Friday, October 28, 2011

US Navy - Ships at Sea

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 6

After I boarded the USS Seattle AOE-3 and the ship had loaded up in Rota, Spain we went out to sea. It was not long before I new what the mission of the ship was. We were a replenishment ship. The AOE stands for Auxiliary Oiler Explosives we were the mother ship that provided food, stores, oil and explosives to the ships at sea.

The photo above shows ships that have lined up to pull along side of us for replenishment. It provides a sense of the rough seas and wonder of what these ships are doing in such a formation.

Being on a replenishment ship provided me with the opportunity to take some interesting photos. With a fixed 50mm lens on my Pentax K1000 I was able to wait for the ships pulling along side to fill the camera frame and allow me to take the image above.

With digital cameras, DSLR’s, and zoom lenses a photographer today can capture some pretty awesome photos. Had I had this technology I could have taken many more photos that would have given me more images to select the best images from.

Looking at the photo above I might have raised the camera level a bit to put some space between the top of the ships antenna and the picture frame, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Zoom lenses provide the ability to vary the composition of an image fairly quickly and should be taken advantage of whenever possible. Sometimes you have to take the image as is, other times you have the ability to think more about the composition of the photo. Do what you need to do to take your pictures but practice often.

The more pictures you take the more opportunity you have to review the work you have done and be able to learn about your photography style. Once we learn what we do right and wrong the better we become the next time we take pictures.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twitter Etiquette

On Oct 25, I was on Twitter and there were several friends that had retweeted my posts and mentioned me in posts. This is pretty normal activity and very much appreciated.

I had responded to several of my tweeps with the following “@TheirName Looking 4 FB LIKES #photography”

Later that afternoon I went on twitter to this message “You'll receive FB likes if you write interesting news, good jokes etc. not by begging”

At first I thought ok, people are entitled to their opinions. I am ok with that. I responded with, “@whoeverheis Thx for your input. I am not trying to beg. And yes, you are right in your thoughts. I am recovering from a brain injury n trying”

To all of my Twitter followers, if I offended you by my post about looking for Facebook Likes I apologize. For the five people that liked my facebook page after my post, thanks so much.

For the Twitter follower that gave me his advice, I guess I did not live up to his standards. Oh well, life goes on.

If I was wrong in my Twitter etiquette I would really like to know so I correct my action. Feel free to leave a comment.

Enjoy Life,
Take Pictures!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Write a Photo Journal

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 5

By January of 1979 I already had just over a year in the Navy. I had my camera with me and I began reading some books and magazines on the topic of photography. I had finished school at Great Lakes and I was off to Rota, Spain to board the USS Seattle where I would spend the rest of my active duty.

During my travels to Rota, Spain I had taken several pictures of the trip. The photo above is the USS Seattle AOE-3 coming into port. I stood on the pier and watched her come in, I also took several pictures. This ship was pretty big, actually the biggest ship I had seen to date back then. I ended up learning that the AOE’s in the Navy were the second largest ship next to the aircraft carriers.

I remember standing there starring at the ship and wondering how I would ever find my way around it. Knowing I would be boarding her soon I returned to the barracks to finish packing for the next venture.

Now looking at the photo from a photography perspective I see that I did not have the camera level when I took the photo. In those film days I didn’t have the luxury of a balance meter as seen in some of the DSLR cameras of today. Also, the camera was a bit heavier than a DSLR.

Still, I was limited to a 50mm lens on the camera. I took the time to take several pictures and wait to the point where I got a pretty good idea of the size of the ship by taking this shot of the port side.

The picture was also taken with pretty good sunlight. Had the ship had the sun behind it I now know that I would have had to over expose the shot and or take some bracketed pictures in order to select the best image for use.

I was later pleased because of the photos I had taken of the ship pulling into port, one of my photos ended up published in the ships cruise book, which is similar to a school yearbook.

If I would make any recommendations about photography I would say this, keep a journal of your photography. I have been fortunate to be able to share my photos and tell some stories of them as I present them, a journal would have provided me with more to talk about.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moonset Chicagoland

Shooting the moon, or in other words, photographing the moon can be a bit challenging. The problem is trying to capture the detail of the moon and the actual color of the sky. Actually I am not sure that it can be done without some very high priced equipment that I don’t want to invest in at this time.

The pictures in this article were taken on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. While sitting outside in the early morning enjoying my coffee I noticed the moon was full. My wife told me the full moon was very picturesque. I stared at it for quite a while and I wasn't really ready to take any pictures but then suddenly I felt it was time to take some pictures.

I have a Pentax DSLR camera but I don’t have the new and automatic 55-300 zoom lens. What I do have is a manual 80 – 200 zoom along with a 2x multiplier. When using manual equipment on my Pentax camera I set the time exposure to B (for longer exposures) and M (for camera controlled time exposure) and my autofocus to manual. Initially I set the F-stop to F/8 and began to take some test shots. After a few shots I also decided to adjust and bracket my f-stop also.

So I started snapping away as usual. The difficulty in photographing the moon is that it is a very bright light normally with a dark background. This morning however the sun was rising as I took these photos. So the sky along with the moon had a very interesting effect. Even with the camera in a manual mode and bracketing a number of photographs the camera cannot capture accurately the colors of the sky and moon together, hence the photograph above. What I do not care for is that even though the sky color is closely accurate, there is no detail of the moon as you will see in the following photos.

In the four photos above I was able to capture some of the detail of the moon but by metering on the detail of the moon I lost the color of the sky. The sky in these photos is darker in color than the actual color I photographed.

Here are some additional images ...

In these two images the sky color and the tree greens are average to good but the brightness of the light of the moon washes out the details of the moon.

Then finally ...

This image I cropped using the camera function, then I used PhotoShop to edit and used the Auto Contrast and Auto Levels functions to generate the image seen.

Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!  

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Framing Subjects in Your Photo Part 2

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 4

This is a photo taken at the custom auto show at the Chicago Amphitheater in 1979. This was a pretty cool car for the time and the photo is ok but could have been much better. Unfortunately the rear of the car was cut off from the frame. Because of this I can not even crop or edit in photoshop to make the image better. So what can be learned from this image?

Off the top of my head I believe there are several things that could be learned for example, event photography, framing and practice. Let's take some time to look at these items.

Event photography can be challenging just by itself, at auto, motorcycle, dog shows etc., there are a lot of things going on but more than that, there are a lot of people that can get in your way and vice versa. On top of this there are different types of cameras that people will be using. Typically the photographers using DSLR and film cameras with zoom lenses have more flexibility than others. Indoor events have even more challenges in regards to lighting and the use of flash photography.

Framing, composition and lighting are very important considerations. Getting your subjects framed properly is fairly important and capturing the entire subject is pretty much mandatory. Composition of the subject is being aware of the the surroundings and getting into position to take the best photo. At events this can be more difficult the larger the crowds are. Lighting for the more advanced photographer is normally managed effectively. For the beginner, especially those with compact digital cameras lighting can be more of a struggle. The most important thing for me to stress here is the fact that built in camera flashes have major limitations. The primary limitation is the available distance of the flash for adequate lighting of the subject.

Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.