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!
The subtle blue color cast is easily fixed in Photoshop. That is just part of the consideration in this image. My friend Farid was prodding it along so I would have an action shot. So here I am sort of swimming and panning on the fly. Hey, it worked. Your subjects really don’t pose for you as much as you’d like. So I shot. The delay in shutter and exposure can be annoying. There’s no motor drive here. It does make you more deliberate in pressing the shutter.
A little Photoshop can go a long way. I’ve other shots of this fish with more rich brown coloring. But it appears this guy is really black and white. Even for fish it’s the eye. There’s a little catch light and it looks more appealing. This is a big fat fish with little fins and I figured it couldn’t swim fast. Wrong. It’s faster than me. I did a little zoom. The problem with zooming is finding and keeping your subject in the image frame.
The trick here is to recognize that this coral is red. I have images with flash in which the red is brilliant neon. The lighting here was custom white balance and natural, no flash. The color is definitely different than using flash. It’s a matter of taste. I tend to like the more brilliant color, not this image. But then it’s a matter of reality, poetry or prose.
Technical: Nikon D90, 1/125 sec, f5.6, focal length 170
Kevin has a thing about chipmunks. He hates them. It’s good he doesn’t have a gun. But Susan shot this one. The upper leaves are overexposed. It’s because there is too much dynamic range in the light. To make it simpler, the upper background is too bright. You can compensate in the camera. Usually the meter will under expose the chipmunk. In order to get everything to look naturally unnatural, you would shoot two images exposing for the light and dark. Or, you could shoot raw and manipulate in Photoshop. I’m less inclined to overthink the image. If you’ll notice the chipmunk is pretty dead center in the image. It tends to get that way when you don’t take time to compose because the critter will only be there a split second.
I thought that David did a splendid job with the other bee (see August 22). I like this shot better. It it a harder shot to obtain because the focusing is critical. See the wings. The high shutter speed captures the wings in mid beat. Depth of field is narrow. Now for the hard part, get this shot head on with the compound eyes in focus. Hey, I’d be just tickled to have this shot or the other. Either way it was a great technical accomplishment. David got his desired effect in that he wanted the wings to be in focus and stopped by the flash.
David will have to explain how he pulled off this image. The exposure is 1.3 seconds. It looks like a double exposure but the metadata says it was all done in one exposure in the camera. As an engineer, David has produced some very imaginative shots from a technical viewpoint. This is one shot that I admire and will wait till he explains the process. You really got me on this one. (see reply, David explains)
David shot this image with a wide angle 10mm lens on the Canon 7D. You can see the distortion of the people leaning into the center of the image frame. I like the shot for it’s even exposure. The white balance of daylight and mixed fluorescent and incandescent is a nightmare. The incandescent glow is nice. The shot could have done without people. I think without a crowd the image would be diminished. I might have tried a long exposure to get people moving in focus and blurred by motion. Because this is editorial and not architectural, the wide angle distortion is rather pleasing and acceptable.
David shot this with a tripod and presents two exposures of the scene. I guess there is more detail in the normal image. I suppose that is better. There is more mood in the HDR. It’s a matter of taste. Shooting RAW also gives you options. It’s a problem to shoot indoors and aim at the outdoors. The window light will overwhelm the interior lights. And then there is the issue of mixed color balance in daylight and incandescent. You could use fill flash indoors to balance the light also. It’s nice to have options. Too many choices and I just go ahead and shoot. You can peek (chimp) at the LCD and then adjust. And, don’t miss the fact that a tripod was used to get these image exposures and registration.
David will tell you how he pulled off this shot. I’m just admiring it myself. It’s dammed hard to do this! So what we learn is that David has shown that you don’t stop the motion of bee’s wings at 1/8000 sec. I believe that flash is even shorter. Try that next time. Then there was Harold Edgerton at MIT who used high speed flash to show a bullet splitting a playing card on edge. For me without that kind of sophisticated set up, I am perfectly happy that you caught this shot. Really, good!