Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 7, 2010

After the Fall – Picture Fall, day 7

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:30 pm
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Once again, I missed the chance to photograph today’s prompt in natural light, due to a bummer set of circumstances today.  I almost decided not to post today because I didn’t think I was overly creative – more going through the motion.  I made the commitment to myself, however, to take this online photography class,  follow my photo prompts each day and post my result to my blog in the hopes of getting your feedback.

Picture Fall, day 7

We were instructed to go gathering  “after the fall” – scoop up what nature has laid out and find an interesting way to appreciate and photograph it.   In the last rays of natural light (following a gorgeous rainbow this evening!) I scooped up some of the hundreds of acorns that litter my backyard right now.  I tried artfully spilling them out of a container, but the shots weren’t making me go “ooh!”  The touch of the mum and a cropping of some of the dark background made me a bit happier, but between my mood right now and my  lack of excitement for the photo, I’m really hoping I do a better job tomorrow.


  1. It’s not THAT bad! It’s still an interesting photo to look at. The acorns almost looked shellacked.

    Comment by Nae — October 7, 2010 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

    • Thank all the rain we’ve had this week for that look! That’s okay if it means a beautiful weekend.

      Comment by Karma — October 8, 2010 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  2. I think you had a great idea and I really like the wet acorns. If it was ME, I would have spread out the acorns so they completely filled the frame, and then added the mum.

    Comment by thedailyclick — October 8, 2010 @ 6:44 am | Reply

    • I think I tried that at one point and didn’t like it for whatever reason. I think many of the acorns were out of focus, but not in a place that pleased me. And I was just too darn grumpy to go back out and try it again after I looked at them on the computer.

      Comment by Karma — October 8, 2010 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  3. I think I may know what you mean about natural light – sometimes it makes all the difference in a photograph, although I don’t know what words to use to describe the differences. Painters are very sensitive to the quality of a local area’s natural light, too. Depending on the light outside coming in the house, the mood and look of the colors and objects in my rooms seems to change. Some days nothing seems to work and it must be frustrating trying to capture something on film and not quite getting what you want! But you’ll soon have good days again when everything (including the light) starts coming together again!

    Comment by Barbara — October 8, 2010 @ 8:34 am | Reply

    • Today was a better day, both picture-wise and mood-wise.

      Comment by Karma — October 8, 2010 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

  4. The acorns are a wonderful subject!! Such a beautiful testament to autumn!

    Comment by plainmama — October 8, 2010 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  5. I thought you did well. Adding the flower to give it a splash of color was genius. However, it is competing with the yellow (container) that’s above and behind it. I’d have liked this more if the background was totally black to make the flower and acorns pop even more.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with artificial light sources. 🙂 I like the specular lights off the acorns very much.

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — October 8, 2010 @ 10:52 am | Reply

    • I agree on the yellow container, Scott. I had trouble trying to crop it the way I wanted to, and couldn’t completely get rid of the yellow. As I said to Michaela, I was just too tired and grumpy yesterday to go back and try it again, even though none of my shots truly pleased me. Reading about you saying that something that I did was “genius,” however, pleases me very much! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — October 8, 2010 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  6. Sadly, I’m not a huge fan of obviously flashed shots. A few tips for the future.

    Try dialing down the flash a bit to achieve a softer flash of light. Most flash units have a +/- setting just like for exposure.

    You can also try bouncing the flash off of a white wall or card OR shoot the flash through a diffuser.

    Read up on the different types of flash modes you have. You might have something called ‘balanced fill’ flash which is softer than ttl flash as it is designed to fill in shadows.

    When I run out of natural light, I often use a table lamp to light the subject then use flash to fill in any areas.

    Comment by milkayphoto — October 11, 2010 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

    • I’m not 100% positive, but I don’t know if I have much in the way of options with my flash. I only have the built-in pop-up flash at this point. Scott says I should look into a separate flash to have more choice, but I’m wondering how worthwhile an investment it would be for me since I prefer not to use flash whenever possible. I will go back to my manual and see if there are any choices in flash mode.

      Comment by Karma — October 11, 2010 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

      • I can see that for the Rebel XS you, at the very least, have Flash Exposure Compensation (similar EV) with ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments. I imagine you also have some limited flash options (like rear-curtain, red-eye reduction, slow sync, etc.)

        I used to think the same thing about external flashes. Although I do prefer to shoot in natural light, once I did get an external flash, I began using it more and more often. For me, flash started to work better for me once I began using the Gary Fong Lightsphere with it. He makes a diffuser for pop-up flashes as well: http://www.garyfongestore.com/featured-products/puffer-pop-up-flash-diffuser.html Check it out!

        Comment by milkayphoto — October 12, 2010 @ 8:42 am

      • I’ll definitely have to spend some more time with my manual! Thanks for looking into it, Tracy.

        Comment by Karma — October 12, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

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