Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 027

This is a very belated shout-out and thank you to my secret elfster, Peeper.

She sent me the gift for someone who has everything - all the wishes in the world :)
Thank you Peeper. I have been ripping off each ticket and writing my wish across the back, hoping it will come true. I plan to look back on them once they are all done and see what my wishes brought me this year.


Cropped, played with the curves to pop the colours, cloned out a few dirty spots and then ran an unsharp mask, which is definitely my newest favourite thing.

Photo Stats:
SS 1/15
Aperture f/5
ISO 400
Focal Length 50mm

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 026

Just a little practice for Valentine's Day:

Ack! super dark. I forgot to bump my ISO up before taking the shot. Then I probably could have bumped my SS too. Not a huge deal since it wasn't a moving target, but I really need to get in the habit of checking all 3 settings.

auto white balance, curves adjustment in GIMP

I would have preferred the background to go more white. it is still too blue. I also have a crease in the cardboard I was using and I couldn't figure out how to blur it out. Any suggestions on either of these?
Ideally, I should have sat the stool further away so the background blurred properly, and then that wouldn't have to be fixed in post. Live and learn.

Photo Stats:
Shutter Speed: 1/8
Aperture: f5.0
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 50mm
Flash & Lightscoop

Note: this was fully manual setting, finally!

I Heart Faces Challenge - Texture

I am interrupting your regularly scheduled 365 blogging to enter a photo into the weekly I ♥ faces challenge.  This week it is texture!
I loved this photo because of the detail in the grain of the wood and her dead on stare at the camera.

Visit the I ♥ faces website to view all the entries

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 025

My lightscoop arrived today. Woohoo! This is a nifty gadget that fits a scoop with a reflective mirror over your onboard flash and diffuses the light up. For only $20 (through the website adorama if anyone is interested) it is a great starter investment if you can't afford an external flash yet.
So I present the Lightscoop Test:
No Flash

Onboard Flash

Lightscoop and Flash

These are all SOOC, taken at night with only an overhead light fixture

Lightscoop recommends you set your flash to +2. Since I don't know what this means on my camera, I wasn't sure how to change that setting. Hopefully once I figure it out, the difference will be even more dramatic.

No more discarding the camera once the sun goes down and lamenting missing key snapshots at family events. I cannot wait to really test drive this baby!

Day 024

I dub this, tiny dancer. This was an outtake from my practice shoot for Valentine's Day photos. Yes, I am totally becoming that mom who subjects my baby to endless tutus. I blame the photo boards and all their scrumptious daughters.

just adjusted the curves in GIMP until I was happy with it. Thoughts on how to make it better?

Photo Stats:
Shutter Speed 1/50
Aperture f4.5
ISO 800
Focal Length 28mm

Day 023


One of my personal challenges for the year is to create my own photograph alphabet. Here is my first letter - S!

cropped, desaturated and increased contrast in GIMP

What do you think of this edit? Does it help or hinder the photo?
Photo Stats:
Shutter Speed: 1/200
Aperture f5/6
ISO 800
Focal Length 100mm

Day 022


secret garden Redux
In my post here, a viewer said they would prefer to see what was through the hole, rather then focused on the wood. So, here you go!


Curves and brightness/saturation adjusted in GIMP.

Photo Stats:
Shutter Speed 1/60
Aperture f5.0
ISO 200
Focal Length: 42mm

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 021


edited: just pumped up the contrast and brightness a bit in GIMP

This is a cherry blossom tree getting its first blooms. In January. 3 weeks before the city is supposed to host the Olympics. Not exactly a winter wonderland here, now is it?

Photo Stats:

Shutter Speed: 1/800
Aperture: f3.8
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 18mm

Day 020

Just playing around with shutterspeed at night. It was (pun intended) like a light went off after I followed 12 Peas 2nd week lesson on shutterspeed and ISO. Now hopefully I can avoid underexposed SOOC shots!
Brightness and contrast bumped up slightly in GIMP

Photo Stats:
Taken in S- shutter priority
Shutter Speed: 1/10
Aperture: f4.2
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 24mm

Day 019

12 Weeks to Better Photos, Week 2: Shutter Speed.
this week's lesson was shutter speed. It demonstrates how different SS helps to freeze or blur motion. The lower the SS, the brighter the image, but the less action is frozen. This is why low SS often results in blurry photos with moving targets. Converserley, the faster the SS, the darker the image, but the action can be frozen.
They suggest practicing this using the "kitchen sink" test.
I tried all week to get a better example of this because I have no natural light near any of my taps. But I couldn't find a running fountain outside near my work during the day. So these craptastic shots will have to do. Apologies for all the noise. I had to take them at 1600 ISO, the max my camera will go to:

shutter speed 1/10:
notice how the splash of the water is barely visible, its so blurred

shutter speed 1/80
the motion of the water is just starting to be "frozen" in the picture

shutter speed 1/1000
now you can almost distinguish the individual droplets of water
(if my lighting wasn't so crappy! but you get the idea)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 018

I officially screwed up. No photos on this day, and nothing I really like from the day before or after.
So I have to put this on my blog:

bad Janine. bad!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 017


 Just minor white balance and curves adjustment in GIMP

It was my niece's 1st birthday this week, and unfortunately, she celebrated by taking a bit of a tumble out of bed the night before. So she was due for lots of extra cuddles with momma. Its snapshotty, but I love the feeling of love she is enveloped in. I didn't want to crop it because I didn't want to create a discombobulated chest. Any suggestions with that?

Photo stats:
Exposure: 1/25
Aperture: f5.6
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 86mm

Monday, January 18, 2010

I heart faces challenge - Family

I am interrupting your regularly scheduled 365 blogging to enter a photo into the weekly I ♥ faces challenge. This is what happens when you spend too much time with your in-laws over Christmas:

Visit the I ♥ faces website to view all the entries

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 016

Again we had a special appearance by Mr. Sun Saturday morning, so I took full advantage and grabbed the bathroom mirror to have a fun little shoot with Keira opposite our big deck window. I wish I had cleared out my laptop from behind her, but meh.  And mt husband sitting on the couch ended up in the reflection. oops! You live and you learn.
just adjusted the curves a bit to brighten it up. Should I have cropped the right a bit to place her more in the thirds?

Photo Stats:
Exposure 1/40
Aperture f4.8
ISO 800
Focal Length 42mm

Day 015


 In the middle of a very dreary rain forecast, the sun made a miraculous 3 hour appearance. I hopped down to Granville Island on my lunch break and snapped some shots. The angle is a bit off; but otherwise I am pretty happy with this one.

Just upped the saturation and contrast a bit in GIMP.
Anyone notice my mad photoshopping skillz?
Photo Stats:
Exposure 1/250
Aperture f10
ISO 125
Focal Length 42mm

Day 014

K patiently waiting for her 1 year shots
Not very exciting, but I thought it was a bit of an interesting angle. Pretty much every other shot I tried to get of her that night was blurry.

Just auto white balanced and colour enhanced in GIMP with a bit of a crop to try and place her a bit more in the rule of thirds.

Photo Stats:
Exposure 1/10
Aperture f3.8
ISO 400
Focal Length 18mm

Day 013

So I realized that its kind of pointless for me to only post edited shots. How can I learn if I don't compare the SOOC (straight out of the camera) ones and get feedback on that? The goal is to get as perfect a picture as possible before the editing process. Not to mention my editing hand needs to get "softer". I have a tendency to overdo colour saturation. So I would love feedback going forward on what you think of the original composition, aperture/SS/ISO choices and also the editing.


Photo Stats:
Exposure .0769s (I have never seen it listed this way before. what does it mean???)
Aperture f5.3
ISO 800
Focal Length: 69mm

messed with the colour curve a bit in GIMP. I think I may prefer the SOOC though. I tried to whiten it up, but now I think some of the hot spots on her skin look yellow. WDYT?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 012

View into a Secret Garden

Photo Stats:
Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f5.6
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 125mm
auto colour enhanced in GIMP

Day 011

In the interest of full disclosure, I missed taking a photo on Monday January 11. Technically this photo is from Tuesday. But hey, history is written by the victors right? :)
Blooms on a walk near my office:

Photo Stats:
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f5.6
ISO 400
Focal Length: 125mm

Day 010

continuing the trend of domesticated animals, here is my lovely Arwenn on a visit to the complex playground.

Photo Stats:
Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f/5.0
ISO: 250
Focal Length: 50mm
cropped and auto colour and white balanced in GIMP

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 009

brunch with the girls today and some puppy love to share. Meet Tina, aka EBD (Evil Brown Dog). She is a bit of a curmudgeon, but still gorgeous :)

Photo Stats:
Exposure: 1/6
Aperture: f4/5
ISO: 1600

cropped slightly, auto white balanced and colour enhanced in GIMP

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 008

Photo stats:
Exposure: 1/20
Aperture: f5.3
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 70mm

cropped, white balanced and blacks upped a bit in GIMP.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 007

As part of my resolution for this year, I am participating in an online tutorial entitled 12 weeks to better photos
The first lesson is about understanding aperture. We are tasked with taking the same photo with 3 different apertures. Here are my submissions. Notice how as the aperture gets bigger, the background becomes more in focus:

1. f5.3

2. f10

3. f22

Each photo was white balanced and colour enhanced slightly in GIMP.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 006

(Self) portrait mode. Sort of :)
My dear friend Allison sent me a special present in the mail this week. I love it! Thank you Allison

Photo Stats:
Exposure: 4/10
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 86mm
white balanced and upped the blacks a bit in GIMP

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 005

K had her first full day of daycare today, complete with an art project. Here is her first masterpiece:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 004

One of the great lessons in life a mother can pass on to her daughter:

Which shoes go with this outfit?

Cropped and auto white balanced in GIMP. I should have lowered the ISO - it set to 1600 and so there is a fair amount of noise. Also, her right foot/leg is def. blurry. But I love her chunky little ankles!

Photo Stats:
Exposure: 1/10
Aperture: f4.5
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 28mm

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 003

Day 3 and I am already falling behind.

Today was not a good day. K's fever has continued, so we spent a few hours at the ER since all the nearby walk-in clinics were full on a Sunday. (Not to worry, she is fine. All tests came back negative. So we just wait for the fever to pass). So yet again I missed taking a picture during the day, and also missed the deadline for the hands project. le sigh. I just watched it. it was amazing. Follow this link to read the backstory on Anissa Mayhew and watch the video.

So this is how I feel today, like a big fat "L". I have to remind myself today I was being a mother. Holding my daughter, helping her cope, being present in her life. Not every moment can be documented. Some need to be lived.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 002

K started to run a horrific fever this morning. When the forehead strip jumped immediately to 40 degrees +, I think my heart skipped a few beats. She basically slept on either R or I all day, waking briefly to breastfeed or moan incoherently. Thankfully it did come down before bed and she was almost back to her normal mischievious self. So, I didn't get a chance to work on my "hands" photo (a request to help a fellow nestie who is currently recovering from several strokes). Hopefully tomorrow before the deadline. I think I have a good idea that hasn't been posted yet!

In the meantime, here is what my life consisted of today:

I should have had the tylenol on the right so the 3 items were balanced better. Live and learn. Also, my bathroom has green walls so I tried to balance the white using the curves feature in GIMP, as the auto white balance still looked really green to me. Not sure I succeeded.

Photo stats:
Exposure: 1/6
Aperture: f5.6
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 86mm

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 001

Today was brunch at the inlaws. Their house is freezing in the winter, but is also home to a living room that is glass on 3 sides and 2 overhead skylights. So the natural light is awesome all day.
Here is Keira playing on the ground with her aunty Tara:

This was cropped slightly, white balanced and colour enhanced in GIMP.

Photo stats:
Exposure: 1/10
Aperture: f3.8
ISO: 800
Focal length: 18mm

And so it Begins....

Since I received my pretty new camera and lens 8 months ago, I have been simultaneously awed and dismayed with the results of photos. Awed because everything is so much crisper, cleaner and lovely then was ever possible with my old p&s. I have discovered I love composition, and for the most part, think I have a decent eye for what would make a good photo. But I have also been dismayed at how clumsy I am technically, how limited I am due to my lack of knowledge. Most of my good shots are still luck of the draw, relying heavily on the auto functions (portrait and macro modes mostly) and the stars being aligned.

Then I started hanging out on The Bump photo boards, and I was blown away by the quality of both long-time hobbyists and "experts" (our pseudonym for the pros among us since they can't admit there that they are in fact pros). All of sudden my lucky shots didn't seem so lucky anymore. I was a very very small fish in a very talented body of water

So for 2010 I am determined to break free of the auto dial and really truly learn what a great machine is at my fingertips. I love how the world looks when captured in a moment, and I want to begin to express that in everyday life. As a way to stay on track, I have taken on the challenge of completing Project 365 - taking a memorable photo (or photos) a day for 365 days. I hope to build my talent, sharpen my eye, enhance my love and perhaps learn a little something about how I view the world around me. Along the way I plan to complete a few online tutorials, pick up some lessons from my fabulous father, read "Understanding Exposure" from cover to cover several times, learn my editing program (currently GIMP, since it's free!) and participate in a variety of group photo challenges, pushing the limits of what I thought I could do.

Without further ado, let's get this show on the road...