Monday, March 30, 2015

Macro Love ~ From the Top!

Take notice and enjoy Spring,
it's popping out all around us!
I finished pruning our crepe myrtles today
and saved a seed pod shell for this week's Flickr Macro Monday theme.
I love nature's treasures!
 ***
Flickr's Macro Mondays theme  ~ "From the Top"! (here)

And I'm sharing this macro photo with my 
other favorite Macro groups:
 "Macro Monday 2" a Monday photo gallery (here),
and a Sunday photo gallery called "i heart macro" (here).
 ***
"A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, 
but you don't have a top for it."  ~ Jerry Seinfeld
 ***
Happy Click'n!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Skywatch ~ First Spring Storm 2015

It's officially Spring...
we had our first tornado blow through Oklahoma yesterday evening.
View from our backyard (taken with my iPhone),
right before the sirens blew.
We could hear the sirens first in south Tulsa, 
shortly after the rain hit, then our Broken Arrow sirens sounded.
Luckily, I had time to give the
Crazy Cat, Bad Boy Bogey, half a Zanax
before getting him in the cat carrier.
He was hissing and not excited about getting in the BOX.
I could tell he felt the storm coming in.
The sirens didn't help his disposition either!
Our other cat, Katie was her usual sweet self and
looking disapprovingly at her mate.
The rest of the night he was pretty cool!
CNN video here.
***
I'm sharing this with Outdoor Wednesday (here),

and Skywatch (here).
***
Happy Click'n!

Adding Copyright and Watermark!

I've learned the proper way to add a copyright to a photo
 by using my camera setup and adding a watermark 
when processing a photo in Adobe Elements 11.  
The copyright is visible in EXIF 
(exchangeable image file format, defined here) info,
consisting of shutter speed, aperture setting, ISO Speed, etc.
For example, if you use Flickr you see this info
 once you post a photo, it's under "show EXIF" info, see below.
Regarding a watermark, see the photos below; before, 
and after, bottom right hand corner shows the watermark.
Look close, it's pretty light...
FYI ~ For instructions, I cut and pasted them
 at the end of this post (sorry, 
I do not remember where I found these tips). 
If you're interested in using these tools
feel free to bookmark this post or if you follow
my blog know that a link to this post is under my page called "Tip Guide".
Anyway, this is a time saver, that's for sure.
What I had been doing when wanting to add my info  
was add text to the photos one by one... what a pain!
***
~ For my future refernce ~

For Canon copyright setting:  (If you don't have a Canon hit here)
Before going to the Set-up Menu of a compatible EOS camera, make sure its Mode Dial is set for a Creative Zone mode — P, Tv, Av or M. If not, the camera simplifies operation and menu choices and no choices for setting copyright will appear. The following choices should present themselves, once you highlight Copyright information (usually in the 3rd or 4th Set-up Menu screen) and press the SET button:
  • Display copyright info: This setting shows you the current information for “Author” and “Copyright.” You’ll see the text spelled out, including spacing and any special characters. You should definitely check this Display after setting or changing any in-camera copyright info. 
  • Enter author’s name: Probably self-explanatory, but this is where you make selections from the lower and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters (including a blank space character) in the lower part of the menu screen. And while using the SET button, input each, one at a time. Your recorded characters appear in an area in the upper part of the menu screen.
  • Enter copyright details:  The only noteworthy thing here is that even though there are special typographic symbols, there is no official Copyright symbol, “©”. Instead, if you don’t want to spell out the word “copyright,” you can use either parentheses or brackets around a lowercase letter “c”. Here and in the Author’s name area, you can enter up to 63 characters, including blank spaces.
  • Delete copyright information: If you press SET to enter this line item, highlight OK and press SET again, you’ll (predictably!) delete all copyright info from the camera. This includes Owner’s name, Author’s name and Copyright details.
Notes from Millie:  To delete a letter or space use your "trash" button and to move from blue box (Canon) to letter/number box use the "Q" button (Canon).  A draw back would be, if someone else takes photos with your camera and your name is on it.  They recommend deleting this info, see "Delete copyright info" for how to delete.

Here’s an easy way in Photoshop Elements to add a watermark to one or more photos:

  1. Open the photos in Editor.
  2. Click Expert.
  3. Select File > Process Multiple Files.
  4. From the Process Files From drop-down list, select Opened Files.
  5. Browse and select the folder in which you want to save the photos after the watermark is added.
    Note:
    The watermark that you add using this method is permanent. So specify a folder other the folder in which your original photos are stored
  6. Click the drop-down list in the Labels area and select Watermark.
  7. Specify the text that you want to display as the watermark. For example, you can specify your name.
  8. Select the position, for example, Bottom Right.
  9. Select a font according to your preference.
  10. Specify the font size.
    Note:
    The font size depends on the dimensions of the photo. Photos of larger dimensions require the watermark to be in a large font.
  11. Adjust the opacity and choose a color of your choice.
  12. Click OK.
  13. To view the changes, open the photos from the folder you specified.
***
Happy Click'n!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Macro Love ~ Take Something Ordinary!

The last few days have been CRAZY!
At the last minute I decided to try sneaking
time to take a macro, hoping to get it submitted before they close...
Whew!
 ***
Flickr's Macro Mondays theme  ~ "Take Something Ordinary"! (here)
and try to look at its essence -
 its shape, texture, pattern, color, all of which make it what it is.
And I'm sharing this macro photo with my 
other favorite Macro groups:
 "Macro Monday 2" a Monday photo gallery (here),
and a Sunday photo gallery called "i heart macro" (here).
 ***
“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and 
composing the beauty is what separates the 
snapshot from the photograph.”— Matt Hardy
 ***
Happy Click'n!

Friday, March 20, 2015

We're All Ears ~ Dragonflies!

This March's theme is a series of macro photos by
 German photographer Martin Amm
targeting  his impressive "Southern Emerald Damselfly" photos.
The colors and textures of these macros
were so inspiring I found myself toying with
my bead stash once again.
It's been a couple years, at least...
This was great fun!
I'm looking forward to seeing 
all the earrings these beautiful macros inspired.
***
"Earrings Everyday's"  creative challenge
"We're All Ears"  (here). 
***
“Art enables us to find ourselves and 
lose ourselves at the same time”. ~Thomas Merton
***
Happy Click'n!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Our World Tuesday ~ Spring Baseball in Oklahoma!

I don't really understand sports,
nor do I really feel the need to,
but I love watching the kids in our family play them.
Peyton, our oldest grand-nephew, has found his niche, baseball.
He began as a catcher and now he's in the outfield.
It's just hard for a tall guy to play that position.
The Mavericks won their first tournament of the season!
***
I'm sharing with
"Our World Tuesday" (here).
***
"Little league baseball is a very good thing. 
 It keeps the parents off the streets."
- Yogi Berra
***
I keep talking about getting off AF, but
action happens so quick I'm afraid I
will miss something great if I don't use AF.
Next time at the ballpark, I'm giving manual a go!
Or at least Shutter Priority...
Happy Click'n!

*** Notes to myself ***
Shutter speed:
Shutter speed is the single most important thing to get right in action photography. Start by putting your camera into Shutter Priority mode and choosing a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. This is a good starting point and should be fast enough for most sports and action.

Fast shutter speeds -  around 1/1000th a second to stop action.
Slower shutter speeds – around 1/250th second to capture motion.
Use panning techniques with slower shutters (around 1/8s or 1/60s) to add motion blur to a runner taking off toward base. Keep your camera on the subject with your finger half way down to lock the focus and when ready, take the photo remembering to follow him as he moves.

Aperture:

To help you reach the high shutter speeds required, you'll need to open your aperture up nice and wide. If you have a very fast lens, 300 mm use f/2.8 and f/4 as a starting point.
Use shallow depth of field (f/2.8-f/5.6) to separate the players from the background.

ISO:
Often, you can get away with shooting at your lowest ISO for outdoor sports, but when the light levels get low things begin to get difficult. Your primary priority is to keep the shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action. Typically you won’t want to shoot above ISO 400 or 800 on a compact, but the most recent DSLRs can shoot reasonably well straight to ISO 3200. Don’t be afraid to crank that ISO up if you need to; grainy results are always preferable to blurry ones. 

This is also when that 50 mm or 70-200 mm lens comes in handy. While most would be stuck at a lethargic f5.6 and have to compensate by boosting ISO way up to ISO 6400, you could be shooting at f2.8 or brighter at ISO 1600. remember a noisy/grainy shot is better than a blurry one.

Other: Using JPEG mode lets you to capture more pictures at a time in burst mode, and fit more images onto your memory card.

Start by switching from multi-point to single-point focusing, and use the focus point at the center of the frame. Now, when you compose a shot, your camera will focus on whatever's in the center rather than trying to keep everything acceptably sharp. This is faster and also lets you tell your camera exactly what you want to focus on, rather than letting it guess.


Continuous Focusing mode (called "AI Servo" on Canon cameras) - this continually refocuses to keep the subject sharply focused at all times.


Use the SanDisk Extreme UHS-I memory card. It’s eight times faster than ordinary memory cards, which makes it perfect for continuous burst mode shots.

Focus on the Catcher if you anticipate action at the plate.
Focus on the "base" if capturing a runner's action, advancing to second or diving back to base.

Capture emotions/faces if you can.  Players usually only come together during celebrations or fights. On both occasions, the bulk of the players will run out of the dugouts to the center of the field, making it easy to shoot the converging packs.

Position yourself - 
First Base...outside of the first base dugout, the side closest to the outfield, you'll have good sight lines to make photographs of the hitter and pitchers. A high percentage of plays involve throws to first base. You'll have the players throwing in your direction, which will allow you to make much better action images.

Third Base....outside of the third base dugout, the side closest to the outfield, you'll have good sight lines to make photographs of the hitters and pitchers. You'll also be in a terrific spot to make images of plays at the plate, because you'll be looking down the line at the catcher as the play happens.

Behind Home Plate...You need to line up your shot so you can see the pitcher head on, the hitter form behind, and the umpire looking over the catcher's shoulder.  Put the front of your lens as close as you can to the physical backstop between the wires.
*** The End ***

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Flickr's Macro Mondays ~ Happy Anniversary!

If you can't resist taking Macro Photos,
join Flickr Macro Mondays.  They're now
celebrating their Eighth Year Anniversary (here).
This group is open to the beginner and professional, and
the themes have stretched my creativity and 
I've learned so much participating.
I've enjoyed being in this group since October 2012.
My Flickr macro photo collection can be viewed here.
To shoot these macros
 I used a mini light table under thinly sliced lemons,
which allows the light to shine through the segments.
 ***
And I'm sharing one these macro photos with my 
other favorite Macro groups:
 "Macro Monday 2" a Monday photo gallery (here),
and a Sunday photo gallery called "i heart macro" (here).
 ***
Happy Eighth Anniversary to Flickr's Macro Mondays!
 ***
Happy Click'n!
***   My Macro Reference Notes   ***
For more info here on macro photography.

Top tips for shooting macro photos:

Your lens will be at its best for close-ups usually between f/8 and f/11.  By using Aperture Priority, you can ensure your lens stays there.


Up close, any camera movement during exposure is magnified, so you need a fast shutter speed, such as 1/125 or faster. If you aren't getting this setting consider using the Manual setting. 


To get faster shutter speed when you are shooting aperture priority, choose a higher ISO setting (at least 200) for your camera.


Most Canon DSLRs have Mirror Lock-up on the shooting menu or as a custom function. Use this in conjunction with a two-second self-timer delay, or with a remote controller to further control movement.

Use a ring flash to give a nice, even lighting effect for close-ups, without any unwanted shadows. 

And don't forget your tripod, it's a must for macros!

Fun project to try - Using a plastic cup helps prevent subject movement, camera shake, and harsh shadows (here).
***   The End   ***

Thank you for your understanding!

© Emily J Powell and Millie @ Click'n Camera, February 10, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Emily J Powell and Millie @Click'n Camera with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Photos may not be used, copied, printed without prior permission.