Picture of the Week

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A pelican at Inner Harbor Park in Ocean Springs yesterday afternoon.

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11 Responses to “Picture of the Week”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    Sorry for a dumb question, Al, since I know nothing of photography, but do you do the whole aperature and speed things during your photographing? If so, could you share some tips? Mikey

  2. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Not a dumb question, but you asked it to a dumb person. To quote Sgt. Schultz, “I know nothing!”

    With my digital camera, I just snap 100s of pictures on the automatic setting and get one I like every once in a while. I think I’ve got a pretty good eye for good angles and keeping distractions out of the frame (I also know nothing about Photoshop, etc.), but I know very little about the technical aspects of photography.

    Now DocWatson knows a LOT about it. We’ll have to get him to share some helpful tips.

  3. DocWatson Says:

    Aperture and speed go hand in hand. When you adjust one you have to make a compensating adjustment to the other. Aperture controls the amount of light that passes through the lens. Speed controls how fast the shutter opens and closes. For instance, if you want to take a picture of something that is moving very fast, such as an athlete, you must have the shutter speed set to a fast setting such as 1/500 of a second or faster. Maybe even 1/4000 of a second. Because the shutter opens and closes so fast you must provide a lot of light to the film or sensor or the picture will be dark and blurry.

    The way you provide the right amount of light is by shooting with a large aperture such as 2.8. The confusing thing is that the larger the aperture the smaller the number. An aperture of f/2 has a larger opening than say an aperture of f/11 thus allowing more light to pass through.

    The best way to experiment with this is to use a digital camera and use one of the custom settings where you can adjust either the aperture or the speed and the camera compensates for the other. Make a note of what the camera sets the other on and look at your pictures to see what looks best.

    Adjust the speed up and down and watch what the camera does to compensate. After doing this several times and observing the outcome you will gain a little bit of understanding of how they work.

  4. Capt MidKnight Says:

    Al,
    I love the pelican photo! Makes me think of a head-on close up of a Bald Eagle I once saw. The caption was:
    “But I AM smiling.”
    El Capitan

  5. Michael Lasley Says:

    Thanks, doc. That’s the kind of info I was going for. Except, I have a problem. I don’t have a digital camera. I kind of like the one I have (EOS Rebel GII). Any suggestions for experimenting with old-school stuff?

    I’d also love to hear some advice on shooting with color and B & W. And how to get different hues on photographs (is that a post production type thingy or is it something you can do during the shooting?).

  6. DocWatson Says:

    The same rules apply for using an “old school” camera. The advantage to learning with a digital camera is instant feedback.

    To add color or just about anything to your picture, you can use filters that mount to the lens. Go to http://www.bhphotovideo.com click on Filters and Accessories and you can see what is available.

    In the future I will post some advice on what film to use to get the best color and some other tricks you can do to jazz up your pictures.

  7. Michael Lasley Says:

    Thanks. I’d love some advice. There’s this really cool exhibit here in LA right now called Ashes and Snow. I haven’t looked for it on the web, but if you can find anything about it on the web, it’s amazing. That’s all. Mikey

  8. DocWatson Says:

    Michael, the ashes and snow website is phenomenal. I can only imagine how amazing it must be to experience it first hand.

    http://www.ashesandsnow.org/

    As a photographer, and as a dentist for that matter, you can learn a tremendous amount from the works of others. I know that is the theory behind going to college, to learn from others who are more experienced, but it just doesn’t happen that way. Experiencing things firsthand is the way to learn.

    Like I said earlier take a lot of pictures and you will learn. Visit art museums and you will learn. Visit professional photographers galleries and you will learn. Take a lot of pictures and you will learn. Did I say that enough?

    If you want to learn with the old canon rebel set the camera on automatic and shoot a lot of film, making notes on what the camera sets the aperture and speed on. Take a notebook with you so that when you take a picture you can write down the location, the frame number and the settings of the camera. After you get the film developed, go back to the notebook and see what the numbers tell you. In no time you will have it down.

  9. Capt MidKnight Says:

    Michael,
    Sounds like you’ve gotten some good advice from Doc. He obviously know his stuff with cameras.

    I’d just like to put in a plug for the “Old School” 35mm Cannon Rebel EOS. I have one that has to be at least ten years old. I bought it in Anchorage when I was doing a lot of flying overseas. I was missing a lot of wonderful pictures by not having a camera along, so I bought one I thought I, as a camera dummy, could figure out. I have dragged it along over about half the known world, it seems, and it still takes great pictures.

    Don’t feel intimidated by the other settings on the dial besides “P” for program mode. On mine, it has a “Tv” mode which lets you pick the shutter speed and an “Av” mode which lets you pick the size of the aperature. Whichever one you use, the camera automatically sets the other one. It’s also fun to play with long shutter openings at night – as in several seconds. You need a tripod or a REAL solid support, but you can get some spectaular pictures that way. Of course, you also get a lot of blurry ones too.

    Anyway, just wanted to put in my bit as a satisfied Rebel EOS owner.

  10. Michael Lasley Says:

    Thanks doc and Capt. Why can’t taking pictures just be easy? And thanks for doing my homework for me on the Ashes and Snow site, doc. It really is an amazing exhibit, and I think the website is very well done. I love the photograph of the Elephant swimming and the man swimming below it.

  11. DocWatson Says:

    If it were not for the “old school” cameras I would not have started my hobby of photography. I started with a minolta xlt and a series of sigma lenses. It took some great pictures on the automatic settings. I just wanted to learn to shoot in manual mode so I could control the environment I was shooting in. I bought a digital camera as a companion to my minolta. I would take pictures with the digital to see what settings would work for the situation. After making adjustments to my liking I would take the final picture with the film camera. The digital camera did not have the quality that the film camera possessed so I only printed the pictures from the minolta. This saved money.

    I now have a Canon 20D. This is a prosumer level camera that is 8 mega pixels. I have a full complement of lenses to accompany the camera. This camera now gives me the best of both worlds. Interchangeable lenses and digital instant feedback.

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