Yesterday, I had to return the incredible 50mm 1.2 lens I’d rented from borrowlenses.com; before I shipped off this sweet lens, I got a few practice shots of my students. While most of them hid their faces, this young lady, after a few warm-up shots, relaxed enough to give me this. (She later told me that she wants to be a model.)
When I arrived at the top of the mountain for my highly-anticipated sunset pictures, I rushed out of the car with Sophie, camera, and recently acquired monopod, which I thought would be great to use for the sunset shots. Quick. Portable. And the WRONG piece of equipment. I had a difficult time holding it still and had almost as much (maybe more) camera shake than if I had hand-held the camera.
What did I learn? Lesson #3
First: USE A TRIPOD FOR LANDSCAPE. I said that before, didn’t I? If you look closely at the image above, you will see that the details are not sharp. This image would not print well — not one to hang on my wall.
Second: Notice that my ISO is even higher than in the shots taken earlier in the afternoon as you can see in a previous post. I reasoned that since there’d be less light, I should bump up the ISO. Again WRONG! Keep the ISO at 100 for the cleanest shots.
Nature provided me with a glorious opportunity to create some fabulous shots (just look at the incredible light show in the sky). My inexperience and my haste ruined them. I’ve probably read all of the advice about landscape photography before, and I’ve probably taken notes in workshops on how to take good landscape shots; however, I guess I needed to make my own mistakes in order to learn the lessons.
By the way, if you look closely, you will see houses at the base of this rock formation. Wouldn’t it be super cool to actually live there?
Next post: Sunrise shots the next morning
I put the camera on the tripod and played with depth of field. I tend to favor the shallow depth of field and hang around the f/4.0 – f/5.0 range, but I suppose there might be some value in having more of the image in focus.
Note added a few days later: After looking at these for a few days, I realize that I like the last one (f/9) better. I also believe that I’d like to increase the exposure as they all “feel” a little dark. ~Mona
I made some adjustments to the exposure and white balance (both tint & temperature) to more accurately reflect the true colors of the flowers. (Sept 16, 2012)
I wanted the focus to be on her eye. See the dirt on her hat? That’s because she just loves wearing this yellow hat & I love photographing her in it. Notice the wispy hair in her eyes? She has not yet had her 1st haircut.
I’m drawn to trees and wood — constantly shooting them and studying them. I love the strength and the artistry that is inherent in wood.
I’ve been working with depth of field. I’ve looked at these images over and over, trying to decide if I like them. All were shot with my 85 mm lens, ISO 200, and f/3.5. I wonder if it would have been better if I had chosen a larger f/stop, thus making more of the tree or bark in focus. I think that maybe I have learned from this that I should bracket, giving myself choices. (OK, I think I know what I’m talking about, but I may not be using the correct terminology.)
I was practicing depth of field when I captured this beauty feasting on a desert wildflower.