 years old.

In photo #1 Michael showed us some great tips. I love his use of the peel and stick lino tile as a backdrop, his use of a while card and the point of view. Very interesting and great ideas.

Photo #2

Michael's Description of Photo #2: this was a practice photo to test for lighting, reflectors, etc. And just for fun. I know that I should have made a batch of cookies for this,  but these were close by. I used defused window light, with black background for the contrast,  on the right side was a gold reflector some distance away.  I was just trying to get a hint of gold in the reflection fill on the shadows. The main cookie on top was hot glued.  I had to do that since that puppy kept falling over. Camera angle was head on at cookie level. Camera was a Nikon D3000.

In photo 2, I love how Michael hot glued the cookie so it wouldn't fall over! Another great tip - use your imagination to solve problems.

Photo #3

Michael's description of Photo #3: This was one of the first food photo's that I had done.  I mean really seriously did.  Home made soup with a window light coming in from the right this time and a single card reflector overhead to get some highlights in the beans.  This was also done with a point and shoot.  The camera angle was about 45 degrees. 

Thank you, Michael, for visiting and sharing your photo tips and photography with us.

Please visit both of Michael's blogs and leave comments. We all love those!
Michael's Kitchen for great recipes and Photography By Michael Long for more great photography and tips.

If you'd like to share a photo in your comment box here, open a comment box, click on the + sign in the lower left corner and upload a photo. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

Happy Clicking!

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Moment - A Friday Ritual - Teatime

"A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by The Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane, author of Almost There. If you find yourself touched by a Moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section so we can all visit and share your moment.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO for dSLR and Point&Shoot Cameras

Bright day, Shutter speed 1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 400, 180mm

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO, (aka the exposure triangle) is one of the most important photography concepts to learn. Don’t let these terms throw you. We’ve discussed Aperture and depth of fieldAperture part 2Aperture Made Easy and Shutter Speed. Today we’ll discuss a bit more on aperture and shutter speed, and learn about ISO.  

Depth of Field Chart:

The exposure triangle is a simple concept to learn and it allows you much more control over your photos. Again, the exposure triangle is a combination of aperture (f/stop), shutter speed and ISO.

Exposure is simply the amount of light that reaches your camera’s sensor. We need to catch just the right amount of light to show off all the details of our image. Too much light gives us an overexposed photo; too little light gives us an underexposed photo.

How do we control exposure? By using a combination of aperture (f/stop), shutter speed and ISO.

Shutter speed:
As we learned in the post on Shutter Speed this is a measure of how long the camera’s shutter is open. A fast shutter speed might be around 1/1000th or even 1/2000th of a second, while a slow shutter speed can be up to several seconds or longer, plus a series of speeds in between. The longer the shutter is open, the slower the shutter speed, and the more light we capture.

*These are rough figures. These rules typically don't apply with cameras that have built-in anti-shake or vibration isolation mount lenses. These lenses work against the movement of the camera when you hold it in your hands.

The shutter speed settings you use depend on the situation and the effect you want to achieve. If you are photographing a fast-moving object like a race car, then you’ll need a fast shutter speed to prevent blurring unless blurring is your intent. For no blurring you’ll need a wide aperture to let in enough light in the short space of time the shutter is open.

Good shutter speed, f/stop and ISO:

Photo credit, Sherri Maxwell
Camera settings too dark:

Photo Credit Sherri Maxwell

If you want a deep depth of field, you’ll need to use a narrow aperture, and a slower shutter speed.
A key to finding the best shutter speed and aperture combination for your image is to experiment with several different combinations. Each setting will give your scene a unique ‘feel’. You’ll be surprised that often a counterintuitive setting will produce a great photo.

Shutter Speed 500
What is ISO?
The other factor beyond shutter speeds and apertures that will affect the overall exposure is ISO which is a measure of the sensitivity of the images sensor.

ISO sensitivity is a measure of how fast the image sensor reacts to light. A higher sensitivity means that the camera needs less light to make an exposure. This allows an exposure to be made with either a faster shutter speed or a smaller aperture (f/stop). See-our exposure triangle at work. The specific ISO setting you choose determines this sensitivity. If you’ve shot film before, then you are already familiar with ISO ratings of film, such as 100, 200, or 400.

With a digital camera, the higher you set the ISO, the less light your camera will need. When using a higher ISO the more likely you will be able to hand-hold a shot in lower light without the camera shake that will give a blurred image. If you are using a lower ISO, you will need much greater light levels, or a tripod, to ensure a steady, sharp shot.

In digital photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds (for example an indoor concert or sport event when you want to freeze the action in lower light) – however the cost is grainy, or noisy, shots.

Low ISO will leave you with shots that are smooth and sharp for the lighting conditions that you’re in. This may be the recommended application in most situations but there are times when pushing your ISO setting to its maximum can create some interesting effects.
Grainy or noisy shots can give your image a gritty and raw quality that creates a completely different mood in your shots. I especially like high grain and a raw look in street photography.

If you would like a print-out of these charts email me at Please put "photo charts" in your subject line. 

Also, please feel free to add a photo to your comments box. Click open your comment box, click + sign in left lower corner and follow directions. It appears you must sign in to leave a photo. We'd love to see your work.

Next blog - something light and easy - I promise. 

Happy clicking. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

YouTube Tuesday - Catgroove...

Originating at It’s Tiger Time, You Tube Tuesday is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.  Feel free to join in and let's have fun seeing how creative we bloggers can be!  Each month a selected video will be presented the "You Tube Tuesday" Award.  If you participate, please remember to leave your link in the Linky Tool that is available at It's Tiger Time.

Share your favorite Video Every Tuesday. Be creative, have fun. The video can be about anything. Also leave your link here in your comment box so we can drop by and see your choice.

Best viewed large at You-Tube....

Now get up out of your chair, And Dance! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Magnificent Monday - Spring and Autumn Collections

It's definitely Autumn here in the Pacific Northwest, USA. We're having a gorgeous Indian Summer with some rainy days thrown in. The maples are fiery shades of red, yellow and orange.  Here are my Autumn selections:

I added a soft textured layer to this.

Photography Tips:
If you are taking photos using your camera's Automatic setting - Don't. You will be disappointed in your images. The automatic setting can easily misread exposure settings and other important setting information. Don't panic - keep reading.

Here are some tips using the photos above as examples: (the tips work for Point&Shoot and dSLRs)

For Photo 1:
Set your camera to manual mode if you are comfortable shooting manual. If not, use your landscape mode. The landscape mode will bring out all the bright, glorious colors of nature. It's one of your camera's semi-automatic settings. I also took a couple of shots with the semi-automatic mode set to action mode. That way, if the horses moved I'd have caught the action without blur. Digital is free - I always take extra shots.

For Photo 2:
Manual or Landscape mode are perfect.

Photo 3:
Macro mode or a macro lens is ideal. Notice the nice soft background which puts all the attention on the leaf.

Suggestion: Take a series of photos with your camera set to Automatic. At the same time, use your semi-automatic settings to take the same series. Compare the photos and I bet you will see a distinct difference.

Check out how to set the various semi-automatic settings in your camera's manual.

Be sure and leave a link to your site in your comment box below. Also, be sure and visit Holes In My Soles and leave a comment and your link in the Mr. Linky tool.

Happy clicking!