Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Artfully Meandering: Practicing My Photography

I guess I'm unofficially starting a photography learning project for myself. The cool part is that digital makes it really cheap to learn. Take hundreds of photos, review, edit, learn and repeat!

I love color. And I'm a sucker for flowers since there so much color in flowers. I really need to try black and white photography to learn more about composition, form, etc. because color can be such a distraction to the basics of photography. 

Standard Composition vs. Blind Composition

I've been buying myself flowers. I also went to the local Farmers Market for some of these shots below. The thing that's annoying me at the moment? The shots I really like in the set of flowers are the  "uncomposed" shots. I just point my camera without looking and take photos. What is annoying me is that these photos are way better than my composed shots. Sigh. My compositions are really dry and dull. The following are two composed shots... cute, but, eh... they don't make me tingle or interest me.

At the Farmers Market

These random shots are interesting... I'm learning about light, angle, and finding exciting surprise compositions in these shots. So, I've decided to explore through blind shooting... I aim the camera generally at the subject, move it around, and shoot. I don't look in the view finder. Maybe I'll learn some interesting compositions through this practice.

I know I'm committing atrocious faux pas in the following photos. But, these 24 photos below are the ones I like best of the 200 or so photos I took in the last 5 days.

Cherry Tree
Why I like this photo: angle of the light, light outlining flowers and leaves,
contrast of bright blue sky and pink flowers
Negatives: not a standard composition, no real focal point

Pink Dogwood - who doesn't love a sweet little dogwood? They grow like weeds down
 here in the South, so they don't necessarily have the same cache they had as when
I lived in Indiana. But, the pink ones are less common so they are love a little more.
What I like about this photo: it's a pink dogwood!! The blur of the background.
Negatives: out of focus

 White bleeding hearts on the left
What I like: okay, I can't exactly put my thumb on why I like this photo, but I just do... 
I like that the plants are sticking up into the photo, I like the airiness of the photo
Negative: no real focal point, a little out of focus

The main reason I love this photo is the light outline of the plant. The composition is only "meh", but I love the light in this photo.

 This is another photo that I can't exactly put my thumb on why I like this photo, but I just do... 
I love the randomness. I could see this as inspiration for a print for fabric or a card.
Negative: no real focal point, a little out of focus


Some of the fun of playing with digital is that I forgot the settings I use and I create great "mistakes." I know baby's breath is sometimes considers a "garbage" flower. I also realized that I had way overexposed these photos and still liked the results. I had the ISO setting on 3200!!! 

But, I love the white-out, fuzzy background, the airy baby's breath, and the homey bouquet in a glass jar. These are sitting on my desk in a window.

Too Dark

The next few photos suffer from the opposite problem. Not enough light. These were taken in doors. The first one is under artificial light, but I like the subtleties and the graceful arc of a tulip.

Purple-Pink Rose

Okay, I'm totally a sucker for a gorgeous rose. These photos are dark, but I love the diffuse light filtering in through the window and hitting the edges of the petals. I also love the drape of petals - like beautiful, velvet-y fabric. I see some lack of focus, and I'm sure there are other photo errors. But I still likey!

Outside Photos

I took these photos outside in the grass. This is where I discovered I had the ISO setting on 3200. (I know! Who would set ISO at that crazy speed? Well, besides me.) My photos were completely blowing out. I only turned the setting down to 400 because I was still liking the overexposed look.  These were taken under the diffuse light of clouds. I like the cartoon-y color look of these photos. And the homey look of a glass jar with the label ripped off. I like the airiness of the baby's breath and the imperfect capture of the overblooming rose.

Outside of the Purple Pink Rose

Last few shots of the purple pink rose in the outdoor cloudy light with highlights of the petals. Again, not the greatest composition, but I like the cartoonish colors.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Studio Dog: In Memory of Molly

Today I lost a special little friend. My Maltese, Molly. She lived 14 years with me and we went on marvelous adventures together. From Texas to Hong Kong to South Carolina to Kansas and back. She will be greatly missed. This is all I can write today. I will have to write more later, but I needed to post this today.

My current job is a work-at-home job, so I got to spend a lot of time with her these last few months. I'm very grateful for that opportunity. She had to wear a "dress" to keep her warm.

Rest in peace, my sweet, sassy, funny, adventurous Molly Dolly.