To Flash… or Not To Flash

IMG_8385 copy … that is the critical question. Fleeting moments, it’s an instant call. You get one try… pick. It doesn’t come very often you get to shoot one with and one without flash. It’s a choice. Here David sat long enough for me to get two shots. The Canon G11 white balances automatically. Great! But it’s still ambient light you deal with. So it’s not quite right. The natural lighting gives less detail in the eyes and no gleam or catch light for the eye. Flash is a little too bright and a bit too artificial for my taste. I would pick the natural light. I’m not a fan of obsessive manipulation in Photoshop, so this is what it is.IMG_8384 copy

 

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Lynx

 

Technical: Canon DSLR

I’m guessing lynx. Jennifer did not provide details and she stripped the metadata. It’s a very nice image for a relative beginner. Good cropping and detail. The detail in the eyes is especially good with the catch light on the corneas. People tend to get the whole head or the whole animal. The eyes are the focus. And Jen has done this well.

Detail

Technical: Nikon D90, 1/200 sec, f14, focal length 20

Susan sent me two shots. It was hard for her to choose. There’s something to like about both. It’s a matter of taste since only one will make the final cut. And the discarded one will languish on your hard drive never to brighten your monitor again, an orphan. Ahh… tugging on your heartstrings…(Susie, Kevin says, never throws out anything.) As to digital images, why throw out anything. Actually Susan does discard images to make room on her memory card. And, I actually don’t discard any images. So everything I shoot stays buried on the hard drive. My hard edits (everyone seems to have their own system) leaves me with about 10% of keepers. Try as I might I can’t whittle the number down much more than that. And at that number you are asking for boredom to settle in among your viewers. There are a few really outstanding shots. And then there are the collections of events. Of the two shots Susan sent, I like this one. We see the figure without an explanation. As to the plate, you still need someone to wonder what was going on. It’s a good thing to have too many good images. Keep in mind that the National Geographic guys edit thousands of shots to a single or two, which illustrate the article. Tough.

 

 

 

Sharing

Technical: Nikon D90, 1/200 sec, f14, focal length 20

FOUND AN ARMY MAN IN THE SAND…SO YOU PUT DOWN YOUR SNACK PLATE AND STEP ON IT !???? WINGAERSHEEK BEACH, GLOUCESTER

Just a couple of dudes sharing a moment, eh Susan? As to why stand on the plate…? If you’re environmental, you don’t want that plate to fly away. You’ve heard of flying saucers? You need the caption to tell what they are holding. Some illustrations need explanation. I did wonder why stand on the plate, too. To be picky, you could have moved the horizon down a little to isolate the heads and hands against that great blue sky background.

Fall and Orange

Technical: Nikon D90, 1/200 sec, f14, focal length 18

Susan kept the pumpkins in the corner for their leaf shadows. Otherwise everything is color coordinated – leaves, farm equipment, both kids clothes, and of course the pumpkins. This shot is a good example of depth of field and focus. The f14 stop is sufficient to get you both grand kids in reasonable focus. They are both on the run. Auto focus caught the scene in detail. There are finer points on action shooting. Knowing Susan, she let auto focus do it’s magic. And she got a good shot. For action a key is shutter speed. You need a fast speed to stop the action. The focus points – there are variations per camera. You can set them up to follow the action. You can set them catch the closest subject. And then there is dynamic focus which allows you to focus on the central subject and follow their movement. It’s all right there in the camera manual. Remember that thing of paper that came with your camera? It actually makes for good reading to know what some of those extra buttons on the camera are. On the Nikon it’s right there on the back right, near to the shutter. Yeah, I used it when I shot the US Tennis Open, but not since. Still, it’s good to know there are options. Usually when you shoot the kids, it catch as catch can, and not about a time out for technical camera adjustments. It’s just good to know that there are other options. Cute shot, very cute shot!

Mixed lighting

Technical: iPhone 4s, 1/16 sec, f2.4, focal length 4.28

That iPhone got a workout. Lots of shots between the Endeavor and the party. This one looks like a self portrait. The color balance is not swell. Flash is just a bit too bright. But it’s nice to see my son happy and enjoying the evening. When you consider the conditions, the young folks have made an art out of taking their own pictures.

 

David, Sarah

Technical: iPhone 4s, 1/913 sec, f2.4, focal length 4.28

I’m not sure if this is a self portrait or it was done by a friend. David’s right arm could be holding the phone. There is background flare which highlight’s Sarah’s hair. The exposure is low in the foreground and probably could have used a fill flash to brighten up the colors and detail. Otherwise for the moment it was a shot of two happy people at a wedding.

Honey Crisp

Technical: Nikon D90, 1/200 sec, f6.3, focal length 34

Did focus…The Honey Crisp apple really is that big! Caption “OH…Snow White!” the not so evil queen! Sweet Matilda!

“Oh…Snow White!” the not so evil queen! Susan says that this is a big apple. It’s really a cute kid, too. I have no complaints here. She shared the shot at the apple orchard on apple picking day. Thanks.

Great profile shot. Most grown ups don’t look good in profile. It’s a nose and wrinkle thing. But the button nose of a cute kid is usually a winner. The eye is nearly center, which goes to show you that breaking the rules sometimes is a good thing. There is enough going on to make this work. Nice shot.

Blackfish

Technical: Canon G11, 1/250 sec, f4, focal length 18

We were in a holding pattern at 15 feet to decompress before surfacing. No dice. I popped straight to the surface and couldn’t get my butt down for beans. So I hovered and shot this image. The light is brighter so the shutter speed is faster. There was just no way to coordinate and pose this feeding mass of black fish. Something was tasty on the reef. There’s not too much to love here. You can see an eye or two. The composition is … ugh. There’s not to much detail or color except for the blue edging. I have a lot of these images. I thought to show some mistakes, lest you believe everything comes out great.

First Day Of School

Technical: Nikon D90, 1/200 sec, f5.6, Focal length 20mm

Jeffrey and Matilda, first day of school, it’s always special. It’s pretty hard to get them to pose, too much else going on. Great shot, Susan. Lighting was good. The expressions are sweet. It’s not crucial to have them looking into the camera lens. I like the hair against the darker contrasting background. This is a very nice image.