Word and Image

Posts tagged “Technical tips

Odd and Ends – Get it?


The crystal ball as I call it is shiny and reflective. It really is a coral. I see it frequently enough and saw it in my book depicted with the same ball shape as you see. It needs a little polish, eh? And black and white? Or should I say white and black. Camouflage and confusion keep predators from targeting you. For me it is a matter of getting the right exposure. I think I’ve finally caught on. It’s like shooting snow. My recent shots are better. I always seem to over expose the light sand. No, you do not get to see an example. Trust me (I’m from the government and here to help…)


Ok, if you must, and want to, know, I use an underexposure now. Then I bring up the light to get everything to be more evenly exposed. It’s still a work in progress.

Other Side of the Road


The Pacific Coast Highway has endless possibilities to catch breathtaking views of the rugged coast. You can stop frequently or not. If you stop, how often? Fortunately, this all depends upon an understanding companion. Fine and good, now, another observation. We stopped. I got my shot. Dramatic.


And there on the other side of the road….well it was a choice – you include the house for depth of field or do you let the fence be your foreground element of interest? Which side of the road?


Bixby Bridge – Your Call


You can make many choices when you shoot an image. And if you do, it’s no big deal. Film was expensive. A digital image is not. Horizontal or vertical, crop or zoom, you have many ways to capture an image. Why not experiment. Of course if you are perfect, no need. I take single images often. And at other times I am a redundant shooter. Many times I get a wide angle overview. I tend to edit for the close up. This is usually the shot less seen.


But in a scene (word play) one must remember the key elements. The shot of the Bixby Bridge has been done many times. It is the bridge for which the image is famous. So you have to have the bridge.


Even so there are still choices. Of course the choice is yours. Or else I pick and there is only one image today. Ah, too many choices….

Do This

IMG_7159 copy

Jules discovered this trick in Photoshop while we were editing our underwater images. It’s a shortcut. Command shift L. Hit all three keys at the same time and you autolevel. It punches up color like nobody’s business. Really! It works so often that it is the first thing I do with underwater shots. Suddenly the image has contrast and looks so much better. How? I really don’t understand how the algorithm does its magic. And if you ask Jules, she would faint to speak of a mathematical term. She artistic. Which means she only needs to know the end result and how to do it. How and who figured this all out? Well, it was the good fairy.


With or Without


How do you like your landscape, with or without? The conventional wisdom is to use a foreground element to give depth to the image. So the presence of flowers and a fence helps to convey depth to a scene. I like both images. No particular preference for me. It’s a nice view on the California coast. Yay! But Nat Geo will only publish one. Which? Hey, it’s my blog so I can show you two. Yes, mine.


Flash Experiment


Ghost images made by multiple flash exposure. I did it once. I have not had the need to do it again. It was an experiment in using my flash settings. I would have to read the manual to remember the technique. There are many things you try. I forget more than I remember. The things you use everyday get 99% of your images. It is still useful to experiment. Sometimes you do get to use a long lost skill.


But flash photography and I have had a long relationship in which I controlled very little in our image making. I am a reluctant user of flash and prefer available light. So this was my one and only multiple exposure foray. Thanks Dave.


(multiple values) Flash manual bounce 1/80 SB800

Warning. Don’t try this at home. And if you do keep in mind that double chin can be the result. It is another early flash experiment. The bounce flash gives fairly even lighting. But the image needs some more front light and a catch light for the eyes. Anyway, it seems easy enough to mess up the shot. For all my past subjects, I grimace at the mistakes you had to endure.

(multiple values) Auto SB800 direct and bounce

If you get it right then you can avoid the unflattering images. But the learning curve is always interesting. My Nikon D70 had a center focus point. It neatly did exactly that and got the bookcase perfectly focused. Later I found the Nikon D200 allowed for closest subject focus. After learning that, the images all focused on the near subject without the annoying out of focus errors.


Autofocus does work well when you plan. The manual focus of my youth does not surpass the focus on the eyes here. And it helps if you have catch lights.DSC_0030-2

Bass Harbor Light


Another day another lighthouse, there are so many. You pick. This is a very picturesque light. They didn’t build them for photo-ops for me. So some lights are very difficult to get a good view. Some lighthouses are on the map and can’t be seen from land. I personally think that’s cheap. But, hey! Well there is a reflection.


See, I told you. But there are also some people in the picture. Still, she’s a redhead. I have a soft spot for redheads. Her boyfriend was taking forever to set this shot up. And I wanted the reflection. The breeze was a little too strong and the reflection was shimmering. And then he asked me to take a shot of them both. I mean I’ve been doing selfies all trip long. Really! Well I ended up taking this shot and used it._DSC8399 It’s a good story. And I had given up the hope that they would clear before my travel buddy would cajole me to get moving. Say it ain’t so Colleen.



I think this is becoming a specialty for me. So many of the lighthouses in Maine have water in puddles or pools among the rocks. If the wind cooperates then there is often a perfect reflection. And then I sit and watch. I even saw serious photographers wandering the rocks. I know you are serious if you are lugging your camera attached to an oversized tripod. (Really? I mean really?) But I estimate 99% never notice the reflection. So I wait and pick out some nice person, Colleen couldn’t believe how gracious I was being. But just to make someone’s trip a little more special… I would share the picture at their feet. Not everyone is receptive. Some guys are just there on a mission. I don’t bother them. But for some earnest tourist, it’s a pleasure to share something special. Maybe they will look at the world a little bit differently from now on too.

Playing Around

IMG_1445 copyI was editing. Gee, I have a lot of work backlogged. There was a trip I took in April to California and New York. It’s still in the pending to do list. And then there are all the recent dive shots. Life happens. The afternoon sun was obliquely hitting the Macbook screen. It created a high key shot. Now to get that image on a digital file is the next trick. The camera was in the way. I can see the image. I can’t capture what I see. Well, after some experimenting, I got something passable. Thanks to all who have followed my blog. It seems from time to time someone will mention they saw something. And many thanks to all the kind followers who take time to comment or like my posts. Once in a while I should remember to thank my readers. Thank you one and all. And, yes, alive and well.


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