Sunday, January 25, 2009


Tom made us all swear that we will NOT shoot in auto mode (point & shoot) for ANY pictures. Shooting in manual mode has been eye opening. I have stumbled into so many questions like
-What the....?
-Why'd that just.....?
-Wait, what?

But it's not too frustrating because I've also learned so much in the past 4 days while making myself stick to manual mode. Turns out, all of that was by design. Tom sent out an email this weekend that said in part: As you will see, a lot of my exercises and homework assignments are purposely designed with some small traps. Sometimes I will ask you to do something that will cause you to have to figure out something, instead of blindly following what I just said.

I've shot about 500 pictures since class. Some were just around the house. This morning we drove to the intersection of Broadway & Central and walked around taking pictures.

Alexis at home. These few shots make it obvious that I have a bunch to learn about white balance, which we haven't covered yet. The metafile info shows that white balance was "manual" however, I had it set to either auto or fluorescent the whole time, not sure why that is. I did learn from experience that my aperture range is affected by the lens I am using. I couldn't get it down past 5.6 with my 18-55 mm lens but could get down to 4 or less with my 55-200mm lens. All of these were using center weighted metering.

[f8, 1/13, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

[f5.6, 1/8, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

[f4, 1/20, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

[f4, 1/20, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

Note: Double left click on these pics to get the larger, full effect!

Spike, the bearded dragon. I was playing with a shallow depth of field.
[f5.6, 1/25, iso 200, 122mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

Store fronts at Broadway & Central. (Yes, Brandi, these are the ones that I exclaimed, "Holy $(%*, I have to come back and take a picture of those" while we were on the phone as I drove by them.)
[f8, 1/320, iso 200, 18mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

This scene reminded me of small town, old fashioned Americana, so I wanted to go retro. I converted it to black and white and made that a base layer. Then I added the same picture as a color layer over it and erased everything on the color layer except the buildings. The effect looks like a colorized black and white pic. This was for my own amusement instead of school.
Here are various memorial statues in the Old Gray Cemetery. It was interesting reading all of the names and dates. One of the interred was one of The Immortal Six Hundred, a group of Confederate Soldiers who were used as human shields by the Union Troops at a stand off near Fort Sumter.
Confederate soldier at the military cemetery.
[f6, 1/1000, iso 200, 190mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

[f5, 1/1000, iso 200, 150mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

[f5, 1/1000, iso 200, 82mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]

[f5, 1/1000, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]
St. John's Lutheran Church established in 1888:
[f5, 1/1250, iso 200, 105mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]
[f8, 1/800, iso 200, 86mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]
[f8, 1/500, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]
[f8, 1/800, iso 200, 55mm focal length, 0 exposure bias]


  1. Woww! This are awesome Chris! Those building fronts are just so darn cute, I'm glad you guys got back over there and took pictures. Alexis, so damn stunning. I must say YOU got lucky. :p - So when I do meet the guy of my dreams I want you to take my engagment pictures, it's official. : D

    Uh and the little MONSTER is cute .. for once. lol

  2. When I grow up I want to learn how to take REAL PICTURES! I look forward to watching you here and learning a thing or two.

    Good to find you writing somewhere!

  3. that's great you are taking classes! I agree with your instructor, shoot manual. maybe aperature or shutter priority (semi-auto) if you must (like when you want to make sure you don't miss your shot and wont' have a chance to retake). White balance is hard, I usually set mine to auto because I don't have a light meter, and I correct on photoshop if I need to. Or shoot a greycard first, and then correct off that later. You can buy some awesome lenses with lower aperatures. My lowest aperature lens is a 1.2 (canon). I think you use Nikon right? Last I saw they have a 1.8 lens, but they might have come out with a new one since, I don't keep up with Nikon as much. Anyway, thanks for the link, I'll book mark it and check back. Your photos are great!


  4. IMO, you chose the DOF perfectly with the bearded dragon. He is in great sharpness and the out of focus back ground adds to the image but doesn't take away from the dragon. Great capture.