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

Advertisements

More Monticello

Here are some more shots from my trip to Monticello, as promised.  I’m trying to develop a style of taking good documentary photos while maintaining visual interest — something between snapshot and blatantly artsy.

Monticello is Italian for “little mountain”.  Little or not, there were some great views of the valleys around it, which is probably why Jefferson built this garden pavilion where he did.

f/10, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

f/10, 1/200 sec, ISO 100

f/5.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

f/5.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

This is what you see walking up to the side of the main house from the gift shop and bus stop:

f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

This arcade is underneath one side of the main house and is where the kitchen and other servants’ quarters were located.  I wonder if I could have brightened this up by setting my metering mode differently.  I’m thinking spot metering on the left hand side/in the shade?  In reality, I only had a brief moment when there was no one in the shot so I hurried to take this photo.  My reflexes aren’t that quick to make such camera adjustments yet.  I’m working on it.

f/5, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

f/5, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

This sundial was on a porch leading from the side of the mansion to a smaller one-room building that was used as an office by TJ’s son-in-law.  I love how the low depth of field shots turned out!

f/3.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100

f/3.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100

f/1.8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

f/1.8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

And finally, a gnarly old tree along the garden path.  Apparently there is only one tree still standing on the property that was around in Jefferson’s time, but this isn’t it.  We never found the oldest tree.

f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

I’ll have one last post of images from this trip to share with you in a few days.  Imagine the bounty when I take a real trip somewhere!

Signs of Life

f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

I spotted these little guys about a week and a half ago while on a day trip to Monticello.  It’s been an unusually cold and snowy winter for us, so it’s nice to finally see a little bit of spring pop up and say hello 🙂  I think they are a type of wildflower.  Can anyone out there identify them?

Click Chicks Blog Photography Challenge

Little by Little

Monticello

This past weekend the mister and I took advantage of the spring-like weather (finally!) took a day trip to Monticello.

Monticello was the home and life-long project of Thomas Jefferson — it took roughly forty years to complete!  I’m sure that was not helped much by his total revision of plans halfway through construction following his years as the ambassador to France.  With its inspirations from classical architecture, there was no other building like it in the U.S in its time.

f/9, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

monticello_3

f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO 100

We made it out on their last weekend of off-season prices, so the landscaping was still a little bare.

f/3.5, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

But it was still nice to revisit this piece of Americana and enjoy the spring-like weather.  It’s snowing (again) as I write this.  This should not be happening in late March!

f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

I have some more detail shots that I’ll share in another post.  As always, I appreciate any tips for improvement you might have to offer — just leave a comment!

My First Attempt at a Self-Portrait

Stepping out of my comfort zone here . . .

You’ve probably noticed that I don’t post a lot of portraits here (read: none so far) — there are a couple of reasons behind that.  I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to protect the privacy of others who didn’t sign up to be on a public website when I started snapping photos, so even though I’ve gotten some good shots of my husband, I’m hesitant to share them here.  But I obviously have my own consent, so why haven’t I shared any photos of myself yet?  Well for one, I kinda feel like on I should only be sharing images I’ve taken myself given that this blog is about my personal photography journey and all.  The real reason though is that I’m not used to putting myself “out there” online.  I’ve always been a bit obsessive over managing privacy settings (Facebook sure doesn’t make it easy, does it?), and I’m used to interacting only with people I know in real life.  It’s pretty hard to suddenly share identifying personal information in a public space (even if not many people read this).

But there’s no time like the present, is there?

Here are some of my first attempts at taking a self-portrait that isn’t an obvious selfie.  (For the record, I despise vanity selfies, but I’ve been known to use an outstretched arm quite a bit when I’m traveling.  Gotta show that I was there too!)  Instead of a formal portrait, I wanted to capture myself “in action” so an outsider wouldn’t be able to tell that they were posed.  I still look pretty awkward in these.

f/5.6, 1/13 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/13 sec, ISO 100

I’ve needed a crash course in American history recently, so I dove into the World Almanac for a little light reading.  Ha.  But really, this is how I’ve spent the better part of my free time recently (for good reason, I promise).  There is A LOT of information in this book, so it’s a great way to catch up on the highlights of something without getting bogged down by too many details.

I didn’t do much to prepare for these photos beyond setting up my camera.  I’m still in my work clothes, I didn’t reapply any makeup, I didn’t move any furniture.  It’s just life.  The metering is clearly off in the first shot, thrown off by the window behind me.  I’m guessing this straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) shot could be fixed in an editing program, but I haven’t started using one yet.

DSC_0007

f/4.5, 1/10 sec, ISO 100

Take two:  I moved the camera a little closer, and I think this is where I switched from matrix metering to spot metering.  This image isn’t underexposed like the first, but now there is a blown out highlight in the top right corner where the sun is coming in through the window and I can’t say that I nailed my focus.  You can also see the camera remote in my right hand — I didn’t know how to effectively hide it.

I’m kind of stumped on how to make adjustments when I’m not actually behind the camera.  How do you set the correct focus and metering points when you can’t be in two places at once?  Do you have any tips on getting in front of the camera and still seeing a pretty result?

Claddagh Bell

f/3.2, 1/20 sec, ISO 800

f/3.2, 1/20 sec, ISO 800

In the spirit of St. Patricks day next week, I spent some time photographing our Irish Makeup Bell.  The tradition behind it is that ringing the bell in the middle of a fight is meant to dispel discord and signal the start of reconciliation between both parties (typically a married couple).  For those who may not know, the claddagh on top symbolizes friendship (hands), loyalty (crown), and love (heart).

This is probably the most reflective subject I’ve tried to shoot yet, and it was a bit more difficult than I was expecting.  Even though I wasn’t using a flash, you can certainly see the glare (and a bit of my reflection) on the bell.  Maybe I should have experimented with different lighting — perhaps some filtered/diffused light?  This shot was taken with sunlight coming in through a glass door behind me.  I think the white balance is off slightly also, but it this one produced the best result out of the programmed settings.  One day I’ll learn how to use Kelvins for more customization . . .

Do you have any ideas on what I could have done differently?

Linking up:

Click Chicks Blog Photography Challenge

Little by Little