Thursday, September 27, 2012

Favorite Photo of the Week: The Sun Also Rises

Be sure to check out the announcements to the right!

Do you ever have a photo that just speaks to you? This is one of those photos for me. Something about the clouds, the sun and the colors captures not only what a saw, but what I felt. Even though I focus more on sunsets, the sun rises as well and it is beautiful in a different way. I would love to know your thoughts!

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/80, f/22

Sunrise over Issaquah, WA

“At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”  ― Norman Maclean

Happily Mother After    the long road       Project 52 - p52 weekly photo challenge with Kent WeakleyWeekly Top Shot     

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 50mm Lens Journey

Be sure to check out the announcements to the right!

This weekend I decided to use only my 50mm lens to really see what I love about it and what are the limitations. On Saturday I went to the local fair and on Sunday I got up insanely early to watch the sunrise over Seattle. Here are my favorites...

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/640, f/20 
Puyallup Fair Ferris Wheel, Puyallup, WA

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/100, f/11
Sunset at the Puyallup Fair, Puyallup, WA

Settings: ISO 400, 50mm, ss1/30, f/4.0 (should have had a tripod, but I still love it!)
Rides Alight at the Puyallup Fair, Puyallup, WA

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/5, f/7.1 (on tripod) 
Sunrise at Louisa Boren Park, Seattle, WA

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/80, f/22
Sunrise over Issaquah, WA
"Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there are no guarantees that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters." - Harry Callahan

 Live and Love...Out Loud  WW_KW 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tones on Tuesday #47 9.25.12

I wrote my first tips and tricks post about capturing sunbursts. I would love if you checked it out! You can read it here.

It was nearly impossible to narrow down the showcases this week. I tried to pick just 3, but I had to do 4 this time. Thank you for linking up here. Your images blow me away each week!

Laurie at Pride in Photos
The light and texture in this photo is beautiful! The detail just pulls you in. Thank you for sharing Laurie!

What a lovely shot and a beautiful place! The black and white is soft and the light is lovely. Thank you for linking up Kathy!

Arlene at Crafty Momma
The color and light in this photo is stunning and the fact that it was taken with an iPhone is impressive. Putting this spot on my list of places to visit. Thank you for sharing Arlene!

Brighton at Dear Brighton
This photo has such a lovely dreamy feel. The depth of field is beautiful and the perspective is wonderful. Thank you for linking up Brighton!

Laurie, Kathy, Arlene and Brighton please go HERE to grab your showcase button.

Now it's your turn to share your photo with altered tones. Here are the guidelines for Tones on Tuesday:
  • The basic idea is to share one photo where you have altered the tones. Such as a black and white, sepia toned, selective coloring or colored photo. Feel free to share the original and edit, or just the edit.
  • Please share a photo that you have taken and edited yourself.
  • One photo per photographer please. If you have more than one photo in your post please indicate which one is for Tones on Tuesday.
  • Please link up with your permalink and not your blog address.
  • Attach the Tones on Tuesday button or a link back here to your post.
  • Leave comments for at least 3 other participants, share the love :o)!
  • Have fun!
Disclaimer - By participating you give Scattered Horizons permission to share your photo on this blog. Photographers will be given credit for their work.

This weekend I went to the Puyallup Fair, a local tradition. I have been going since I was little and I always enjoy it. I have a few things I have to do when I visit. First, I have to buy a bunch of scones to freeze and enjoy. Yes, they are that good :o)! Second, I have to walk around and photograph the rides. And last I have to see the photography exhibition. This is usually my favorite part of the fair and this year was no different. I love getting inspiration and trying to see techniques and the way a photo was taken. While I was walking around this year I heard someone commenting that viewing the photography is only fun when you know someone who has a picture there. I completely disagree, but that could be my love of photography talking :o)! Next year I hope to enter one of my photos. 

I also have to share that in the same building as the photos is a craft section. Set up there was a table with scarves, yarn and knitting needles that invited you to knit a bit and said that the scarves would be donated after the fair. My mom who I went with sat for a while to add a few rows while I was looking at the photographs. How cool is that? I love the fair!

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/400, f/11
"It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition." - Henry James

Joining the link ups below. Be sure to check out the beautiful shots and join the Tones on Tuesday link up found further down!
 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley      and then, she {snapped} 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A First: Sunburst/Starburst Tips and Tricks

So one of my goals I set on New Year's Day was to share some of what I have learned on my blog. If you follow along you know that I am a teacher by trade. Despite this fact, I have felt super hesitant to do any sort of "teaching" on the blog as I find myself feeling unqualified to do so. However, I have been so grateful for all of the people who have put themselves out there to share what they have learned because it has helped me in my photography journey. It only seems right to give back a little and hopefully help someone move forward a step or two on their own journey. So, without further ado here are a few tips and tricks I have learned about shooting sunbursts and starbursts (along with some of my favorite sunburst shots)...

Tips/Tricks (see below for more details)
1. Shoot in RAW
2. Choose a larger aperture number
3. Meter off the sky
4. Take your shot and then change your perspective and repeat!

Settings: ISO 200, 29mm, ss1/160, f/25
Quincy Wildlife Recreation Area, Quincy, WA - June 2012

1. Shoot in RAW - I do this for all of my photos, but with sunbursts especially it makes processing easier.

Settings: ISO 200, 18mm, ss1/500, f/18 
Washington State Ferry - December 2011

Settings: ISO 200, 18mm, ss1/100, f/22
Birch Bay, WA - April 2012

2. Choose a large number aperture - My go to for getting the best sunburst shape is f/22, but I have gone as low as f/11 or f/16 in certain situations. And one time even as low as f/5.6, but I think that had more to do with the angle of the sun and camera than the aperture. I have also gone higher such as f/25. Usually the higher the number the more defined the sunburst. In some cases this means using a tripod because the aperture is letting in so little light that your shutter needs to be open longer to expose properly.

As I read on a site when I was first researching how to shoot sunbursts, this is similar to when you squint your eyes thereby letting in less light (just as higher aperture numbers do) and the points of light become starburst shapes. And yes I did try this as I was reading and yes it did help me understand shooting starbursts (just in case you find yourself squinting at a light as you read this :o).

Settings: ISO 200, 18mm, ss1/320, f/22 
Clark Lake Park, Kent, WA - March 2012

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/640, f/20 
Puyallup Fair, Puyallup, WA - September 2012

3. Meter off the sky - I use spot metering and when I shoot sunbursts I expose (or meter off of) the sky. This can be a little tricky as you are shooting directly into the sun, which can make seeing your light meter difficult. Two things I do about this: 1. Wear sunglasses. Even though this distorts the image color a bit, it helps your eyes not get blinded by the bright sun. And 2. Hold the camera still (or use a tripod) and press down the shutter button halfway so the light meter shows up on your LCD screen and adjust your shutter speed while continuing to hold the camera still.

In many cases when you meter off the sky with the sunlight in the picture it can create an image that is a bit underexposed, but that can be adjusted in post processing.

Settings: ISO 200, 24mm, ss1/320, f/25 
Long Beach, WA - February 2012

4. Take your shot and then change your perspective and repeat! Some of my favorite sunburst shots have come from laying on the ground or standing up when I have started in a different position.

Settings: ISO 400, 55mm, ss1/320, f/5.6
Point Defiance Park Dahlia Test Garden in Tacoma, WA - August 2012

You can also use some of these tricks (shoot in RAW and high aperture number) to capture starbursts (the same as sunbursts, but with lights and not the sun)!

Settings: ISO 400, 50mm, ss13.0sec, f/22
Lewis and Clark Bridge connecting Oregon and Washington
with the Lights of Longview, WA - January 2012

"In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” - Phil Collins

As a side note, if some or most of this sounds like a foreign language to you (which has been the case for me many times over the course of my photography learning) this post does assume that you are shooting on manual. If you aren't I highly recommend you check out Courtney at Click It Up a Notch's posting on shooting manual mode. It is what got me started and I am so happy I have made the switch to manual! 

And of course, if you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments or through email. 

(I would love to know what you thought of my first tips and tricks post! Feedback is always welcome! :o).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favorite Photo of the Week: Stillness

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/200, f/11

When I go to the beach I am always amazed by the stillness I feel. Despite the perpetual motion of the waves, I can't help but feel that the ocean creates this sense of stillness that is exactly what I need to feel most myself. Perhaps it allows me to slow down and connect to something greater than me. This feeling I have whenever I spend time at the beach is what I hope these photos communicate. These photo were taken on the Washington coast, the first one at Grayland and the second off the highway near North Cove. The first photo was processed using basic settings in Lightroom and the second was processed using Lightroom Presets from Preset Heaven which had a post called "28 Free Presets from Chris." The specific preset used is called "sweet."

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/400, f/11
“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”  ― Lao Tzu

Happily Mother After    the long road     Weekly Top Shot