Friday, October 16, 2009

For Bobskoot and Conchscooter

Bobskoot says he likes lots of photos with less text. Conchscooter told me I should try to quit flashing people. So, for once in my life, I am going to put on a fake smile and play nice. I shall try to please both of them. But only this once.

Man, have I got a lot to learn about taking good photos. It's okay. Sometimes a person needs to go back to the bottom of the hill and start climbing again. Consider this being barely off the ground in the climb. One of these days I hope to look back and shake my head at what a "newbie" I was. Until then.

Had a chance to go to the Newport Aquarium, as I said earlier. I vowed not to use a flash. Time to learn how to use all those cool buttons and stuff on the Nikon.

The lighting is accurate for where we were. My tripod isn't too portable or practical in these kind of situations. The slow shutter speeds make good focus pretty darn hard.

Stronger light means a faster shutter speed. This one actually looks halfway sharp.

I think this fish is related to Al Pacino. Is this me or does the glass of the tank help screw up the clarity?

That was The Boss above. This is The Muscle.

There are some tunnels that people can walk through. This is looking up. You're surrounded by water and fish. One tunnel even has sharks. Interesting to see a shark above your head. I couldn't seem to get the sharks in focus and still get a good exposure. God, I wanted to flash something!

Best I could do under the circumstances. Always open to helpful hints from those of you who actually know what they are doing. ( that's a hint, just in case you missed it. Ok, call it begging )

This is an experiment in aperature settings and depth of field. I should try not to get distracted. One minute I know where Katie is and what she's doing. You can't turn your back on her for a mintue or she's getting into trouble. Kind of like me, I hate to admit.

Such has been the lot of Warrior Knights for ages. Called upon to rescue Damsels in Distress. Since I didn't think the aquarium people would appreciate me firing my Glock .45, I had to settle for firing my Nikon D40.

Things got a little crowded in the tunnel so I retired to do some people watching. I hate to admit it, but I fell off the wagon and I used my flash. I'm so ashamed.

The instant gratification of the flash just isn't worth the depth of color and light you lose. Besides, I got a dirty look from this pixie's mother. She had the girl all posed for a photo. The thing was, I didn't realize it. When my flash went off, the pixie started running around. She thought my flash was from her mother. I think I hear Katie calling me from Somewhere Else!

This is one of the big reasons I'm working on photography with so much zeal right now. Grandchild coming in January! Man, I have got to work on holding the camera still.

Funny what some people choose to wear to an outing at the aquarium. I was successful in convincing Katie that I was just taking a picture of the hat, despite it's being the back side of my subject. Not so lucky in a few minutes.

One thing I've quickly learned is that photos are so much more interesting if you filter out all the noise and get up close to something. For example, this coffee counter at a wide angle isn't that dynamic. I decided to zoom in close. For some reason Katie thought I was zooming on the attractive young blonde girl. So Katie punched me in the arm. It didn't hurt, but I almost spilled my coffee. Not to mention that my first photo was pretty blurry. Not my fault this time.


Now there seems like there's a point to the photo. At least to me.

Anyway, that's it. I have managed to get what I think are some really good photos. I'm hoarding those for some future posts. Have a great weekend. I'm teaching again. Hope to have some good stories about motorcycle riders showing up here soon.

Miles and smiles,

Dan


13 comments:

bobskoot said...

Irondad:

I'm flattered. Firstly doesn't Katie know about Jack Riepe ? and his demands for derrieres and hot chicks. It's always challenging when working around glass or other reflective surfaces. The trick to using flash is to make your results appear that a flash was not used. If you had a sync cable you could have mounted your flash "off Camera" and held it against the glass and caught some of the sharks "in action"
We visited that Aquarium a few years ago and it was neat to be walking through those glass tubes. We were also down in Newport last June but only visited the historic cannery row area along the waterfront.
I found those jelly fish interesting. They are sort of hypnotic as they float around. who knew they were dangerous stingers.
Congratulations on being a future GrandPA. January will be here in a blink of an eye. You still have lots of time to perfect your style. Perhaps someone will purchase a flash for you to enable you to use bounce flash to push the resultant shadows onto the ground, instead of on the wall behind.
If Katie continues to punch you while you are making photos, then you should consider wearing ATGATT

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Charlie6 said...

Irondad,

Glock .45 eh? I do love that caliber...it's what I was trained on back in the Army. The G30? That's the one I have.

Re the pics, I think they're pretty good! Indoor pics in dark rooms with trickly lightning.....now, get some motorcycle or two in the shot and they'd be great....though I guess the aquarium's folks would probably raise an eyebrow at you rolling through there on the bike.

David said...

I'll second the external flash with sync cord. I'm new (sort of) to the digital photo world. I resisted giving up my film cameras until it just became too convenient to use a digital for everything. Then again, I had invested a lot in good 35mm equipment. I haven't sprung for an SLR, using a Canon A590IS point and shoot. Pretty good camera with manual controls though.

For available light photos, think of the Glock. It's all about the trigger squeeze. LOL A good, solid rest helps, but just like shooting a handgun, you can lock your body up with opposing muscle forces, skeletal positioning, etc. to turn yourself into a tripod. I've hand held shots down to 1/4 second and gotten good results. Consider a monopod as well. You can even get a nice wooden walking stick and put a 1/4x20 bolt in the top to screw into the camera. Also works for whacking people. "Get away from me boy, ya bother me!"

I've been to the Newport aquarium a couple times. Neat place and LOTS of good photo opportunities. My wife loves the otters and penguins.

For Charlie6, a scooter is much less intimidating when riding through a building. A motorcycle will get you in trouble, but a scooter is just fun. ;)

Oh, and the last photo... It's gotta be the purple gorilla.

Dave T.

Steve Williams said...

Digital cameras open up a world of picture making opportunities in almost any light. Turn off the flash and proceed fearlessly into a brave new world.

Your pictures look great. The one of Katie in the tunnel with people streaming past is very nice and the other with the crowd going this way and that is fun to look at.

Nice work. Wish we had an aquarium around here.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

cpa3485 said...

I like your photos too. You keep learning and I'll try to follow along. Got me thinking about taking a class. I cannot stand to read the manual to my camera.

Mike Simmons said...

Your pictures look great Dan. When my flash goes off (usually by accident), I consider it a bad shot. Digital cameras with high ISO settings and the tools available in Photoshop make flash a rarity in my humble opinion.

The aquarium is a nice place to hone your skills. I like the one with Katie in the tunnel too.

Mike

Krysta in MKE said...

I like the jellyfish, too. I read somewhere that some Japanese people keep them as pets, sort of a living lava lamp.

Katie in the tunnel is neat, and that huge shark jaw is just scary. Teeth bigger than my hand?!?

And don't worry about perfecting technique before Jan. - other than wiggling, the kid won't move much for a few months.

Lance said...

Nice post! I think your pictures turned out real nice - great color and resolution, very clear and easy on the eyes!

Conchscooter said...

I'm not sure what I'm doing in the title, I'm no photographer. I shoot people and places, and my pictures are almost always taken as an accompaniment for a narrative running through my head.
I hardly ever use the flash on my squeezebox. Occasionally is the subject is backlit and I really want to illuminate it I use the flash. I can hold the camera in my hand down to a one second exposure and usally geta decent picture.
The best advice I ever got was to get in close, and that came from a professional photgrapher.
Use the rule of thirds to make pictures more interesting.
I always take a picture when i can. with my squeezebox(Canon SX100) in my pocket I never know when I might come across something. The first shot if the scene is dynamic (an animal in action, human or otherwise)is on "auto" then I fiddle once I have something to illustrate the thought.
I love digital, it's cheap, my camera takes double AA batteries and I use rechargables, I can see what I've photographed and they are easy to download.
The only alterations I make are by cropping. I think people mess too much with some pictures and colors get over saturated and unnatural. Like i say I am not an artist. I like to tell stories.
Please don't take this as advice, I'm not qualified. It's just what I do. And sometimes I hold the camera at angle for fun.
cheers
Michael
(unarmed on my travels. I prefer a woman's backside to a Glock to get me excited).

irondad said...

Bobskoot,
Everyone knows that Jack is the kind of guy you don't let your wife know you are friends with. Let alone let her near him!

I actually have a flash unit. Have to investigate a sych cable. Good tip.

Charlie6,
Mine is a Glock 36. I usually carry the .40 Model 23 but the 36 is a bit smaller for some needs.

Wouldn't that have been cool to have been able to photograph Elvira in one of those tunnels? Hmmm, I wonder what it would take.

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Dave,
Your tips are good. I actually do think of squeezing the shutter, but your bracing idea is most excellent. Don't know why I hadn't thought of that on my own.

I have a monopod. Maybe I should actually try using it. I just can't see how you can get stability with a single stick!

Steve,
Thank you for the encouragement. Us raw "newbies" need some of that!

cpa3485,
The class was what I needed to get off dead center. Like you, studying the book seemed like a chore. I've toyed with the idea of sharing my learning process on the blog. Kind of like,

"Here's something new I've learned this week".

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Mike,
I've read that using a high ISO opens up the possibility for more "noise" in the picture. On the other hand, I'm finding that in some lighting you can only get the shutter speed you need by increasing the ISO. Guess there's a trade off.

Thanks for the compliment on the photos.

Krysta,
Thanks. Now I know what I want for Christmas. A Jellfish Lava Lamp!

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Lance,
I like your comment about the photos being easy on the eyes. That's always my dilemna. Some like bright and colorful photos. I kind of like things to be a bit more toned down and restful. I never know if the photos look too dark on the blog for other people.

Conchscooter,
Don't ask me why you're in here, either. I guess because you made the pointed comment about not using flash.

I am discovering the wisdom of getting in close to make good photos. This last weekend I kept the 200mm zoom on the camera and took close-ups. Makes the pictures a lot more dynamic, I think.

As to women's backsides, I agree. The glock is for when the woman's Gorilla boyfriend gets offended by my looking!

Take care,

Dan