Part of the problem with being addicted to shooting photos, and working a full time job AND living in Minnesota is that it's starting to get dark by the time I leave the gallery, which means I'm being forced to learn about night photography before I've really come anywhere close to mastering photography where there IS ample light.
Earlier this week I ambled over to the 35w overpass and tried my hand at some long exposure shots. I'm not going to say the experience was an epic fail, but as you'll see, I have plenty of work ahead of me.
This first shot was taken facing in the direction of 35w north. I tried a couple of shots before this one, but a 1/30 exposure without a tripod just doesn't work that well, even if you're propping the camera up with the fence links. I also wasn't overly impressed with the composition. I think I need to keep trying.
After my not-so-awesome bridge photo shoot I wandered down the street to try my luck at more long exposure with regular street traffic. Not using a tripod=the photo below.
Pretty, but completely beside the point.
Finally I busted out my tiny tripod that is clearly intended for a much smaller camera (anyone want to buy a 12'' tripod for their point and shoot?) I tried to balance my camera on it, but the weight was completely off kilter, so I ended up having to hold onto it so that it didn't go crashing into the sidewalk. Wrecking a new camera wasn't really on my list of things to do that night, after all. The best of the couple I tried is shown below.
*shutter: 1/30 *f/29 *ISO 100 *34mm focal length
Even editing couldn't save it.
My conclusions are as follows: tripods are a good thing and probably would help with this whole camera shake issue. Short of that, I plan to keep playing around with the manual settings until I figure out the best way to make the city lights shine.
When I was in college I purchased my first digital camera: a Canon digital elph. At the time, 4.0 megapixels was pretty impressive. Now, people have more power in their cell phones. I shot a lot of photos with that little camera. I brought it with me on countless vacations and took pictures of anyone who would stand in front of me. I loved that machine and I still have it somewhere, although the battery is starting to give out.
This past year I decided I wanted to upgrade to a new camera and I purchased a Fujifilm s1000fd point and shoot with 12x digital zoom, a big LCD screen and optional manual settings. The price was right and I purchased the camera without really doing much research. I discovered that I wasn't a big fan of having to use 4 AA batteries in the camera becuase they were constantly running out, and while the zoom capability was okay for shooting food and people, I realized that I wanted to take my skills to the next level and get an SLR camera.
A friend of mine helped me do some research and after doing a LOT of reading, I decided to purchase the Canon Digital Rebel XSi body with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilizer lens. My research involved reading tons of reviews of different cameras, doing price comparisons and looking at photos shot with different machines. For the money I could spend, this model seemed like a great choice. I purchased a refurbished model from Adorama in order to save a little bit of money and about a week later I had my new camera!
In the 3 weeks since I got the camera I have taken over 3,000 photos. I've talked to any photographer who will have a conversation with me, and their advice is all the same:
1. learn your machine 2. shoot constantly
This is certainly great advice, and I am following it as much as I can, but there is so much to learn!
How do I shoot in low lighting without a flash? Which editing software do I use? How do you form a relationship with the people you're shooting?
As this blog grows, I welcome recommendations and advice as well as information on people I should be talking to, or organizations that might be willing to work with a new and eager photographer.
I have decided to become a famous photographer. I will take pictures of children and the elderly at their most honest. I will capture the happy moments, the sad moments, the quiet, private moments when people think that no one is watching them.
I have started watching everything, and seeing the world with new eyes. Nothing is safe from me now. No spider web will go unnoticed. No flower will go uninspected. I will document everything and everyone and my body of work will be impossibly beautiful.
I have decided to become a famous photographer. Now I just have to figure out how this camera works...