Saturday, October 20, 2012

Leslie Science Center

A couple of days ago Ken and I went to the Leslie Science Center to take some pictures.  We could walk around outside, but the grounds are torn up from construction and the buildings were closed.  We only stayed for a few minutes since we decided to go to a meeting of the Ann Arbor Camera Club.

I took a picture of a vine with red leaves on a tree.  I then looked through the menu system of my camera and decided to take another picture.  When I did, it looked funny in the display for a moment, then I realized what happened.  Somehow, it double exposed.  It almost looks like I'm looking at something through glass that has a reflection on it.  I don't really like the image and I don't know what I did or how I did it.  But this was the result.  I'd like to figure out how to do this again.

This was the subject of the first picture.

This was the subject of the second shot.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gallup Park

Friday night I met Ken at Gallup Park.  After meeting with him last week and getting some pictures taken, I was looking forward to it again.  I do enjoy shooting with someone else.

While I was waiting for him to show up, I figured I'd get some shots of the leaves.  Again, I wasn't shooting with a tripod.  I should have.  I used my macro lens, and I am remembering just how much I love using that lens.  Unfortunately, I was shooting with a very shallow depth of field and this affected the results of most of my shots.  I was not using a tripod, and I was, for the most part, using f/2.8 to keep my shutter speed up.

The bad news is that this resulted in some of my pictures being in focus for only part of the image.

The smaller the f-stop, the larger the aperture.  That is, with a f-stop of f/2.8, the opening of the lens is wide open.  If I were to go to f/32, the other end of the scale for this particular lens, the aperture becomes very small.  My depth of field would increase so that pretty much everything would be in focus.  Assuming I had focused the lens on my subject.

 As the f-stop increases, the aperture decreases.  Why does this matter?  Well, the smaller the aperture, the longer it takes for a given amount to pass through the opening. 

If I increase the f-stop by one step, the aperture becomes a bit smaller.  If I do this, half the amount of light will pass through to the film or sensor in the same amount of time.  If I want the same amount of light to pass through, the shutter has to remain open longer.

Conversely, if I decrease the f-stop by one step, the aperture increases.  This will allow twice the amount of light to pass through in the same amount of time.  If I want the same amount of light to pass through, the shutter will remain open for less time. 

By manipulating the shutter speed, you can make an image look darker or lighter than the camera would normally appear. 

If you increase the f-stop by one step, the aperture decreases by one step.  The amount of light passing through the shutter in a given time period is half what it would be with the larger aperture.  This means that the shutter speed doubles.  It will go from, say 1/125 of a second to 1/250 of a second. 

On the other hand, if I decrease the f-stop by one step, the aperture increases by one step.  The amount of light going through the shutter in a given period doubles so the shutter speed will halve.  If your original shutter speed was 1/125 of a second, it will go to 1/60 of a second.

This may seem overwhelming, but once you figure it out, you can start doing the math in your head and today's more advanced cameras often have settings that let you easily allow them to keep the shutter open for a longer or shorter period of time than it would in automatic mode.

Unfortunately, the trade off is in the depth of field.  The smaller the f-stop, the less depth you'll be able to have in focus.  This is a big issue in closeup photography. 

Here you can see how the small f-stop led to a very shallow depth of field.  I was hoping to get the whole cluster in focus without bringing too much of the background into focus.

Here is another example.  This is lichen on a tree.  The center is in focus, but the top and bottom of the picture are not.

I increased the f-stop here.  The top is still a bit out of focus, but for the most part the rest of the picture is okay.  I forgot how much of a difference it makes when doing closeup work.

A thistle.

A larger f-stop would have let me get all of this in focus which I think would have made this look better.  The trade off would have been a longer shutter speed, which would have worked against me because of the low light.  A tripod would have allowed me to maintain the distance between the camera and the subject.  Not something easily accomplished when shooting with the camera in your hands.

A tripod and a larger f-stop would have allowed me to frame this better and get all of the leaf in focus.  When shooting closeup with a small f-stop any slight movement makes a big difference.

Some milkweed.

A little bigger f-stop.  I didn't quite get the detail I wanted.  I'll have to go back next week and see if anything still remains.

A nice closeup of the plant.

This still had a bit of color to it.

I increased the depth of field here to try and get the stem in focus.

Concordia College.

This shot didn't quite work out the way I hope it would.

One last shot of Concordia.  Although shot with the same lens as the previous picture of Concordia, and within minutes of each other, I like this image better.  Mainly because the building isn't obscured by the tree.

North Bay Park

I took another jaunt to North Bay Park.  I go there often because it is nearby and a nice place to take a walk.

A lone leaf.

A crown of gold.

The colors of fall.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lillie Park

My friend Ken called me the other night and said he was stopping by a park on the way home from work and would I like to join him for some picture taking.  Since he was a major motivator in getting me to make the switch from the Coolpix 3200  to a digital SLR, I decided to join him before I headed out to a meeting of the Ann Arbor Camera Club.  

In the 5 months I have had this camera I have taken over 20 percent the number of pictures I did in about 8 years with my old camera.  That is, I've taken over 2000 pics in 5 months.  In the 8 years I was using my point and shoot camera, Nikon Coolpix 3200, I've shot 9156 images.

A big part of of the reason is that I am able to do things like this.  One of my big loves is macro and closeup photography.  With my point and shoot camera, I was unable to get get images like this.  I've taken a couple of closeups with the camera before, but here I was able to take some time and really work with the lens.  Next time, I'm going to use a tripod.


A yellow flower of some kind.  I guess I'm kind of surprised that there are still flowers in bloom this late in the season.

An unknown purple flower.

A thistle still in bloom.

A thistle with a spider web.

Purple Loosestrife.  I think I would have liked this better if I had more detail on the flower.

The low sun was bringing some amazing detail in the leaves.

Sunlit leaves.

Wild grape.

Some small berries.

While Ken was taking a picture of some Queen Anne's Lace, I noticed this dandelion on the ground.  I decided to see what I could do with it.

I zoomed in a little closer.  I wasn't getting the detail I wanted. 

Finally, I switched to my macro lens.  I was able to get more detail, but I still wasn't getting what I wanted.

Here, I got most of what I was aiming for.  Only part of the flower was lit by the sun which was pretty low by this point.  I was hoping to have enough depth of field to get the whole flower in focus, but I was in a very awkward position and was shooting with out a tripod.  There was also an intermittent breeze.  This meant that I had a bit of problem keeping it in focus.  Next time, I'll remember that I have a small tripod in my camera bag.

The Queen Anne's Lace.  I didn't get the look I was hoping for.

Another shot with a bit more depth of field.  This closer to what I was hoping for, but not exactly it.  Its a bit tough to gauge fine detail on the LED screen.  The flower was dancing around in the wind and moved it a bit off center.  I'll have to work on this a bit more. 

With this post I am now caught up with my photo excursions. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

North Bay Park

I headed out to North Bay Park a couple of days ago.  The trees by the parking lot have begun to change.


On September 22nd, there was an unofficial Boatnerd gathering on Belle Isle.  I headed down there with a friend. 

He wanted to stop at Milliken State Park because he didn't think we'd catch a ship that was already at the top of Belle Isle.  While waiting for the boat to appear, I wandered around a bit, take some pictures.

The Renaissance Center.

Some roses were still in bloom.

The Algoma Spirit downbound.  You can see the clouds were starting to come in from the storm that was south of us.  We were on the north edge of it and it made for a pretty miserable day.  Except for the company. 

A boatnerd watches as the tug Manitou pass downbound.

The Algoway upbound.

A shot of her pilothouse.

The Kamistiqua exits Lake Saint Clair.

Isaac, the organizer of the get together on the left, and another boatnerd watch as the Herbert C. Jackson enters the Detroit River.

The Joseph H. Johnson exits the Detroit River.

The Kaye E. Barker passes the Coast Guard station on Belle Isle.

The pilothouse of the Kaye E. Barker.  I last saw her on the Saint Mary River in August.

Boatnerds watching the Kaye E. Barker enter Lake Saint Clair.  The Joseph H. Johnson heads across the lake on the left.