PigInASwamp Photography   

A Natural State of Mind   


Random Thoughts

7.  Enjoy shooting fireworks?  If you haven't already done so, use the black card technique.  With the shutter open, manually place a black card in front of the lens and wait until you see a burst that is just what you want, move the card to expose that burst and then quickly move it back in front of the lens.  Depending on the available lighting for whatever is in your foreground you will have to make f-stop decisions which may vary from one shoot to the next but the black card greatly simplifies the process.  I set my shutter speed to 30 seconds and have the black card in front of the lens when I open the shutter, moving it away from and back in front of the shutter depending on the fireworks I want to record.  When the exposure is over I quickly click the shutter release again and start over.  FYI, look for bursts of different color and in different parts of the sky.  Exposing too many bursts in the same place just yields a big blown out blob.  Experiment, the more you shoot the better the results!  I have some examples @ http://photo.net/photos/piginaswamp .

51. Use Ansel Adams Zone System whenever possible for your landscapes, it is a relatively simple procedure.  Review the article in the March 2010 issue of Outdoor Photographer, page 50 or link to the article here: http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/how-to/shooting/the-digital-zone-system.html

28. My son Matthew got me interested in "light painting" photography and went so far as to make a light brush using different color LED lights.  Tracing common everyday objects with an LED light produces some unique results.  Matthew has done more with it that I have and you can see his work at his flickr site. He has quite the creative gene!

14. A good friend of mine carries a note attached to his camera bag that says "If you think you have a good picture in front of you - Turn Around!"  That's advice I wish I had followed on more than one occasion.

37. How about a plug for my friends that do my framing!  FanAddict Frames.  They have done work for the University of Florida Athletic Department and have rubbed elbows with Tim Tebow.  All of which is a little difficult for a Razorback to appreciate :o)  Despite all that they do great work.  Check out their website and throw some framing their way. You will be pleased with their work!

16.  Star Trail photos are a lot of fun to shoot.  I don't have a lot of them on my website because I can't find a foreground close by that makes the statement I am looking for but I have done a lot of practicing and have developed a technique.  Every camera has different levels of inherent noise.  This is not a random thought about noise though, so a discussion about the types of noise will have to wait for another day.  It is important to consider however because you need to know how long you can keep your shutter open so that the noise on the image is acceptable to you.  I like a three to four minute exposure on my Nikon D300S.  It will go longer and still be low noise but four minutes works for me so that is what I do.  I want to have at least an hour's worth total exposure time to have some nice trails so that equates to 15 images.  It is important to not let more than 10 seconds elapse between the images.  Anything more than about 10 seconds will leave a gap in the star trails when you combine the images.  One other piece of advice, if you live in an area with heavy commerical airline traffice, don't even start your star trail photo project until after midnight!  I use Lightroom and Photoshop CS6 to combine my images.  Email me and I will share the method, step by step.  Happy Clickings!

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