Morning sun

Shooting into the sun–With my 50 mm lens 1/8000 @ f1.4 ISO 100 and backlighting the flower bloom, you lose a sense of what kind of light was used or even the time of the day. This was early morning around 7:45 am.

The sun came out of hiding finally.

I went by one of my favorite buildings downtown–the Life Arts Center which is one hundred years old, I think.

Those pictures for the story were taken by David Bauman, long-time staff photographer at the paper and a good friend.

His dad Fred was the one who hired me out of college.

At the entryway there is a huge bougainvillea plant with red pinkish blossoms.

During certain times of the year and time of the morning, the sunlight just catches it right.

5 minutes earlier or later and the whole scene looks different.

If you’re driving, that means it won’t catch your eye and you’ll miss it.

If you’re walking and you’re in not in a hurry, you will see it.

Let me take that back.

You might notice it too, but might decide I’m making too much out of a silly bloom of bougainvillea flowers.

Room for improvement?—Sometimes you can’t plan on composing exactly in the viewfinder and so you have to crop in post production. I suppose I could lose the roof in the picture by pointing my camera slightly down and capturing more road.

One of the most interesting things about photography is that no two people see the same way.

You could send out 100 people with the same lens and camera, confine them to a small area and you’ll see very different images.

So I may be the only person alive who thinks this is a scene be worthy of a picture.

The picture above was taken with a 50 mm lens across the street.

I switched to my longer zoom to give me ability to crop “in camera.”  I certainly didn’t need all that clutter in the scene and if I can do that when shooting, I end up with a bigger image size.

That way if I want to enlarge this, I’ll have a nice crisp image with lots of resolution–enough to make into a poster if need be.

From 2 years ago–Here’s the bougainvillea plant from Feb 27, 2008. The time was 8:15 am. Shot with my 80-200mm zoom lens. In case you’re thinking I have such great recall, don’t. That EXIF info is available whenever you go back to your original files. So it’s pretty much the same time of the year.

Composing in viewfinder

I’m an advocate of composing in the viewfinder as much as possible because when you do decide to have your prints made for display on a wall, you can actually save a lot on matting.

If you watch the clutter in the edges, and you compose as if you are seeing the final print in a matte, you won’t have to cut custom mattes.

Every custom cut matte means extra expense on your part. Keeping that in mind, if you’re on budget, you can re-use the same mattes and just swap out your pictures.

I can use more fans on Facebook, so help me out everyone. It’s not like it’s going to cost you anything.

5 thoughts on “Morning sun”

  1. Jessica,
    I should check the SPAM filter on this blog more often. I just found your comment. Sorry about that.

    I’m sort of ambivalent about the roof being in the picture. What struck me more was the morning sun as it was creeping in and lighting just the flowers and nothing else.

    Just a few minutes either way and the scene is gone because of the angle of the sun. I keep a notebook with locations like this with times of the day and the season so if I ever want to photograph someone in natural light like this, all I have to do is drag them out of bed. 😉

  2. Yes, I have a 5D. I also have Lightroom, thank the photo gods! Spot removal used to be a terrible pain without it.

    My partner/apprentice would have my head, if I sold you my 5D instead of letting her use it whenever I buy another camera body. It would be very difficult to make photos without my head, so I’ll be keeping the 5D. 🙂

  3. Hi Wanda,
    My first SLR came with a standard lens–the 50 mm. It is actually a great lens to have when learning. Fixed focal length forces you to “zoom with your legs.”

    At the time I remember lusting for more focal length but I couldn’t afford it. Then I discovered depth-of-field and bokeh. Over time, I realized also the key in getting exciting, to me at least, pictures is dynamic composition.

    That one lens forced me to concentrate on tilting the corners or turning the camera every which way until things looked interesting in the viewfinder especially when photographing inanimate abstract objects. There is a downside to this: poor posture on my part. You should see how I contort my body sometimes just to get the shot.

    I feel your pain about the dust but I don’t own a full frame camera like you do. Don’t you have a 5D?
    If you spring for Lightroom, there is a feature where you can do a batch spot removal or you could move up to a 5D Mark 2!

    Sell me your 5D 😉 . Great to hear from you. Thanks for posting your comment.

  4. I prefer composing in-camera, too. Lately I have gotten better at paying attention to what is in the edges of my viewfinder and cropping in-camera. It’s a challenge that forces me to pay more attention to detail.

    To add to the challenge, I have started choosing my focal length, then moving my body instead of zooming in and out. That way I can choose how distance is compressed (or not) and move my body to improve on the composition. If I use only the zoom lens to change composition, I don’t get that control over distance compression, and that can change the whole look and feel of an image.

    Lately what has been driving me crazy is dust! You would not believe the amount of spot removal I had to do on my shots yesterday. I need to do something about that, and soon.

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