All photos, including the one behind the blog title, are the sole copyright of Vicki Maheu, aka ThriceBlessed. Please be kind & do not copy any photos here unless you first receive permission. Also, if you have a photo blog, and you link to me on your blog, I'll return the favor and link to you, just leave a comment letting me know that you linked to me! Thank you!
B is for Beach, I wanted to show some foreground interest in this photo, the original had a lot more sand and rocks in the foreground, but the closest ones were not completely in focus. I know what I'm going for, and will play around to try to get it, even though it didn't come out in this one. This photo had a lot of redeeming qualities though, so I cropped it to do away with the closest part of the foreground, and kept the in focus part. I think the square crop fits it nicely.
Okay, so this isn't the most artistic image you'll ever see on this site... but a few weeks ago I took a ride in an ambulance, I was having some chest pain, it turns out I was not having a heart attack at that time, but seeing the bills that came from that event just might cause me to have one after all. Here is the charge just for the ambulance ride, does not include any of the hospital bill... click on the picture to view it larger.
Well, as you know I've been working on the Free Online Photography Course for sometime, and I've learned a lot. In fact, I've been looking at the assignments my sister has been taking at college (studying for a degree in photography), and her photos are covering pretty much the exact same concepts, except that she is also studying image manipulation (photoshop), and I haven't really gotten into that much. I pretty much have limited my manipulation to cropping, and occasionally minor exposure adjustment or picture straightening.
So that Free Online Course is teaching me a lot, and I plan to continue taking it. However, some of the assignments will have to wait for gear (for example, the ones that require use of studio lighting), and even the assignments I can do with what I have are meager material for this blog. I'd like to challenge myself to take photos more often.
To that end, I am beginning more projects.
I have borrowed Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" from the library. I have already read the entire book, and it has helped me enormously with my understanding of using Manual Mode on my camera. Throughout the book there are six suggested projects. I want to complete all six projects.
Also from my library I have borrowed Bryon Peterson's "Learning to See Creatively", and Lee Frost's "50 Photo Projects". I would like to complete all of the projects in Bryan Peterson's book, and would like to pick and choose through Lee Frost's.
In addition to the books from my library, I have ordered "150 Projects to Strengthen Your Photography Skills" by John Easterby. I heard about that book from a fellow blogger, Mary Fran. I plan to go through that book too, and do all of the projects eventually.
Now all of this should provide me with plenty of material! However, in case that is not enough.... I am going to start a "Photographic Alphabet" project. This will sometimes be combined with other projects. A Photographic Alphabet project is a pretty simple idea I got from the Digital Photography School blog. The idea is to focus on one letter of the Alphabet, and go take a picture that goes with that letter. It could be an object that starts with that letter, or something that has the shape of that letter, or a picture that focuses on a concept that starts with that letter (for example, for letter "g" it might be a photo of a goat, or it might be something that makes one think of the concept of "greatness", or it might be that funny looking pretzel that is shaped just like a capital "G".
Now as I said, sometimes these photo projects might be combined, one image taking care of both of them, and sometimes I will focus on one project only. The point is to keep stretching myself, challenging myself, and not let my lack of gear get in the way. There may be a project or two in the books that I can't do with the gear I have, if so I will just skip them for now and come back to them later, but I will still be able to post an alphabet picture. I will tag the posts as either "Photographic Alphabet" or "Photography Book Project", and will always tell where the idea for the project shot came from.
Here is another example of why I so want a telephoto lens. Look at this picture, taken with my Kodak Z710 at 10x zoom, keep in mind that this camera, while it has 10x optical zoom, it only has 7 mega-pixels, and does not take very sharp images at its maximum zoom, also keep in mind that I also cropped the image to show it this close, and now imagine them taken with my DSLR and a medium-price range telephoto lens:
I'd so like to take my photography to the next level, to do some really cool wildlife shots, some sports shots, explore the world of macro and abstract... but I am limited. Not by ideas, and I don't believe I am limited on talent or skill, I believe I am fully capable of getting the results I'm after... but I'm limited by equipment. My Canon Rebel xs has only the kit lens, 18-55mm. I simply can't zoom in enough for decent wildlife or sports shots, and I can't get the results in macro or closeup that I'd really like to see.
I also have a Kodak Z710, and it does have 10x zoom, but the pictures are not nearly as sharp as what I could get with my Rebel if it had a good lens.
So, buy a new lens you say? Well I can't. I've been looking, and nothing worth buying falls in my price range. I've looked on craigslist and found a lens for a mere fraction of what it would cost new, along with a lot of other gear being thrown in with it, but my husband informed me that we still can not afford it.
So, I guess I am limited in the kind of pictures I can take. I can get some very nice shots of certain types, so its not the quality of my work that suffers as much as the type of work I can do. I guess I'll have to express my artistic side in some other way.
Speaking of wildlife shots, I did get some halfway decent shots of a coyote in my yard a few weeks ago, I had to use the Kodak, because the 18-55mm lens just can't do the job. I'm sure that my results would have been much better with a true telephoto lens on my rebel, but at any rate, here is what I got.
This last one is a crop of the first one.
So you see that the Kodak gets decent shots, but certainly not professional quality at a distance. If you click on the picture to see it larger, you can tell how it is lacking in sharpness, I mean, it is good for a point and shoot picture, but the results I could have gotten with a real telephoto lens would have been awesome.
So I guess for now I just wait and keep working with I have, maybe some day I'll be able to get myself one telephoto and one macro.
I got on my blog this evening to use my links on the sidebar and visit other blogs, but all of my links to other blogs were gone! I have no idea what happened to that blog list! I have reconstructed the list as much as I could remember. However, if your blog used to be there and isn't anymore, it is not because I wanted it taken down!
Whether you used to be on that list or not, if you have a photoblog and want to be added to the list, please let me know! Also, if you have a list of blog links on YOUR photoblog and would like to add mine, please do so!
Another assignment for the Free Online Photography course, this time I am backtracking a little, and doing an assignment I skipped. I am doing assignment 1 of lesson three. The assignment was to, "Take a photograph using your widest angle lens possible and another using your longest lens possible. Compose them both so they are as interesting as possible." I only have one lens so far, but its a zoom so I took the photos with the lens's widest angle possible, and then with the longest.
The assignment also said to put the camera on a tripod or other sturdy object, but I forgot that part, so I guess in this case my hands were the "other sturdy object". I knelt in exactly the same spot for both photos.
So here are two photos of the same object, taken at 55 mm, f/8, shutter 1/125, ISO 200, Manual Mode, Auto focus. I think this one makes a pretty good abstract.
And here is one taken at 18 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO 200.
In case anyone is wondering what on earth my picture is of, it is a VERY OLD milk/cream separator.
Okay, its time for more assignments from the Free Online Photography Course I have been taking. I haven't done assignment 1 of lesson 3 yet, but the order of the assignments doesn't really matter as much as actually DOING both of them. So here goes... the directions said, "Again, set your camera up and take two photographs - this time they should be exactly the same, but use your aperture to make your subject the only thing in focus in one of them and then to make everything in the picture in focus in the other one."
I decided to make my subject my favorite chess piece. Both of these photos were taken with Aperture Priority. In both photos I manually focused on the Knight's eye, to get the greatest detail in that spot, and in both photos the ISO was 100, there has been no post processing of either image.
On this one, the aperture was F32 (the smallest available) and the shutter speed 5 seconds. Even though the point I manually focused on was the same as the second the photo notice the extreme difference in the results. For the most part I like the second image the best, but I do kind of like the cross on top of the king in the foreground of this first one. I wonder, if kept playing around, could I have gotten the cross AND the knight to be focused, while everything else was fuzzy?
Now here is this one, the aperture was F5.0 (largest available) and the shutter speed 1/8 of a second. Notice how my favorite piece now stands out from the rest of them!
Sorry that some of these are not composed or focused as well as they should be, I was in a hurry to snap the pictures because the kids wanted to disassemble some parts of this creation to make new things... I decided to go full auto with my camera, and I didn't notice until the picts were on my computer screen that some parts were out of focus a little, but not too bad.
My little daughter Danielle is quite amusing with her mix of typical little girl traits and "Tom Boy" traits. Here is the cute little play house she built from legos, typical little girl stuff... well until you look closer:
Her dream home has a missile launcher.
And the woman of the house drives around armed with a pistol.
The man of the house drives a car that is part fighter plane.
Okay, my assignment for lesson 2 of my free photography course was to take pictures using shutter speed to create an effect. My first effort at this was to use a fast shutter speed to catch a split second of time, shown in a water droplet.
I love my life homeschooling my children and creating art, crafts, and photographs that reflect the beauty of God's creation and His grace toward humankind. I have always enjoyed drawing in pencil, pastels, oil pastels, and ink, but have just recently begun to experiment with paints and I am growing to love it above all other media.
Though I enjoy all arts, crafts, and photography, and ardently seek to capture and portray the beauty surrounding and within me, I recognize that every work is simply a dim reflection of the true thing, a dim reflection of God's creative powers, hence the name of my shop and gallery, "Ardent Reflections".