Saturday, September 25, 2010


In the immortal words of Brett Michaels from Poison circa 1989

Every rose has it's thorn,
just like every night has it's dawn
just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.

I fully understand why all of you from my generation hate me now. I accept it.

Nikon d40
18-55mm 3.5-5.6
ISO 200
1/320sec @50mm

Seeing Scott challenge himself to do a shot he's long wanted to attain pushed me over the edge to finally get this picture. I've made quite a few attempts at this photo. It's a difficult shot to get without a macro lens and it certainly would be sharper if it was a macro lens but, some days we just have to work with what we're given.
I set up some tripod lighting, created the most ridiculous set up, using things I had around my house (like my favorite black skirt) and camped out on my bedroom floor for the better part of an hour. Taking shot after shot making adjust after adjustment. On something like this where the smallest movement in light position effects everything I had to be careful.
I would love to hear from some of the macro "professionals" following our blog for some tips for improvement. I'm always open to some constructive criticism, can't get better without it.

I am happy to report though, that at the end of my hour I had several pictures to choose from that I would happily post and have connected to my name. This, my friends, is a successful mission.

In other blog news - Amy, the proud winner of last weeks Wordless Wednesday will be joining us for her guest post tomorrow. Can't wait to "meet" her.

Additionally, with Jay'me's absence we never announced the winner from Wordless Wednesday two weeks ago. Congratulations Allison! We'll be sure to keep you posted on when Allison will be joining us for her guest feature.

If both you girls could kindly send an email to to get further instructions that would be wonderful. I promise the entire guest photographer process is super easy and I'll make it as painless as possible.

Looking forward to the new faces. Stop in to see what Amy gives us tomorrow and then Sere will start off the work week on Monday.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Faces - How Did Tigger Drown in the Toilet?

He was looking for Pooh!!!

Canon 30D
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L
Shutter Speed 1/200
Aperture f/7.1
ISO 100
Manual Mode
External Speed Light

I must start with a confession. When I made the suggestion to start shooting faces at least one day a week I was thinking of exactly what Brandi did here - taking shots of people we don't yet know. So far, all I've done is take a self-portrait and get a shot of my oldest son Ethan (pictured here laughing at my all-star joke). That's not exactly all that adventurous but the fact is today just wasn't built for me finding a stranger. Just couldn't do it, at this juncture (what the heck happened to SNL anyway? It used to be so good!).

Which leads me to this shot. As I was cleaning up dinner, Ethan says "Daddy! What a beautiful sunset!" After checking it out myself and totally agreeing, a light bulb went off and I thought about how I've always wanted to expose a sunset correctly and still get a well-exposed portrait. Eureka! Here was my chance!

If you're scratching your head, here's a bit more of an explanation. Cameras have light meters built into them. The purpose of the meter is to tell either the camera or the photographer how much light you have and what your exposure settings need to be. It is because of the light meter that your camera knows to keep the shutter open longer when there isn't much light and to snap it shut quickly when it's midday without a cloud in the sky. The camera might use aperture and ISO for the same purpose. Most of the time the camera does a bang up job (regardless of the make). However, there are situations that will just mess up your meter and need to be handled with a bit more effort. For example, a snowy field has got WAY to much white for your meter to expose correctly and will result in your camera thinking there is more light than there actually is. I imagine a black sand beach would have the opposite effect.

With this shot, it was difficult because Ethan was back-lit. Furthermore, I wanted the colors of the sunset to come through. Here's the issue - if I set up to meter Ethan's face, my camera would have kept the shutter open for quite some time in order to expose correctly. The result would have been a completely blown out sky and most likely a blurry face owing to the long shutter speed. If I set up to meter the sky, I would have ended up with beautiful colors but a face completely engulfed in shadow.

Here's the solution. You must meter for the sky and use a flash to illuminate Ethan's face. Bingo bango bongo, you have a portrait that most people can't figure out how to do! The only thing I wish I had is a gel to warm up the flash. Maybe next time.

So there you have it folks. I promise next time I will try to get a stranger. In the meantime, Ethan was a fantastic model and I got to try another new technique. TGIF!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Glorious Goldeness

Good gracious sun! Oh! How I'm going to miss you!
As you know I was away and visited a little piece of haven. Sure is hot there.
Because of my practical husband, I was talked out of bringing my not so big "big" camera and flew with the pocket camera.
This shot below was taken from the eighth floor at 7:30 am. The bottom shot is the same camera, same day, same eighth floor, 3 minutes earlier. WOW! What a difference a few minutes can make. This was the last morning we were there, our bags were packed and our limo was there at 8:00. I want to go go back already.
I didn't do any adjusting or playing around with the little camera. I just strategically left out the buildings to the left and right and shot.
If your computer allows you to blow up this picture by clicking on it once, then once more, it's really nice full screen sized. You can see the depth of the clouds behind the main show.
I'm glad to be home and can't wait to see some photo geek friends!
Have a great night and a glorious morning !

f 4.9
ISO 80

f 4.9
ISO 80

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday with Sere

Wordless Wednesday Rules

The poster must post only one (1) photo and settings. No additional verbiage (other then the rules) is allowed.

Commenters (that's you) must comment and guess how the photo associates with the previous (Tuesday's) photo. The winning guess gets to be the guest photographer for Sunday.

No previous photography experience required. In fact, wanna-be's like us, our encouraged. The only criteria; you must be able to take a photo (any camera will do), email said photo, allow 3C1D to publish said photo and follow the rules...

1 guess only per person. All rules strictly enforced with a paddle!

Ready Set GO!!!!!!

Nikon D90
ISO 100
Aperture F-6
Shutter Speed 1/200 sec.
Lens 18-200mm at 120mm
Aperture Priority
natural light, bumped up the clarity a bit and added a gold reflector

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Run Brandi Run

This is not the shot I planned on getting today. Mother Nature gave me something better to work with.

Nikon d40
kit lens @22mm
ISO 400
natural light
spot metered

Right as I got home tonight a storm began to rev up. I quickly got the child and the husband eating dinner and ran outside to capture the amazing sky.
You can see from the golden hue that the sun was still warming the sky behind me, casting it's beautiful warm glow all over the leaves of our huge cotton wood tree.

I did minimal post processing. I tend to agree with Scott in most cases less is more, in the processing department. I needed to brighten things up a bit, which, I knew I was going to have to do when I took the picture. I didn't have quite enough time to make all the necessary adjustment, I barely made it inside before the skies unleashed and raindrops the size of my head fell from the sky.

After the rain calmed the girl child and I went out to play in the puddles. I was pretty sure that I would post a picture of the girl splashing but there was just something about the glow of anticipation in this photo I had to post it. Luckily for me I'll just take my 'rejects' and put them on my other blog.

Thanks Mother Nature, for once it paid to procrastinate.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Water...But Different

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L
Shutter Speed 1/3200
Aperture f/2.8
ISO 100
Aperture Priority
Natural Light

I knew when I saw Jay'me's post that I wanted to do something with water. I've had a lot of fun shooting water and I figured it would be easy to lean on what I've learned so far. For this shot I decided on my way out of work to shoot a friend of mine's car (Isn't it great that I can talk about shooting stuff and be completely serious?). It had all these water droplets and it's a sexy sports car so no problem, piece of cake. Well, it's not easy getting a shot with interest of a parked car, I don't care how sexy it is.

I ended up looking for close up details that might photograph well and this is what I came up with. I though it gave a sense of power and sleekness, and that's something that's difficult to capture without motion. The water adds depth and the headlight added a lot of interest and focus. I tried several without the headlight on but the shots were just flat.

In post process I added a ton of contrast, blew out the highlights and accentuated the shadows. I like the edgy feel it gives. Normally, I'm not a big "radical edit" fan but every once in a while I do a bit more. With this shot I really think it adds without completely destroying the original image.

That's it from me tonight. I just spent several hours getting punished at a bowling alley and this kid's ready for bed. Stick a fork in me. Till next time,


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jay'me's Got Legs

We have our first official camera phone entry.

Jay'me is enjoying her time away (as you can see) but has encountered some technical difficulties. I'm happy to help her out, after all she promised me some sunshine in a bottle upon her return.
Jay'me's photo plays off of Sere's action shot with some anti-action. If I'm voting, I think Jay'me has the right idea here. All I would need is a cold, fruity drink.

Enjoy the last few days of your trip Jay'me we'll see you back here on Thursday.