Moss

I’ve started experimenting in Lightroom (my Lightroom 101 class started this week).  So far I’ve only played with a few settings:  white balance, temperature, tint, exposure, and contrast.  I’m sure there will be plenty more fun tools to come!

Here’s one of my early attempts at enhancing an image:

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

And the original:

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

Which one do you prefer?

Linking Up:

 Little by Little

Beverly Hills

After visiting Hollywood and Santa Monica, we finished up our trip to California with a quick stop in Beverly Hills.  We spent an hour or so just wandering around Rodeo Drive before our dinner reservations that evening.  (I took the time to enjoy the restaurant and so didn’t take any pics there, but it was enchanting!  Il Cielo, google it.  You won’t be sorry!)

Without further ado, Beverly Hills:

f/3.2, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

f/3.2, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

f/2.2, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

f/2.2, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

f/6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

f/5, 1/40 sec, ISO 400

f/5, 1/40 sec, ISO 400

f/4.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

f/4.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/125 sec, ISO 400

f/4.8, 1/125 sec, ISO 400

f/6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/15 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/15 sec, ISO 100

f/7.1, 1/20 sec, ISO 100

f/7.1, 1/20 sec, ISO 100

 

Linking up:

Hollywood!

I recently had the chance to take a quick trip to California!  There was some personal business that took me there, but we were still able to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing in our free time.

It was challenging to capture what I felt were “good” pictures (particularly in composition) given the limitations of things like crowds and traffic.  I was getting spoiled by shooting still lifes under controlled conditions back home!  Also to my shame, I temporarily forgot about changing ISO and was fighting camera shake during unnecessarily long shutter speeds in dim areas.  Oops.  I came to my senses later in the day, but I’m glad most of the sights were out in the sun.  For the record, I had my camera set on aperture priority mode so as not to slow us down too much, but I made adjustments here and there.

Without further ado, here is a small sampling of my photos of Hollywood:

We got off the metro at Hollywood & Vine to find a very Hollywood-themed station.  This shot is of the ceiling.  There were film strip and camera motifs all over the place.

f/4.5, 1/6 sec, ISO 800

f/4.5, 1/6 sec, ISO 800

f/5.3, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

f/5.3, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

I learned that I can’t rely on the screen on the back of my camera to verify that a photo came out 😦  This next image is much darker than I thought it would be.  This would probably be an easy fix in an editing program once I learn how to use one.

f/5.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

f/5.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

The first Emmy Awards were hosted at the Hollywood Athletic Club which is not currently occupied.  We peeked in the windows and it looked beautiful inside!  The room we could see had kind of a Spanish revival feel.  I hope someone leases it and gives it some love soon!

f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO 100

f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO 100

f/5, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/5, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

Entering the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  This was the site of the first Academy Awards and is reportedly haunted by Marilyn Monroe, among others.  This is where I FINALLY remembered about changing my ISO.  DUH.

f/3.5, 1/13 sec, ISO 1600

f/3.5, 1/13 sec, ISO 1600

 

f/3.5, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

And finally, the pièce de résistance:

f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100

Does anyone have any tips for taking better photos out in the real world?  I’m always looking for constructive criticism, so leave a comment!  I know a lot of the small things that bother me can probably be fixed in post-processing.  All of these images are SOOC, but I’m looking forward to the Lightroom class I’m taking next month!

The Grounds of Monticello

Finally, here are some images I shot around the grounds of Monticello away from the mansion.

f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

The gray dome in the middle of the next image is the rotunda at the University of Virginia — Jefferson’s pet project — as seen from a porch at Monticello.  My 55-200mm lens got a workout!

f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

The Jefferson family burial ground is still being used today.

f/3.5, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/60 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/60 sec, ISO 100

And with that I’ll conclude this drawn-out visit.  Thanks for having us over, Tom!

f/3.5, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

Details: Railing

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

In my years of using a point and shoot, approximately 95% of the photos I’ve taken are from travelling.  While my husband and I love to explore new places and try to take several trips each year, I’m also a little obsessive in trying to capture everything on film.  (Is it weird to still use that expression?  “On my memory card” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.)  A big draw of learning to use a DSLR is being able to take better photos so I’m not left with tons of regular old snapshots (sometimes the sheer quantity can override the sentimental value of some of them).  Sure, I’ve gotten some good ones over the years, but there really is a limit to what you can manage with a point and shoot.

I don’t want to be completely unprepared the next time I go somewhere, so I am trying to practice practice practice. Last week we visited a small historic town nearby that has a cute main street full of restaurants, antique stores, and the like.  Having been there several times before, I figured there would be plenty of picturesque places I could use to try out my shooting.  Well, turns out I never noticed all the eyesores until I was looking at it through a camera lens!  Nothing obscene, but there are electrical wires and phone lines and sign posts everywhere.  Ugh.  Way to ruin it for me, camera.  Anyway, no time like the present to learn how to depict a place without the obviousness of a landscape snap shot.  The photo above is of Main Street, but through a close-up of a railing on one side of the street.  I like how the railing provides some geometric interest, and the bits of peeling paint add some age to the image.  You can still see enough of the old buildings across the street to get a feel for what the town looks like, and best of all: no phone lines to be seen!