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Old Mar 11, 2012, 8:04 PM   #1
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I've just started a 365 day project. My intention is to take a picture every day, something I sure haven't been doing lately. Along the way, I want to try some new techniques or practice some I haven't done much of recently. Part of the challenge of the website I'm using is that you can only post one picture for the day, so that forces me into making a decision when I've taken a bunch of photos of several different subjects - something I have a very hard time doing. It's turning out to be a good exercise for me right now - I've been in the doldrums recently and on day 2 I'm feeling very re-invigorated, with lots of ideas of things to try as the days go on.

I always want feedback on my work, so from time to time I'll post a few things here, looking for suggestions and reactions as I try different things.

My first subject (started yesterday) is (no surprise) another macro, as a continuation of my thoughts about live view, I used live view for this. I don't know why I like this better than most of the dandelion pictures I've taken (they are fun to shoot, always interesting). Perhaps its the angle? Don't know if anyone else will like the background - perhaps it's too distracting or does it work for the picture? I like it but then composition isn't my strong suit.



This is the picture I posted to the project for yesterday. I posted a different water drop shot for this month's challenge. I added the vignette in post processing.



Today found me awake before dawn for some reason. Not willing to waste the time, I decided to use the LED flashlight I bought a month ago, to play around with lighting. I'm really lousy with artificial lighting, find flash a mysterious subject and am horrible with trying to arrange anything like a still-life. I had thought to try light-painting, but my flashlight and first subject didn't lend itself to that at all. So I just played around, using a wired remote and B mode, guessing at shutter speeds. I found out that by moving the flashlight around I could avoid shadows (example here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v35/p616832180-4.jpg ). Remember that the only light was the flashlight, all other lights were turned off.

The picture I ended up choosing to post for the project is this one. The flashlight was directly on the side, I used a pillowcase to cover the table. The only processing I did was to resize and use Detail to add a bit of sharpening afterward.



Thought it came out very well.

Later on in the morning I decided to try my hand at shooting some off-roaders. Sports are something I don't have much opportunity to shoot and have little experience. While I was pleased with how my lighting experiments came out, I don't think my off-roading pictures are anything more than ho-hum ordinary. There's a lot of technique to learn here! I posted two under the bi-weekly challenge here: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/bi...w-offroad.html . The one below is the one I thought it told the story of dirt-biking/off-roading around here better than a more classical shot. Am I off-base on that? Let me know what you think about it.



I did take some more classic shots, but am not quite sure what shutter speed to use. That's going to take lots of experimentation.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 8:07 PM   #2
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An interesting experiment - glad it is getting you out of the doldrums!

Each of these is a gem - dandelion so sharp and detailed, dirt bike rich with the action, fascinating lighting on the paperweight (?). But personal favorite is the water drop - excellent framing which really contributes to the mood...
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 11:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the compliment, mole. I'm really trying to branch out more on my picture-taking. And it's been good for me to force myself to go out every day. I'm getting more exercise, and spotting things I should have picked up on ages ago - noticed this evening that my DA*200 back-focuses on the K5, I haven't been using it enough recently to have noticed that and it was fine with the K7. Need to adjust that. I'm really having a great time, perhaps it's all off-the-wall stuff and not universally appealing, but I've never particularly cared about that.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 1:59 PM   #4
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I really like the dandelion for a number of reasons:

  • View. It's a side view. I've never seen a picture of the side view of a Dandelion or most other flowers. The thought that popped into my mind was that it must be what an eye level view of say a field mouse would be. Most flowers are taken from a position over the top of the flower.
  • Colour. Colours are bright, few and basic.
  • Composition. In my view...simple is always better in a picture. This pix is nice and simple...also very good bokeh...further isolating the flower.
The motorcycle picture is also of interest.


  • View again. From the back of the rider...most motorcycle pictures are of the side of the bike...usually at speed or parked.
  • Action. Bit of a rooster tail going on....lot's of dust as a result. Dust is good...show's action...but can also obscure action and subject. Hard to avoid dust in a dirt bike scene. Dust is not bad here...I also like the fact that the rider ...going by his body movement is doing some very intensive riding...judging by the fact that his right arm (obscure but I can tell he's twisting the throttle) action shows he's opening the throttle...also the fact that you caught him really leaning into the bike...good action.
  • I have a couple of vintage motorcycles so I'm an enthusiast. Pictures I like usually show rider and part of a motorcycle....ie; close up of the face and part of the motorcycle...while the bike is being ridden....quickly...which should show in action.
BTW, I think that is a ambitious and interesting project to embark upon. I think at the end of a year you will enhance your abilities as a photographer.


In fact I think any and all photographers would gain an awful lot in skill development .


I'm looking forward to your pictures.


Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Mar 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 2:38 PM   #5
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Thanks very much for your insights, Les. Using Live View is extending my angles - I'm less flexible than I used to be so I've found a certain amount of liberation using it the last few days. I'm really glad the whole discussion about the K-01 not having a viewfinder came up, or else I don't think I would have tried to use live view at all. I've been using it off and on all week this week and have gotten some really nice shots, the bi-weekly challenge of shooting from a low angle and looking up has helped keep it mind, too. I'll start another thread Sunday with some from this week - some days I've gotten a bunch of keepers, while other days it's been pretty much all failed experiments and some significant mistakes.

Knowing nothing about dirt biking - is a rooster tail where the driver gooses the accelerator and more or less spins the bike around 180? If so, that's exactly what he was doing. I did take some more classic type shots - pictures from the side and of bikers coming toward me. The K5 is nice for this - I was able to recover a whole lot of the face even though the helmet threw it mostly into shadow (sun was fairly high in the sky). However, I just liked this one as an example of "this is what dirt-biking is all about" type of picture.

I'm having great fun with this project as I'm trying new things. It's fun to push the envelope and perhaps try some things I did before and enjoyed (want to get out with the K100 and R72 filter again soon).
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 4:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Thanks very much for your insights, Les. Using Live View is extending my angles - I'm less flexible than I used to be so I've found a certain amount of liberation using it the last few days. I'm really glad the whole discussion about the K-01 not having a viewfinder came up, or else I don't think I would have tried to use live view at all. I've been using it off and on all week this week and have gotten some really nice shots, the bi-weekly challenge of shooting from a low angle and looking up has helped keep it mind, too.I have used my little Canon G 12's LV quite a bit in the past year. I love it and I find it gives me unique and creative angles that I never really considered before...or could get, just using my eye finder.

Thing I like about the G 12's monitor is that it is articulated and I can swing it out and move it to different angles.
The K-5's LV is very good....but I wish it was articulated and could be swung out.

As you mentioned flexibility....same here....I'm in my 60's and I find I'm using the LV's as almost an adaptation to compensate for my increasing lack of flexibility...I still want to get low angle pictures....and although I may not be able to bend as much anymore...both Pentax and Canon LV technology, are great assists...it's wonderful for an aging boomer like myself with creaky knee's and a bad back .
I'll start another thread Sunday with some from this week - some days I've gotten a bunch of keepers, while other days it's been pretty much all failed experiments and some significant mistakes.

Knowing nothing about dirt biking - is a rooster tail where the driver gooses the accelerator and more or less spins the bike around 180?A rooster tail is caused by spinning the rear wheel...some might say excessively and causing a strong spray of dirt behind the rear wheel (s)....some believe this arcing spray...looks like the shape of the tail feathers of a rooster. With my aging eyes and the dust...I think I misidentified the vehicle as a dirt bike....it looks like maybe an ATV... ? If so, that's exactly what he was doing. I did take some more classic type shots - pictures from the side and of bikers coming toward me. The K5 is nice for this - I was able to recover a whole lot of the face even though the helmet threw it mostly into shadow (sun was fairly high in the sky). However, I just liked this one as an example of "this is what dirt-biking is all about" type of picture.

I'm having great fun with this project as I'm trying new things. It's fun to push the envelope and perhaps try some things I did before and enjoyed (want to get out with the K100 and R72 filter again soon).
I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and she's a few years younger than me, but she was mentioning how there are so many things one can do using the modern technology of newer cameras....it really does open the doors to creativity and there seems to be few limits.

Last edited by lesmore49; Mar 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 8:55 PM   #7
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I really like all of your pictures with the motorcycle being my least favorite not because its not good but because I keep feeling like I'd have shot it differently myself. For me I would have added a slight more space to the rear of the motorcycle and not framed the rear so tight. Great shots and keep posting them

dave
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Old Mar 17, 2012, 12:49 AM   #8
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Thanks for the explanation, Les. You are correct that it's a quad not a dirt bike. He more or less was spinning the back wheels, though the effect was the pictured cloud of fine, loose dust. It is somewhat hard to see, with all the dust.

Dave - I agree with the framing - it was a vertical and shot very quickly, he came up, did his quick-turn and departed quickly. I was using the DA*300 so couldn't zoom.

I would like an articulated LCD, but I've always wondered how robust they were. I had one on the FZ30 I briefly owned and liked using it on occasion. But I'm enough of a klutz that I was constantly afraid I would break it off.
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