Through the Lens {June}

At the beginning of the year I decided to join my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

This month our prompts for Through the Lens were: sunset, deep, smooth, and imperfect

I used my 50mm for all of them.

prompt: sunset f/9.0, 1/20, ISO 100

prompt: sunset
f/9.0, 1/20, ISO 100

prompt: deep f/1.8, 1/250, ISO 100

prompt: deep
f/1.8, 1/250, ISO 100

prompt: smooth f/1.8, 1/250, ISO 100

prompt: smooth
f/1.8, 1/250, ISO 100

prompt: imperfect f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 100

prompt: imperfect
f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 100

How is it the end of June? Ugg.

Anyway, this month was challenging for me because I felt like I just didn’t have any good ideas or approaches to the prompt. Because of the trees, it was hard to get a typical sunset, I was lost on deep and smooth, and my imperfect birthday cake was a good idea, but turned out, well, imperfect.

June has been a bit of a let down as far as photography goes.

What do you think?

Through the Lens {May}

At the beginning of the year I decided to join my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

This month our prompts for Through the Lens were: Three Things, Dream, Empty, Street, and Home

I used my 50mm for all of them.

Prompt: Three Things f/4.5, i/1600, ISO 100

Prompt: Three Things
f/4.5, i/1600, ISO 100

Prompt: Dream f/1.8, 1/400, ISO 100

Prompt: Dream
f/1.8, 1/400, ISO 100

Prompt: Empty f/4.0, 1/60, ISO 400

Prompt: Empty
f/4.0, 1/60, ISO 400

prompt: Street f/4, 1/500, ISO 100

prompt: Street
f/4, 1/500, ISO 100

Prompt: Home f/1.8, 1/1600, ISO 100

Prompt: Home
f/1.8, 1/1600, ISO 100

It’s been fun to get outside and take photos that aren’t in the dang house, and I can’t wait until the summer months so I can bust out my new zoom lens and see what I can snap!

So what do you think?

Through The Lens {April}

At the beginning of the year I decided to join my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

This month we had the prompts of Self, Books, Together, and Water.

These are my shots all taken with my fixed 50mm lens:

Self 1/400, f/4.5, ISO 100

Self
1/400, f/4.5, ISO 100

Books 1/150, f/1.8, ISO 100

Books
1/150, f/1.8, ISO 100

Together 1/80, f/2.2, ISO 100

Together
1/80, f/2.2, ISO 100

Water 1/600, f/1.8, ISO 100

Water
1/600, f/1.8, ISO 100

I was going to play with ISO this week, and I did, but the shots I ended liking best were all using 100 because I had such great natural light…yay! It’s about time!

Anyway, what do you think? Which is your favorite shot?

Need practice and want some weekly prompts? Come join us over on Flickr!

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Don’t forget about my book drive for my classroom library!

Through The Lens Thursday {March}

At the beginning of the year I decided to join my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

I know I’m posting this on a Friday, but that’s because I didn’t have it together because of being sick and then my birthday to have it post yesterday.

I think we will all live.

Anyway, this month I tried to think of cool “takes” on the shots. But mostly it ended up with me going, “aw crap. Through The Lens Thursday is today. I gotta shoot something.”

It’s been busy. But I tried. Here is what I got:

Prompt: Hot  (heh...ok...just kidding, but there is nothing hotter than a good daddy). 50mm fixed 1/60, f/1.8, ISO 100

Prompt: Hot (heh…ok…just kidding, but there is nothing hotter than a good daddy).
50mm fixed
1/60, f/1.8, ISO 100

Prompt: Hot (my real shot) 50mm fixed 1/25,f/4.5, ISO 400

Prompt: Hot (my real shot)
50mm fixed
1/25,f/4.5, ISO 400

prompt: dark 50mm fixed 1/8, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: dark
50mm fixed
1/8, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: door 50mm fixed 1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: door
50mm fixed
1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

prompt: looking down 50 mm fixed f/4.5, 1/10, ISO 100

prompt: looking down
50 mm fixed
f/4.5, 1/10, ISO 100

So this week was more about keeping up with the habit rather than taking the time for good shots (which is evidenced by that last one…oof). but next month…I can feel it.

Spring is coming and so is better light.

Daylight is lasting longer.

I also have a sweet zoom lens I got for Christmas that I can’t wait to bust out and learn. Tips? Anyone have tips for using a zoom?

Or any other tips? I am pretty much completely dumb about ISO other than I know it makes your photos grainy if it’s too high. Sooo…when would you go high?

Also…come play along! Join our Flickr group!

Through the Lens Thursday {February}

Last month I told you about my friends Greta and Alison and their year-long photography project called Through The Lens Thursday. You don’t need a blog to join in, just join our Flickr group and post each week! It’s great for practicing photography in a low pressure, fun way.

This past month I tried to think about composition when I shot, but also I tried to get a better feel for making things sharp or more blurred.

Here is what I got…

prompt: flower 50mm fixed f/4.5, ISO 800, 1/160

prompt: flower
50mm fixed
f/4.5, ISO 800, 1/160

Prompt: Dull 50mm fixed 1/20, f/4.5, ISO 100

Prompt: Dull
50mm fixed
1/20, f/4.5, ISO 100

prompt: Window 50 mm fixed 1/50, f/4.5, ISO 100

prompt: Window
50 mm fixed
1/50, f/4.5, ISO 100

Prompt: Hands 50mm fixed 1/160, f/4.5, ISO 400

Prompt: Hands
50mm fixed
1/160, f/4.5, ISO 400

I am not sure what is more fun each week: thinking about what I could possibly use for each shot–I don’t want to be the same as everyone else–or learning how my camera works and how to get the shot that is my mind to actually work.

My biggest challenge is seeing in my head exactly what would make a cool shot and then getting my camera to do that. For example sometimes I think it would be cool to have something in super sharp focus, and the rest all blurry, but if that thing I want to be super duper sharp is also super duper small, I can’t get my camera to even take the shot. I get to close and it won’t focus on what I want it to. Sometimes I can’t even get the button to push because my camera is all “dude. that won’t work.”

Then I swear.

But not in front of my kids. Honest.

Anyway, next week’s prompt is “hot”–show of hands of how many of you I will make gag by taking a picture of Cortney.

I guess you’ll just have to wait and see what I do!

If you want a look back, here is what I took last month:

Januray #ThroughTheLensThursday

Through The Lens Thursday

I’ve had an on-again, off-again love affair with my DSLR camera for almost three years now. I love the photos I can get with it, but over the past few months, I find myself pulling out my phone because it’s handy. Letting my camera sit in its bag is not only sad and lonely for my {expensive} camera, but it’s not making me any better at getting those great photos.

I need practice.

Lucky for me, my friends, Greta and Alison, have started a weekly photography project called “Through The Lens Thursday“.  They have come up with a prompt for each week, then they share the results on their blog. It’s not a link up, but anyone can do the prompts (which can be found here). They also have a flickr group for those of us who want to share our photo each week and comment on each other’s.

I’ve decided to do a monthly round-up on the blog of the photos I’ve taken each month.

Here are January’s photos.

prompt = soft Taken with my 50mm fixed lens f/4, 1/20, ISO 200

prompt = soft
Taken with my 50mm fixed lens
f/4, 1/20, ISO 200

prompt = corner 50mm fixed lens f/1.8, 1/320, ISO 800

prompt = corner
50mm fixed lens
f/1.8, 1/320, ISO 800

 

prompt = movement 50mm fixed f/1.8, 1/50, ISO 800

prompt = movement
50mm fixed
f/1.8, 1/50, ISO 800

prompt = white 50mm fixed f/4.5, 1/3200, ISO 1600

prompt = white
50mm fixed
f/4.5, 1/3200, ISO 1600

 

prompt: white (second pic) 50mm fixed f/1.8 1/2000 ISO 100

prompt: white (second pic)
50mm fixed (through a window)
f/1.8, 1/2000, ISO 100

 

prompt: reflection 5mm fixed f/1.4, 1/2000, ISO 100

prompt: reflection
50mm fixed
f/1.4, 1/2000, ISO 100

I am really, REALLY enjoying this challenge each week.

I think it’s helping me learn my camera better than anything else I’ve tried.

The community in the Flickr Group is really encouraging and helpful. I’m finally getting the hang of knowing what each setting does in which conditions/lighting. Plus the prompts make me really look at things in my life and think outside just a regular “snap shot” with my phone.  For instance the “Movement” photo is one I took at school, lying in the hallway during passing time. Students were stepping right over me!

I would not say my photos are AWESOME, but I think I’m getting better.

What do you think?

m is apparently for “myself”

This week for my DSLR class, we met on location at the local tulip farm.

(Yes, we have a local tulip farmFor a very good reason.)

We didn’t have a lesson per se this week, but we could ask the three professionals that were there anything we wanted as we trekked about shooting things.

This was my chance to practice putting my camera in M and playing with the settings. I figured if there was something I wanted to do, but couldn’t figure out how, I could ask!  Yay!  As a teacher I know hands on practice is the best teacher.

Only, that is not how it worked for me.

With little direction, we were told to just start taking pictures.

Ok, this did not bother me, but I was sort of hoping for a little challenge or assignment.  Like, try to take this picture or have this effect.  So I looked around and gave myself assignments.

I think I did ok (you can see my pics and the assignments I gave myself below), but when the teacher approached me to ask how things were going I said, “Ok, I think.  I mean…I don’t know if what I am doing is “good” but I like it.”

Then she looked at my settings and said, “oh no.  You NEVER want your ISO that high.  That is…just…no.”

While I know she is the “professional” and has her own business and everything, I liked the picture I took.

So I just said, “ok.  I’ll try something else.” and walked away before she could get her meat hooks on my camera and change my settings for me (which is what she looked like she wanted to do).

I was going to ask her how to capture a water wheel thingy and get the individual drops, but I suspected that my 50mm lens would be better for it (they told me to come with my kit lens so I could zoom.  Against my gut, I did it.  And was sorry I did it since I couldn’t get my F-stop as low as I wanted for some shots I was trying), but didn’t want to ask after that encounter.

Now I know what some of my students probably feel like when they tell me they get something and wander off.

Sigh.

Anyway, I really have no rhyme or reason to what I tried other than I picked a subject with an effect in mind and messed with my settings until I either got it or got frustrated and moved on to something else.

Here are some of my favorites from the evening…

IMG_7140

I wanted the front fuzzy and the background in focus

IMG_7150

tried to get a front tulip in focus while fuzzing the rest

IMG_7146

wanted to show this lone white one as standing out amongst the orange

IMG_7104

tried to get the front tulips to "frame" the people in the background

IMG_7106

wanted all clear to show the windmill coming "out of" the tulips

IMG_7092

another one working on front being clear while background a slight fuzz

IMG_7158

wanted the barb in focus with all fuzz. thought it was harsh amongst the beauty

 

So what do you think?  Am I learning anything…(by the way, the top one was shot with super high ISO…apparently it is “wrong”) despite the fact that I am sort of doing it myself?

Next week we learn about lighting for shooting indoors and/or in a studio and about shoot and processing night photos.

Also? I joined Clickin’ Moms because I am desperate for new stuff to try so that I am not just all by MYSELF. I have already found a bunch of tutorials I want to use and try stuff.

Now…to find the time.

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Check out me and some other awesome bloggers at Care.com where we dish on what we REALLY want for Mother’s Day.

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