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Beginner Photography: Travel

Hey friends! This weekend I got to do a whirlwind weekend in San Francisco for my friends wedding. This will essentially be a two-part post, since next week’s topic is street photography and I did quite a bit of that while I was there (get ready to see some surfers)!

This was my first time on the west coast, so there was a lot to capture. We stayed by the beach in a great, diverse little neighborhood. I also got to go out to the Muir Woods and hike among the redwoods. I hope I can do them some justice! I pulled a total rookie move and forgot to bring my Olympus battery charger. My camera made it through to the last day, halfway through my hike. Luckily I had my phone with me still, and wound up getting some of my better pictures with that.

I wish I’d taken some more time to just go out and shoot, but it was an action-packed weekend and I wasn’t about to take time away from friends and events to take pictures. I hope I can go back and spend some more time in the future, there’s a lot more I wanted to capture.

There was a lot of great street art and signage in the neighborhood

 

There’s that distant SF fog

 

This needs some editing,¬†the exposure on her doesn’t seem right

The water was so cold, these men are insane

 

I got this shot with my phone after my camera died

So those are some of my faves! I did minimal editing to them all to adjust exposure and make sure I had black and white points in each photo, as well as some cropping and straightening. I hope I captured the feel of the area (let me know, Kyle Wolfe)!

Help me out here, how’d I do? What would you change/add/leave out from these shots?

 

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Beginner Photography- Dogs!

Hello friends! As you know we don’t have a live show this week since T&C will be in Germany for Photokina! So I spent the week getting used to my little Olympus E-M10. I’m really enjoying this thing. I just shot whatever caught my eye around the house and tried to get used to all the buttons and dials.¬†

Yesterday was hazy and grey, but it made for some good light, so I followed my dog into the back yard to get some shots. He is not the most patient model. I did my best with a fast shutter speed and a liberal sprinkling of dog treats and “sit” commands to get what I could. And most of all, I took lots of shots. Here’s what I came up with.

f/3.5, 1/80th of a second, ISO 200

Meet Hungry! Shot at 1/80th of a second, f/3.5, ISO 200.

 

Same settings, handsomest boy.

 

Can you spot all my sloppy cloning and patching? 

 

I’m pretty proud of these, but I might be biased. He’s definitely a one-note model, we really need to work on his expression.¬†

Black dogs are hard to photography because they just seem to swallow light, luckily he has some brown mixed in, so I think I was able to show some detail in his fur. The yard is a bit distracting, so I had to clone out some random things, and went black and white on a few of my edits to simplify. I did basic edits in Lightroom, adjusting the exposure based on my histogram to make sure I had some white points and black points. Then I brought them into Photoshop and used the content-aware-fill tool to get rid of some distracting twigs and backyard clutter. 

We did a live show on dog photography with our wonderfully talented friend Erkki Alvenmod a few months back that I found helpful, you might too! Have you photographed pets? What are your tips? 

 

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Beginner Photography: Abstract

I’m back! For those of you who don’t know me (impossible!) I do customer support, video editing, and moderate the comments on TCLive for Northrup Photography. What I am not is a photographer. I’ve always loved photography, and all art, but haven’t had the drive to learn. You’d think working for Tony and Chelsea for the past year and a half would get me moving, but work can get in the way of art if you let it. Turns out I learn best with a task to complete, so I’m going to write this blog one day a week so that I can learn photography and hopefully some of you can learn along with me! I’ll be hashtagging some of my photos on Instagram (@SiobhanKyle) and using the hashtag #StunnersOnInsta to show my progress. I encourage you to do the same! There are tons of great photos on there already from our YouTube community.

This week I took inspiration from our live show¬†and decided to work on some abstract shots in my house and on the street. I can’t say they were totally successful, but it was a fun challenge. Abstract art¬†is actually one of my favorite genres. I love looking at things in a new way and finding the beauty in things that are often overlooked. A successful abstract can make everyday objects look otherworldly. It’s a method of capturing an object out of context or zooming in and framing an object in a way that makes it unrecognizable. You can do this in a few ways:

Zoom in

20160801_182319_002This view of an overhead light is not what you generally see when you walk into the dining room. But by getting directly underneath it and zooming in, cutting into the edges, you get an unusual take on a simple object.

Play with shapes


20160801_182422

Look for interesting angles, leading lines or patterns. This view of a skylight turned on its side made the image more interesting than if it were just square.



Use light and shadow

20160801_182726 Dramatic lighting adds visual interest by playing up contrast and texture.

 

 If all else fails, go black and white

20160802_084556

Black and white is always a great way to abstract your image and bring attention to shape and texture.

 

So those are my efforts. I know a lot can be done in post processing, but I’m not at that level yet. I did some color and saturation tweaks as well as some creative cropping and converting to black and white in Lightroom.¬†What tips do you have for making abstract images?

 If you wan to learn more about making abstract photography, watch this video or check out our past live show on abstract photography here.