Macro – 1

I really enjoy Macro photography but usually feel that my attempts are not great.  Macro photography is basically taking close up shots of small things.  Below is one of my recent attempts that I actually quite liked.  It’s a pulley from one of the boats in Bristol Harbor.

I’m not sure I can quite explain why I like Macro photography, but the next several shots I post will likely be of this style.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 12/20/2015, 4:30:12 PM
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/13 s at f/3.0
  • ISO: 800
  • Lens: 105.0 mm f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 105.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Aperture priority
  • Metering Mode: Center Weight

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

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Acadia – Whale Watching

On our third day in Acadia, we decided to check out Bar Harbor and take a whale watching tour instead of exploring more of the park.   Along with seeing some whales on the tour, we also saw several sea birds and what felt like hundreds of dolphins.

Since dolphins and whales can pop out of the water in unexpected locations, I chose to use a larger aperture which allows more of the frame to be in focus.  I paired this with manual mode instead of aperture priority, allowing for more consistently exposed shots that wouldn’t be affected by the water’s reflection.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 08/29/2015 12:59:09
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/2500 s at f/8.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Lens: 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Focal Length: 230.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Metering Mode: Manual

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

Weekly Photos – Going up

This past weekend my wife and I went up to Stowe, Vermont for a hot air balloon festival.  We found out about the festival while we were Googling events in New England and thought it could be a fun and relatively cheap weekend away.

We got a room at the Timerberholm bed and breakfast which was about 1-2 miles away from the festival.  If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, I can highly recommend it.  Rooms were on the small side, but you’re just sleeping there so no big deal for us, price was quite good, and the food we got for breakfast was amazing.

I had done some research before we left and knew that generally a wide angle lens was the best option along with a higher ISO so nothing would come out blurry during the sunrise/sunset launches.  But it was my first time at a hot air balloon festival so I wasn’t too sure how everything worked or where the best photos were.   Luckily everyone at the festival was super nice and the pilots and crew seemed really pleased with photographers being around while they prepared everything.

The photo below is from the first sunrise launch I went to.  What I was really focusing on the first morning was trying to get some good shots of the flames while the balloons were getting ready.  The shot below is with the camera nearly resting on the basket while the pilot finishes heating the air before the launch.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 07/11/2015 05:44:31
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/500 s at f/11.0
  • ISO: 800
  • Lens: 11.0-16.0 mm f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 11.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Aperture priority
  • Metering Mode: Center Weight

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

Weekly Photos – Seattle 1

As part of our Hawaii Vacation we also stayed over in Seattle for a few days to visit my brother in law.

Naturally that meant checking out the sites, starting with the Space Needle.  We never found our way to a place where we could see the full needle from far away, so all the shots had to be from up close.  The only real way to get a shot of the full building was to put on my wide angle lens.

Personally I’m a much bigger fan of the picture below with square cropping, but I’m showing it along with the original so you can get an idea of what the wide angle lens can capture while still so close to the building.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 05/07/2015 12:43:13
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/2000 s at f/5.6
  • ISO: 320
  • Lens: 11.0-16.0 mm f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 11.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Aperture priority
  • Metering Mode: Center Weight

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

Weekly Photos – Hawaii 2

Continuing with Hawaiian Vacation Photos.  On our fist full day in Hawaii we mostly wandered around Waikiki, walking on the beach, checking out various shops, and eating all kinds of food.  On a side note, the food in Hawaii is some of the best I’ve ever had.

We ended the day back on the beach watching the sunset, where I got the photo below.  While we were watching the sunset, I noticed a boat moving towards the sun and though it would make an interesting shot.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 05/10/2015 23:49:47
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/4000 s at f/8.0
  • ISO: 200
  • Lens: 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Focal Length: 195.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Aperture priority
  • Metering Mode: Matrix

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

Weekly Photos – Hawaii 1

Just got back from an amazing vacation.  We were in Seattle for a few days to meet up with my brother and sister in law then Hawaii  for a week.  The trip included many fantastic adventures and photos.  I was hoping to start posting these sooner, but when I got back I started having computer issues, so I’m going to keep my first post quick.

The photo below is one of the Banyan trees that was growing on the Waikiki beach.  It just struck me what an interesting tree it was, so I pulled out my wide angle lens to capture the full tree and trunk.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 05/10/2015 14:51:16
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/60 s at f/7.1
  • ISO: 200
  • Lens: 11.0-16.0 mm f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 11.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Aperture priority
  • Metering Mode: Matrix

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

Weekly Photos – Boston Marathon 2

Continuing with the Boston Marathon theme, the photo below is of a couple that was running the marathon together.  They were near the end of one of the waves and just seemed so happy to be crossing the start line hand in hand that I had to take this shot.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 04/20/2015 09:31:59
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/400 s at f/6.3
  • ISO: 800
  • Lens: 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Focal Length: 300.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Auto
  • Metering Mode: Matrix

Weekly Photos – Boston Marathon 1

Sorry I’ve been gone so long.  I’d like to say that it’s all been life and work, but during the winter I tend to hit a photography dry-spell.  I’m going to try easing myself back into WordPress by posting at least one photo a week.

The Photo below and probably the next few I post are from the Boston Marathon.  This year it was fairly chilly and rainy, however it did mean that we were able to get unimpeded access to the side of the road.  The big thing to look for at events like this are the action shots.  The shot below shows the police starting their escort ahead of the runners.

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Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 04/20/2015 07:50:18
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/320 s at f/6.3
  • ISO: 800
  • Lens: 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Focal Length: 300.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Metering Mode: Matrix

Weekly Photos – Foster Parrots Bird Sanctuary

Over the past weekend, my wife and I visited Foster Parrots Bird Sanctuary in RI for an open house.

The staff was very friendly and were running regular tours of the facilities.  These two were some of the birds on the tour, the red one is green winged maccaw and the green one is a Catalina Maccaw a type of hybrid.  If you’re in the Rhode Island area you should definitely check them out.

For a shoot like this, don’t use your flash unless you specifically get permission.  Many animals, much like humans, don’t like a flash right in their eyes.  With that said, cranking up the ISO is very important, as well as setting the shutter speed as high as you can get away with.  If you shoot in RAW, you can usually get away with a slightly darker photo by upping the exposure in post processing, just don’t go overboard.

DSC_0880_2

Photo Information

  • Date Taken: 01/04/2015 15:28:39
  • Camera: NIKON D90
  • Camera NIKON CORPORATION
  • Exposure: 1/25 s at f/4.5
  • ISO: 1250
  • Lens: 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Focal Length: 92.0 mm
  • Flash: Did not fire
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Metering Mode: Matrix

You can buy this photo here or browse through other photos in my gallery

Photo projects

Since it’s the start of a new year, I’m going to be talking about photo projects.  Photo projects often take a year and are all about helping to jump start your creativity.

Projects

365 Day Project

By far the most popular project is the 365 day project.  In a 365 day project, the only rule is you have to take at least one photo every day.  The goal here is that eventually you’ll get sick of taking a photo of your pet everyday, and you’ll start experimenting so you get more interesting shots.  One of the keys to this kind of project is to bring your camera with you everywhere.

In 2011 I started, but never finished a 365 project.  I started right around the time when I finished college and wound up stopping shortly after I switched from an internship to full time.  I wanted to continue, but I wasn’t satisfied with a lot of the photos I was taking without the extra time.

Here is an example of one of the photos I particularly liked from that project.

Morning Coffee

Some common variations include.

  • A self portrait version, where some part of you must be in the photo every day.
  • Changing to a 52 week project, where you must take at least one photo a week.
  • A version where the same subject is in each photo, either something you can bring with you like a toy or doll, or something that you can’t like a lake or tree.

100 Strangers

The 100 strangers projects involves approaching someone you’ve never met before, asking to take their picture, and talking to them for a bit to get their back story.  You then Upload their photo and back story somewhere online and repeat 99 more times.

Here are some examples of the 100 strangers project from flickr’s 100 strangers group.

A-Z

There are two basic types of A-Z projects.  The first is to go someplace and take pictures of objects that start with or represent each letter of the alphabet.  For example a picture of the grass could represent G.  While a picture of a pond could stand for P, T if it’s a tranquil pond, or Q if it’s a quiet pond.

The second type of A-Z project is to take pictures of objects that look like letters.  Here is an example from Marco Ferrarin via Flickr

At this point in the blog, I’ve covered most of the “beginner” topics in Learning Photography, so I’m going to be changing the format a bit.  Instead of posting learning photography topics once a week, I’m going to switch to twice a month.  This will hopefully give me enough time to properly research each topic and edit my post so I can keep everything easy to understand.

Peter