Panorama

This weeks task was to explore macro photography.

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ISO 1600 | f/5.6 | 1/200

Image #1 – This picture is of a flower just about to uncurl and open up. I like the tunnel down connection it has with the leaf, and the lines of the leaf leading you down to the flower. It was taken at 55mm (75mm eq) with an inexpensive screw on macro lens on the front.

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ISO 1600 | f/5.6 | 1/200

Image #2 – This is a picture of the same type of flower as above, but in its opened up state. It was taken at 55mm (75mm eq) with an inexpensive screw on macro lens on the front.

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ISO 200 | f/1.8 | 1/100

Image #3 – This is a picture of a wooden figurine of a pomegranate. I love the shine and very shallow depth of field. I also love the vignetting and circular blurriness around the edges. This shot was taken at 50mm (75mm eq) with another 50mm held in front of the lens back to front to act as the macro lens. I really like the effect it gives.

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ISO 800 | f/1.8 | 1/60

Image #4 – This picture is of a set of miniature scrolls that contain little messages in Armenian. I love the texture of the paper and wooden frame of the box they sit in. This shot was taken at 50mm (75mm eq) with another 50mm held in front of the lens back to front to act as the macro lens.

 

Sports Shoot

This weeks task was to explore shooting for sports. I was originally going to shoot mountain bike riding, but I couldn’t get access to my friend that goes riding. He is too busy and not going out for a while. So, I chose dog sport.

Research:

dog_sled

border_collie_frisbee_

http://muttnews.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/fly-boys-4-action-dog-wallpapers-by-purina/

Dog-Action-
http://www.southeasteventphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/South-East-Photography-Dog-Action-photos1.png

frisbee_dog_air_

http://muttnews.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/fly-boys-4-action-dog-wallpapers-by-purina/

These images are successful because the crucial part of the action has been captured by the photographer; the eager faces and eyes of the huskies pulling the sled, the agility of the border collie balancing with it’s trainer with the frisbee, and the utter elation of the sweet brown dog leaping into the water. To achieve this the photographer must have used a fast shutter speed to freeze the dogs in motion. Also, on most of them it appears a long lens has been used, because there is large amounts of blurred out background that had to be taken at a far distance. Equipment that may have been used was probably a tripod, long lens, maybe a speedlite. They would have been quick to get the action, and anticipating just before it was about to happen, and probably using continuous drive mode to try and capture the full range of motion and not miss any shots.

My shots:

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ISO 320 | f/5.6 | 1/800

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ISO 3200 | f/5.6 | 1/800

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ISO 2000 | f/5 | 1/640

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ISO 100 | f/4 | 1/320

What I learnt from this task:

In being prepared for taking these kind of photos it was important to remember that the animals move fast. To capture any kind of action without blur, a fast shutter speed was needed, and sometimes depending on time of day and the weather, a high ISO was needed. A longer lens would have been great to get even closer in to the action, but a tripod would just not have been helpful because the dogs just run around and move too quickly. I needed to be agile and follow them with speed.

Panorama

This weeks task was to create a panorama image.

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ISO 1600 | f/8 | 1/60

What I learnt:

Looking at the completed image of this task there are a number of things I can see that I could have done better. The sky is looking quite blown out, and just a boring flat white. Even though this was taken quite late in the day, there is no drama with the light, or softness, or textural clouds. Too much white. I also think my choice of location could have been better. I chose this spot in Footscray because it’s busy and exciting, with lots of interesting looking shops and business, and people coming and going, but I think being on the corner introduced too much distortion into the image that could have been avoided had I done it at a more horizontally balanced place. Perhaps if I had of gone further up the street and avoided the corner it would have looked better. I am happy with the exposure however. Apart from the boring white sky, the other parts of the image are interesting and well exposed. My settings were ISO 1600 to be able to have a greater depth of field at f/8 and a decent shutter speed of 1/60 to not have too much motion blur with the people and cars, although in hindsight this could have added some extra dynamics and movement. I enjoyed trying out this technique and would like to experiment further.

Here’s another panorama I took at a rally recently. Just for fun🙂

ISO 100 | f/7 | 1/100

ISO 100 | f/7 | 1/100

Landscape

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Westgate Bridge – f/5.6 | 3.2 sec | ISO 800

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Screen Capture of source images Adobe Bridge

This weeks task was to experiment with landscape photographic techniques. The task was to take a picture of a natural or built scene. I chose the Westgate Bridge and Port Melbourne skyline, from the Newport side.

What I learnt:

I learnt that it pays to pay full attention to all aspects of the camera settings at all times when making pictures. Even when it’s dark and very cold. I thoughtlessly shot this image in Manual Mode at f/5.6 thinking this would help expose the picture better because of the darkness, but forgot that f/8 – f/11 would have been much more appropriate. Regardless of this crucial mistake, I am happy with the outcome. I shot three shots in succession to experiment with HDR in post-processing, and feel that it worked well. The only part I’m unhappy with is the rendering of the fireworks in the background. For some reason they have been rendered very weird, and I’m unsure of how to fix it, without just deleting them entirely with the Clone Stamp or such. 

If I was to take this shot again I would use the cable release again; it was very helpful in reducing camera shake. I would also scope out the location before it got too dark, and decide on composition when it was still light enough to experiment. I would also remember to make good choices in regards to my ISO and Aperture values.

 

Night shoot at dusk

This weeks task was to shoot the city skyline just before dusk until just after dusk. I chose to shoot it from the perspective of the western suburbs with the shots taken from Williamstown/Newport looking out over the river back to the city and the Westgate Bridge.

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Melbourne City and Port – F/5.6 | 2 sec | ISO 800

Night_HDR2

Williamstown Pier – f/5.6 | 1/4 | ISO 800

Night_HDR3

Westgate Bridge – f/5.6 | 1 sec | ISO 800

What I learnt from this exercise:

Well, as you can see from the photo captions I made the most crucial rookie mistake and shot at f/5.6 rather than f/8 or f/11. This is a critical error, I realise this. At the time my brain was thinking of light gathering not depth of field. I’m not used to shooting at such small apertures, so I just didn’t think it through properly first. I read through the instructions when I got home and went, bum! Also ISO was set too high considering the use of tripod. Many things learnt..

So, apart from these technical errors I feel the exercise went well. I’m happy with the final images anyway, but I can notice some areas not in as sharp focus as they could be. I enjoyed being out there trying something new, and the shutter release cable was a very helpful addition. I struggled to find focus in such low light and had to switch to manual focus to have any hope. Even then, it was so dark and objects so far away that my only saviour was the Magic Lantern focus peaking that I have installed on my Canon.

If I was to repeat this Night Shoot I would remember the rules in regards to landscape and aperture and also to keep the ISO much lower to avoid as much noise as possible.

Depth of Field

This weeks task was to explore the effect of Focal Length and Aperture on Depth of Field.

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50mm | f/5.6 | 1/50 | ISO 800

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50mm | f/8 | 1/20 | ISO 800

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50mm | f/16 | 1/8 | ISO 800

28mm |f/5.6 | 1/60 | ISO 800

28mm |f/5.6 | 1/60 | ISO 800

28mm | f/8 | 1/40 | ISO 800

28mm | f/8 | 1/40 | ISO 800

28mm | f/16 |1/10 | ISO 800

28mm | f/16 |1/10 | ISO 800

80mm | f/5.6 | 1/60 | ISO 800

80mm | f/5.6 | 1/60 | ISO 800

80mm | f/8 | 1/30 | ISO 800

80mm | f/8 | 1/30 | ISO 800

80mm | f/16 | 1/8 | ISO 800

80mm | f/16 | 1/8 | ISO 800

What I learnt from this exercise:

That distance from subject, sensor size, focal length and aperture all play a role in the apparent Depth of Field. The wider aperture at all focal lengths produced a shallower depth of field, however the effect was most apparent at the 50 and 80mm focal lengths, because of their longer reach and ‘zoomed-in’ effect.

# On a side not, I also did some research into ‘true’ focal lengths and focal lengths on a cropped sensor body like my 550d. Even though the Canon EF-S lenses are designed for the APS-C sensor bodies, the focal lengths printed on the lens is still the ‘true’ focal length; that is, it is the ‘equivalent’ focal length if it was on a 35mm sensor body. So, even though I took these shots at the lengths prescribed and what is written on the lens, with the crop factor taken into account the equivalent field of view is 50mm = 80mm and 28mm = 45mm. The 50mm EF 1.8 II lens I used as my ‘telephoto 80mm’ is the same focal length as the kit EF-S at 50mm. This is why all of these shots taken at these lengths look very similar; albeit with slightly different framing due to me moving the tripod slightly in between to do the 28mm shots.

I don’t actually own or have access to a longer lens than this, so even though I understand they concept of focal lengths and DOF, I am unable to create it in a more pronounced way.

Week 4 – Motion

This weeks task was to take a series of images that were exploring the role of shutter speed in capturing motion.

IMAGE #1 – Freezing Motion

This first picture is one I took of a friends dog when we were playing ball. I love the way it’s frozen the ball just before it lands in his mouth. It was a sunny day so the ISO was low and aperture set at /f.6 and shutter speed quick to freeze the action. The second image was taken in a dark bar at a gig, and it is the flash rather than the shutter speed that has allowed the action to be frozen. The shutter speed is still relatively low at 1/30. I included here just as another example of frozen action using a different method. The overall look isn’t as good, with the flash causing it to look flat, but I still like the feeling.

Motion_freeze

f/5.6 | 1/250 | ISO 200

f/1.8 | 1/30 | ISO 400

f/1.8 | 1/30 | ISO 400

Image #2. Panning

This task was not as easy as it first appeared. I had trouble following the subject at the right speed so as not to get ahead of it or lag behind. It took A LOT of practice, and even then I didn’t get many keepers. This was one of my first attempts which turned out to be the best.

f/22 | 0.5 sec | ISO 100

f/22 | 0.5 sec | ISO 100

Image #3 – Zooming

I had so much fun doing this zoom exercise. Walking home through Footscray after class on this day I took many of these shots, trying to get the best look. I had the camera set to Aperture priority Mode and set the shutter speed at 2 seconds to get the blur effect of the lights. Here a few of the best ones…

f/11 | 2 sec | ISO 400

f/11 | 2 sec | ISO 400

f/10 | 2 sec | ISO 400

f/10 | 2 sec | ISO 400

f/16 | 2 sec | ISO 400

f/16 | 2 sec | ISO 400