Practice for the Parents-to-Be (and for Me)

I took this photo at my sister’s baby shower this weekend. It may be a little cheesy, but I thought it was cool that I was able to capture them walking toward each other, while my sister had her niece in tow. (It wasn’t staged, I swear.)

I also took this opportunity to practice playing around with the tint. I was recently looking at photos by two very talented photographer friends of mine, and I realized that both of them tend to have photos with a really cool, soft-color tint to them. They probably use a filter or some other piece of something I haven’t learned about yet, while I’m still just poking around with Picasa, but I figured I’d give it a try.

While not as cool as my friends’ photos, I think this still turned out okay.

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Storm Chaser

One of the things that’s been on my Life’s List since I was 13 was to take a photo of lightning. I realize that this is an incredibly difficult task, requiring patience, skill, and a bit of luck — all of which I have none.

But, I am determined to capture lighting through my lens some day.

I was hoping today would have been that day. Looking out from my balcony as a storm rolled in over the city, I was milliseconds away from capturing one of those cool, crawly bolts, right next to the Sears Tower.

Unfortunately, luck was not with me tonight, and I missed the shot.

I did, however, get some really cool nighttime skyline shots, which is another area where I am trying to improve. (Thanks to my new apartment, I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of practice, and some of these shots will start to look pretty familiar after a while.) Between the quickly changing, stormy sky and the completely manual settings and focus, this was pretty challenging for me.

While not completely flawless, I am pretty proud of.this one.

Stay tuned for better nighttime skyline shots, and hopefully a lightning photo one of these days, too!

Foreground and Background

Yesterday I bought flowers for the balcony of my new apartment. Today I decided I would use those flowers to practice my manual focus. I played around with focusing on the flowers up close, the skyline in the distance, and — by adjusting the settings –both simultaneously.

The time of day and the size of my balcony made this project a little difficult, and I think I may try it again to see if I can improve my results, but in the meantime, here is an edited version of one of my favorites.

 

It’s in the Eyes

I find taking pictures of people, especially kids, to be pretty challenging sometimes. Luckily, my favorite 2-year-old lets me practice on her, and she’s quite the pro. Even at a year old, when she would see a camera, she would strike a pose. (I thank her camera-loving mom for this.)

Now, when I want to practice people pictures, I can usually catch her looking right into the camera, which makes for some great shots.

Sometimes Photography Is Frustrating

Sometimes I have an idea in my head about what would make the perfect photo. And then I just can’t make it happen. Sometimes it’s because I haven’t yet mastered my camera settings. Sometimes I can’t put myself at the perfect angle. Sometimes I feel rushed and don’t take the time to make the photo right.

I had this experience while enjoying a sunny day in the park in Dublin a while back. There were two teenagers sitting in the park, enjoying their youth, the suns rays, and the wonders of bubbles.

It was a sight that stayed with me in my mind, and I wanted to capture it on “film”, too.

But, I felt rushed, I was uncomfortable taking photos of strangers, and I didn’t want to come off as creepy.

So, I did the best I could, which really wasn’t my best, and here’s what I came up with.

 None of them even came close to the prize-winning image I had in my head. But, in an effort to use my less-than-stellar photos as a learning opportunity, I spent some time playing around with my editing tools (because I’m trying not to be afraid of them anymore) to see what I could come up with.

Here’s the finished product.