Photo of the Week- October 29, 2014

Experiment in Abstract Landscape

Seattle, WA
October 29, 2014

Photo of the Week - October 25, 2014


Blacksmith Kelly Rigg demonstrates the art of traditional metal working

Arbutus Folk School
Olympia, WA
October 25, 2014

The Arbutus Folk School in Olympia offers workshops exploring traditional arts, such as woodworking, fiber arts, ceramics, music and blacksmithing. Through hands-on learning, students and artisans preserve and pass on skills and celebrate cultural heritage. 

Find out more about Arbutus Folk School and its current courses at arbutusfolkschool.org


Photo of the Week - October 24, 2014


Double-crested Cormorant defends its territory from
an encroaching Great Blue Heron

Budd Inlet
Olympia, WA
October 24, 2014

To see a short slideshow of the encounter, click here

Photographing Pumpkins at Halloween


ISO 200    f/4     1/10  second
Photographing Pumpkins at Halloween

A mini primer in Available Light Photography

Tools needed:
  • A point and shoot camera with the ability to turn the flash off
    OR
    A digital camera with Program (P) or Manual (M) setting
  • A tripod or other method of supporting your camera
  • A self-timer or shutter release
Option 1: Photographing with a point and shoot digital camera
  1. Place your camera on tripod or use support, such as a ledge or table. Compose your image.
  2. Turn off your flash by pressing the flash button until you see the no flash symbol
    Note; If the flash on your camera  does not pop-up automatically, you do not need to override any flash settings.
  3. Set your self timer to either 2 or 10 seconds. Self Timers help you to shoot without touching the camera and eliminate much of the danger of camera shake.

    If you have a remote, you will be triggering the shutter with your remote.
  4. Focus and shoot. Your hands should be off the camera when you take the photo.
  5. Go to playback and review your photo. If your photo looks good, you are done. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  6. If your pumpkin is too bright, find yourbutton (exposure compensation).
    Set the camera to a -1 exposure. This is usually three clicks from 0.
  7. Shoot and review the image.
  8. If your pumpkin is too bright, set the to -2 stops.
  9. Shoot and review your image.
  10. Fine tune your exposure compensation for the optimal image and re-shoot if needed.
  11. When you have finished, set your button back to 0.
Note: Once you have determined the proper exposure for one pumpkin shot, you can use that setting as a starting point for additional shots. You should be able to shoot the original pumpkin from different distances and compositions with minimal fine tuning.

ISO 200   f/6.3     1.6 seconds


Option 2: Photographing Pumpkins with a digital camera with Manual Exposure
  1. Place your camera on tripod or use support, such as a ledge or table. Compose your image.
  2. Set your self timer to either 2 or 10 seconds. If you have a remote, you will trigger the shutter with your remote. The self timer will help you to shoot hands free and eliminate much of the danger of camera shake.
  3. Set your camera to Program mode (P)
  4. Set your ISO to 100 or 200. This will reduce noise in the images. Do not use auto ISO
  5. Focus and shoot. Your hands should be off the camera when the photo is taken.
  6. Go to playback and review your photo. If the image looks good, you are done. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  7. In playback mode, press the display or info button to display your shooting information. You should see both your f-stop and shutter speed settings.  Make a note of these settings.
  8. Go to the Manual exposure mode (M). This is not manual focus, which is found on the lens, camera body or camera back. This is manual exposure, which locks in your f-stop and shutter speed settings.
  9. Set the f-stop and shutter speed values from #7. If you are unsure of how to do this, refer to your camera's instruction manual.
  10. If your original photo was too light, set either your f-stop or shutter speed to a higher number. This will reduce the amount of light in the image. You will probably need to change your settings by 2/3 of a stop (2 clicks) to see a noticeable difference.
    If your original photo was too dark, set either your f-stop or shutter speed to a lower number. This will make the photo lighter.
  11. Take another shot.
  12. Review your image. If it needs to be adjusted further, repeat steps 10 and 11.
  13. Fine tune your settings as needed.
Note: Once you have determined the proper exposure for one pumpkin shot, you can use that setting as a starting point for additional shots. You should be able to shoot the original pumpkin from different distances and compositions with minimal fine tuning.

ISO 200    f/4   1 second

Option 3: Adding Fill Flash to a pumpkin shot

Tools needed:
  • A point and shoot camera with the ability to reduce flash output using either 'flash output level' or 'flash exposure compensation' 

    OR
    A digital camera with Program or Manual Setting with the ability to reduce flash output; this includes most slr and ilc cameras and many bridge point and shoots.
  • A tripod or other way of supporting your camera
  • Self timer or remote release
  1. Shoot a photo using either Option 1 or Option 2 outlined above.
  2. After finding the optimal setting for your camera, turn your flash on or to the fill flash setting.
  3. Access flash exposure compensation by doing one of the following:
    • look in your camera menu (many cameras) 
    • by holding down the flash button (most Nikon slrs)
    • by pressing the flash compensation button (Canon D-series slrs)
    • for further instructions, look up flash exposure compensation in your instruction manual

  4. Set the flash exposure compensation to -1. This cuts back the value of your flash by one stop, underexposing the flash. If you are using a shoe mounted flash instead of the built-in flash, flash exposure compensation set on the external flash will almost always override any settings you may have applied to the camera body.

    Please note that exposure compensation, as detailed in Option 1, controls the amount of available light reaching the sensor. Flash exposure compensation, detailed here, controls how your flash output.
  5. Compose, focus and shoot.
  6. Fine tune the flash level as needed. Note that differences in camera to pumpkin distance may affect the brightness of the flash.
  7. When you are done, set flash exposure compensation and any other overrides back to 0.
ISO 200    f/6.3   1/6 second with flash

Photo of the Week - October 6, 2014


Orb Weaver Spider
spinning a new web in the sunlight

Tumwater Falls Park
Tumwater, WA
October 6, 2014

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