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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: Self-Portraits

Self portraits! We love seeing your faces. Next week’s subject is night photography. If you want to vote on our live theme each week, donate to our Patreon! You get to see videos early, vote on our live show topics, and more.

First up, photo news:

  • don’t be a thief, you turkey. Especially from an incredibly famous photographer. Souvid Datta, you’re on blast.
  • B&H is still being shady as hell, they settled their latest lawsuit and moved their warehouse

Let’s look at some of your photos:

Over to me for your questions:

  • Bev Miller is the VIP of the night
  • as people are getting used to smart phone focal length, should you use it for wedding photography or avoid it? It’s not that flattering for portraits and the style won’t be timeless. Avoid the common.
  • Chelsea is the selfie master of the two
  • any tips to avoid distortion from the atmosphere when shooting over long distances? Dehaze. Shorter exposures and timing.
  • best way to take self portraits? Use a stand in to focus, use a timer or remote trigger with the intervelometer. Use the wi-fi app for your camera and use the remote app on your phone! ¬†And use a higher f-stop.

Time for a portfolio. The Light Majestic, Natasha Haggard. Stunning landscapes, great light and color. Add a photo of yourself to your about me page! You have a few duplicates you could take out, but otherwise you are killing it.

Time for chit-chat, where you say things and we judge you:

  • Tony was genetically engineered to be a medical ad
  • this photo always shows up in ads for boner pills
  • staged fake lighting, shills
  • fafin’ about
  • but we’re also Sony bashers
  • sorry, our stream died for a few minutes while Chelsea ranted about ISO
  • the cure for G.A.S. is F.A.R.T

Back to photos:

And that’s our show! Join us next week for night photography.

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Beginner Photography: Self-Portraits

Man, what is more intimidating that taking self-portraits? I love a good selfie, but it really is a delicate balance between narcissism and¬†self-esteem crushing reality. You want to look good, but you also don’t want to look like you know you look good, but then you have to look at a million pictures of yourself vamping and think “I look like an idiot and also I have terrible skin.” Or is that just me?

T&C have a bunch of free portrait tutorials here that are super helpful. Especially this one on using natural light:

Being aware of your light source is probably the most important part of self-portraits. Face the light, understand how it casts shadows.

Anyway, here’s what I did. Put on¬†basic makeup and a black dress,¬†the simpler styling the better. I decided to take my shots in my bedroom as it has good natural light and simple decor. I tried a few different spots in the room and so many different moods.¬†

I set my Olympus E-M10 up on a tripod and used Olympus’ mobile app to control it from my phone, which is so incredibly useful. I shot in aperture priority with the lowest aperture to blur the background, but that made it pretty hard to nail focus on my eye. I also set my ISO to the lowest I could because my shots always end up noisy, but that wound up making my shutter speeds pretty slow which I didn’t realize until looking at them now. I really need to pay more attention to my settings.

f/4.2, 1/3 sec, ISO 100

 

f/3.5, 1/6th, ISO 100

 

Who would I be if I didn’t go spooky?

f/3.5, 1/6th, ISO 100

 

f/3.5, 1/60th, ISO 100

Real talk: I did quite a bit of post-processing on these. My makeup was a mess and my skin was looking rough, so I did quite a bit of smoothing, you can probably tell. This page of Lightroom tutorials is integral. 

So I don’t know how “creative” these self-portraits are, but they’re mostly non-traditional. I think the last one with the backlighting is my favorite. Whattya think?

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Live Show Recap: Creative Self-Portraits

Welcome to another great show! We really loved seeing your creative self-portraits, y’all showed up in force! It’s good to see your faces for once. Lots of good beards.

Microsoft Office 2016, “it’s appalling” says Tony Northrup.

Not much in the way of PhotoNews this week:

Chelsea is lying about my music taste again. Don’t believe her, even if her eye makeup is on point.

Here are your photos:

  • Nick Petrides!¬†Another talented teen stunner
  • “is this for real? Does he really have a beard this beautiful?…he belongs on a coin”
  • computer face
  • ¬†classic Nathaniel
  • “he’s taller than the fridge for some reason?”
  • this guy’s on fire

Let’s look at a portfolio! Well done, DC Photo, one of our faves. Cut out some¬†images that are redundant, pare it down. Otherwise great job!

Chit-Chat!

  • Tony hates nutcrackers. Let’s be honest, they’re the new clowns.
  • Chelsea uses her f-off for 2015
  • mostly these¬†guys are either mean or dumb, often both

Ok, back to your photos:

  • great hat
  • spooky mirror
  • “Am I a bad influence on kids telling them they get one f-off a year? Should I be on Sesame Street?”
  • cutie pies
  • moody blues

Over to me with your questions! Of which there were very few:

  • use that facial recognition to nail self-portrait focus
  • remote shutter timers
  • lens vignetting

Back to self-portraits:

Back to me:

  • how is Tony so baby smooth?

More photos:

Speed round!

  • “whatcha doin’ in there?”
  • intense
  • shower
  • snow eyes
  • take on me
  • handsome car guy
  • two-face
  • “our readers are 90% handsome mans with beards”
  • holiday hangover

And that’s our show! Next week the subject is “shoes”. Or beards? I dunno. “Keep it handsome!”