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My words and photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without permission, even on Pinterest.

~ Kathy M.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Experimenting: Fooling Around With My Camera and Some Special Effects

Yesterday was such a nice day for me.  I didn't have to leave the house,  which was actually clean.  I visited with April on the phone,  I researched flexible jobs and I sewed.  I cooked dinner in the crock pot too.  Man, I love that thing.  When Cary got home, we were sitting outside watching the wildlife, and I decided to experiment with the settings on my camera.  I added more peanuts to the bird feeder and all over the grass and then went and sat by them.  The blue jays and squirrels did not mind me one bit.  Their love for peanuts was stronger than their fear of me.  The doves waited until I left.

Practice makes perfect, and nothing is perfect, but I am noticing that I am getting some better photos these days.  Don't be afraid to mess around with your options on that camera of yours!  And don't be afraid of messing around with the options on your photo processing program.  Especially if you have a photo that didn't turn out very well by normal standards.  If you were not going to print or post it, you might as well see what special effects can do.  There are purists out there that say that is cheating, but I do not agree, unless you are in a contest with specific rules against it.  

I see my photography as my art, and enhancing is creative and fun.  I have so much more to learn in this area though.  There are many programs out there, but I currently use Picasa 3.  It was a free download, and has many more options than the Windows Gallery that came with my computer.  Becca over at Patina Moon  has encouraged me to use Photoshop Elements, and I will pretty soon.


That bird is not dead!  I can't figure out what it is doing though.  Anyway, I saturated this photo and then used a graduated tint.  Just because I had never used a graduated tint before.


I used "warmfly" on this one.  I could have lightened up the background, but I just left it alone.


This is "sepia".  I like using sepia when I am taking photos of old things ... like the bridges from the other day.

















This is regular black and white (B&W).  Picasa 3 also has many variations of black and white, such as film grain and others.













This is "soft focus".  It blurs the edges around your main subject.









This is called "focal black and white ".  I could have highlighted the rock or something in the background instead.  It is kind of like coloring only one part of a picture in a coloring book.







I didn't touch this one up.  It is taken on the automatic setting with the automatic flash.



















This setting is aperture, and I held the flash down so that it wouldn't go off.   I also like using the "portrait" setting when I am looking through tree branches up close and taking pictures of the background.












Here is one from last year that looks so much better.













The squirrel with "saturation".















The squirrel, "warmed up" and then applying the "soft focus".












The above stuff is all fun to do.  The most fun part of photography, though, is when you take a picture that does not need any enhancement.  When all you have to do is crop out background busyness.   The close-ups of the yellow and red Aspens below are like that .  I used the "aperture" setting and made sure I held the flash down.  Pictures like those take my breath away.  I feel proud.  I say to myself, I say, good job, Kathy Matthews, good job.

So, get out that camera and GO FOR IT!  It doesn't cost anything other than a bit of your time.  Time invested in yourself.

~ Kathy


2 comments:

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Hi Kathy! I LOVE that bridge photo from your post the other day. There are a dozen great stories from that photo and the sepia made it perfect, set the mood.

You ought to go to my FB page and check out my son's profile pic. His camera has a "fish eye" on it and he took a pic of himself. Really funny. Just the pic alone and the fact that he would post it for all the world to see tells you something about his personality! LOL He's a good photographer. My youngest has taken some great photos, too; she loves working with the photo shop stuff. I'm always amazed by what she turns out.

Your photos are lovely. Keep snapping!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Lisa,

I'm going to go and check out his photo in just a minute!

Thank you for all of your gracious compliments. You still need to let me know which photo you would like from the contest...do you want the bridge one?

If you would like to use it for a writing prompt on your blog some time, you have my permission.

:>)

Kathy

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