Images Out a Window

northern california coast, big surRiding shotgun on a cross-country car trip provides the opportunity for being a witness to  a lot of scenery. I will ride with my camera on my lap gazing out the window when something will strike me. Depending on your time limits and companions’ patience, your chances of pulling over and taking a shot may be limited. I quickly learned, yelling “pull over so I can get a shot of that ____,” too many times will result in a loud groan response. Other times it’s just not feasible to pull over. So, instead of forcing another stop on begrudging backseat passengers or passing up on some of the shots I wanted, I will roll down the window and make them on the fly.

field of sunflowersIt’s not easy and many times they don’t turn out, so if it’s a subject I care strongly about capturing I will insist on pulling over. But, to me it’s worth taking that shot for the memory of a trip and re-visiting the road when at home.

hay rolls in fieldsThe novelty of the open spaces and rolling fields of the interior of the country inspires a sense of wonder in this shore girl.

farm house in fieldThese picturesque fields seem to go on forever.

rolling corn fields AmericaWhen we do stop and explore an area further, a through-a-window shooting opportunity can still be present.

South Dakota Chief Crazy Horse MonumentThe Chief Crazy Horse monument visit was such an opportunity for me. The statue of the Chief inside the museum with the view of the mountain project outside, through a nicely cleaned window, grabbed my imagination.

When shooting out the window of a moving car, a fast shutter speed is required to capture the scene without getting camera blur from the movement of the car. Steadying your camera against either your body or on the edge of the open window helps as well. The key thing is to have your camera in your lap and ready to go.

Always glad to be on the road,

~ Susan

Shadow Study

As we examine shadows and their use in photography further, today I am offering a few photos which capture shadows for different purposes. Shadows can add dimension to an image.

IMG_1785 shadowIn the winter, the surf will sometimes be very large, for our area, and cause erosion of the sand leaving a sharp drop off winding its way down the shore. The shadow reveals the path.

St Croix walkwayThe shape of the arches is repeated by the shadows on the ground.

_MG_5629 shadowsShadows are functional also.

The shadows of clouds on the ground, in landscapes, is a favorite of mine.

IMG_9234 shadows

IMG_4956 shadowsStill looking on the dark side,

~ Susan

Exposure and ISO

skies 0205The skies in Europe can be so interesting and gorgeously filled with cloud formations. They will be the subject while exploring exposure and the place of ISO in the triangle.

The exposure triangle is a term used to explain the elements that work together to create a well-exposed photograph. It has to do with the amount of light let in to the camera and the three components used to control it: aperture, shutter speed and ISO.  Aperture refers to the opening in the lens and how large or small it is. The numbers representing aperture are the f stop numbers and the larger numbers represent a smaller opening. Shutter speed is how long the film or sensor is exposed to the light and the ISO is the film or sensor’s sensitivity to light. All of these elements can be adjusted to give different results. Here’s where you will have to venture out of auto mode and begin to play around if you want to learn the effects of changing these settings.

I am exploring ISO today and these shots taken at dusk in Zurich illustrate the effect simply changing the ISO can have on your result. These photos are shown how they appeared straight out of the camera. The aperture, f/7.1, and shutter, 1/50, settings are the same on all the photos. The first is with an ISO of 1000:

skies 0330Noticing that the pinks, which were appearing in the sky, weren’t coming out in the photo I lowered the ISO to 640:

skies 0331This was better but I still wanted more so I lowered it even farther to ISO 400

skies 0332The lower the ISO setting the less grain will be introduced in to your photo. In the middle of the day, when there is plenty of light, using an ISO setting of 100-200 will give clear, colorful photos.

skies 9850skies 9231The ISO can be low and the f stop high and there is no problem capturing enough light to obtain a good exposure. When looking to the sky, I like to use lower ISO numbers to obtain true colors with low grain, or noise.

Sometimes, a darker mood is the goal.

skies 0357Let your artistic eye be your guide.

Next week, I will consider the effects of a higher ISO and how it can be utilized in low light situations.

Until then,

~Susan