As promised – here is my photographer husband’s guest post. It’s about time he received some recognition on this blog – most of the pictures I have used since I started the blog (at least the good ones) are courtesy of his skill and photographic expertise. So – I’ll turn this space over to Bruce.
Come on a brief journey with me – glimpses and explanations of the processes and thoughts, behind one of my favourite hobbies and creative outlets – ‘capturing’ images in time.
I use a zoom lens with a focal length 18mm – 200mm which allows me to compose photos quickly. Photographing people I’m able to stand further away and zoom in, making a more natural atmosphere. “Up close and personal,” produces candid shots – as people become hyper-aware of the camera it changes their reality; they either ham it up, or clam-up.
A family in the Sierra Nevada’s
In this mountain scene I had already taken a few shots, when a family came trotting from behind the trees and into my frame – I didn’t believe my good luck! Usually the reverse happens.
Notice the strong horizontal line of the fallen tree and the blue lake itself – it appears roughly 1/3 up from the bottom of the image. This compositional technique is known as the “rule of thirds” or “the rule of threes”. Seasoned photographers never center their subject or a horizon line – well, almost never.
Depth is created in the photo with the trees on the left side and the patches of grass and the log in the foreground. To complete the picture the hiking family adds human scale as well as evokes interest.
A Study of Roses
The next 2 shots illustrate how depth of field changes using different lens apertures (f-stops).
1/400 sec.@ f14 – no depth of field
1/40 sec.@ f32 – medium depth of field
1/13sec.@ f16 with the vintage tripod …see Fran’s previous blog!
At 3PM in October, Burney Falls were in the shade – however, a lower light level is exactly what is needed to create the blurred effect. At the top of the falls the sunlight was hitting the trees which were ablaze in fall colours – but sunlight and shade doesn’t mix in photography; I had to frame and focus most of the photo down towards the waterfall. I often fine-tune photos @ the editing stage, so I later cropped out some of the trees on the right, to compose in line with the rule of thirds (again.)
An Era Gone By
De-saturating the colour ever so slightly moves this photo back in time, almost to a sepia image. Notice the truck is aligned using “the rule of thirds.” I keep mentioning this rule because it’s so important. I’ll speak if it no more.
The photo speaks for itself
Bird of Paradise
1/250 sec. f4.8 – A very shallow depth of field creates the blurred background.
Boy with fish
I love portraits! In this case, upon seeing the lad with his catch, I seized the moment and asked to take his photo. His beaming smile says it all.
Buildings! A favourite subject of mine – after all, I am a carpenter. An amazing thing about photographs is what isn’t seen in the picture. For example, located under this tower is a 10kw hydroelectric turbine. Out in the desert, no less!
In the 3 photos above, I increased the colour saturation to enhance the yellows and oranges. In the last of this series of three, the blue of the sky could have been greatly enhanced using a polarizing filter (which I didn’t have at the time!)
Tree framed to the left created depth and interest. I saturated the colours to give the clouds definition and deepen the blue.
Mt. Whitney and the Alabama Hills
Jackie and Mack Robinson – remembered and touched
A slight star effect (achieved in post editing) seemed especially appropriate for this photo.
Manzanar was a WWII internment camp for people of Japanese descent – many of whom were US citizens. The de-saturated colour of the image and the greyness of the background and clouds adds a solemn quality. What I really like is the light breaking through. I believe it evokes hope.