Friday, April 30, 2010

Day at the Beach

I went to the beach yesterday on my lunch break (high noon - pretty much the worst time to shoot), and proceeded to nearly burn my eyes out of their sockets attempting to get some sunflare shots. Some of my results:

increased contrast via curves to add some punch to the blues

this is SOOC. Not sure what I want to do with it yet.
Focal Length:18mm

straightened horizon, upped contrast and brightness, ran a colour enhance
Focal Length:58mm

In other news my replacement Lightscoop arrived (back from when my d60 was stolen; I hadn't replaced it till now), so I can retire the budget light bouncer (a side plate) I was using. Yay for being able to take pictures on the fly at night again! Photos of its capabilities to come soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge: Smiles

Who doesn't love a good smile? Over at I <3 Faces this week, you can literally see hundreds of them. Sure helps to pass a dreary, rainy Tuesday.
Here is my addition, taken earlier this month of my growing-too-fast-not really-a-baby-anymore baby. Showing off her almost full mouth of teeth!

See tons of beautiful submissions at

Friday, April 23, 2010

POTW: Diversity

Its that time of the week again, for the Bump POTW. Our illustrious leader is a bit late in posting results, and I decided I can't wait to share my options.

This week's theme was Diversity. Since I chickened out of asking my Indo-Canadian coworker and my Caucasian coworker if I could do a mini photo session with them (I had this idea in my head of some sort of strength of unity image centred around their hands clasped/fists together), instead I opted to head down to the Denman and Davie area in Vancouver's West End, which is the centre of Vancouver Pride and the GABLT community. Here were my 2 favourite shots:

randomly painted wall in Pride flag colours

Focal Length:105mm (157mm in 35mm)
I did increase colour and contrast through a curves adjustment, then ran an unsharp mask to try and bring out more of the texture of the brick. Not sure if I succeeded or not. I wish I could have gotten this one on an angle with some shallow of DOF acting as a leading line/repetition, but I was actually shooting this over a rooftop, so I couldn't get closer. Instead I opted for dead on and to fill the frame with colour.

Focal Length:18mm (27mm in 35mm)

Also ran a curves adjustment to lighten, brighten and increase contrast.

I couldn't decide between them. Are they both interesting, or are neither doing very much? I opted to submit #1.

This shoot did bring up an interesting philosophical question - what is the etiquette around shooting other people? I felt like a bit of an intruder as it was walking the neighbourhood just photographing flags. I definitely didn't have the guts to ask if I could photograph any clearly gay/mixed race couples. I have the same crisis of conscience when I am on vacation in foreign countries and never have the nerve to photograph a local on the side of the road. Could I have though? What do you do when you are trying to capture real life, as it happens?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Spring Blooms

Thought I would share some other spring blooms I have tried to capture around the city

The shrub in front of my house. This was actually back in February. it tends to bloom and rebloom throughout the year:

ISO:n/a (I had some weird setting turned off back then that didn't allow me to adjust the ISO)
Focal Length:50mm (75mm in 35mm)

SOOC, no editing

First blooms in my little front garden. This is from March:
ISO:n/a (still affected by weird setting)
Focal Length:50mm (75mm in 35mm)

 auto white balance run in Gimp

And the first blooms in my back garden, from April:

Focal Length:105mm (157mm in 35mm)
brightened and increased contrast using curves, ran a slight unsharp mask at .50 in GIMP

Some beautiful tulips in a nearby park

Focal Length:105mm (157mm in 35mm)
brightened colours and increased contrast using curves, ran an unsharp mask at .50

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

So while the cherry blossoms FIRST made their appearance back in January, they really truly came into their own this past month.
Here are some of my favourite shots of them around the city:
Focal Length:18mm (27mm in 35mm)
Focal Length:18mm (27mm in 35mm)
Focal Length:58mm (87mm in 35mm)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Then and Now, April 2009 - April 2010

A post on my message board about progression made me realize I picked up my camera 1 year ago this month. Let's see how far (or not) we have come, shall we?

April 2009:

These were some of my favourite "first" photos with my nikon d60. I think these show that I do have a bit of an eye for composition (even before I heard of rule of thirds or fill the frame, I naturally leaned towards composing shots in this way). but the white balance, focus, exposure and shutter speed is all over the map.

April 2010:

Now obviously, I still have a ton to learn. and many times, white balance, focus, exposure and shutter speed can still be off. But I think I am becoming more consistent in my capabilities. What do you think? Where can I continue to improve?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bounty of Black and White

I went for a walk yesterday through the park and took my camera with me, determined to get my creative juices flowing again. I was struck by alot of the "architecture" of the outdoors. Plus I was on the lookout for some "letters" to add to my alphabet gallery. For most of them, it seemed to suit a black and white conversion. What do you think? Are these overprocessed/overblown and/or muddy? Are any just not interesting?

A park bench:

Swing set, aka my letter "U":

a funky dome structure - looking straight up

a steel trellis, aka my letter "X"

and the crook of a tree to represent my "V":

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wanna snag a free digital camera?

Or more to the point, does your 1 year old insist on trying to hold your treasured $500+ DSLR, or better yet, grab the lens with her peanut butter fingers, and you are sick of telling her "no, that is not a toy. That is just for mommy". And then handling the temper tantrum that ensues?

Ok, maybe that is just me. But hey, free stuff is good right? My dear friend Trina of Look at the Birds has an awesome giveaway going on right now for the Leapfrog Talking Digital Camera. So click her button below, check it out, leave your comments and you could win! But really I hope you don't. Because I need to deflect Peanut Butter Fingers from my lens like yesterday.

look at the birds...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

POTW Submission: Heritage

This week on my photo board, the POTW (picture of the week) theme was Heritage. I was really excited to try this one out! These are 2 of the shots I took:
This was my favourite doll as a child, Suzy. My grandmother made her for me, including the dress and bloomers. I think with this shot, the dramatic angle I went for ended up emphasizing the chair more then the doll itself. I lost alot of detail, especially in the doll's face.
So I chose to submit this instead:
These are several of the baby blankets my mom and MIL saved from when me and my husband were babies, to pass onto K.

Photo Stats:
Focal Length:50mm