Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Photo a Day: Day 10

I am determined to keep this up for at least the entire month of January, but cold/gray days don't make for good photography days.

I'm learning as I go, which sometimes is frustrating - because I'll figure out something and then realize that I should've used whatever that technique was a week ago. It's the reason I probably should take a class or at least find an in-person mentor to help me out. I'm reaching that place I often get to where the enthusiasm wanes and reality sets in.

But I want to make this work.

So I practiced taking pictures indoors, in terrible light, of my very very black cat. He's probably hard for just about anyone to get right in a photo. But he's so cute when he sleeps.

These two pictures were taken about a minute apart with minimal changes in settings. Yet one's blown out overexposed (though I like the effect) and one is truer to life. Both tweaked in Photoshop - resized, sharpened, auto-color/levels/contrast.

I think I like the top one better because it's more accurate (and also because he wasn't annoyed yet - you can see that he opened his eyes to give me a dirty look in the bottom one) but the bottom one has so much more detail on him. And neither are exactly right. With a better lens, I do think I know how I could get that quilt-background to be much blurrier though.

Also I am learning that if the light is too low and the aperture is set incorrectly, the shutter speed slows to about 5 seconds and the camera gets - justifiably - crabby. But it also makes something kind of beautiful. As in....

Direct from my camera card to the blog. I deliberately started moving the camera around while the shutter was open.
And then for fun I staged a photo for the FatMumSlim photo a day challenge - today's theme was "lucky" so I combined my black cat with my losing Powerball ticket. Then I cheated the entire thing by running a Polaroid-style action that made any messiness and improper exposure look artsy....

One thing I think I need to start doing is taking notes of EXACTLY what settings I'm using with each shot. Yes, I can see most of that in Photoshop, but I'm talking about on the fly so I can see what works in real time and learn from it. It's a new week. I'll start that ASAP.

...Then while my kid and I were playing Monopoly Jr. I decided to try taking pictures while manually setting the focus and putting my camera on the floor. I'm really happy with how these came out. Direct from the camera:

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