Entries in reflection (13)
Another location change for our 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson as Jeannie finished up her 4-pack of lessons at the new Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The museum itself makes for many architecture photography opportunities, and the grounds feature a melting clock bench, tree with ribbon messages blowing in the wind among other interesting features.
Jeannie did get a Canon 430 EX II Speedlite since our last lesson which we used to practice candid portraits in shade, direct sunlight and diffused light. We also went deeper into composition style and tips for framing a more flattering shot.
Over the course of her 8-hours of 1-on-1 instruction time I showed Jeannie many of the tools necessary to make successful photographs in any given shooting conditions, be they outdoors or indoors. I look forward to seeing Jeannie again in the future for more advanced photography lessons.
I once again woke up early to photograph the first sunrise of the new year, which is somehow already 2013. Last year was a little more spectacular as I made the big effort to drive out to Ft. Desoto and use the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as a background. This year I just took a few steps off my back patio to make these images of the sun rising over Smacks Bayou in the Snell Isle area of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Though there was a ripple across Smacks Bayou this morning, a decent reflection from the rising sun could still be seen. There were only a few low clouds in the sky, so in this case I found the water to be more interesting and made the foreground dominant in the framing of this shot.
It is always worth it to wake up early and photograph the sunrise. Did you get up and see the first sunrise of 2013? Did you have your camera with you (I hope!!)? Share your first sunrise photos in the comments below.
- Inquire about purchasing a fine art print of this St. Petersburg Florida image or commercial license usage
The Pier of St. Petersburg, Florida presents at this time a unique opportunity for local photographers. It is by far the city's most recognizable landmark, but it is scheduled for demolition in one year's time. A part of me does not necessarily believe in the end it will be razed because what is slated to replace it, a structure called "The Lens," is so preposterously fantastic I cannot imagine such a thing existing just off the modest St. Pete waterfront.
The odd shutter time of 4.3 seconds for this shot is due to shooting in bulb mode. I took a test shot and then based on feel kept the shutter open how long I thought it would need. A more scientific way would have been to use a stopwatch, but for exposures of only about 4 seconds a rough estimate counting in your head is good enough.
Every morning I am outside, briefly around 6:30am. It is almost like clockwork, but it is not my clock that keeps this schedule, rather it is Kiki's. She wants to go out to pee then quickly come back inside to eat breakfast, then we both go back to sleep until a more sane time to fully wake up. At this time of year (April) this morning ritual coincides with late dawn just before the actual sunrise. In the approximate 2-minutes we are outside I usually look at the horizon through not quite wet enough contacts and note what color can be found in the sky this particular morning.
Yesterday the water of Smacks Bayou was particularly calm producing a fairly clean reflection. My senses were of course not fully functioning, but after feeding Kiki her breakfast I did go back out to make a few handheld photos of the above scene. I should have been using a tripod of course, but I did not have the ambition or coordination at that moment to fumble with putting on the tripod plate, etc. I think what I will do to remedy this is already have my camera mounted on my tripod before I go to bed, so should the dawn sky be particularly beautiful, all I have to do is step outside, compose and click the cable release letting the gear do most of the work for me.
One day I will have to go out and make fine art photographs like this on purpose, as this one was made while teaching a DSLR Photography Lesson. I noticed the sailboats' masts reflecting in the water and thought this makes this spot look much more interesting than the other 198 times I have seen and walked by it. I normally do not center the horizon so much in the frame, but for certain reflection shots it works. I left the top of the sky and did not crop right to the top of the masts to let the sky itself have more of a place in the photograph instead of only featuring the boats themselves.
Taking three bracketed shots and using HDR processing allowed for a much more colorful and detailed image than the single exposure photo I took first. I liked the scene, but I recognized that a single exposure may only leave me with a black & white choice for a final image, whereas also taking bracketed shots for HDR gave me an additional option to pick from once I returned home and looked at the photos on my 24" monitor.