Photography Styles

Every photographer is different. We each tend to take photographs of what inspires us in a style that speaks to our artistic side. I’ve developed a passion for rolling countryside landscapes, green pastures and blue sky. I also love to find those hidden gems of flowers nestled down inside tall grasses. I also like to capture images of those special moments like the love between a mother and child, the twinkle in the eye of a laughing individual, the gentleness of a newly wedding couple kissing and those moments when people let down their guard and become comfortable in front of the camera.

I’ve always had the tendency to research what other photographers are doing. I used to be very active on Deviant Art when I was building my budding talent. I shared images, read critics on other images and took 10,000 plus my first year with my DSLR. I am 100% self-taught. I didn’t work under another photographer. I didn’t attend classes. I would read and then take an hour, a day or a week to figure out just one setting until I would get the effect I was looking for.

Recently, I was doing some digging into photography styles that seemed to speak to me and I stumbled upon what’s called the Brenizer-method. It’s something unique. It built his career as a high end wedding photographer but I don’t see any reason that it can be used in many different photographic situations. If you haven’t seen his work, it can be found at Ryan Brenizer Photography. His technique is to shoot multiple images, anywhere from 7-70, and compile them into a panoramic shot. It’s not what you are thinking. Traditionally, panoramic shots are thought of as elongated, narrow views of a horizon. Not so with the Brenizer method. The technique is to build a square image. You could consider it a compiled high-definition shot that is achieved with multiple images. It’s fascinating how beautiful the photos come alive.

Here’s a video on how it’s done and how to get started.

Direct from Ryan’s web page where I found this video:

Quick tip: One important thing that got left on the cutting-room floor. When shooting any panorama ALL of your settings should be the same shot to shot — your focus, your ISO, your aperture, your shutter speed, and your white balance, otherwise it will be a hot mess. If your camera has an “AEL/AFL” button set to lock both exposure and focus, this takes care of all the variables except the white balance, and if you’re shooting RAW you can correct that later.

This is my mission for the week! I want to find some time to attempt some of these shots. Just like the video says, 4 shots is really all you need…. I’ll make sure to share the end results, both good and bad.

Morning Light

My favorite time to capture photos is in the early morning. It’s peaceful to be out there listening to the roosters crowing while the sun peeks up over the hill. My absolute favorite mornings are foggy mornings that leave lots of dew on the grasses and flowers. This morning, the fog burned off just as the sun was rising. It created a perfect opportunity to “play” with the camera.

This morning my goal was to get some dew drop photos and some photos of the sunrise behind the barn. In less than 15 minutes (and a pair of wet shoes, socks and pants later) I think I captured the details I love the most.

Barrows Farm Barn in Silhouette against the sunrise

A tiny flower reaching for the light with tiny drops of dew.

A tiny flower reaching for the light with tiny drops of dew.

 

One drop of dew on the tip of a grass blade. The "dots" are thousands of blades lines up with dew drops

One drop of dew on the tip of a grass blade. The “dots” are thousands of blades lines up with dew drops

Anyone with a DSLR can play with the different settings to lengthen exposure or shorten it. I decided to shorten the exposure time and attempt to pick up just the light refraction through the dew drops along the edge of some grasses in a pasture. Below is the final result! I’m very happy with the results! By the way…that’s with ZERO editing!

 

Dew Drop Silhouette

Dew Drop Silhouette

 

 

ISO settings

Since I have been working with a couple of people on creating better images. I think the biggest flaw that people have when using a DSLR is that they have no desire to learn and incorporate ISO speeds. Digital photography gives us much more flexibility within one camera than any film ever could have. Changing the ISO is the DSLR equivalent of changing film speed in a conventional camera! Now think of it like this, one change can be done from photo to photo with a DSLR. That couldn’t have been done EVER with a film camera.

This tells you how sensitive the film is to light, a higher number indicating more sensitivity to light. In digital photography ISO indicates how sensitive the image sensor is to light.

The following information is taken DIRECTLY from the Digital SLR Photo, Starter’s Guide…so don’t say you have an excuse for not knowing this information if you are reading this and  you own a DSLR!

The most common ISOs are:

100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

Quick tip

The higher the ISO number = the higher the sensitivity to light

Moving from one ISO to the next value changes the exposure by half or double.

The ability to shoot in low light has a trade-off in the form of grain or noise. In digital cameras it’s not the grain of the film that becomes visible at higher sensitivities, but digital noise – the visual equivalent to the hiss you hear when you turn a hi-fi amp up to full volume when nothing is playing.

100 ISO will give you sharp images while 3200 will show quite a lot of noise.

The higher the ISO number = the more noise/grain

The rule of thumb is to select the lowest ISO you can get away with that will allow you to take a picture at a fast enough shutter speed and/or larger aperture.

A football match outdoors on a bright day: at ISO 200 you should be able to shoot at 1/250 or faster to freeze action.

Concerts and gigs: always a tough one especially at smaller venues where there’s little lighting and the subject is moving. Best bet is to start at 3200, do a few test shots and then lower the ISO to the lowest you can take successful shots.

Churches and galleries: 1600 might be the minimum ISO you can get away with to shoot at 1/60. 

Top tip 1: faced with the choice of introducing more noise and a fast enough shutter speed, go with the shutter speed.  You can live with noise and make attempts to reduce it with software but you can’t do much with a blurred shot other than bin it.

Top tip 2: purposely use a high ISO for a grainy effect and give  mood to a scene.  This might be harder to do than you think as camera manufacturers are continuously reducing (“improving”) the noise from ISO settings to the point where you might need to add it in post-production.

Here are images, taken at the same shutter speed, of the same object, but at different ISO speeds. Shutter speed (Or exposure time for the Novice Photographers was set to 1/160 sec on the TV mode). As you can see, the images are “brighter” due to the increased amount of “light” let into the camera. Not one of these images uses a flash and all were taken on the same parameters for Black and White Photography, just to show the differences.

ISO-200

IMG_1321

ISO-400

IMG_1322

ISO-800

IMG_1323

ISO-1600

These are just FOUR of the many ISO settings available on my camera! If you are willing to learn ISO differences, this is one of the most important tools you can use to capture those special moments in EVERY different lighting situation!

GET OUT THERE! CAPTURE LOTS OF NEW IMAGES AND CHANGE THOSE ISO SETTINGS! Your photography will thank you for it!!!!!

Fund Raising

As many of you already know, I live my life attempting to capture the moments that inspire me. I do that with old, used equipment and it’s almost done taking it’s last photos. I want to continue to share not only the moments from the farms I am so blessed to be connected with but also moments that are near and dear to others. In an attempt to raise funds so that I could purchase my first brand new batch of equipment, I am humbly asking for donations. Please help me continue doing what I love so much. Money is extremely tight and any amount will help me continue sharing the things I like so much in life. Thank you to all who would be willing to donate a few dollars. I will gladly send prints or photograph for you. If you can’t assist, maybe you know of family or friends that can, kindly sharing the link below with them would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.gofundme.com/3v40fg