Santa Monica Pier

We weren’t quite ready to head back to the hotel after finishing our self-guided scavenger hunt/walking tour of Hollywood, so we hit up Santa Monica for dinner.  I took advantage of the scenery for some more photo ops, naturally.  I really think a lot of these images could benefit immensely from some editing to brighten them up and give them more of a golden quality.  Perhaps I just feel more attuned to that lately since my Lightroom class is due to start in a few days.

I won’t weigh the photos down with any commentary.  As always, please leave a comment if you see something you would have done differently!

f/4, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100

f/4, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100

f/4.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100

f/4.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/3200 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/3200 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

f/4.8, 1/400 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 800

f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 800

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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?

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Little by Little

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?

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Little by Little

Amaryllis

There hasn’t been much greenery around the house recently.  I don’t keep houseplants around as a rule (I usually forget to water them regularly), and I haven’t been doing much of the grocery shopping lately where I’m liable to pick up a bunch of sale flowers just because.  Nor did I get any this past V-Day (not complaining, just saying) since we were snowed in that weekend and there was no way either of us could get to the store.  So currently the only other living thing hanging around our house these days is an amaryllis that we got as a Christmas gift.  I’ve managed to not kill grow one of these a few years back, so I knew we could handle it again.  (Don’t over water?  Check!)  We planted it about two months ago, and it finally started to bloom!

Last week we got our first hint of what color our amaryllis would be:

f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

I tried to balance the plant with its shadow in the next photo, but I think the shadow is too small and the additional shadow from the sliding glass door is distracting.

f/3.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

Looking back, I should have increased the DOF in this photo or at least set my focus point on the tips of the pistils rather than the center of the flower.

f/3.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/640 sec, ISO 100

And I finally thought to change my metering mode from matrix metering to spot metering.  What a difference!  I wish I had taken more closeups using this setting.  Composition still needs work.

f/5, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

f/5, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

It’s definitely an interesting pattern — I’ve not seen this sort of streaky coloring before — but I’m still looking forward to having the rest of the buds bloom one by one.  Maybe there will be a little bit of extra color in our house for a few more months!

Linking up:

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Side Note:  I’ve found my homework for Photo 101 to be a good starting place for blog content and document my photography journey, but I’m going to skip this week.  The focus was on posing and lighting for portraits so my poor husband had to be my subject in all of the photos.  I’m not going to post them out of respect for his privacy.