Saturday, March 31, 2018

Composite Images in Adobe Elements 2018

I used the Special Effects technique under the
Guided Mode to make a composite photo of two photos
(changing the background). First, I used the foreground in the photo below
with the background of the sunrise in the next photo.
The following photo is the finished product after making a
couple tweaks to clean the edge and adjust the exposure. 
This was a first for me!  I played around with this application
a few more times...
I put a flower in my grandson's hands,
I added a super moon behind some buildings,
and then I switched faces with my hubby, which
gave me the giggles.
Blending complexions was difficult, 
dang those freckles!  I need to do more work on it.
I joined the Tulsa Photography Society.  They have
weekly projects, then post photos on Facebook.
The seasoned photographers show awesome photos
and are very inspiring to this amateur!

Happy Clicking!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Portrait Photography

I had a great opportunity to take photos of my grand-nephew before their Sadie Hawkins Dance.  Do teenagers even know who Sadie was, I wonder?  Probably more concerned if they will have a date, I would be!  
Anyways, I've decided to research portrait photography and practice on our family in the future.  
This one is my favorite, above.  I think it surprised them
when I asked them to look at each other.
For these photos, my niece had location ideas and had ideas on poses which helped immensely making this job easier. In the future, I will be scouting for locations and
paying attention to posing and body language!  
  A couple weeks later, another opportunity came along to take some photos of my grand nephew
for his lawn company. I used the AV setting, set on F5.0 with my 28-90mm lens,
and using the 100 ISO. They did turnout better then the Portrait setting,
I think. Anyway, I hope to work on this genre of photography and
get more comfortable and educated in it!
As always, my posts are generally notes for my reference for future use,
my learning process and to share. 

*****   Photography Notes   *****

Location ideas may be found at, though its seems it is now more of a site to showoff photos, it gave me some ideas to checkout, like Ray Harral Nature Park, 7101 S 3rd St., in Broken Arrow, OK.  Also, pay attention to local newspaper photos like the Tulsa World.  Google local photograph's photos online and Flickr Tulsa and other Flickr locations in OK for inspiration and location/settings.

Things To Do When Shooting On Location like Philbrook Museum. 
  • Ask your contact person where you should set up before the day of the shoot. Take out all the guesswork to help reduce your stress load.
  • Acquire the proper permits from city officials if you will be shooting in public places.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and always have a backup plan available should an issue inhibit you from shooting.
  • Arrive at the location with a concept and build from it once you see what you are working with.

Camera settings

1.)  In low light (indoors and outside), you may need to increase it to ISO 400, 800, 1600 or even 3200. The offset will mean a little grain, but that's certainly better than a blurred image.
2.)  Shoot in Aperture Priority mode to control depth of field; in this mode your SLR will helpfully set the shutter speed for a correct exposure.  When shooting portraits, you're better off setting a wide aperture (for example, f/2.8-f/5.6).
3.)  If it's a large group, such as a few generations of a family, your wide-angle lens (around 18mm) will help you capture a wider angle of view, allowing more people to fit in the shot.  A 50mm portrait lens will give you less diversity than a telephoto or zoom lens, but often give you sharper images and lower f-stop ranges. You will also need to move around more to fill your frame the way you want since you won't have zoom capability. It's up to you to determine if the low f-stop for a shallow depth of field is worth the trade-off. For many photographers, it is.
4.)  Auto White Balance is good for general shots. However, when shooting in different environments things may go wrong. For example, if you are shooting in a shady area, you will not get the proper
white balance. Or if you shoot in scenes with predominant white blue or green (beach, botanic garden, forest, etc.) your subject’s face will reflect that predominant color. In a case like this, you can take a custom white balance reading and use it.
5.)   The sun can cause all sorts of problems for portrait photographers: harsh shadows across faces, unbalanced exposures and burnt-out highlights. Use a bit of 'fill flash' and you'll instantly improve your portraits; your camera will capture a much more balanced exposure, because your flash will light up your subject while the camera exposes for the background.

Exposure Triangle

*****  *****  *****  
Happy Click'n!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tulsa Balloon Festival 2017

What a great opportunity to try photographing hot air balloons during the Tulsa Balloon Festival 2017 the past weekend of June 14-18.  The windy conditions prevented most of their activities but we did hit one evening that they had a glow and I had great fun trying to record it using manual settings. Less then half the total balloons attempted the glow and were up for only a short time, not a lot of time to play around with my settings.  These were my favorite shots...
I must admit the color shots are my favorite
but I did use my elements software to turn some photos
into black and white...just for fun!

Happy Click'n!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Silky water Photography

The dreamy look of silky water in a landscape photo
has always mystified did they do that?
While on vacation, earlier this year, I decided to
give it a try.
 We had a hard and strenuous climb one day
trying to find the perfect place to setup.
This wasn't it, nor did we find it, but I did get the effect I was after
and with the notes below, I can try again sometime!

*****   Photography Notes   *****

Choosing a strong composition can be challenging when shooting waterfalls. Here are a few of the key guidelines:
  • Find a leading line or an 'S' to work with in your composition
  • Let the water flow guide you to the focal point
  • Shoot downstream of the waterfall to add depth
  • Utilize rocks and other elements in the scene to guide your eye to the focal point
  • Don't be afraid to try out several variations – always shoot at least 3 or 4 compositions at any given location
Find the waterfall or stream that you want to photograph and setup your tripod with your camera. Next, switch to shutter priority mode (the “S” or "Tv" on the dial) and set the shutter speed to a really slow number like 1/15s or 1/5s. The slower your shutter speed, the more silky smooth your waterfall will appear. Take the photo and see how it turns out.

If the blur isn't to your liking, decrease your shutter speed even more closer to 1/2 second. Don't go much longer than that if in bright light because your camera will end up having too much light to deal with and your photo will be overexposed. When choosing longer shutter speeds, take note of other elements of your image that might also be moving like the wind moving the trees. You'll want to avoid these otherwise the blurry effect will be all over your photo and not just in the waterfall.

On Manual: 

You can use the lowest ISO that your camera will allow and a small aperture (like f/16 – f/22) to slow down the shutter speed enough to blur the water.

A four (4) second shutter speed will usually be enough for silky water shots and you can achieve that easily with just a polarizer and a narrow aperture like f/16, unless your scene is in harsh, direct sunlight.

Collected notes ~
  • Use a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second or slower. A slow shutter speed renders moving water as a silky white blur.
  • Use a low ISO setting. A low ISO setting gives you a relatively small aperture, which ensures a large depth of field.
  • Use a tripod. When you use a slow shutter speed, stabilize the camera to get a sharp picture.
  • Use a neutral density filter in bright light. In bright light, you won’t be able to use a slow shutter speed and get a properly exposed image. A neutral density filter cuts down on the amount of light reaching the sensor, which means you can get a properly exposed image using a slow shutter speed.
  • Use a fast shutter speed when you want to freeze the motion of a raging river. You can also use a fast shutter speed when you want to show the details of a waterfall. You may have to increase the ISO setting when using a fast shutter speed to achieve a large depth of field, which requires a small aperture. Don’t increase the ISO too high or you’ll end up with a noisy image; use a tripod instead.
  • When you compose the image, position the horizon line in the lower third of the image. It’s also a good idea to place the waterfall to one side of the image.
  • Rotate the camera 90 degrees when photographing a waterfall. This is known as portrait format. Rotate the camera 90 degrees any time you photograph a subject that is taller than it is wide. The only exception to this rule would be a waterfall like Niagara Falls that is actually wider than it is tall.
  • Take a picture downstream from a waterfall. You’ll often find wonderful details when you venture a couple of hundred feet downriver from a waterfall, such as this image that was photographed a few hundred feet from Bridal Veil Falls.

*****  *****  *****  
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.
What you have caught on film is captured forever…
It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Aaron Siskind

Happy Click'n!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Project 5 ~ Blurring (Lensbaby)

It's Christmas time...and Project 5 from "The A-Z of Creative Photography by Lee Frost requires a new accessory.  Lensbaby Composer.  This little attachment produces a neat affect but one I might not use very often I'm afraid.  The center or subject is in focus but everything around is blurred. This might be fun to play around with but it runs $ 90.00 to $500.00 and our bank account is tapped out now that we have completed our Christmas shopping.  Maybe in the future, I will consider a used one?!
This is the Lensbaby Spark for Canon cameras (here) priced at $87.95.

"A fun and affordable way to capture selective focus images with a digital SLR. Spark features a unique selective focus optic and a tilting lens body, allowing the aspiring amateur photographer to capture creative images in-camera that have a sweet spot of focus, surrounded by blur. Spark is a lightweight, all plastic (except for the optic, which is a multi-coated glass doublet) 50mm selective focus lens with a f/5.6 fixed aperture available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Spark is the perfect entry point into the Lensbaby system for photography students or newer photographers looking to expand their experiment and add a creative lens to their camera bag. Spark is compatible with the rest of the optics in the Optic Swap System, and with all Lensbaby 37mm threaded accessory lenses." (Description info from Something tells me you can arrived at nearly the same results just using your manual settings....really, how did they do this before this gadget came along?! 

To see photos taken with the Lensbaby Spark go to Flickr here.

Anyways, this was something I had not known about
and wanted to share.  Now I can move on to Project 6 ~ Break the Rules.  
If you have used a Lensbaby, please let me know what you think about it.
Thank you!

*****   Photography Notes   *****
1)  Choose a small f/number (wide aperture) if you want lots of blur and a big f/number (small aperture) to reduce blurring.  Fitting no disc at all gives you maximum edge blur and minimum dept of field.

2)  "Like all creative gadgets, the Lensbaby Composer should be handled with care, otherwise there's a danger of overkill."  (Don't over use or it becomes redundant in you photos, I suppose.)

3)  It works best on simple, bold subjects - cars, architecture, people and still lifes.  The key is to experiment, and remember that only a small part of the image will record in sharp focus.  This doesn't have to be in the center, but it should be where a important part of your subject is, otherwise the final results may look a little odd.

4)  Automatic exposure is possible by shooting in aperture priority mode for the vast majority of digital and film SLR cameras except certain Nikon and Fuji bodies.
Happy Click'n!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Strange Sky

Tuesday evening we had an unusual sunset,
looking a bit like we had two suns setting or
a flare that might consume the sun.
I took this photo with my smartphone so it's a little grainy (noise).
At first I thought I had a smudge on my contact lens or
lost one.  I'm sure I would not believe this photo if I hadn't
been the one to take it.
No processing affects were used.
I guess we had enough clouds or
moisture in the air to produce this eery sky.
I'm sure a meteorologist could explain this phenomenon.
Later we had a full moon and it was bitter cold (39)
for this area. I love watching the sky!

I'm sharing this with "Skywatch Friday" (here)

Happy Click'n!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Project 4 ~ Backlighting

I'm learning things from this book,
 "The A-Z of Creative Photography" by Lee Frost,
in more ways then expected.
(1/640, f6.5, 100 ISO)
 I decided once life settles down,
 after the first of the year, I need to 
scout around for interesting locations to complete future projects in this book.
For this project, Backlighting, I practiced in my little backyard
and I'm not particularly proud of my available subjects.
Nearly all the leaves have dropped, things are
brown and where did the flowers go?
I'm looking forward to applying what I've learn
during our next vacation or day trip.
(1/400 sec, f5, 100 ISO)
Frost writes...
"Point your camera toward the main light source so your subject is backlit,
this technique, usually referred to as contre-jour (against the day), 
is one of the most exciting photographic techniques available 
and can be applied to a wide range of subjects, from portraits 
to landscapes."
(1/500, f14, 100 ISO Natural Starburst)
I'm in agreement with...
"when your subject is backlit you need to make a
conscious decision about the type of effect you wish to record."
Such as a silhouette, highlighting the outline of your subject,
creating a starburst, and many other dramatic effects.
Frost's photos for this chapter are exquisite, 
as all his examples!
(1/250 sec, f10, 100 ISO)
I hope to use the backlighting technique next time I try ~
capturing a storm coming in,
a peaceful day at the lake,
light shining in through a window,
or a street scene.
(1/250 sec, f4.0, 100 ISO)
The above photo is of a closeup of 
the valve of a propane tank not being used at the moment.
(1/250 sec, f4.0, 100 ISO)
This shot is of the last flower in our backyard
with the setting sun shining through it's petals.

*****   Photography Notes   *****

1)  One of the strengths of backlight is that it emphasizes shape so you will want to find subjects with strong shapes.

2)  When there is not enough ambient light to capture the details in the foreground you can use fill flash or a reflector.

3)  If you have your camera set to evaluative metering it will take into account the entire scene and try to determine the best exposure. This works great when you have a fairly evenly lit scene, but when you have a scene with high contrast it doesn’t work as well. Your camera can’t meter for both the bright areas and the dark areas at the same time.The solution is to switch to a different metering mode, such as spot metering, so you can tell your camera which part of the frame is important to you. 

4)  Create a starburst effect in a silhouette image when the sun is still above the horizon. To do this, position yourself so that the sun is partially hidden behind an object and use a small aperture, like f/22.

5)  Point your camera directly at the part of the scene you want to exposure for and use the exposure lock feature on your camera to set the exposure (check your camera manual to find the exposure lock function on your camera). Then you can recompose and press the shutter half way to set the focus while the exposure remains locked.  Exposure Lock Feature for my Canon 6D article from Canon Digital Learning Center here.  

AND    How to Modify Camera Exposure on Your Canon EOS 6D instructions from the "Dummy" series here.


Metering Smaller sized aperture/larger F-number.   With sunrises and sunsets, one rule of thumb is to meter on the sky with the sun just out of the bottom of the camera frame. Use this as your starting exposure.

Set your camera’s Exposure Compensation to somewhere between -1 and -2, depending on the intensity of the backlight. This retains detail in the shadow areas of the subject.

Filter – You can also help balance the tones of the ground and sky by using a graduated neutral density (GND) filter, which are dark at the top and gradually fade to clear. A two-stop GND filter (dark area is two f-stops darker than the clear area) is suggested for sunrises and sunsets.

Online Backlighting article by Mother Nature Network (here)

Picture Correct articles on Backlighting (here).

*****  *****  *****  
“One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing.
 It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.”
— Annie Leibovitz
Happy Click'n!

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.