Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 41 good to WOW SOOC Pumpkins

I'd almost finished my post when I had to take my son to school.  I thought, I'll actually be early (for me)!  When I get back from school I can have my post done and linked up by 9:00 a.m. PST.  But then I saw the angle of the sun and the lack of clouds and the millions of dew drops and decided it was a perfect bokeh day!  So I spent an hour taking pictures instead.
And I had fun, and Sunflower had fun playing outside--luckily she has boots to keep her feet dry from the wet grass.  I've gotta get me some of those!  But my focus was off on pretty much every single shot...particularly the close-ups...and there was NO wind and my shutter speed was quite fast, I'd even stopped down my aperture some in order to get a wider depth of field.  Turns out that little circle thingee you can adjust so you can see without your glasses was turned by a quarter.  Doesn't matter if you are taking pictures of bokeh, right?  Well, hopefully we'll have more sunny and dewy mornings, because the great light has passed for today.

My white balance was set on auto instead of cloudy which I have found also makes a difference in my contentment of my pictures outdoors, though I am fairly happy with this SOOC shot of Sunflower.
1/1250    f/1.8   50mm   ISO 100
Do you see my reflection in the sunglasses?  I'm not sure how to edit this, because I'm bound to lose the haze with my usual processes...usually I want to lose the haze.  Maybe just add a little warmth (which would have been there if my white balance had been on cloudy) and dodge her face a little?  Any suggestions would be great!

Now back to my originally scheduled programming.  We saw many, many pumpkins at the zoo Saturday.  Here is my SOOC shot for Shoot and Edit.  I had one identical whose framing I liked better, but the focus was not as sharp.  So I'm choosing the one I will need to crop, but has all the elements I need to make it what I want.
1/800   f/1.8   50mm   ISO 100
The rest of these pumpkin shots I am sharing with Monday Rewind over at Chic Homeschool Mama.

We were greeted at the entry with pumpkins:

But the most fun for the boys was the professional pumpkin carver.  Who knew that was a job option?
They stood there in complete fascination and asked lots of questions.

We were supposed to go meet Dad and Sunflower inside for lunch (Sunflower needed the bathroom), but we lost track of time.  The boys watching the carving, and I taking pictures of all the pumpkins around.
I was apparently quite intrigued by the curve of this pumpkins stem because I took a lot of pictures of it...even switched lenses.

Finally Daddy and Sunflower did come find us and we had lunch and then finished the zoo.  Only to find a few more pumpkins at the end of the day.  By then my camera battery had given out on me--it only lasted 1500 pictures (plus the 150 at home).  Well really.  

So I used my old camera...A Panasonic DMC-FZ3 3mp camera...a very good camera for it's time.  But I do want to gently suggest that the next time someone says "your camera takes good pictures" please ask them how old their camera is before giving them a lecture about food and ovens.  (Not that I don't agree, but some people really do just have horrible cameras that are limiting their ability to ever become good photographers.)  I used the manual settings to try and creatively compose my shots, but changing settings is beyond awkward.  My old camera does have a really fast shutter speed compared to other cameras 7 years old, but I had to run significant noise reduction to deal with the noise produced on ISO 200.  In fact, I'll first show you a SOOC shot so you can see.
1/200  f/2.8  7.5mm (yes, I don't know what that is compared to dSLR) ISO 200
Yes, I know the bad composition is my fault (something my new fancy camera does not fix), but the noise in Huckleberry's sweatshirt, the lack of color range...those are my camera.  Even with 2.8 (widest aperture) the dof is not terribly interesting...right for this photo, but not interesting.  8.0 is the narrowest aperture option.  Those translate to some other number on a dSLR, but I am not going to look them up.

Anyway, after color boosting, cropping, and noise reduction, I was able to produce a reasonable shot.
Actually, one of each child...clearly we are getting tired :)

Next item on my purchase list is definitely a spare battery for my Nikon!

Have a fantastic Monday!  I plan to...after I fold 8 loads of laundry since we were busy, busy, busy all weekend.  Being productive is a joy in and of matter the task, right?



Selena @ Stoneyville said...

Great shots, that pumpkin shot is perfect!

Beth Snapping Away said...

That pumpkin carver is talented! Ours are just going to sit my our front door til thanksgiving probably.

Great job this week!

Anonymous said...

How fun. Great shots. That carving is awesome.

Tina´s PicStory said...

great shots. i love the first :)

Mia said...

Gorgeous photos!!

mommy of Five said...

great shots, that carving is amazing! we are hoping to get to the pumpkin patch this week we have just been soooo busy with Homeschool and just life =0) it's a good busy though!

Ashley Sisk said...

The one hazy picture of Sunflower is so beautiful. I'm not sure I would even touch it. And I am going to use your suggestion on split-toning. Thanks so much!

Allison Hoffman said...

so many fun shots! I was completely mezmorized by your shots of the carving!

Courtney said...

What a fun day! Professional pumpkin carver is cool. The bokeh in your first shot is gorgeous!

Michelle said...

Looks like you had fun! Who would've thought about finding pumpkins at the zoo?? :-D

I adore that first shot with all the bokeh and gorgeous backlighting!

Cute cute pic of Sunflower! I'd warm it up just a touch (I think that's what you were meaning) and it's good!

Nice, clean pumpkin shots! But I'm more drawn to the carvings! :)

Good luck on finishing up that laundry!

Halie said...

Very fun shots! I love all of them!

Stasha said...

Pumpkins rule. You raise them to celebrity status :) They are perfect accessory to your adorable children!

Leovi said...

Beautiful series, I love the color of the pumpkin and portraits of children are delightful. But I especially like the magic of the first photo.

Anonymous said...

That first shot is so dreamy and fantastic!

I agree, having a back up battery has been SO useful. One of my friend's weddings last year, I had to go home to charge my battery but no longer now that I have two!