Been & Going

[Images from the Id] – A Little Lesson In Color…or Is This Art?

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Images from the Id – A Little Lesson In Color…or Is This Art?

Now that you’ve read the manual..right? Let’s do some shooting. Some say photography is all in the light. You bet! You get the light right and thereare only 2 billion other things to keep in mind. So, sure, I exaggerate but there are a lot of things going on. That’s why the “Auto” setting is so popular with beginners or with people who don’t what to be bothered. Yeah, they can get great pictures because the modern DSLR has a great little computer built in to it that makes some very good decisions for good looking average photography. But we want more, we want the ability to get the great shot not the average. To do that you need to do a  little education and practice.

Light has two basic components you need to be aware of.

The first is color. Color is measured by temperature. For photographic purposes (printing is done differently) we have three primary colors, Red, green and blue shortened to RGB. Depending upon the color space you choose you will get different saturation and appearance of  colors. Don’t confuse this with number of colors available- that is in the bit depth of the pixels. The most common bit depth of cameras is 8 bit, 12, bit or 16 bit. Most software works with 8 bit well. Some HDR (High Dynamic Range) software can use 32 bit. Your monitor can’t “see” that but it is useful for…HDR. That’s another topic. The are three basic color spaces, sRGB, Adobe RGB and ProRGB. Each offers an increase in contrast and saturation with greater differentiation between hues. If you care about how many colors are in each bit-depth look on Wikipedia. I set my camera at Adobe RGB and 12 bit RAW and the more I learn the more unsure I am about the color space. Jpegs are another topic but if you want to learn and grow shoot RAW.

The second is intensity or brightness of the light. Many of us depend upon the automatic exposure control to handle that but it can be easily fooled.

Myth – “I shoot for results in the camera, not in the software. Get it right without any processing” Those that say this, are usually converted film shooters. They are ignorant of fact the either the camera will process it or your software will. Which do you prefer? The camera has to do some work on the image and for many uses, sports, wedding etc. with a huge number of images, a well set up camera and quality jpegs are the solution. RAW files can’t even be view without a jpeg preview.So you must process one way or the other. Next week we’ll look at exposure and a little processing.

Original osprey (1 of 1)

Image #1 – “ Osprey”  This is jpeg of an original RAW file without processing. It was taken at Merritt Island, FL. It needs lots of work Taken with a Nikon D300, 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, EV, ISO 400,  400/600mm

Osprey 2 (1 of 1)

Image #2  – “Catch” This is the after result. Next week specifics


[Images from the Id] – Watch your Ps and Qs or what does that manual really say?

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Images from the Id – Watch your Ps and Qs or what does that manual really say?

After a pretty miserable start, we arrived at Rocky Mountain National Park much too late for anything to happen or even be encouraging in terms of photography. You need to remember, sometimes getting going early in the morning is just not in the cards and after too long of a breakfast at local truck stop, we finally arrived. Part of the reason for the trip was to check out the damage from last September’s floods. Both the Alluvial Fan/Indovalley and Fall River Road were basically wiped out. They are to re-open in about a year and the great fall colors of the area will be missed this fall. On the high side, after 3 years the Bear Lake Road was completely open and we had been earlier we could have driven to the lake but were not the mood for the shuttle. Why did we go up on a Sunday?

As expected not much going on, way to late for any self respecting wildlife, and even landscapes are bad in this light. My shooting became an exercise in getting images for a presentation I am giving. That was pretty much crap because of being too lazy to carry the tripod. Or was it just forgetfulness that I would need it?

Sprague Lake is a favorite for landscapes of Hahn’s Peak and surprises. Just call me quick draw. I was shooting some “nice” scenes of a couple of fly fisherman and above appeared an Osprey. The good news was the 80 mm to 440 mm lens was on the camera, the bad news; the camera was not prepared for shooting the bird, especially in a dive. Solution is all based in experience and knowing your camera. Did you read that manual?

The Camera menu settings take too long to do that fast so… have the focus lock on the back button for all of your photography NOT on the half pressed shutter button. This takes a while to get used to, fro me a couple of hundred shots, but do it!  You can use the on-camera settings (if you have them) with that setup, use continuous servo (in your manual) and 3d focus metering. Exposure metering should be “spot” and the shutter should lock it (these may not work for you so experiment) Have the ISO easily changed. I have mine adjustable on one of the top control wheels, Know how to change the frames per second quickly.

So there’s the bird, within seconds I have the ISO, frame rate, and metering reset. Just practice and take a lot of photographs for re-enforcement.

Results: The camera basically locks on for the first shot and follows the action. As the bird got to the trees the camera tried to follow the trees 8-( Back to the manual. Hum, if I slow down the tracking lock on it should not lose the bird so quickly. I always learn something.

The settings for all of these are basically the same

Iso 800, 400 mm/ 600mm, 0EV, metering was Pattern (not spot), 1/6000 sec, f/5.6

Osprey 2-001


Osprey 2-002

Osprey 2-003

Osprey 2-004