Photography 101: Edge

Day 18:  Today we’re livin’ on the edge in our Photo 101 class!  Lol.  The tip for this assignment was to use photo editing software to make sure the edge we photograph is lined up nice and straight in the photo.

Thankfully, my father let me borrow his camera tripod a couple of weeks ago (he was quite a good photographer back before I was born).  The tripod makes it so much easier to line things up straight and to take macro shots without losing focus due to camera movement.

Once again, I utilized the trusty Aperture Priority setting on my Canon Power Shot camera to capture these images of our Beta fish.  There are plenty of edges in this photo  — the tank, the water, the corner of the room, and the window edges.  When viewed from the edge like this, water refraction and tank reflections make it look like we have three fish instead of one.  (Please scroll over the images or click on them for more info.)

Did you notice the extreme difference in the view out the window?  Shooting photos with and without the flash can cause surprising changes…Well, surprising to me, anyway, since I’m new to photography.  Which photo is more appealing to you?

There was an issue with using the Aperture Priority setting for this photo shoot.  The shutter speed on this setting is slower to let in that rich lighting, which means any motion in the shot will be nothing but a colorful bblluurr.  It’s not noticeable in the first set of photos because the fish was not moving.  Here are some examples of him swimming: one using the Aperture Priority setting and the other using the Sports setting.

I guess that’s why the mouth on my little bunny friend blurred when I used the Aperture Priority setting to take this photo of him licking his lips in the yard today.


Photography 101: Architecture

Day 12:  Today’s assignment is about finding interesting architecture to display in a monochrome or black and white photo.  I went to a downtown area of a small town to capture these photos.

decorative roof gable trim on shingled roof with bare tree branches in background

Scroll over the rest of the images to see more info:

Here is an example of more of my experimentation with focus and camera settings:

One building had detailed metal columns.  This is the least rusty one:

Near the end of my photography walk, I discovered what I’ve dubbed “architectural remnants.”  A detailed tile floor remains, but the walls are long gone:


Photography 101: Big

Day 7:  A simple theme was presented for today:  “Big.”  The tip to keep in mind for this assignment was to change your point of view to capture a photo from an unusual or interesting angle (“point of view”).

Ok…”big” is a pretty basic idea.  Where could I go with this one?  Hmmm…my first random thoughts on this topic include:

  • Big things like elephants, but I dont’ have one of those handy (ha ha).
  • Big ideas or important inventions.  I might be able to work with that.
  • Sayings like “You’re actin’ too big for your britches.”  That sounds like an old country saying to me.  I can picture a miffed little boy in overalls stubbornly puffing his chest out in defiance.

I’ll have look around and think about this idea for a while to see if I can gain some inspiration.  Big is a relative term, so maybe I can find an unexpected way to express the idea…

~~~~~{Several hours later}~~~~~

…Eureka! I found my inspiration.  First of all, I’m getting obsessed with macro shooting of eyes and other objects.  I was shooting flowers at the base of the largest tree in our yard, trying to capture the details of the lichen and leaves.


As I was working my way around the tree trunk shooting macro shots, I looked up and thought “Wow, this tree has really grown since we moved here.  It looks so…big!”  So, I flipped the camera skyward and took these shots:

looking up from the base of a large silver maple tree with bark in focus

Using the Aperture Priority setting, I auto focused on the nearby bark before taking the photo.

looking up from the base of a large silver maple tree with branches in focus

Look how different the lighting is on the same setting, when I let the camera auto focus where it wanted to. The small tree branches show up in this photo.

Here’s another representation of “big:” my oldest, largest hen:

close-up face shot of an Australorp hen with background frosted

This photo was edited with a couple of effects to reduce the distracting background.



Photography 101: Street

Day 2:  The theme for the second day was “Street” and the focus was on capturing an establishing shot (“a wide-angle photo that sets up a scene”).

Now that the rain, sleet, and snow have finished falling, I was able to go find a winter scene for this assignment.

a small-town street covered in snow with ruts and footprints

I didn’t capture a focal point in the foreground on this shot, like the assignment mentioned, but I did get a wide angle view.  I guess you can just imagine yourself in the foreground, getting ready to make a snow angel near the brick building or getting ready to pelt the photographer with a snowball! ha ha

I experimented with three camera settings for this assignment:  “Snow” (Yes, I have a snow setting on my camera…Who knew?), “Auto,” and “Aperture Priority” (which I mentioned in the previous post).

  1. The Snow setting, of course, helped control the brightness of the glare off the snow, and it gave the best results in most of my shots.
  2. The Auto setting gave a somewhat unattractive blue tint to the snow, especially when I tried to take close-ups.  It showed the most detail on tree branch shadows in the snow, though.
  3. The Aperature Priority setting, I have decided, is best for taking shots in darker situations, rather than bright daylight in the snow.  The details of the snow were washed out with this setting, and the ruts in the street looked pinkish.

Here are photos of water running in a ditch, using the different settings:

Here’s a few more photos I took, just for fun.  They were all taken with the Snow setting.

Opinions and ideas on this post are most appreciated!


Photography 101: Bliss

Day 4:  Today’s theme is “Bliss,” and the lesson is on how to add captions, alt text, descriptions, etc. to your photos.

Bliss to me is one thing:  MY HEAVENLY FATHER.  I love God and all the wonderful things He has done for me.  He is so good to each and every one of us, whether we appreciate it or not.

photo of a bible with a mural of tree, sun, and clouds in background

This photo includes a bible and a mural in my daughter’s room and is what I chose as a symbol of God and His creation.

The bible in this photo is open to one of my favorite passages:

Psalm 100  “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord, He is God.  It is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise!  Be thankful unto Him and bless His name, for the Lord is good!  His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”

I kept the camera on the “Aperture Priority” setting for all my shooting today, which is designed to optimize the lighting in photos.  It often allows the flash to work and produce a better-quality photo during situations when the “Auto” setting seems determined to take bad photos without the flash.

Look how different the scene looks without the flash (still on the Aperture Priority setting):

This photo is a totally different color when I don't use the flash.

You will think me crazy when you see what I set up in order to be able to capture this photo by myself.  I ran a string behind the bible’s binding and tied it to a t.v. tray with another bible propping it up from behind.

The photo wasn’t working out well because the bible was too far below the section of mural I wanted to use, so I then set the t.v. tray up on a fold-out bed/chair.  If you ever lose your sanity like I did and wish to try something similar, use wide ribbon through the book’s spine.  The yarn was a little hard on it.  (I make poor decisions when it’s past my bedtime! Lol)

Bible tied to t.v. tray with string; tray stacked on cushions

I liked the end product of this process.  I think the skinny vertical image would make a great bookmark, especially with some words added above or below the photo.  Say, those might make nice gifts for my friends and family!  (Shhh…don’t tell!  It will ruin the surprise!)

Thanks again for looking at more of my photos!  Does anyone have advice on ways I can improve my photography?  (other than avoiding damaging books…I figured that one out on my own!  Ha ha)