Thursday, September 29, 2011

nature photography part 2...

My final class at the Morton Arboretum was last evening.  I am really going to miss going to class.  i guess i will just have to sign right up for another!
Saturday morning i was up at 6am and out of the house at 7!  For those of you who know me...that was quite a feat!  I was ready with my camera bag and tripod in tote at the Big Rock nature center at the Arboretum. 
It was an overcast day...perfect day for photos.  One thing i have learned is that you do not want the harsh midday sun.  You know, that perfect day with the great big blue skies, terrible lighting for photos.
After a lecture out in the field, we were off to take photos.  The great thing about this class is that the instructor, Hank Erdmann, and his assistant is right there with us just ready to answer any of our questions.
Focus seemed to be my main question.  I now feel fairly comfortable shooting in the manual mode, but i have to get good at the manual focus.  Hank had acouple of great suggestions to help me understand this.  For a landscape or intimate landscape photo you want to focus 1/3 up into the scene.  However, to be more precise, he gave me a handy chart to refer to when i am out shooting.
Our assignment last week was to shoot three nature shots, email them to Hank and have them critiqued on Tuesday evening.
Here are my three entries. 

The first one he wished i had moved the camera just a titch so my main focal flower was lined up with the dark spot in the trees.  Otherwise he loved the depth of field and the soft colours of the backround.

In my second photo he wished i had plucked the leaf to the right off the plant...too distracting.  In his opinion the leaf is dying and about to fall off, so it is okay to help it along. 

And for my final photo...He loved it!  He thought it looked almost animated.  Score!!

We did have one more photo to submit this week. 
Hank gave us a word...transitions...and we were to photograph it.  There are no right or wrong answers, just our interpretation. 
I looked all around and discovered a wonderful field of milk pods that were bursting open, their seeds being blown about in the wind.
I spent at least a half and hour photographing them.  I loved this one with its silky strands emerging from its pod and the beautiful bokeh backround of more in the field.
This photo was a winner! 
I had put all that i had learned together and it paid off.

This class was the highlight of my year so far... except for the magnificant wedding of my son and daughter~in~law, that was one of the highlights of my life!!  The happy couples wedding was featured on the Style Me Pretty site...check it out!
  I learned so much and had a great time to boot!  The only downside is that i also learned that i "need" more equipment...
a better tripod ~$3oo
a wide angle lens ~ $500
a polarizing filter ~ only $100
and a new camera body ~ $???

For now, my equipment will just have to do.  But Christmas is not far away...hint hint!

"It seems to me that the heart of photography has, perhaps paradoxically, very little to do with cameras and technology" ~ David Ward

I need to take this quote to heart and least for awhile anyway!
Until next time...

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