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Live Show Recap: Night/Astro Photography

What’s up you cool babies? This week we looked at your night and astro photography and you killed it. Next week’s topic is abstract & geometry, which is Tony’s new favorite thing. I’m excited for that one.

We start off with some photo news:

-Leica announced the new TL2 mirrorless camera

-we have the¬†Loupedeck¬†and¬†we’ll put out a review soon. Chelsea uses it during the live show for the first time!

Time to start reviewing photos:

-sky over building

-moving clouds

-Tony suggests the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 for beginners in night photography

isolated

-Tony shakes the hornets nest of flat-earthers, again, forever

-Chelsea is only good at “restaurant math”

-moon over Golden Gate

boat

Over to me for some questions from you all:

-eclipse plans? Tony’s trying to learn it now and purchased some ND filters and those special glasses. Chelsea throws shade at the eclipse, she doesn’t think that 2 minute cover is worth it. “It’s not Hamilton, I’m not gonna travel cross country for it.”

Back to photos:

-“are you doing the flat earth thing again?”

-that cool truck again

-car forest

Over to me for some more questions:

-Sigma 120-400? No idea. Thanks for the money though!

-if you had to choose between a faster lens and a bigger sensor for night photography what would you pick? The lens is easier to upgrade for sure.

-what’s the most amount of times you’ve visited a site to get the shot you want? Over 100.¬†

Time for a portfolio review! Wood bow tie gets it, Denslow Photo. Maybe change your menu items so they are immediately obvious. Pare down your portraits, but your shots look great! Tony says add a pricing page.

 Time for chit-chat! The part of the show where we highlight ridiculous comments on our videos. 

-S-AF, sexy as f*%&?

-Mister Rogers, Mister Rogers

-Tony taking of sweaters, ends with twerking

-Chelsea, beauty or smarts? Neither: funny.

-shit is funky

-Tony whispering “diopter”

-a weirdly nice comment? “Let’s save her eggs”

Back to your photos:

milky way

-why do we talk about Roadhouse so much?

lighthouse

-moon river

Budapest

-bougie camping

-will we ever get over fireworks?

bridge

-insane fireworks

tree

Over to me for your questions:

-how to get your partner into photography? Candy. Ask them to model, ask them for their view on the subject.

-what songs do you sing in the shower? “All by Myself” for Chelsea. None of the rest of us do that.

-favorite day of the week? Tony is patronizing you. Chelsea’s is Sunday, Tony likes a Tuesday which is an abomination. Justin and I like a Saturday.

Back to photos:

-light trail

city

-empty station

-Chelsea is thiiiis close to being a cannibal

-green sky

One more question before we cut out:

-how do you get the foreground sharp in astro photography? Focus stacking.

A few more photos then we’re off:

-tiny person

-Charles bridge

aurora

That’s our show! Thanks so much, guys. Join us next week for abstract and geometric photos. Looking forward to it!

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Beginner Photography: Night

Oh man, I probably should have tried to do something more technically interesting, like astro photography. But I’m lazy! And I don’t like to go out at night! So I stayed in my regular wheelhouse (and literal house) and tried some spooky selfies in the back yard.

Here’s a page of great info on night photography: https://northrup.photo/tutorials/photography/night-photography-tutorials/

And you can see my first attempt at night photography here.

So I set up my camera on a tripod and used the app OI.Share for Olympus to remotely control my camera from my phone. I wanted to be holding a light source, so I took a wrought iron owl candle holder. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a candle to stay lit in it, so I borrowed my husband’s phone and used a flashlight app. It was brighter than I wanted, but seemingly still not bright enough to keep my shutter speed up! I shot in shutter priority and got the shutter as fast as I could to capture the image but not so slow that I was moving much. It was not easy.

One thing I didn’t anticipate was how odd the color would be. I had a light on in the yard which was yellow, and the light from the phone was more blue. It wound up doing some strange things to my skin color, but I think it may have added to the weirdness. Also, it’s almost impossible to focus the camera at night. I couldn’t see my face in the monitor, and therefore had to essentially guess where to focus the shot. Anyone have tips on how to work around that?¬†

 

f/3.5, 0.6 sec, ISO 1600

 

f/3.5, 0.6 sec, ISO 1600

 

f/3.5, 0.6 sec, ISO 1600

 

f/5, 4 sec, ISO 1600

 

So, the ISO is high, the shots are crazy noisy, and my face is for sure not in focus. The last one was intentionally that way, and it wound up being the one I like the most. I think I should have gone more surrealist with it. 

Are any of these successful despite their technical shortfalls? I don’t think I can objectively judge my shots anymore.¬†

 

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Live Show Recap: Night Photography

Hey y’all! We reviewed your night photos this week, and they were delightful as always. Tony and Chelsea will be away next week, so we’ll see you in two weeks with the topic “abandoned.” If you want to vote on our topic each week, donate to our Patreon!

You cannot, I repeat CANNOT, donate $50 to call me or $100 to snuggle with Justin.

Let’s get into your photos. I’ll highlight our picks below:

Over to me for some questions/comments from the viewers:

  • Tony is making someone’s weird list of hot silver-haired men

Okay, back to photos:

  • Rubin! Oh, that makes me hungry”
  • “I think you’ve watched more horror movies than done camping”

Back to me:

  • how would you expose for a campfire portrait? Expose for your subject, clip the highlights a bit, do a lot of work in post.
  • opinions on funeral photography? If it’s cultural, that’s cool. If you’re doing it as a weird exploitative thing, don’t? “It’s my art, violating everyone!”

Back to photos:

Time for a portfolio review! John Shedwick, that sheep got us. Gorgeous landscapes, the GPS coordinates are a really cool feature. T&C are trying to adopt you, or slap you. Your portfolio is wonderful! 

Time for chit-chat, where you say things and we say things back. 

  • stick to your hair color videos
  • oh, men make violent comments about women in videos on the internet? Maybe manage your anger better.
  • do you ever fight about whose name is mentioned first? No, we just constantly swap them, confusing everyone.

Back to  me for your questions:

  • Thanks so much, Jerome! If you own our book, Stunning Digital Photography, you can join our private Facebook group and get help from thousands of other photographers.
  • any particular photography genre you don’t like to shoot? Weddings for Chelsea, nothing for Tony. Justin hasn’t done enough to know. I don’t like shooting landscapes.

Back to photos:

Back to me with your questions:

  • how to get great photos when it’s overcast? Take portraits!
  • how to keep your camera stable on a boat? Freeze the water, literally. Or use a faster shutter speed.
  • how do you pick your photography style (genre)? You don’t have to! Unless you go pro, the market will decide for you.
  • how’s the G5 holding up? And what is your favorite lens for it? It’s doing great. The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 and a Metabones speedbooster.

Back to your photos:

Back over to me:

  • I’m the ballerina’s allegro
  • what techniques do pro photographers shy away from? HDR, fake solar flare, too much clarity.
  • would you review some of the new camera phones? We’ve thought about it.
  • Tony’s hot bod

Back to your photos before we wrap up:

  • lighthouse
  • “I thought maybe it was fake” “you’re fake”
  • “oh, she’s gonna eat it. I’d rather have a cheeseburger”
  • Top Gun!
  • Tony Soprano!
  • Eiffel Tower is killing it tonight
  • this one would work for next show’s topic

We did it! 

Here’s one last question from you all:

  • and I will direct you to sdp.io/whichcamera¬†for all your camera recommendation needs

See you in two weeks for “abandoned”!

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Beginner Photography: Night

Night photography! I kind of had to phone it in this week, guys. We had one clear night and I was carless and home with my daughter, so I couldn’t go out when it was properly dark. But I knew of a lovely church within walking distance that I’ve been meaning to shoot for a while, so we trekked out there with my camera and tripod.

I’ve done night photography before, you can see my shots and my process here.

This week I tried to shoot panoramas since I¬†was close to my subject (can’t get too far away without a road and cars in the way) but it proved to be pretty difficult. The tripod I’m working with isn’t the best and I was having a hard time panning smoothly to capture multiple shots in a row. I wound up hand-holding the camera for most of them. I shot on aperture priority with the aperture wide open to gather as much light as possible and at ISO 100, but that left parts of the scene blurry. I didn’t take enough shots of the scene to get the detail I wanted when stacking my images.

Here’s an incredibly helpful video on image stacking and panoramas, which I should have watched before I went out:

I’m not thrilled with how any of my shots came out. I really wish I’d taken more time and captured more shots of each part of the building to stitch them together.

f/3.5, 1/20th, ISO 100

 

f/3.5, 1/40th, ISO 100

f/3.5, 1/30th, ISO 100

 

I also chose to center all of these shots to make the building feel as impressive as it is, but none of them are perfectly symmetrical which just makes it feel off.

The first and third shots I made virtual copies¬†of, then edited one to expose for the sky and one to expose for the building, merging them as HDR. I’m afraid I was a bit lazy and have some haloing around the building now that I look at it.¬†

Are any of you shooting on the theme each week? How are you finding it?

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Beginner Photography: Best of 2016

Happy holidays! This post is going to be a look back on my photography journey so far this year, as we’ll be reviewing your best of 2016 photos for the live show this week.¬†

So, this might not be much of a dramatic transformation as I only started this series 4 months ago, but I can certainly say I’ve tackled new projects and stretched myself. I mean, I was second shooter on a wedding! That’s crazy. I found out which genres I’m not great at (landscapes, still life) and some that I was surprisingly good at (spooky, wedding, street). I started shooting with a borrowed Olympus E-M10¬†with a Lumix 14-42mm lens,¬†which felt like a revelation after using my Samsung smart phone for so long, but now I am feeling limited by my gear again.

I found that I need to work on mastering my camera settings. I still rely on automatic mode a bit too much, I don’t nail focus as often as I’d like. I’m better at finding my shots rather than creating them, I could use to plan more.

So I’m going to post my favorite images from these past few months below,¬†in chronological order:

Adventure: 

This shot was taken with my phone, so the settings were out of my control. But the sun was high, so the shutter speed was fast and the ISO was low. I love the mood, the action, and the colors. I feel I successfully captured the joy of children in summer. 

 

Travel:

Another phone shot! I could not have planned something like this. Just a beautiful moment I happened upon in the Muir Woods. The light filtering through the trees, the backlighting of that lone stump.

Street:

I loved this bright turquoise wall, and I only had to sit for a few minutes to catch someone walking by it. I shot at 1/400th of a second at f/8 and ISO 200.

 

Spooky:

This is one of my most successful shoots to date, and one that I actually planned out instead of winging. I dressed up my daughter in a vintage dress and applied some makeup to appear dead. I shot behind an old school and an abandoned church at sundown for the mood. The leading lines bring you to her and then off into the darkness. 1/60th, f/4, ISO 800.

 

Wedding:

This shot is one of my favorites, and it may only be because I know the people in it. I cut off feet, but I love the mixed eye contact, the anxious energy and mood. I was second shooter for a friend who lent me her Canon 5D Mark III and 24-70 f/2.8. It was shot at 1/1000th, f/2.8, and ISO 1250 which is insane. I could have certainly shot at a lower ISO and shutter speed.

 

Bird:

Another example of the right gear making the shot. I was shooting with the D500 and a 200-500 f/5.6. This was shot at 1/800th, f/5.6 and ISO 100.

 

Night:

My first attempt at night photography was my most successful. Shot with the Olympus at a 6 second exposure, f/5 and ISO 200.

 

So those are my favorite shots I took this year. I got to play with cameras I will never own and shoot with really talented photographers. I got to do some travelling and force my family into modeling. I got to practice making art in a way I haven’t in years. I am really enjoying this, and I hope you are having fun watching me try and fail and try and sometimes succeed. You can see all my past posts here.

What do you think I could use to work on this year? What would you like to see me try? What have you learned shooting this year?