Camera: Nikon D200 Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 ISO: 100 Aperature: 1.8 Shutter: 1/8000
Digital Adjustments: PSE8, RadLab
Date Taken: Oct 7, 2011
This photo is a lot like the previous photo, except I turned slightly to my right to exaggerate the backlighting. This had the effect of washing out the color. I felt this lent itself well to a sepia-toned look. It’s not a true sepia because I didn’t take out all the existing color. But I wanted to give it that kind of feel. It’s timeless, warm, and comforting. Of course, maybe it won’t have the same effect on everyone. This is, after all, the view out of my childhood backyard! Regardless, I’m happy with the results. What do you think?
Camera: Nikon D200 Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 ISO: 100 Aperature: 1.8 Shutter: 1/2000
Digital Development: PSE8, RadLab
Date Taken: Oct. 7, 2011
This field is basically the extension of my parent’s backyard. I know this tree line like I know the back of my own hand. This was another challenge for my creativity. How do I shoot this scene to capture the colors, but do so in an extraordinary way? That’s when I noticed the angle of the sun. Backlighting is one of those fantastically subtle details that can be easy to overlook. When done well, it adds so much drama to a photo. It’s probably my favorite type of lighting.
Photo Specs: Nikon D200, Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 100, f/2.0 @ 1/2000. Developed with PSE8 & RadLab
Date taken: October 7, 2011
I was right on schedule with this project when I stopped at my parents’ house to pick up their mail while they were away for a weekend. This is the home where I grew up, so I was sure to find something interesting to photograph.
During this week, the fall colors were absolutely stunning. As I mentioned in the last 365 post, I didn’t want to take the typical calendar-worthy shot of the fields ready for harvest surrounded by beautiful fall trees. That’s when I looked, I mean really looked at this tree. This is the tree that has withstood decades of frigid, winter winds that howled around the house. This is the tree that faithfully announced the promise of spring; quietly budding as we rushed out the door. This is the tree that my brother and I climbed each summer as soon as we were tall enough to reach the bottom limbs. This is the tree that provided the piles of leaves for us to rake, romp in, and re-rake every autumn. With all these memories in mind, I wanted to do something more than just snap a picture. I wanted to make a photo that felt ethereal, other-worldly, or dreamy. So what I did was made the tree the secondary subject and focused more on the interplay between the light and shadow. I paid close attention to where these elements were falling in the frame. Then when developing, I was very careful to punch up the contrast so that the shapes of the shadows became more prominent, but also careful to not to lose the details of the leaves on the ground. This was a difficult balance to find. If you take time to notice, you may find my shadow in there. This is appropriate, I think. The placement of my shadow is no accident.
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.
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 spent the last weekend in Indianapolis with 9,999 other women at the Women of Faith Conference in Indianapolis. When you put that many women in one room, God better show up, or you’re asking for at least five cat-fights, Christ-followers or not! For this woman, God certainly showed himself. Of course, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I suppose I should expect nothing less, He is God, Creator, Director, and Producer of the Universe, after all. What I didn’t expect? The means of communication and the content communicated.
Let me back up for just a moment. You may need a little context. See I’ve been wandering lately. Or perhaps that should be wondering. I don’t know, maybe a lot of both. I took a job right out of college to pay the bills and hopefully be responsible enough to save up for what I really wanted to do: Photography. Over the passed six years (has it really been that long?) I have discovered many things about myself, about God, and about the fact that what I thought I wanted to do may not in fact be what I want, or what God has planned for me. And I, in the words of Savage Garden, truly, madly, deeply want what He wants for me. I have all these things I love to do. These creative, imaginative gifts and dreams I have been given all seem to be pretty much unrelated and it’s maddening. What do I do with this? What’s the point of these dreams when the job that pays the bills utilizes none of them? That brings me to now, and my current condition of Now What?
Then my husband and I went to a concert in Farmland, IN to see Disciple. During this concert, the lead vocalist, Kevin Young said something that really struck me as profound. He said you love others and give of yourself. You may wonder, well what about me? If I’m always giving and loving others, who’s going to worry about me? God will take care of you! Don’t you believe that God loves you, and if he loves you, he will take better care of you than you can take care of yourself?
Well of course! Duh! I purposely committed this concept to memory. Love others. Let God take care of you. He can do a better job of it anyway.
A month or so later, six other ladies and I bought tickets and climbed into the church van for two days of amazing speaking and fantastic singing with other women of faith. Let me tell you, I met God. To all the questions I had been asking, His only reply seemed to be: “I love you. There is not a moment in your life that I have not loved you without condition, no strings attached.” This is the message I heard from every speaker. This was the harmony threaded through all the songs we sang. “I got you. I know where to find you. I know where you are, and I have been there too. So take my hand, let me love you. We’ll walk together.” Every time I even began to pray, “Ok, but what about…” God cut me off with the reply, “I love you.” I suppose the most powerful being in the universe has all rights to interrupt me, especially with such a profound answer as this. Through this entire season of my life, I’ve been feeling a lot like Moses. This is just another time where I can draw a parallel. I’m reminded of the burning bush when Moses keeps coming up with excuses and God’s reply is, “I am.” Different reply, but I needed to learn a different lesson. Growing up in the church, I’ve heard all the Bible stories, I know all the illustrations. When a speaker starts an illustration, I pretty much can guess where they’re going before they get there. So I’ve always KNOWN (intellectually) God loves me. But on the weekend of August 19-20, 2011 at the Conseco Fieldhouse, perhaps for the first time ever, I EXPERIENCED the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit deep down to the core of my being. It is a beautiful thing full of peace and joy. I still have questions. I still have no idea where my life is going. But I know with the kind of knowledge that no one can shake that because God loves me this way, he knows what is best for me. He will take care of me. I know that I can trust him to guide my path, even though I can’t see farther than the next step. My job is not to know the future. God owns that. My purpose is to love God and love others. So that’s what I’m committed to do for now. We’ll see what comes from that.
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.