Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What else would you do at Christmas?

Bright lights, twinking lights, background light
ISO 1000, 20mm, f16, 2.5 sec exposure
It's Christmas.  It's hot.  The photography club will be taking a break for the month.  The obvious thing to do is to use our last session to take some photos of Christmas lights.

Of course this is harder than you think.  There are Christmas lights and Christmas lights - when you set the camera on long exposure settings you get some bright lights flooding the lens with light while the less bright lights are simply making a small impression.  And of course you have to avoid cars and guard dogs - not easy to do when your eye is fixed on the viewfinder and that next perfect shot!
Hand held photo - very high film speed (ISO 1600, f9, .77 sec exposure)

Trying to take photos without a tripod was problematic! The shaking hands phenomena was easily demonstrated but hard to correct.  One of the group, John, made a great try at it using only a steady arm to take his shots. John also solved the problem of getting the helicopter picture by focussing on the helicopter and not trying to get all the lights on the rest of the house.  Four blades visible separately.  A fine feat!
Concentrate on the part of the image that you are trying to photograph

Remove distractions to the main subject

Light, colour and composition
Eileen showed her experience with colours and highlights but then moved to photographs of the photographers demonstrating our excellent posture (see blog 1!).
Good photographer posture?

The photographer as the subject
I struggled with this project - emphasising the need for a little planning before you go out to do the photography - and a refresher in the camera settings for evening photography.
Moving the camera intentionally gives an interesting effect

About here I was trying to get the camera enough out of focus to show people what my own eyes see when I look at lights without glasses.  There are beautiful coloured rings around the lights when my dodgy eyes look at them unaided.  Not sure how I can get the correct effect but worth a bit more of a try.

Guard dogs very unhappy with the intrusion in the street

How NOT to photograph the helicopter!
For next time


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