Friday, March 26, 2010

The Sun and The Moon

A few weeks ago I had a great morning outing to Hendry's beach and I've finally been getting around to processing some of the photos.

When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find a full moon sitting low in the sky. The sunrise didn't become dramatic until a good 20 minutes after it crept past the horizon, so this gave me a good subject to play with in the mean time.

Once the sun was up, I took a handful of bracketed exposures to try some HDR. Something that's been really discouraging with my HDR attempts so far is that they end up with a horrendous amount of noise. The colors and lighting look great overall, but in detail everything ends up looking really grainy.

I recently read through this HDR tutorial, and it suggests that you can reduce the noise some by making the image from a large number of exposures (he uses 10) instead of the more common 3. I'm eager to test this theory out and hopefully see some improvement!

At the same time, I'm encouraged to see that the noise isn't really noticeable in the compressed 1024x768 image on Flickr. Also, the noise reduction tool in Lightroom seemed to help some.

On top of the noise, this shot wasn't very sharp to begin with--I'm not sure whether that's because of a cheap tripod, or poor focusing, or what. Also, even the +2ev exposure wasn't light enough to record detail in all of the shadows, so I didn't really capture the full dynamic range.

All complaints aside, though, it was a beautiful sunrise and a decent capture that I'd chalk up as "progress" :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Point-and-Shoot Fun

A different take on the family photo

A couple things led to the photos in this post.

One was an article in a photography magazine showcasing a particular photographer's work. When asked about what she shoots with, she mentioned that she carries a point-and-shoot with her religiously.

I like that idea--I hear of other people bringing their camera bag with them wherever they go, but I can't really hog the SLR all of the time, since Jess uses it as well. Also, it's pretty impractical!

We have a small point-and-shoot that we got four or five years ago. It easily fits in my pocket, and while it's no SLR, I think I know enough now to understand what I can and can't accomplish within its limitations.

Logan's Crocs, as he sees them

The second thing that motivated these was seeing some photos on flickr which were of simple, ordinary things, but were heavily stylized in order to bring out some aspect of the composition. This inspired me to try taking more photos that rely less on the inherent interest of the subject (like gorgeous sunsets ;) ), and more on the composition and design.

I had just read a chapter on "lines" in a composition book...

I'm planning to add our compact to the little pile of things that go in my pockets when I head out the door. Hopefully some fun shots will come out of it!