Amour is looking for you! This is at the clock tower at Daytona State College. You can see her books and coffee in the background at the bottom left. It was overcast, which is the best lighting for portraits.
From the camera this was too dark, but I brightened it with the exposure tool and highlight recover to 45 in Adobe Camera Raw 5.0. There wasn’t much to do otherwise because she knew how to pose.
She didn’t know how to play my violin, but she picked it up pretty quickly so hopefully no one will notice. The book is Suzuki Vol. 2, which I enjoy playing. I’ve never advanced beyond a second-year level in violin (unlike piano), but at least I have good intonation.
At first Amour was looking at the music, but I told her to look at the camera instead. It doesn’t make sense because she should be looking at the score if she’s playing a song, but photography often makes no sense.
The next eight days will all be portraits of Amour. I took a lot of different pictures of her. Check back soon.
I was thinking of adding a big picture of Hugh Laurie in the background… but it’s not that House. Just blue flowers with a house in the background. I think the house is for sale.
This is a weird angle. I’m not sure if it works well, but it seems different. The sky was dark as though it was going to rain. I made the colors warmer on the computer. If they’re too blue the scene feels cold. The focus is on the flowers at the back, so the ones at the bottom are blurry.
These yellow orchids represent friendship only. I found these in someone’s front yard while going for a walk. I tried taking a picture from a high angle to just show grass in the background, but it wasn’t nearly as pretty as a flower-level shot.
There is a house behind the flowers, but it’s blurred out because I used a large aperture (F2.8). I changed the white balance to be less warm, added brightness, and sharpened on the computer, along with the standard darkening of the corners (vignetting).
Light-blue flowers by a rustic wooden fence. Composed using the rule of thirds!
I was having some problems with wind… the petals of the flower at the back would get blown up during a breeze which looked ugly. I pushed the petals down and snapped this quickly, while also considering composition and contrast. I had to be careful to keep the flowers from being over-exposed. Faster shutter speed or smaller aperture (higher F number) = less light.
Small blue flowers, sharply focused through a fence. The Canon EF 50mm F1.4 lens has good focus… you just have to close the aperture up a bit. I used F3.2. It’s hard to see if the image is sharp in the viewfinder. I zoom in afterward on the LCD screen and see if the subject looks sharp. The flowers weren’t extremely sharp because digital SLRs don’t sharpen much, but I sharpened this on the computer.
These flowers are behind a chain-link fence by someone’s sidewalk. If you just walk around with a camera you’ll find photo opportunities like this. There is no reason to spend thousands of dollars traveling if you’re just going to photograph nature and still life. You have plenty of still life around you.
I could have got down on the ground instead of shooting the flowers from above, but the house was painted bright white. I did not want it in the frame… just other flowers, bushes, and grass.
One of my neighbors takes his dogs for a walk every day. This is the black and brown chihuahua. I’m not sure if he was looking at me or my camera but he stayed a good distance back so I could snap his picture.
Coming out of the camera this was too dark, so I brightened the exposure in my RAW editor before importing the file into Photoshop.
Be sure to import your RAW photos into Photoshop in 16-bit color Adobe or ProPhoto RGB is you’re going to do substantial color or contrast edits. With 16 bits per channel, Photoshop has 65,536 discrete color values (2^16) to work with in each channel (red/green/blue). The standard 8 bits per channel only gives 256 discrete values (2^8), which makes color banding more likely after large edits. In Adobe Camera Raw 5.0 you can click the blue text at the bottom to change bit-depth and colorspaces.