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First Live Music Shots

Finally!! I shot my first show!

This shoot was a good first step for me into “the world of live music”. My husband is in this band, and they were playing their first show to friends at the house of one of the other band members. Easy peasy!

Low light, so I’m using my Canon T2i cranked up on the ISO with my f1.8 50mm lens. It’s a bit grainy, but this will do for my first shoot.

As always, I welcome any constructive feedback.

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about this band or hearing what they sound like, follow the links below:
www.strangeweaponsband.com/
www.facebook.com/strangeweapons

These photos can also be viewed here:
201208 – HOUTX – SW

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Project 4 – Action Photography

The objective of this project is to experience taking action shots.

PROJECT 4:
Take a picture of a person or animal running or jumping, or a car moving, etc. Take pictures at 1/15 sec, 1/30 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/125 sec, 1/250 sec, and 1/500 sec.

I have reduced the quality in Adobe Photoshop to reduce the file size of  these photos to roughly 700 kb.

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Learnings:

  • The attention span of a two-year old is shorter than the time I needed to complete this assignment (I only made it to 1/60 sec. I missed 1/125, 1/250, and 1/500!)
  • I noticed after the fact that there was a smudge on my lens… I thought it was just blurry because she was going so fast! I’ll check that before each shoot from now on.
  • I probably should have changed back to my kit lens instead of using my 50mm for the action shots. I was lazy, and the 50 mm was already on!

Verdict: I was able to sneak in one last homework assignment before my intermediate class tomorrow and it gave me a chance to re-familiarize myself with my camera (I haven’t used it in a few months). Although I didn’t get up to the faster shutter speeds, I can see the photos get progressively less blurry as the shutter speed increases, and so I’ve decided that Project 4 is a success.

Project 3b – Indoor Photography at Night

The objective of this project is to experience taking low light photos.

PROJECT 3b:
Take a picture inside your house at night using incandescent lighting. Have a person read a book or pose for you. Take a picture of the same scene with the flash.

I have reduced the quality in Adobe Photoshop to reduce the file size of  these photos to roughly 700 kb. The picture was taken with Shutter Speed = 1/160 sec, Aperture = 1.8, and ISO 6400 (which will account for the grainy-ness).

Low light photo.

Learnings:

  • I cheated a bit here… I had just bought a 50mm lens, and used it here. Had I used my kit lens, the scene would have been too dark.
  • When I’m doing homework assignments, I should probably bring the assignment description with me, as I forgot to do the flash picture follow-up. However, I have done other low light pictures with the flash, and typically I get large shadows in the background, and washed out faces.

Verdict: At this point it’s been over 6 months since I took the class, and started these homework assignments. Had I done this sooner, I would have followed the instructions. But at this point I was pretty much ready to move on. I was able to take a decent low-lighting photograph with people, and so I’ve decided that Project 3b is a success.

I have a few more homework assignments that I have not tried. But at this point, I’m about to take the next class (intermediate photography) and so I’ve decided to move on. The next series of posts will likely be assignments from the new class.

Until then, all the best!

Project 3a – Rule of Thirds

The objective of this project is to use the rule of thirds for composition.

PROJECT 3a:
Take a picture using the rule of thirds. Take another picture with the main focal point on one of the golden thirds.

I have reduced the quality in Adobe Photoshop to reduce the file size of  these photos to roughly 700 kb. All pictures are taken with Aperture = 4.5 and ISO 6400 (which will account for the grainy-ness). The first is Shutter Speed = 1/1000, and the second is 1/640.

Composed using rule of thirds.

Focal point in the "golden third".

Learnings:

  • – In the first photograph the horizon is a little over the bottom third, but compared to another picture I took the same day where the horizon was halfway up the photo, this one looks much better.
  • – For the second photograph, again compared with other pictures taken the same day, this one does look nicer where the horizon is at the 2/3 mark, and the subjects are near a golden third intersect.

Verdict: I took the required pictures, and think they all came our reasonably well. Project 3a is a success.

Project 2c – Tripod v. Hand-held

The objective of this project is to test the difference between hand-holding my camera and using a tripod.

PROJECT 2c:
Take a picture of an animal or person with shutter speed set at 1/8, adjust aperture to balance the light meter. Take one photo. Take a second photo using the built-in flash.

Next, using a tripod, photograph the same subject at the same shutter speed and balance meter. Take one photo without flash, and a second photo with the flash.

The subjects are my husband, daughter, and mother-in-law. I have reduced the quality in Adobe Photoshop to reduce the file size of  these photos to roughly 700 kb. All pictures are taken with Shutter Speed = 1/8 sec, and Aperture = 4.5.

Photo 1 - Hand-held / No flash

Photo 2 - Hand-held / Flash

Photo 3 - Tripod / No Flash

Photo 4 - Tripod / Flash

Learnings:

  • I personally don’t see a big difference in the shots between holding the camera myself, and using the tripod… Please let me know if you see differently!

Verdict: I took the required pictures, and think they all came our reasonably well. Project 2c is a success.

Project 2b Redo – Still Life, Lighting, and Flash

The objective of this exercise was to get me to muck around with a home-made reflector and see the difference that lighting can make. I previously posted this exercise, with mixed results, so I decided to try a “do-over”.

Project #2b
With camera on a tripod, capture a stationary still life (I chose flowers) outside 5′-6′ away from a background. In manual, take a photo without flash. Take a second photo with camera in manual, balance the light meter, and then turn on the flash. Take another photo using the light reflector.

I have reduced the quality of the photos to bring the file size down to ~700 kb.

No flash / No reflectors

Flash / No reflector

Flash / Reflector from lower left

I still wasn’t happy with the overexposure when shooting with the flash, so I did a little playing around. I realized that whenever I would turn on the flash, the shutter speed automatically changed from 1/500 to 1/200. So I increased the f/stop until the camera stopped changing the shutter speed. This happened at an f/stop of 8 with a shutter speed of 1/160. Here are a couple of pictures from this setting. The first is without flash, followed by the second with flash.

No Flash: F/stop 8 - Shutter 1/160

Flash: F/stop 8 - Shutter 1/160

Finally – no overexposure. I think this shows a much better example of how the flash brightens the shadows that are seen on the flowers in the first picture.

Learnings:

  • Better note-taking during the shoot definitely helps when I go to post my pictures!
  • When using a flash on very bright days, make sure to use an f/stop that allows the meter to stay balanced when using the flash.

Verdict: Project 2b-redo is a success.

Projects #2a and #2b- Still Life, Lighting, and Flash

The objective of this exercise was to get me to muck around with a home-made reflector and see the difference that lighting can make. This project has two parts.

Project #2a
With camera on a tripod, capture a stationary still life (I chose flowers) outside 5′-6′ away from a background. In manual, take a photo. Take a second photo reflecting light on the still life with the reflector. Take two more reflecting light in different places on the object.

Project #2b
This time around we do the same thing, but with a flash.

In manual, take a photo without flash. Take a second photo with camera in manual, balance the light meter, and then turn on the flash. The next few photos should be the same setting but with light reflecting on the still life with the reflector.

I have reduced the quality of the photos to bring the file size down to ~700 kb.

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Learnings:

  • I need to start taking better notes while I am shooting these homework photos!
  • When using reflectors, make sure the reflector is not in the shot!
  • I need to work on my flash skills. The photos with the flash look overexposed to me. This could also be because the clouds were coming and going, and the instructions said to use the same settings as the first flash photo. The background looks like the sun came out in the bright photos, so I probably was overexposed!

Verdict: 50/50

In 2a, I was able to see a difference in the photos when I used the reflectors, and a difference based on where I used them, even with my hooptie home-made reflector. Project #2a is a success!

With 2b I’m debating trying this one again when the main lighting (i.e. the sun) is more consistent. I know the idea was that the flash fills out the shadows on the object, but it’s hard to see in these photos. Maybe I’ll go back and redo this one if I have time.