Monday, March 3, 2014

Progressions of a Photographer #2

Canon Rebel XSi, ISO 200, 55mm, f/5.6, 1/60th sec
Here we go! My second installment of Progressions of a Photographer. This photo was taken in March of 2009 while I was hiking in Curt Gowdy State Park near Cheyenne Wyoming.

There really is not anything special about this photo, I just thought it is a good example to use for this progression series. At this point in time, I was still on the basic program mode on my new camera. I did not start experimenting with more advanced setting until much later in my progression. The camera chose to expose this photo at ISO 200, aperture at f/5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. I had the lens vibration compensation turned on, at this time I was still hand-holding my camera for everything so it is not a very sharp shot.

I decided on the composition for two reasons. The first thing that caught my eye, as I walked up the trail over a ridge, was the clouds and light on them. After I got up the ridge, I noticed the rock formation poking up out of the trees and simply thought that it would make a nice shot with the rocks and the sky in photo.

For post-processing, all I did are minor adjustments to in Lightroom. I bumped up the contrast a little, brought down the highlights, lightened the shadows and dialed in a little clarity. As you will see, in the coming months of this series, I try to take shots that need minimal post-processing. Not that I think that is the only way to make a good picture, it's just the way I prefer. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Progression of a Photographer

ISO 200, f/9 @ 1/500th sec and 250mm focal length
I have decided that I need to start being a little more active on my blog, so I though I would start by sharing some photos from the past few years. I have been taking pictures for over 20 years, although I would say I have only been a photographer making pictures for about 4. In 1992, while in the Philippines with the Navy SEABEES, I bought my first SLR camera. It was a Canon Rebel, and although I loved taking pictures of everything and anything that caught my attention, I never really learned what I was doing or left the P setting on the top dial.

Fast forward about 13 years or so and the Canon Rebel finally quit taking pictures, it just started producing black images, bummer! At the time, I was unable to buy another, so I went camera-less for the next 3 years when I finally got a super cheap point and shoot digital camera. It just wasn't the same but that did not stop me from taking thousands of photos with it over the next year or so.

Then, in 2009, I was able to get a Canon Rebel XSi and an extra lens, happy was this fella! About a month after I got it, I was out driving in Colorado, going up to Estes Park to check out what kind of pictures I could find. On the way up I came across some Mountain Sheep hanging out on the side of the road, I quickly jammed on the brakes and pulled off so I could get some pictures. I was not the only one, there were many folks out with their point and shoots, but one guy caught my eye. He was shoot with a rather large camera and an even larger lens. I introduced myself and we chatted for a few about what he does, he gave a couple little tips, gave me his card and we departed ways. As soon as I got home that evening, I got on his website and was amazed at what he does. That started me on a quest to study other photographers work, and to learn as much as I possibly could about what it takes to MAKE a picture. So, I would like to thank Vic Schendel for inspiring me to make the jump from taking photos to making pictures. Please click on his name and check out his work, you will enjoy it!

There is nothing special about this photo. It is simply the first decent photo I took with my new DSLR. I was using the Program Mode, so I had no control of the settings that the camera chose to use. I did use a tip that Mr. Schendel gave me, not centering you subject in the frame.