Believe it or not, this is the same telephone pole as Photo 4, taken the same day, same time. I may have stepped back a foot or so. Other than that, I just recomposed the camera, and shot away! I guess, not only can you find interesting subjects on your own street, you can also get more than one shot from one subject just by viewing it from different angles. When I see something I want to photograph, I’ve started asking myself two questions: 1. What is it about the subject that I find interesting? 2. How can I shoot this subject that is interesting, not done before, or a different way of looking at it? When I take the time to analyze then shoot, I am usually more satisfied with the results.
You may have noticed I have been posting the photo “specs” for my 365 projects, and I’ve been mentioning something called a “RadLab plug-in.” You may or may not care what that is. Those of you who are photography-savvy will want to know about this. I promise. (If you’re not a photography nut, or not into photo-editing, don’t read the following two paragraphs) I found out about it on Facebook. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. I would. When you are done, listen because THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR DIGITAL PROCESSING EXPERIENCE! If you get bogged down feeling like you have to improve your photos with Photoshop to get any sort of artistic respect, you need this. If you just want to be able to add that “wow” factor to your photos quickly, you want this. If you look at professional photography and wonder, “How did they do that?” and want to do it too, this is your ticket. How does it work? If you know anything about Photoshop, RadLab, in the simplest terms, works like an effects filter. Kind of. It’s more than that. It’s also like a program within Photoshop. Most importantly, it let’s you think like a visual person (a photographer) by applying the effects right on your photo in a preview screen. You can pile effects on top of effects another to create a unique look. The possibilities are endless.
I keep going on about it because I can’t say enough good things about what RadLab has done for me. I used to dread the digital darkroom. Now I look forward to the process. It has made it a fun, creative experience again. Now I translate the raw image in the camera into the piece of art that existed only in my mind in a matter of minutes, not hours! I firmly believe everyone who uses Photoshop should have this! The best thing? I use Elements, and it’s compatable! Last, I had some issues with downloading the program. The support team was on it immediately. I sent an email and before I even got home from work the next day, I had three emails, and a solution. THAT, my friends, is customer service you can’t find easily anymore. AND because of all my trouble, I got a fantastic credit back! The only only drawback that may stop you from clicking right over to purchase this fantastic software right now? Well, it could be the price. But at $150.oo, it’s easily the cost of an SLR lens, or other comparable photography equipment. In my obvious opinion, what it saves you in time and creative flexibility, it is well worth the price. If money is the only thing holding you back, deny yourself a few gourmet lattes (or other splurges) and put $10 or $20 in a coffee can for a few months. You’ll be glad you did! So to see more click on over to http://www.gettotallyrad.com
This Photo: (specs) Nikon D200, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, f/1.8 @ 1/1500, ISO 100, Edited with PSE8 & RadLab
This photo is proof that you don’t have to travel to exotic countries to find an interesting subject. This is a telephone pole across the street from my house. I noticed it a day or so before shooting, but had to wait until I had time, and for the lighting to be right. I took a few shots from further away, but they didn’t quite capture the light like I wanted. While shooting this photo, I wondered what my neighbors might be thinking. I just smiled, and shrugged off any self-consciousness. One thing I’m learning is that to get my shots from good to great, I’ve got to get over my shyness and just go take the photo. Shove that timidness out of my mind and go grab the image that I know will be great! Who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s this mindset that had some in the crowd at Pointfest, Cedar Point asking if I was with the band, Disciple. Yeah. Don’t I wish! Maybe some day. A girl can wish. Man I’ve go to post those photos too. I guess that’s what the winter is for, but that’s another subject.
I know I said one photo per day. But I ask you, how could I post one of these without the other? They make me smile. My husband, Matt, and I went to my brother’s house to watch their four kids while they took a well-deserved night out with friends. During the course of the night, the youngest, and only girl, Moriah, clung to Matt. It was so adorable! I will admit I was a little jealous because if I could have, I would have held Moriah all night and let Matt entertain the three boys! Moriah would only have Matt.
So I got out my camera. The night could not have gone better, but to the chagrin of both of our mothers, I can confidently say that it did not stir any parental inclinations in either of us. We put the kids to bed. Nate and Lisa came home. We went home and crashed in our beds. We are content to be Uncle Matt and Auntie Megan.
Specs: All three photos were taken with Nikon D200, Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens, f/2.8, 1/60, ISO 100, on-camera flash in red-eye reduction mode. Edited in PSE8 with RadLab plugin.
Specs: (camera) Nikon D200, (lens) Sigma 18-50mm at 26mm, (aperature) f/4.0, (shutter) 0.5 sec, ISO 100 Edited with: Photoshop Elements 8 (PSE8) & RadLab plug-in – http://www.TotallyRad.com
Like I mentioned in one of the last posts about this project, I’m not starting out real strong here. I guess that gives me plenty of room for growth, right? Though you may be hopeful, I shake my head because I know I’m capable of much better than this photo may convey. Truth be told I snapped this one with no additional light except that which is already installed in our ceiling. I did move some furniture slightly out of the shot, but no heavy lifting. Total shooting time: about 15 minutes. In my defense, I had had a long day of running around, and this was shot at about 9:30 at night.
Okay, enough photography ramblings. The story behind this piece of furniture is kind of fun. Every year there is a huge festival in Kendallville, Indiana called the Apple Festival. All the vendors prepare their food and crafts in the olde tyme tradition and dress like John Wayne, Annie Oakley, or Tonto. People come from all over to this mad-house and tie up the entire town of Kendallville, mostly for the food. My mom and I went for lunch and somehow found ourselves wondering around a building full of antiques. I have no idea how that happened! Well, to make an extremely long story short, I bought this hall tree. My husband and I managed to get back to the festival to pick it up without killing anyone, which is a major feat considering Matt’s intense hatred of large crowds. I was sternly told to, “Never buy furniture at the Apple Festival again!” I have no problem with this ultimatum whatsoever. As a reward for all the stress I put him through, we went out to eat at one of his favorite authentic Mexican restaurants, El Patron. When we got the hall tree home and set it up, I was thrilled. It fit perfectly in the space, and looks gorgeous in our living room. Matt’s first comment as he inspected the new old piece of furniture, “I wish it had antlers on it instead of these hooks.” I just laughed and said, “We’re not changing them.”
The first photo for my 365 project is a quick self portrait shot into a mirror! This is my new AWESOME hat! Normally I don’t do anything that will draw attention to me. But, you know what? I really like this hat. Why should I let the thoughts of others keep me from wearing an article of clothing that might make some people smile. It certainly brings me joy when I look in the mirror, which is exactly what I tried to capture in this photo!
So far this project hasn’t started out real strong. I realized it was October 2nd, and I had not taken any photos yet. So, I came home after all the necessary running around today and snapped this photo for the 1st, and another one for today (to be posted later). Perhaps this project will also be an exercise in giving myself grace. Ah, well, this is also something I need to work on anyway.
Have a blessed week,
In honor of finishing the photos from the House of Heroes show in Bryan, OH from April *sheepish, slightly ashamed look* I had a little fun with some of them. Wasting time? Yes. My excuse? Resting from any and all labor in celebration of Labor Day. But hey, I learned some things in the process. It wasn’t a total waste, right?
As a photographer, I get a kick out of the expressions that are sometimes captured in the fraction of a second while the shutter is open. This is a perfect example of this. I just put my own narration to those expressions. When I was finished, I realized that I’ve now become one of those fans who creates fan art. Not sure how I feel about this. Ha! And I’m not sure this qualifies as art either! At any rate, enjoy.
I’ve got a lot of photos piling up, all of which I am longing to share. Art, being a visual experience, is no good to anyone if it’s tucked away in a corner, an attic, or, in my case, lost in the recesses of my computer. Imagine if the best works of art: DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Picasso, Rembrandt were never put on display for us to reflect upon! This world would be markedly less beautiful. It would be like a gift that was never given! But I digress. I’m absolutely not comparing my little hobby here to history’s greats. Not by any means! I’ve just been asking myself the question: Why bother working to create good pictures if no one ever sees them?
This brings me to a concert I attended in April. My loving husband attended this show with me, even though House of Heroes is not necessarily his favorite band because HOH is one of my most favoritest bands. I am so glad we went to this show. The crowd was great, even though it was made up of almost all high school kids and it made me feel old. These kids were so full of energy and excitement! As a photographer, this show was an absolute dream. Props to whoever hired and/or set up the lighting. It. Was. Fabulous (insert sing-songy voice here). I feel like I got some great shots out of this show. It was such a great opportunity, and I am so thankful that I took it. Without further ado, here are the few photos that I have finished. I will add more as I get them done.
So…here it is. My blog. Now What? It’s very much like staring at a blank page. I have an idea of what I want to do, but am not sure exactly where to start.
So I suppose I’ll share my new project idea. Our new house is devoid of personality. To infuse personality, I have created names for each room. But I’m taking it one step further. Each letter will be made up of a photo to create that letter. For example, our bird bath has a wrought iron curl that resembles a “P.” So I will shoot and crop it in the name of our guest bedroom: “SPARE OOM.” (Chronicles of Narnia and/or C.S. Lewis fans may recognize the name) I also have some rules as a creative challenge.
- No photos of printed letters from signs or elsewhere.
- Each letter for each sign must come from a different photo.
- Only one letter for each sign can come from a tree.
- As much as possible, the letters should have subjects that correspond to the purpose or decorative theme for that room (i.e. photos of bathroom-related objects for the bathroom)
- As much as possible, take photos of subjects as they are without staging them.
I’m also hoping these rules will make the finished projects more interesting and unified.