Thursday, October 7, 2010

Absent, but not Fogotten

Like so many of my blogs, I've allowed far too much time to pass since my last blog entry. This, of course, contradicts the larger goal this blog was started to accomplish, but I shall try to be more conscientious. I suppose starting the blog shortly before work returned to a busy pace and classes resumed was not the world's most realistic decision. Rest assured, however, that my absence has been only from the blog, and not from photography in general. I was serious about my investment when I purchased the camera, I simply don't have as much time to edit photos and write about it as perhaps I had hoped. At least, I haven't been making the time.

I have recently acquired both Photoshop (an older version John had) and Aperture. So I've recently been playing around with some photo editing. I haven't actually had a chance to do much of anything in Aperture yet, but have had some fun with photoshop. Below are a few of my favorite recent photos, all from the same weekend.

I think this is a wonderful photo of a darling friend

John and I spent a lovely afternoon at a winery - and I enjoyed playing around with Photoshop afterward.

Gotta love those green eyes

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Photo Excursion

Jude and I have been taking some time to get to know one another this weekend. The "For Dummies" book for my camera was definitely a wise decision, as it provides some good insight to the manual settings on the camera that would have taken me ages of playing around with to figure out, perhaps never figuring them out at all. I'm hardly an expert, and there's still a lot to learn, but I've definitely had a good time so far this weekend, and am looking forward to another glorious day of it.

For my first photo expedition of the weekend, I kidnapped John after he got off of work on Saturday night and stole away to the monuments. The monuments at night are an incredibly fun, incredibly beautiful DC thing to do. They are a little quieter than during the day, though not completely silent certainly. The lighting is incredible. Finally, it gave me a chance to play with shutter speed and my flash, resulting in some interesting images.

John and I spent a fair amount of time traipsing around the World War II Memorial, which is really quite lovely and peaceful. I wish the water features had a little more light at night, which would have been beautiful. If you've never been, which I hadn't, I highly recommend it. Each column, as seen in the photos to the left, represent a state/American territory. There are two rows of these columns. In the center of each of these rows, there are four eagles lifting a wreath. Photographing these monuments at night gave me a chance to play with ISO sensitivity, as well. Apparently I had it set very low for some reason, so even with flash at first, I was still getting very dark photos. Finally, after taking tons of photos here, we made the 1/2 mile or so trek down along the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial. I've always been entranced by the Lincoln Memorial. I remember going there as a small child and feeling so small in comparison to the statue of Lincoln. And, in returning as an adult, I still felt small (for obvious reasons, it's a huge statue). Even more than I enjoyed the memorial, I enjoyed the view of the Washington Monument and it's reflection.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And so we begin

Having always wanted to explore the world of photography, I finally made the plunge and recently invested in a a legitimate piece of equipment, the Nikon D5000.After looking at several different cameras, primarily made by Nikon, I decided the D5000 was the model that would best suit my needs. I was quite taken with the vari-angle monitor. Additionally, with 19 auto-exposure scene modes, not to mention a fully manual mode, it seemed to me to be a camera that wouldn't completely intimidate a newcomer to the slr world, and at the same time, would not be a camera that I quickly outgrow. I've named him Jude.

While I'm no new-comer to digital cameras, having owned several since 2004, I've never progressed past the typical point-and-shoot cameras. Don't get me wrong, these little cameras have certainly progressed over the last 6 years, and my small Nikon coolpix has 12 MP and several auto-exposure modes, but to really learn to take control of a photograph, I need to move beyond that. Enter Jude.

Today, I went on my first photo expedition with Jude, and I'll include a few photos below. While some of the photos I took I actually rather like, the most important thing I learned today is that I really need to take control of the camera and learn what all of the features are, and which buttons will change which things. F-stop, apperture, it's all new to me. Thus, while running errands today, I purchased the book that I'm hoping will help me master the camera - Nikon D5000 for Dummies.

This morning, before the heat reached it's apex, John (my wonderfully supportive boyfriend who already knows a thing or two about photography) and I went on a lovely nature walk along Four Mile Run. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was beautiful, and it was unbelievably quiet for the middle of Arlington.

A little oasis in the middle of it all. The most amazing part of this picture to me is the thought that the bustling Columbia Pike is roughly one hundred yards away, but sitting in this sunlight, you'd never know it. I also do like how the lighting creates a very vivid green for the leaves of the trees. I will say that if you haven't been to Four Mile Run and you live in the DC/NOVA area, you should definitely check it out. It's easily accessible, and is usually quite peaceful.It can also be an excellent place to people-watch, as the the trail will have plenty of walkers and bicyclists.

Finally, we have the tree trunk/root system. I took this photo at John's recommendation; he enjoys interesting trees and twisted roots. I wasn't particularly impressed with the picture one way or the other, but then I used the in-camera retouching features to check it out in Sepia, and I enjoyed it much more. The monochrome features on the camera are very interesting. Not only does the camera have b&w and sepia, but you can adjust the degrees/contrast of each. As you can see, I chose a sepia that's on the verge of b&w for this picture. Furthermore, they have a color wheel that you can play with with monochrome in addition to the typical cyanotype, you can take monochrome pictures in almost any color your heart desires.

Obviously, these photos are not editing in the slightest. I have recently acquired Photoshop, and will be exploring working with that on this blog as well, I'm sure. Entertaining moments are bound to ensue.