Sunday, October 13, 2013

All those pics

I have taken literally tens of thousands of photographs.  I last year had the shutter replaced on my camera.  It was guaranteed to 200,000 clicks.  I'm sure I had taken at least that many with the camera.  This year I have eclipsed 10,000.   The question is what to do with all these photographs?  Delete.  I have been dumping photographs at an ever accelerating rate.   I have 4 terabytes of external hard drives sitting here on my desk filled with photographs and my camera is only 8 megapixel.   But, I do own 3 other cameras.  Anyway I take a lot of pics.  I had a 2 terabyte drive fail last week.  I did not gasp and grab my chest.  I just disconnected and put it in a drawer.  One of these days I will get it recovered.  It is no big deal.  After all since it happened I have taken about 1000 pics.  I am on my way to replacing it with different photographs.

All this leads me to the question: Why?  If I was taking them to because I thought they were all great I would rush off and get that hard drive recovered. I would quit deleting.  Photography in the beginning was to document travels, family, things of beauty.   Now it has just become a thing.  I just do it.  I keep looking for a new challenge.  I want it to be difficult.  I want to have to think about it.  How will the lighting effect the mood, the pose,  the setting.  I want to go places where few people have been or none.  I do not like standing in the same place as legions of others, unless I can do something unique.  Sure I do it, but the thrill is making it different.

Wait!....I just remembered some of the pics on that hard drive.  I gotta get those pics.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I Can't Wait

Things have changed in photography. It has only been about 12 years since film.  Back then we waited for the film to be shipped back to us and next time we adjusted.  Today we look at the histogram on the back of the camera and make an adjustment here and there. Histogram and photography, who woulda thought.  It seems like yesterday it was 24 exposures and that was it.  Today it is 100, 1000 exposures.  We had to remember to take our cameras, not our phones. Back then professional photographers were few and far between.  Today, well, everyone is a pro or thinks they are.  Back then we sent off a slide or a negative and waited for the 8x10, and if the results were good we showed a few of our closest friends.  Today people we don't know take a peak.  We even seek out the pics of others.  Remember the jokes about going over to someones house and looking at the vacation pics.  The jokes always alluded to the boredom.  Today we don't wait until the end of the vacation.  We are transported there via smart phone.   I have to admit I like seeing people's travel photos.  Sometimes it is with great envy.  I recently read it took Ansel Adams years to perfect his Moonrise photograph.  (I never was exposed to the darkroom, but wish I had been.  I suspect some of you miss those days.)  Today in minutes we can fix a pic.  Want your ex out of a group pic?  Sure why not.  I want blue eyes?  OK.  There use to be an argument about Kodachrome and Velvia.  The former had more natural colors and the latter more saturated.  Today saturation has been taken to a whole new level.   In fact with post processing the viewer is often seeing an altered reality.  I like the many of the changes but there is one thing I miss the most.

There is something about anticipation.  Waiting, hoping that things will be as you want them to be.  As a child waiting for Christmas hoping for just the right things to be under the tree.  It was that way when I shot with film.  I sent off what I was sure were world class pics to be processed and waited in anticipation.  Today I look on the back of the camera and a short time later they are on the computer. Then I post them on FB or some other internet circus.  There is just no anticipation.  I miss the anticipation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The other day I got some pics of an eagle.  This is the story.

I headed out to photograph wild horses.  (I don't know how they decided they were wild.  They have a few thousand acres to roam in, but they are penned.  And, they feed them)  I had a 70-200 mm lens on the camera.  As I headed down the dirt road I saw a juvenile eagle sitting on a fence post.   I was afraid to stop because I was close to him and feared I would cause him to fly.  I also had the wrong lens on the camera.  So I drove past him about a quarter mile, changed lenses to a 400mm lens and turned around.   This is the first pic I took.

I saw 2 problems.  First I was too far away.   Second the sun was back lighting him, and as a result there was little detail.  To solve my problems I had a dilemma.  I would need to drive past him for a second time, and it may cause him to fly.   After watching for a time I decided he had something cornered, and he was more interested in it than me.  I drove past him and about a quarter of a mile up the road and again turned around.   I pulled off the side of the road, and this is the first pic from my new location.

I had moved in closer and now the sun helped.  There was detail in the feathers and an eye was visible.   I wanted to get closer, but did not want him to fly.  Another car drove by and stopped about 20 feet from him for about 30 seconds and moved on.  The eagle did not flinch.  I moved in closer.  This is the first shot from my new location.

He did not appear to be concerned.   So I started shooting in earnest.  I changed my camera setting.  I wanted to shoot without the predictive focus on because sometimes with a stationary subject it is just a tad off.  I got one shot off with it turned off before he flew.  This is it.  

He landed on the ground just below the fence post.  I got several pics of the grass.

If you look really close you still cannot see the eagle.  I waited and waited and waited suddenly he flew.  I got several pics like this. 

I figured it was over, but no he landed on a post right across the road.  I have had birds fly closer to me, but never a bird of prey.  Here is the first pic from the location of the eagle's choosing. 

I took several in this location before he flew again.  Again when he took off I was not prepared, and missed him.

This is maybe the best shot of him

I didn't get any pics of horses that day.  They did not cooperate like the eagle.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Well I have often been asked why do photographers cost so much?  It all looks so simple, and at times it is.  No, that is not right most of the time it is.  So let's start a wedding photography business, and see what it takes to make it easy.

Wait before I start on that I'm going to explain a couple of things.  First I would prefer to shoot a wedding than not shoot a wedding.  They are fun.  People are happy, and it is a joyful occasion.  The challenge of catching the mood of the bride and groom, and catching those little precious moments is a thrill.  I'm also not going to complain about the hours or giving up Saturdays.  If those things are concern to the photographer they should find a new job.  On the other hand I have never worked as hard as when I owned by own business, and I have never talked to a business owner who disagreed.

I think we should start with the goal of clearing $30,000 to live on.  It will pay for food, housing, and the basics to live.  That is unless you have children, and maybe one is in college, or has special needs, or if you pay for health insurance out of your business.  But let's forget about that and just say $30,000.

If you charge $1,000 per wedding the first 30 weddings are to live on.  If you charge $3,000 the first 10 weddings are to live on.  One final point, it is doubtful that you can book a wedding every week.  So in our start up let's just say that there are 4 weeks out of the year there are no weddings booked.  You may be able to book portraits, but it is not a guarantee.  If you we are lucky enough to start booking portraits then we need to consider a studio, and the costs start to rise.  Now you may be able to shoot at people's homes or at your house, but there are still more costs.  Finally, I have never made over $40,000 in a year.

To shoot a wedding the photographer needs to backup his equipment.  In other words put yourself in the position of explaining to the bride  and groom your camera quit 30 minutes before the service.  Not a good thing, so you backup the equipment.

So here comes the nuts and bolts:
                              Setup 1
Camera.............................................................$2500 (many pros will pay $7,000)
Lens 70-200mm...............................................$1200
Lens 24-70mm.................................................$1200
Flash with arm & cord...............................$ 550
Memory cards...................................................$ 150
  Sub total                                                                $5600
                           Setup 2
Camera............................................................$1500 ( many pros will pay $2,500 and some $7000)
Lens 50mm.......................................................$ 350
Lens 85 mm......................................................$ 400
Flash with arm and cord...................................$ 350 (many pros will spend $550)
Memory cards...................................................$150
  Sub total                                                             $2750

 I took three cameras with me the backup to the backup was $650.  In fact in my first set up the camera cost $4500 and in set up 2 it cost $3500.

Strobe lights (at least 2) with stands.................$600
Light meter......................................................$150
Tripod with head ............................................$200
Camera case....................................................$200
Case for strobes and stands.............................$100
   Sub total                                                           $2200

This setup will make it look easy, but the cost:  $10,500

Now let's go home and process the pics.  Again two work stations needed one to back up the other.

                         Work stations
2 computers.............................................$2000
Calibration equipment...............................$500
Software...................................................$700 (at least photoshop, but that is bare bones. More likely $1000)
Accounting software.................................$200
   Sub total                                                  $4000

There is one last thing to back up; the photographer.  Rarely will there be one just one photographer.  After all what would the bride and groom if there was a kidney stone, car accident, whatever.  Even if there is one they usually have a group of other photographers to contact who could step in.  The backup may be free, but maybe not.

Ok now we are kinda started.   The price so far $14,000  (the backup photographer)

I know some of this seems like over kill, but a pro cannot drop the ball.   It is the kiss of death.  THe last thing you want is a bride to say well his camera broke or my uncle got drunk and dropped a beer on the camera and everything was lost.  Or I saw the pics and they were beautiful, but they were attacked by a virus,  now they are gone.  Word of mouth is their bread and butter and they cannot afford problems.  Soo those pics will usually be stored in at least two places.

In addition a Pro will more than likely replace camera and computers every three years.  There will also be new things that will come along.  Finally I think most Pro's would consider my numbers conservative.  I think it could easily go to $20,000 just to show up for a wedding.

One final point, it is doubtful that you can book a wedding every week.  So in our start up let's just say that there are 4 weeks out of the year there are no weddings booked.  You may be able to book portraits, but it is not a guarantee.  If you we are lucky enough to start booking portraits then we need to consider a studio.  We then would need to pay rent, electric, water, internet, and you would need to buy props, etc. It is also very disruptive to home life, move the furniture (hard on the legs) or take over the garage, find a place to store props, your children are jailed until the shoot is over, food may wait etc.

Now we are setup, and hopefully we know how this junk works.

So now we need all the stuff any business would need: pens, paper, office furniture (nice enough to meet customers), receipt book, web site, FB page, magazines, books, seminars, etc.  Your guess is as good as mine for the cost. Accounting software.   Advertising: including business cards, pop up advertising on FB and google (maybe), web site, blog, bridal fairs (not cheap), membership to professional web sites and organizations etc.  You will need to pay sales tax, and income tax and, if your business is very successful, probably a CPA.   Oh, almost forgot insurance.  Someone trips over your cord falls and breaks a leg while knocking over a light that hits the bride and knocks her unconscious.  Well you get the idea.

After the wedding (I'm not complaining. It is just a fact.)  The next week will be used to sort through the pics, and fix dirt on the wedding dress, remove lint from the tux, fix that strand of hair, brighten teeth, remove blemishes, rework eyes etc.  ( I could pay my printer to do this but they charge $1.00 per pic, and I usually take from 350 to 500 pics) You didn't really think pros took the pic and that was it did you?  If there is a wedding album ( $100 to $200 my cost) then art work is needed for every page.  The alternative is to hire someone to do the art work.  Then you send it out to the printer (not free) or you print it yourself.  (Have you paid for printer ink lately?)  My most successful year had expenses of about $7,800.  For the $3000 per wedding shooter the expenses will be considerably higher because it is harder to find people willing to pay and advertising becomes more expensive, tuxedo may be required, and the album may be leather with gold trim and a lock.  It is like buying a car the more you pay the greater the expectation.

THe things that Pros think about before hand.  Having someone available to find uncle Harry when the family photo is about to be shot.  Trust me getting 30 people together after the vows is a job, there is the bathroom,  a cigarette, diaper changing.  Someone has to know who the aunt is.  Are any of the people handicapped? What time to start shooting? Shoot the decorations, flowers, etc.  They know how that unity candle thing is going to work and are in position, they ask whoever is officiating over the ceremony about the use of flash and moving around and plan accordingly.  What can they shoot before the wedding or between the wedding and the reception?   They know how to quickly get people to pose and use their time wisely.  This is critical on wedding day particularly, if all the bride and groom photos are taken between the wedding and the reception.  Finally I have read lists of unusual  things photographers pack.  It includes: needle and white thread, needle and black thread, baby powder (wedding dress scuff marks), white and black shoe polish, double sided tape (actually had a seamstress sewing dresses on bride maids 30 minutes before the wedding), mirror, bottled water, duct tape, super glue, makeup kits, tampons, combs, brushes, silver cleaner, glass polish.  Well again you get the idea.

So here it is:      $1000 per wedding                          $3000 per wedding             
                           x  48 weddings                                  x   48 weddings
                      $48,000  per year                            $144,000 per year                                               Minus exp        -  $7,800                                           -   $7,800
                      $40,200                                            $136200
Minus               - $30,000 to live on                            - $30,000  to live on
Total             $10,200                                             $106,200
                      =====                                               ======

This does not include the cost of buying the equipment to start the business, back up photographers, any employee, (you will edit and print all the pics yourself) and does not include health insurance.   One final point Nikon will soon be releasing a new camera, cost $3000.  Canon will be releasing a new camera at about $3500 and both companies are releasing new lenses.  My two software companies are about to upgrade no idea of cost.  Anyway at $10,200, if you can book 48 weddings (Doubtful, I never have)  there is not much there to reinvest in the business.  Don't forget you are paying off the camera and computer equipment you bought to start, and will need to plan ahead for the latest and greatest to come.  A camera two lenses and its half gone.

Oh fiddle sticks I forgot to pay state and fed income taxes and sales tax.  Those pesky little things.  Hard to estimate taxes so I will leave that up to ya'll.  Sales tax will run around 8%.  So at $1000 per the cost will around $3800 and at $3000 around $11,500.  I have bored ya'll enough and the IRS has froze all my accounts because I forgot to pay taxes.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

This blog is about extenders.  I own one, but rarely use it.  Rarely meaning about 5 times in 5 years, maybe not that often.  The purpose of an extender is to make your lens longer.  As an example they can double the size of your lens from 200 mm to 400 mm.  Some however increase the length only 1.4 or 1.5 times making a 200 mm lens 280 mm or the 300 mm respectively.  My extender is 1.4 and makes my 400 mm lens 560 mm.  Here is a pic of mine:

 That is an SD card to help get an idea of size.

 Here is a pic of the lens (400 mm, 5.6) I would usually attach it to:

Here is the lens with the extender attached.

One of the upsides of  extenders is they will bring the subject closer.  The next photograph is with just the lens attached.

This next pic is with the extender attached from about the same location.                                     

Another upside is extenders do not cost as much as lens does.  The 400 mm lens shown here costs about $1275, but the extender is only about $475.  To buy a 500 mm lens would cost about $10,000.  So the lens with extender is $1750 or the 500 mm lens at $10,000, the choice is yours.   The final upside is size.  THe 500 mm lens weighs 7 pounds and is over 15 inches long.   I don't know the weight of the lens with the extender, but it is significantly lighter.  

You had to know it was coming, yes the downsides.  First the optics are never as good as using just the lens.  If your lens is marginal the extender will cause it be worse.  You will almost certainly need a tripod.  THe extended length with the extender will exaggerate motion.  The final downside is it will slow the lens.  My lens is a 400 mm 5.6 lens, but with the extender attached is a 560 mm 8.0 lens.  If it was a 2 x extender the lens would be 800 mm but at an f-stop of 11.  

There is one last consideration.  Some extenders do not work with some cameras so (Old extenders versus new camera).  Some extenders will not meter (measure light) with all cameras, and some will not autofocus.  Mine will not auto focus with my XTI but will with the two 1D's.  Do the research before buying. 

The first photograph is without the extender.  There were several without the extender that were sharp. (both photographs have been cropped)

This second shot with an extender and was of two that I consider useable, and even this one is not as sharp as the first.

I have just one more point to make.  The more mega-pixels the camera has the more you can crop without the loss of detail or having the detail of the photograph suffer.   So I would suggest get a camera with more pixels.  There are plenty of them between $500 and $1000 by Sony, Nikon, Canon, Pentax.  They really aren't that much more expensive than an extender. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I have a fascination with water.  I have spent most of my life in the midwest not much water.  So, to feed my fascination I have searched waterfalls, and photographed a bunch of them.  

The water in each of the photographs is without much of texture as seen when actually viewing them.  This is accomplished with a slow shutter speed.   The fastest shutter speed used was .8 of a second when these were captured.  So bring along a tripod.

At an art show I saw photographs taken of waterfalls in the Grand Canyon with a fast shutter speed and it seemed to catch an energy the others miss.  I recently went to Yosemite and decided to try the technique.  This is the result.

The shutter speed was 1/250 on both.  I wanted a higher shutter but the lighting prevented me.

The same technique is used with streams.

 Shutter speed 1/8 second
Shutter speed 1/50

Friday, November 25, 2011

I like finding music artists that are little known or finding songs by the well known, but didn't make it big.  Beth Hart's music I have followed since 1997 or there about.  I first heard her sing Am I the One on the radio.  Called the radio station to find out who she was.   Her live version here is R rated.   Everyone should spend some time listening to her.  SHe sings with great emotion.
Here she is on TV
THis is a latest effort

Saturday, November 19, 2011


There are some of you out there that know I love music.  So I have decided to broaden the scope of this blog to include music.  No I'm not going to sing or play an instrument, but I am going to post songs I like or rather links.  I have listened to Florence and the machine for a while now, but I have just listened to her latest release and  and a live version  .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One of the questions I 'm asked is "how did you get that photograph?", and one of the statements I hear often is "you must have been lucky."  Listed below are 5 photographs I took over two days.  They are of white pelicans,  one cormorant and 2 herons.  

So now in as few words as I can possibly use is how I did it and why I was lucky.  
The first day I was returning to a site I had seen several weeks earlier.   I expected to find egret and herons.  Instead I found pelicans hundreds of them.  On that day I took 300 photographs, and on the next day I took 1549 photographs.  Yes, in two days I took 1849 photographs.  I have posted 6.  I'm sure there are others I should work on, but these 6 stood out for me.  My point of course is if you take a lot of photographs you have something to choose from.  There are some other things that help.   My camera takes 8 frames a second and , and I have a 400mm lens.  The 8 frames helps capture the action and the lens brought them close and focuses like lighting.  Although, I think the most important thing was patience.  The first day I stood in the same place for an hour and during that time I studied their behavior.  I noticed what made them nervous and how they acted when relaxed.  The second day I stood (I mean stood) in the same place for over 3 hours.  After awhile I became part of the environment and they stopped noticing me.  They started to get too close to me.  So, I went after my 70-200mm lens, and started shooting again.  Finally, most of them flew off, I guess they had better things to do.   
So how do I get the photograph?  Well I have the right equipment. I take a lot of photographs. I can be very patient.   As far as being lucky I guess in manner of speaking I was.  I didn't expect the pelicans, or to be able to photograph fish in their bill,  or catch a cormorant diving with its beak wide open.  On the other hand I just think it was a reward for being patient.  

After I had written this post I decided to add one last pic.  Click on the pic to make it bigger the one pelican in the middle is flying the wrong way, or all the others are.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Football Photography

SO how do you get those sport pics?  I don't know how many times I have answered that question.  My answers vary depending on the sport.  Since football is starting let's start there.

We photographers are going to need two things a camera and a lens and probably a flash.   First we need a camera.  When deciding on a camera focus speed, frames per second, and high ISO performance are major considerations.  To shoot football I use a 1D Mark II.  It is an 8 MP camera, and shoots 8.5 frames a second.  It focuses like lighting and holds its focus on moving athletes.  It is no longer in production.   THere are several others out there though from $800 to $5000.

Next a lens is needed.  I shoot football and fastpitch with a 70-200 2.8 lens.   It is a fantastic lens that focuses faster than the speed of light, and provides excellent image quality.  Today it costs today around $1100, the F-4 version can be had for around $650, and both are excellent lenses.  There are a lot of other lenses out there.  Too many for me to provide a evaluation of each.  If you want opinions then let me know.

The last thing is a light system.  Most of high school football is played at night, and I know it looks like there is a lot of light.  There isn't.  Oh some of you may be lucky, but most are not going to be.  For us as photographers that means high ISO and shallow depth of field.  I shoot at ISO 800 and at an F-stop of 2.8, and even with those settings I use a flash.  Now, some new cameras have a useable ISO a lot higher.  With one of those you may be lucky enough to obtain 1/500 of a second shutter speed (1/500 is the speed I feel is needed for sports) and not need a flash.   Or you may find me wrong and go ahead and shoot with a slower shutter speed.  If you need a flash though there are more problems.

In a previous post( ) I discussed the different types of flash.  A flash gun will be most successful shooting football.  An on board flash has serious limitations.  Usually the flash is not very powerful, sucks the camera battery dry much faster, and takes a long time to recycle.  In the earlier post I provided some examples showing the lack of power with most on board flashes.  Since the flash uses the camera batteries you might not have enough juice to shoot the whole game.  I hope your athlete doesn't do something spectacular after it quits.  In addition they take a long time to recycle.  Recycling is the length of time it takes from the flash firing to the time it is ready to fire again.  With an on board flash this can take several seconds.  You will only get one shot per play.  You might as well leave it at home and have good time at the game.

Another consideration is flash sync.  THis is the fastest shutter speed your flash will allow you to achieve without part of the photograph being totally black.   With most cameras this will be from 1/100th to 1/200th of a second, but some are at 1/30th.  The good news is the flash freezes motion.  For football I use a camera that syncs at 1/250.   Motion blur (pic below) can still be a problem.

Flash guns are a different story.  THey have enough power, they don't use the camera battery, and they have a faster recycle time.   Oh we are excited now.   Now comes the bad stuff.  They have a faster recycle time, but the most you'll get is two shots.  They still go through AA batteries like nobody's business.  So how do we solve this latest dilemma?  A battery pack.  Mine cost $150.00.  It lasts about a year, and then another one.  It also requires a wire $250, $400 total.   What do you get for this?  Three shots a play, and sometimes four.

Of course none of this makes any difference if you shoot during the day.

Boy I'm glad the ref's pants didn't split.  I'll bet he is too.  Oh by the way he scored on the play, and it is 11 pics.

So now you have the camera, lens, and lighting system (if needed).  Your at the game and ready to shoot.  Not yet, first you should get clearance with the Athletic director, or the organizer of the event before going to the sidelines.  Then you are ready, but be careful.  I have been tackled, and while holding about $6000 worth of equipment.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Damn Routine

That damn routine.  Get up drink coffee, off to work, then home, TV, bed and start over the next day.   It is comfortable, predictable, and relaxing.  No muss no fuss.  That damn routine.  One eye should always be on it.  There is a hidden danger.  If you are not alert it will sneak in and steal your adventure.  My father used to take us on, what we called rides.  On a Sunday afternoon or in the early evening we would load up in the car and take off.  Sometimes we would check out the motels to see if they were full.  I remember sitting and counting the cars that flew by in a minute on interstate 44 before the overpasses.  If memory serves me correctly we would count well over a hundred cars.  Of course to break the routine a bungee jump would work, but dad had it figured.

This blog as most of you know has dealt primarily with photography, and you may now be wondering what this has to do with that.  Well not much.  Although photography can become routine.  This is about paradise and how the routine can replace it.  I am leaving paradise, Mesquite Nevada.  I waded the Virgin river this morning.   In the last three years I have made trips to Yosemite, Zion (a bunch of times) Arches, Canyonlands, Valley of Fire (several Times), Grand Canyon, Great Basin, Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Dead Horse, Horse Shoe Bend,  taken more hikes than I can count, and driven part of the Pacific coast highway for me it gets no better.  I almost forgot we are 90 miles from Las Vegas not only gambling, but great shows Lou saw Elton John, Lion King, Thunder Down; people watching I've seen a couple of see thru blouses, there is no telling what you'll see, and great shopping.  This has been paradise.  I am headed to Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

There is something about moving to a state that is OK.   I lived there for a year about three years ago.  I didn't like it.  Now I'm headed back.  Oh well at least I will be close to the Buffalo river, and some waterfalls.  I don't mean to offend the people of Bartlesville.  I'm sure they are great people.  It just will not compare to Mesquite.  Oh yeah this isn't about moving.  Its about that damn routine.

As much as I have done here I wish I had done more.   I wish I hadn't fallen into a routine.  I know, I never will again.  I have killed the routine.  Stomped it with my hiking boots, strangled it with my camera strap,  drowned in it my camelbak.  I had plans for the fall Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.  I was busily saving money to float the Colorado river.  Life took over and instead it is the move.  I could have made the hike through the subway, I could have backpacked Zion, four-wheeled Canyon Lands.  I should have seen Santana, Cher, Bette.  I could have.  I didn't.  That damn routine.

I guess I should post some photographs:

Lake Geneva Wisconsin (the first time I lived in paradise)
Taken with film.  I frequently ate lunch on the shore of the lake, and went there before work.  Watched ice sailing once. 

These next two I took Saturday at the Virgin river.   

 ISO 100, f16, 1/60
ISO 100, f16, 1/80


Thursday, June 9, 2011


Well spring is over at least here in the desert.   It is close to 100 today .  I know there is no humidity.  All that humidity thing means is you don't know your dehydrating.  It also means those beautiful weeds have wilted.  You know the ones.  The ones that are treated with roundup.   Of course, there are those others that need more attention than a 2 year old at the county fair.   They need watering, fertilizing and pulling those other flowers called weeds.

Well I'm going to be talking about ISO, shutter speed, and F-stop again.   Just in case you had forgotten I will be talking about light since it is thing we photograph no matter the subject.

Flower 1.   (Weed to some)

THis is an old photograph taken with something called film.  It is one of my favorites.   I do not know the ISO, shutter speed, or F-stop.  I just love the simplicity.  It is straight on and the flower is not perfect, but the light I just love. It is hard to catch white and still find detail like this.  I suspect that it was taken in the evening not too long before the sunset.   The hour just after the sun rises and just before it sets are usually the best for taking photographs like this one.  The light has a soft glow to it.

Flower 2 or are they weeds.

ISO 100, F-stop 7.1, 1/1600   Same type of flower, but taken several years later.   I took this because I just wondered what they would look like from the ground.  We always look down on them and frequently pull them.  Since, the flower is not going to run off why not take more than one picture  explore all the angles and all the ways light hits them. 

Flower three.

ISO 200, F 8, 1/40.   Remember that discussion about the best light, this was taken at about noon bright sunshiny day, so much for rules.  Yes I have to admit I have worked this pretty hard in photoshop.  I don't do that very often, but so much for rules.  If I would have just shot the photograph the flower would have been underexposed.  Remember there was bright light.  So I got close enough to the flower that only it was showing.  I recorded the shutter speed and the F-stop.  I framed the photograph and snapped the shutter.  The building in the background was now overexposed and did show in the photograph.  

Flower 4

ISO 100, F-stop 5, shutter Speed 1/50  Here is I used the same principal except in reverse.  This time I was at a dinner party, that is potato chips in the background when I took this.  The flowers however were in the light and the background was dark.  The lesson is cameras only see about two stops of light.   I know some of you are saying what?   Two stops?  Let's just say we have a camera set up to shoot at these settings ISO 400, Shutter speed  1/250, and F-stop 8.   Now let's say we want to adjust the settings by a stop.  We could change the ISO to 800 and leave the other settings alone.  About twice as much light would get to the sensor and the adjustment would be 1 stop.  So in the example we increased the light by one stop.  We could decrease it by changing the ISO to 200.  The ISO would be decreased by one stop.  We could do the same thing with the shutter speed or the F-stop.  To increase by a stop double the shutter speed to 1/500 or decrease it by cutting in half to 1/125,  and with the F-stop to increase by a stop set it to F-4 or decrease it by setting it to f 16.  In the two flower examples I used this principal to my advantage.  It can be a problem such as photographing a group of people some in the shade and some not. 

Flower 5 

ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/2500, F stop 1.4  THis photograph has been cropped for two reasons.  The first reason is because I like it that way.  The other reason is to draw attention to the center of the flower.  I did this by choosing an F-stop of  1.4 and creating a shallow depth of field.  You can see that hardly any of this photograph is in focus.   Usually I will not use an F-stop less than F4.  This is a rule of thumb.  The only thing to keep in mind is the closer you get to the subject the narrower the depth of field at the same F-stop.   As an example (I am now going to make up numbers, but the theory is good)  at F-stop 1.4 and at about 12 inches from the subject there may only be 1/2 inch in focus, but at 20 feet there may be 12 inches in focus.   In other words the closer to the subject the narrower the depth of field, and the further away the wider the depth of field.

Next time sports, and from then on it will be my travels and photographs like this:
  Well maybe not like this, but the things I photograph.