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Learn By Doing Photography

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Learn by Doing Photography – After Dark Photography

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #24 After dark Photography

There is something magical about stepping outside after dark with your camera in hand. You never know what awaits you out there. Are the stars going to be out, or will the clouds cover the skies. Perhaps a bit of both. How will the city lights sparkle tonight. It’s always changing, every time I step outside at night I see a different landscape painted before my eyes. As long as you have a tripod and a remote shutter you can go anywhere at night.

Tonight my husband and I hiked up Mt. Sentinel to enjoy the evening…

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Focal Length 16mm – Exposure 118… at f/2.8 ISO 100

I had the camera on a tripod with remote in my hand. I took a few test shots to see approximately how long I needed to leave the shutter open. Set the camera to bulb and waited a few minutes,since I wasn’t going for long star trails, just trying to capture the night, I didn’t have to wait too long. This is where the experiments and fun comes in.

Set up your camera on a tripod. Make sure you bring a flash light or a phone to help you see while you set up. I open wide, set focal length to widest. Turn to bulb, take a test shot for about one minute.  Take a look at my picture adjust the composition and length of shot by what is needed and try again. Then I say a thank-you for digital cameras, the fact that I don’t have to wait for my film to be developed to know if I got the shot or not is pretty amazing!

Your turn…

Learn by Doing Photography – Zoom Effect

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #23 – Zoom Effect

The zoom effect is where you make your subject look as if they’re either moving towards you or away from you, using the zoom on your lens. If you only have a fixed lens or a compact you can still give it a try. You just need a steady hand you and become the zoom. Take a sliding step forward or backwards.

You want to use a slower shutter speed, click the shutter and slowly zoom in or out while keeping a very steady hand. You could use a tripod for this one if you want.

I choose a shady area so I could set my camera on a slower shutter speed. I set the camera to aperture priority and started on f/4. For that setting the shutter speed was too fast, so I stopped down until I was at f/14 which let in much less light. Now my shutter speed was at 1/8 which was perfect. Then I proceeded to take a lot of pictures. Some worked most didn’t, this flower was the best out of the bunch!

This one you need to practice and have a steady hand, but it’s a fun!

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Learn by Doing Photography – Sunburst

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #22 Sunburst

The feel of summer is touching every corner of Missoula. With that sun shinning every day it’s a good time to practice your sunburst or sun flare photography. Really it’s quite simple.

For settings, I set the camera to f/22 on aperture priority, by using a smaller aperture the blades inside you lens close down creating a very small opening for light to pass through. You can also try f/11 and down on the aperture settings to see what works best for your situation. I find an object to partially cover part of the sun whether it’s a building or through a tree, focus and take the picture. For the picture I took this morning I had some trouble finding any kind of object to partially cover the sun since the sun was already pretty high in the sky. I ended up using the photos edge and that worked.

The sun was starting to get a bit too intense for me to point my camera at. I would recommend shooting early in the morning or later in the day, for one the sun is not quite so intense, much softer, and you get warmer tones with longer shadows.

Amy Donovan Photography
1/1000 sec at f/22 Focal length – 35mm Canon 24-105mm lens

Try it at night time, you can get that sunburst on the street lights and lamps around town. For that it gets a little more technical, but not much. You will need a tripod and a much slower shutter speed. If your shutter speed goes too low you will end up with just a ball of light, so play with it and see what you get!

Amy Donovan Photography
44 sec at f/11 – focal length 24mm – 16-35mm lens

Remember you’re not supposed to stare at the sun, so be careful when shooting sunbursts. It can be bad for your eyes and your sensor.

Learn by Doing Photography – Continuous Tracking

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #21 – Continuous Tracking – this week we’re finding a moving subject and tracking them.

The picture below is my daughter last night at her track meet, perfect time to practice this technique.  She has tried out lots of different sports over the years, but track is her favorite. She loves to run and she really can turn on the speed when she wants to.

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There are quite a few cameras out there that have continous tracking. Pull out your manual and see if your camera has it. Continuous tracking works great for sports!

With my camera the Canon 5D Mark III I switch to AI Servo and lock on my subject using back button focus, holding the focus the entire time I am tracking. My subject stays in focus the entire time and I can snap as many pictures as I want during the action shot, just don’t take your finger off the focus or you will loose your focus.

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Auto Focus – (One shot) (AI Focus) (AI Servo)

One-Shot AF – Once shutter button is pushed halfway, camera focus is locked.

AI Focus (Artificial Intelligence) Camera decides whether subject is moving or stationary. The camera will switch from One-Shot AF or AI servo AF.

AI Servo (Artificial Intelligence) once shutter button is pushed halfway the camera continues to focus.  The lens will continually maintain a focus on the subject making it a good choice for actions shots.

 

 

 

 

Learn by Doing Photography – Photographing flowers outside with a black background

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #20 Photographing flowers outside with a black background

How to achieve a black background outside without your studio lights and black card stock.

It’s the same idea… When you’re working with flowers in a studio, you put your light source on the flower not the background. This way the light is on the flower and falls off into your black background.

When outside I do it one of two ways. One way is to find a flower in the sun with a shady background. The sun is your light source and the shadow background will be your black background.The sunlight will be on the flower (meter off the flower) and the light will fall off into your dark background.

The other way is to use what’s available. Do you have a sweatshirt you can use as your backdrop or your camera bag to act as a backdrop.  If you’re zooming in on your flower you don’t need that big of an area to cover as your background.

The picture below was taken with the flower in the sun and on the ground I had my camera bag.

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Play around, see what you come up with. Look for shadows are outside. How can you use that light/shadow as background. Same if you’re doing a portrait. If you put your subject in the shade with a sunny background your background will end up over exposed giving you a nice soft background. If you photograph in the light with a shadow behind the subject, the background will be darker.

Here is a great video talking about capturing that black background with out a flash:

Learn by Doing Photography – Changing your Perspective

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #19 – Changing your Perspective

One of the biggest tricks to photography is to move. Don’t just take every picture at eye-level, move around.  Take the same picture from a few different angle. Move up higher than your subjects, or lay down on the ground, try tilting your camera, try anything just don’t take the same picture over and over again from the same spot.

This week I stood in the middle of the road with my camera at eye level and took the picture on the left. Then I sat down on the ground,  I just held my camera about an inch from the ground and snapped a picture. It only takes a second to take another picture from a different angle, but it’s always worth it. When you come back from a photo shoot it’s the pictures you took from a different angle that stand out from the rest.

This week’s assignment is to take two pictures. One from eye level and the other you need to try a different angle of the same image.

 

Learn-By-Doing

Learn by Doing Photography – Still Life – Camera

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #18 Still Life – Camera

We all have an old camera or two lying around gathering dust. Perhaps an old film camera or even older.  This week pull them out, dust them off if you want or leave that dust on to create some texture.

This Old Brownie Hawkeye holds a special place in my heart. It belonged to my aunt who since passed on, but loved to take photographs.  The love to photograph seems like it has always been in our family. I think of the people by me today, like my mom that share the same passion. We can talk about photography or share the photos we have taken. Both our children enjoy it as well. I laugh when I think how many pictures we took combined when we traveled through Yellowstone last year.

Today’s assignment is still life… If you can use a newer model or anything that will stay still for you!

 

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Learn by Doing Photography – Enjoying Spring

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #17 Enjoying Spring

Today is a day to slow down… I have no tutorial, I have no tips on how to become a better photographer. Today is about slowing down and enjoying spring. Enjoy being a photographer and all the great things about this journey. Go for a walk and look for spring. Find those flowers that are about to bloom, enjoy the sun, the warmth and everything about today.

I found this beautiful Peony, one of my favorite flowers. It is a hard flower, needs no tending, comes up every spring without question and has the most beautiful red flowers when the time comes. To me this is a sign the spring is here….

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I will post a picture of Peony ones it blooms!

Learn by Doing Photography – Photographing the Moon

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #16 – Photographing the Moon

How many tried to capture the blood moon last Monday night? Did you get a good picture, if so please share your results!

If you missed it like I did due to clouds you will get your next chance on October 8th… So this summer let’s practice our moon photographing starting the week.

Equipment I used:
Tripod
I had the camera on a 2 second timer (or you could use a remote)
DSLR Camera with the longest lens you own (I used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8)

Set your camera to Manual – For the picture below I used a 70-200mm lens set at f/10 ISO 100 1/125 sec. You can try those settings for your first shot and then adjust accordingly and have fun with it!

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Here is an article from abcnews talking about when your next chance to photograph the blood moon will be!

This is a great video that talks about photographing the moon as well as the stars. A definite watch if you want to photograph the beauty of the night skies!

Learn by Doing Photography – Long Exposure

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #15 Long Exposure (Clouds)

Today was one of those days, from the time the alarm went off this morning until this very moment I feel like I didn’t slow down. Each attempt to take a picture of clouds just didn’t seem to work out. I took a few around lunch, but they lacked any kind of interest.  By dinner time I was starting to wonder how I was going to get a picture up today. Our kitchen window faces West so as I am cooking dinner I am watching these beautiful thick clouds roll by. Right after dinner Kat and I went for a little hike. Tripod and camera in hand we made it about half way up Mount Sentinel and set up.

Long exposures are extremely fun, but you do have to slow down and enjoy the moment.  We set up the tripod, focused/composed the image and  put on a B+W 77mm ND 3.0-1,000X filter.  This filter is so dark, you can barley see through the filter. It’s an amazing filter, it provides a 10 stop exposure reduction. Exactly what I needed since it was still pretty bright out. There is no way I could slow down my exposure slow enough without over exposing the image. If you don’t have one of this filters in your bag, I would highly recommend it. Although you don’t use it all the time, when you want to capture clouds in motion or the soft flow of a water fall it’s great to have.

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Long exposures are extremely fun, but you do have to slow down and enjoy the moment.  We set up the tripod, focused/composed the image and  put on aB+W 77mm ND 3.0-1,000X filter.  This filter is so dark, you can barley see through the filter. It’s an amazing filter, it provides a 10 stop exposure reduction. Exactly what I needed since it was still pretty bright out. There is no way I could slow down my exposure slow enough without over exposing the image. If you don’t have one of this filters in your bag, I would highly recommend it. Although you don’t use it all the time, when you want to capture clouds in motion or the soft flow of a water fall it’s great to have.

I used the Canon 24-105mm f/4 at f/11 62 seconds. I have a fancy app on my phone to tell me how long to exposure for, but what I usually do is guess. I put it on Bulb use a remote shutter release, I have an Opteka RC-4 wireless remote for my Canon. Take a picture and then decide if I need a little more or a little less exposure.

On Location: Long Exposure photography with a 10 stop ND filter: