Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Alright, here we go! Here’s a picture from Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs. As I mentioned, I was there over the holidays, visiting my parents, and I finally now got a chance to download all of the pictures I took (mostly pictures of my kid and my brother’s kid, honestly) off the camera. Sadly, a lot of the pictures that I was at least somewhat excited about from this little photo shoot didn’t come out quite as nicely as I wanted. As in, they looked great on the little camera screen, but at full size, they weren’t as sharp as I wanted. I’ll still post them here eventually, don’t you worry about that. But I’m a lot less excited about them now than I was then.
In other news, you may have noticed that I added a neat little “Related Posts” widget to the blog. It only shows up when you’re viewing the page for an individual post though, so there’s a really good chance that you won’t be able to see it on the page you’re looking at right now. (If you’re looking at the main page, it won’t be there. If you’re reading this via a feed reader or email, I don’t believe it’ll show up. And, if you’re not reading this at all, which is the vast majority of you (total # of readers / 7 billion total humans total approximately equals 0), umm, dot dot dot. But, it’s very exciting! It even shows thumbnails! I’m very happy about all this, if it wasn’t clear. Hopefully, you are too.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/200s, f/9.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 90mm.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Welcome back, I’ve missed you all! Well, most of you. Today’s picture is from Colorado Springs. The foreground is the Garden of the Gods (specifically, Kissing Camels), and in the back you’re looking at Pikes Peak. I’d love to be able to tell you how hard I had to work to get this picture, that I had to hike miles and miles into the wilderness, blah blah blah. But no, I was driving by, saw that it looked really nice, so I stopped in the parking lot of the Garden of the Gods visitor’s center. Oh well, they can’t all be exotic, right?
Remember: if you’re trying to take pictures where you want your foreground to be super dark and you want to be able to see the color and detail in the sky, you need to underexpose it, sometimes severely. If I had just pointed the camera and let the light meter do the work, you’d be able to see the foreground, but the sky would be an uninteresting white blob. In general, the best way to ruin the color in a picture is to overexpose it. And, if you ask me, every camera I’ve ever owned likes to overexpose your shots by default. I mean, there are exceptions where, for a particular shot, it gets it right, but I’ve found that I’m much happier with the results if I leave my exposure compensation on -1/3rd stop all the time. Sometimes I bump it back even more. Having vivid colors is more important to me than having all of the detail be “properly” illuminated. Who decided what illumination is “proper” anyway? Not sure. But everyone seems to agree on it, except for me. Anyway, there’s a couple quick tricks that you can use to bump down the exposure if you find that a picture you want is coming out too bright. The first is of course to set your camera’s exposure compensation. Bump it down to -1 or more, see if that helps. Of course, that only works in manual mode. If you want to stick with automatic (or you have a camera that won’t let you set the exposure compensation), just point the camera at the sky, and push (and hold) the shutter in halfway. That should lock in the focus and exposure settings on the sky (which is typically much brighter than everything else – thus making the camera think it needs to allow less light in to the sensor). Then, frame your shot as you like. Voila – nice, rich colors. Probably worth mentioning: this isn’t that effective if your foreground isn’t far away, since when you lock in your settings against the sky, your camera will almost certainly be focusing on infinity. I could go into more detail about what I’m talking about here, but I’ve used up my quota for keystrokes today.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/320s, f/14.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 16mm.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Hello everyone. I apologize for never getting around to putting up a picture yesterday, I was busy, blah blah blah, you know how it goes. Also, I’m headed out of town later tonight, so this will be the last post until the middle of next week. And this is where we’re headed!
This was taken in Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, about a 10 minute drive from my parents’ house. We stopped by the last time I was out to visit because we had a couple hours to kill before we had to leave for the airport, and it’s always a nice spot to get outside for a little while. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the skies in Colorado tend to be a much deeper blue than you see in a lot of places (especially Seattle). I don’t know if it’s due to the elevation, the lack of moisture in the air, or what. But it seems to be a lot easier to really get that crisp sapphire blue out there, as opposed to the mushy baby blue that we usually get out here. Maybe I’m just imagining it, I don’t know.
I’m hoping to get out once or twice for a hike while I’m out there, so hopefully I’ll have some new picture-of-the-day fodder from the Rockies, so I can give you all a break from the insects. Keep yourselves out of trouble while I’m gone!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens. 1/250s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 22mm.