Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 13, 2011

Best of, Part 4

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been trying to neatly package this set of photos with a category name like the last three, but the best name has been eluding me.  “Fire and Rain” came to mind if you, darling readers, are willing to accept a little stretch.  “Light” was another thought I had, but then I started thinking, well, isn’t that really the essence of photography?  On the other hand, each photo in this group does showcase light in a different way, so we’ll go with that, okay?

As those of you who’ve been with me for a while may remember, I’ve been chasing a gorgeous moon shot for a long time.  I shivered in the cold try to do justice to “supermoon” and lamented my bad luck at missing a beautiful shot on Cape Cod.  Just a couple days ago I was out trying yet again.  My favorite photo of the moon that I’ve achieved so far would be this one from my vacation in Maine in August:
Aug. 13 full moon over Biddeford Pool

One thing I plan to do in 2012 is pay more attention to the cycle of the moon and try to get out the night before as Scott has suggested.

On this same vacation, I did something I’ve never done before.  I got out of bed before sunrise and took pictures.  Plenty of times  I’ve awakened, looked out the window and thought, “how lovely.. I should take a picture” and then promptly gone back to sleep.  This year I hauled myself out to the beach with my camera and waited.  I was rewarded:
sunrise, Hills Beach

Sun and water on my vacation makes a nice segue into my next photo, the beautiful rainbow over Stage Island, one of the group of small islands you can see in many of my vacation photos.
rainbow6

And speaking of rain (you need rain to get a rainbow, right?) I found this curious formation of rain drops on grape leaves at home this summer:
raindrops on grape leaves

Moving away from the rain and back into the light, two holidays provided me with two fun lessons about using my camera.  Last December I discovered the “star” effect of a long shutter speed and tiny aperture on Christmas lights. I was delighted:

IMG_2462

After consulting several photographer-bloggers (thank you, Scott, for your helpful hints!), I purchased a shutter-release remote and using the “bulb” setting on my camera for the first time,  went out to shoot fireworks in July:
fw1

It has been such a wonderful year of learning about my camera and how to use it – and I have many of you to thank for it!  Thank you to every one who has offered a tip or made a beautiful photograph and gone on to explain how you did it.  I appreciate it all.

I was trying to decide whether this would be my last post in this series or if I would have one more.  The subject matter is very dear to my heart, but my concern was that others would not find it to be as compelling of a subject as I do.  After reading a couple of persuasive blog posts (I’ll share the links to those in my next post), I’ve decided I will share one more.  Perhaps the subject matter won’t be a surprise to you.  Come on back tomorrow to see what I am talking about!

This was part four in my submission to Scott Thomas’s photo assignment #16.

July 4, 2011

First Fireworks Try with the Rebel

Ever since I bought my first DSLR last summer (can you believe it has been almost a year already?), I’ve been wanting to try to take some fireworks pictures.  Since I bought it a week after July 4th last year, this weekend was my first opportunity.  I remembered that Scott did a blog post with some advice on how to take fireworks photos, which was great since I had no idea where to start.  I emailed Scott and he kindly found the link for me and invited me to ask questions if I had any – which I did!  I ended up purchasing a shutter release cable, and I am glad that I did. 

 I hadn’t been to a near-by town’s fireworks in many years, so I asked a few people for viewing and parking advice.  It turned out I couldn’t park exactly where was suggested, but we found a big open field which turned out to be a great spot for viewing.  My two daughters and older daughter’s boyfriend came along for the ride.  We had time to spare waiting for the show.  I tried to get a cute shot of three teenagers plugged in to their electronics while they waited:

 Waiting for the fireworks

I already had the camera on the tripod so I was trying to sneakily take the picture with no flash.  On “P” mode the camera selected a 13 sec. shutter speed, so I wasn’t so sneaky afterall!  I ended up with a ghostly vision of Meghan looking up from her iPod as if to say, “Really, Mother?”

Meghan was definitely in the spirit of the holiday though:
Patriotic toes

After the first firework went off, I did my best to position my camera for the part of the sky where the fireworks were coming up (over a stand of trees from our view) and focus for that general area.  I left the focus on manual so AF wasn’t trying to constantly adjust, set the shutter for Bulb and the aperture to f16, and connected my shutter release cable.  I remembered Scott saying to open the shutter when you hear the launching boom and hold it open for several seconds to catch several explosions.  I think I did most of mine at 3 to 5 seconds.  I couldn’t remember what Scott said to do when we got to the finale, so I ended up with WAY blown out shots when I tried.  I think my reaction time, thought process and instincts are still a little slow in the world of DSLR’s but I am mostly happy with my results for the Rebel’s first try at fireworks.  Here’s a little slide show of 16 (out of 138!) of my favorites:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Independence Day everyone!