Tag Archives: light

The 3 Factors of a Cockatiel Portrait

Photographically speaking, these Cockatiels are bright and colorful but very hard to photograph. They only sit still when they are sleeping. This causes all sorts of issue for getting a good clear photograph. With their constant movement most of the pictures will come out as blurry fuzzy streaks of undefined feathers. Definitely not what most people are looking for!

To compound the problem, if your far enough away and have your shutter speed set to the action sports environment setting you will tend to come away with a picture of a very small bird and a lot of unnecessary distracting background. Therefore, the trick is to get close.

But how can you do this if the movements of the bird will produce fuzzy pictures? There are three factors to consider when taking such a tricky shot. The first is your shutter speed, the second is the depth of field, and the third is how close the bird will let you get.

If you are working in a studio you will have complete control over two of these factors. By setting your shutter speed to a setting of a fractions of a second, like 1/32, you’ll be able to capture the detail of the bird no matter what it does.

However, by setting your camera for a fast shutter speed, you will limit the amount of light that you allow into the sensor of the camera. It’s possible to compensate for this by increasing your ISO setting.  The ISO setting will allow the sensor to become more sensitive and thus increase the amount of light. The danger is that the larger your ISO setting, the greater amount of artificial noise and graininess you’ll find in your picture.

Another way to let light in is by your aperture setting. This setting tells the camera how wide the lens will open to allow light in. Obviously, the wider the opening, the more light will hit the sensor. However, aperture settings will also affect your depth of field. The higher the aperture on you camera, the more out of focus your background behind your subject will be. While making a portrait, you generally want to have your subject the main center of attention without anything distracting appearing behind them. So, in this particular case, a wide aperture would be a decent solution.

Inside a studio you will have complete control over the intensity and positioning of the light, and you can set your aperture, lighting and distance to your subject as you please. But working outside you will often find yourself at the mercy of the elements, time of day, and sun’s intensity.

The third issue you will have is the bird itself.   Animals have a mind of their own and you must have a great Red Dotdeal of patience when trying to photograph them. Animals do not always tend to follow the mental script you have set for them. They like to do their own thing, at their own time and for their own reasons. The singularly best thing you can do to get that shot is to have your camera setup and ready and just wait until the animal does what you want it to.

So, by combining these three elements and having a cooperating subject, you will start producing better quality animal portraits. Or, you could just order one from the gallery, enjoy the art, and leave the technical stuff to us!

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7 Things About Sea Anemones You Want To Know

Forest of Light is a photograph of a sea anemone under a strangely ethereal dark light.  The light creates this wondrous glowing effect on the tips of the tentacles.  The tentacles are almost hypnotic as you watch them sway back and forth in the warm water current.  It’s easy to see how a fish might be captivated to investigate this Forest of Light.

Few things arouse people’s curiosity of the underwater world like the sea anemone.  This strange animal has both a charming beauty and an impressive slant on how looks can kill.   Well, at least if you’re a fish.  While I’ve never heard of a human death originating from the handling of an anemone, I’m not going to be the first in line to try to grab one.

Here are 7 things you always wanted to know about sea anemones.

 

  1. They are usually grouped together in the same group as coral or jellyfish.
  2. Like the jellyfish the tentacles of an anemone have microscopic harpoon shaped spears that shoot out into a victim causing paralysis and death to small fish.  For humans, you can imagine that while you might not die, it’s more than likely going to hurt. A LOT!
  3. They come in almost every conceivable size, color and shape from about 1 cm to almost 2 meters across.
  4. Anemones have a foot, mouth, body and tentacles.
  5. They use their foot to attach to any inanimate object on the sea floor.  They then allow their tentacles to dangle in the hopes that food will drift or swim into them and become paralyzed.
  6. When attacked or feel threatened they curl into a tight ball to protect their tentacles.
  7. There are over 1,000 different species of anemone and they live in all but the deepest parts of the oceans we’ve explored.

While it is possible that these 7 quick facts about sea anemones have laid the foundation for your next triumph as the trivia master at the next cocktail party, imagine how fabulous you would look as you acquainted your guests with the haunting beauty of sea anemones while actually looking at Forest of Light hanging on your wall showing off your fine style.

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Reference links for this article and for more information about sea anemones:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/sea-anemone/

http://animal.discovery.com/marine-life/sea-anemone-info.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_anemone

 

 

Even The Lights are Artistic!

 

Church Light is another example of the fine architecture and decorations found in the Holy Family Catholic Church.  The church remains a symbol of the past in both its design and traditional construction.  Sitting in the mining ghost town Jerome deep in the Arizona desert, the church continues to offer a place for the faithful and adventure seeker to rest for a while.

 

While the altar and reredos seek to stimulate the visitors eye, the ceiling with its ornate tile and hanging chandeliers also beautify the interior.  The charm of the electric candles used to simulate the candles that an ancient church would have blends the old traditions with a more modern approach.

 

The cross hanging from the bottom of the light appears to be of marble and exalts the religious significance of the chandelier. The surprising element, however, is the Christian iconography on the frosted glass.  It appears faded and worn through decades of use and is very difficult to see without the lamp being lit.

 

Overall, Church Light is a stunning example of historic interior design work still showcasing what the original designers intended.  The painted white tiles with their intricate design functions well with the tan or khaki colored interior walls.  The color of the candles matches artistically with the walls and the ornate silver and green structure of the chandelier emphasizes the ceiling.

 

A church or temple is historically designed and decorated to emphasize the sacred space and give glory to the divine. This holds true no matter what religion or denomination you might discuss.   Every aspect of a place of worship is traditionally designed to present this idea to the common worshiper in a way that is understandable to that worshiper’s culture.  The Holy Family Catholic Church of Jerome is no exception.  The church does this with an elegance and historical style that reflects the cultural background and technology of when it was active.

 

While the lights in Church Light, may not light the way for throngs of the faithful as it used to, it still showcases a beautiful reflection of religious historical art and makes a stunning addition to any collection.

 

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Summer Reds

When I hear about summer reds the first thing I think of is wine.  But in this case, we are talking about art in nature.

The photographic work Summer Reds gives vision to the force of color in nature.   Red colors give enchantment and welcome glow to the usual blend of greens and browns that inhabit a garden with little to no flowering plants.  Indeed the artistic challenge of any gardener is to break up the consistent green that you ordinarily see from the sheer number of living plants.   This is where Japanese maple trees shine their best.  The natural red leaves only continue to darken to a crimson color as the year progresses on.

 

The value of such a colored ornamental plant is perfect for the shade.  In fact Japanese maples have to be shaded, or protected from the full afternoon sun in some way.  The delicate leafs cannot take the punishment doled out by the Texas summer heat and they will burn into a horrible garish brown.  This staying in the shadows works to a gardeners advantage however, as the deep reds and yellows that these plants grow will nurture an inspiring scene of bright colors and latent greens in a garden.

 

The other contrast that satisfies our artistic view in Summer Reds  in nature is the use of sunlight and deep shadow.  This flagrant battle between the sun-kissed bark and the deep dark shadows of the underside of various stems and limbs improve our attention to detail in the scene. We can sense the sunlight nurturing the red leafs in the early morning light.  Cultivation and nourishment for both tree and our own interests before the hard reality of the afternoon comes to envelop the tree in shadow and diminish the transparency  and bright glow of colorful leafs.

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Form more information of Japanese Maples click here. http://goo.gl/30I0Th

 

4 Rules of Lighting and the Outdoors Photographer

One of the great aspects of lighting in photography is that it doesn’t work the same for everyone all the time.  There are general guide rules of lighting, but the solutions to making a photographic shot better are not always so cut and dry.  Some typical rules include:

  1. The closer the light source the harder the light and vice versa.
  2. The larger the light source the softer the light  and vice versa.
  3. Sunlight is always hard light unless in the shade.
  4. A flash will always give you a hard light unless you diffuse it or bounce it on the subject with a reflector.

Those rules are pretty easy to live with and with a little imagination you begin to see possibilities that will improve your photography.  However, sometimes the situation you find yourself in is not so forgiving.

Let’s say you are a photographer faced with the task of photographing the lions of the Serengeti.   Your only solutions to controlling the hard sun light is to use filters, the time of day, and possibly something in your environment to help you create some shade.   It’s not always possible, nor advisable to drag your entire studio with you.

Indeed, outdoor photography has it’s own lighting challenges in that you can’t always ask a subject to help you with the shot.  Flashing a strobe light in the face of a large bull will result in a great action photograph but probably not the kind you were hoping for.  Further, location is an issue also.  I know of a tree that, when in bloom, is gorgeous and has not one but two distinct colors of the flowers.  The problem?  The two angles to capture the shot with the best lighting are either in the middle of a busy 2 lane road or standing on active train tracks.  I can’t move the sun, and I can’t move the tree.  Yes, solutions to this problem exist, but none of them are particularly easy or inexpensive to do.

Weather can also play a factor in your lighting plans also. I had a photography instructor who swore that the best weather to take pictures on was an overcast grey day.  The light would be diffused by the clouds and he instructed us to use those clouds as our grey cards to find our neutral grey.

In a way, challenges to correct the lighting or sometimes even getting the lighting outdoors to do what you want is what make this form of photography fun.  The lighting found outdoors constantly create opportunities of creative thinking and doing things  “outside the box.”

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