Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Camera Movement Fun

I love making images while moving my camera vertically using a slow shutter speed. Some people call this Vertical Panning, some call it Intentional Camera Movement, call it whatever you'd like, I call it fun! 

                                                                           f/9  1/5 sec.

 Deliberately moving your camera during an exposure can result in some stunning abstract photographs. I love this technique, it's a wonderful way to see your subject differently! It does take some practice and is often hit or miss, each photograph will yield such different results. It’s well worth the effort to shoot lots and lots of these. You may need to use your polarizing filter or neutral density filter to get the necessary slow shutter speeds for these images if you are shooting on a bright day.

                                                                        f/25 .5 sec
f/14 .4 sec

f/4.5 .3 sec

 f/32 .4 sec

Find a subject with lots of interest, containing pattern, line, color, shape, or contrast. Set an exposure that allows you to use a long shutter speed, I usually start with 1/30 second or slower. At the moment you press the shutter, move the camera in a straight line, up or down. Too little movement will just resemble a blurry photo and too much movement will result in loss of all detail. Experiment with movement speed and shutter speed until you find a combination that works for you.

Photographers often use this technique to photograph trees, their long lines do make them excellent subject matter for the technique. But think beyond trees... you can pan buildings and other landscapes, and also smaller scenes, just look for a frame filled with line and color. This can be a great thing to try on a very windy day when you are just not going to get subject sharpness, or with a subject that isn't in prime condition, blur is very forgiving! It's also a great way to create photos when you just aren't feeling very creative. Panning will get you out of that slump!

Irises f/9 1/6 sec

Lupine F/32 1/8 sec

 Try adding a little curve to that vertical motion for a different effect:

Tulips f/18 1/30 sec

iPhone shooters can pan too, my favorite App for this is called Slow Shutter, here are some images I  made in Charleston while panning with my phone:

Happy Shooting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lensbaby's New Velvet 56

On January 27th, I posted this tweet to my Twitter followers:

"Photographers- Ever open one of your new photos and feel a huge surge of emotion? I had that today, what a powerful, wonderful feeling!"

     What sparked that surge of emotion? It was when I was just beginning to beta test the newly announced Velvet 56 lens for my friends at Lensbaby. I was really excited to start shooting with this lens because of it's Macro capability, but was unprepared for the amazing look of the images I created or the emotional reaction those photographs would spark. Here is one of the first images I made, right out of the camera:

The lens is fabulous, and allows me to capture the way I see flowers!  The Velvet 56 has true 1:2 Macro capability,  I can get about 5 inches away from my subjects, yet also focus to infinity. It adds an amazing  ethereal glow to the images, which is unlike any other lens I have used. Shooting wide open adds more of that diffused glow, and stopping down captures details with a very unique look and feel. The lens has a solid feel to it, and the manual focus is super smooth.

I did lots of test shots with the same subject at different apertures to get a feel 
for the effect using different F stops:

I tested this lens shooting inside at home and also on several trips:


 In Florida:


 and Santa Fe:

This lens will also be fabulous for Portraiture, I look forward to exploring more
with it in that area. So far I've only persuaded my cat to pose:

Many more images to come, all of this traveling hasn't left me 
with much image processing time!

Adding this lens to my collection makes me feel that my best work is yet to come, and for a Photographer, there is no greater gift. Thank you Lensbaby!

Happy Shooting!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shooting Out of Your Comfort Zone

I always love trying different types of Photography. I think it's important to stretch yourself as a Photographer, to seek new subjects and different ways of seeing the world. When Photographer Kim Stone asked me if I knew someone who could shoot some new portraits of her for an upcoming show of her photographs, I offered to do it myself.  Kim shoots beautiful landscapes and equine photographs, and wanted the portraits to include 2 of her horses. Since I have very little experience photographing horses, I thought it would be a really good challenge for me and I was not disappointed.

We did the shoot at Kim's farm, where she has acres of pastures. With snow on the ground and soft, overcast light and moderate temperatures in the 30s, it was a great day to make her portraits. It was a fun challenge to not only pose my subject but catch the horses in the positions where I wanted them, definitely a shoot fast and often situation! I was able to send Kim 14 portraits, and she was pleased with my work. I think my portraits captured the love Kim has for her horses, which was my goal. Here are a few samples of the images I made:

Happy Shooting!

Friday, January 2, 2015

365 Project on Instagram

On January 1st, I started a new project on Instagram. I'll be posting (or at least trying to post) a daily photo taken with my iPhone. If you aren't familiar with Instagram, it's photo sharing app for mobile phones, and lots of fun. I love the fact that the emphasis is on photos as opposed to the content shared on other social sites, you can post images and even short videos, and you can add filters to your images right in the app. Double tapping on a photo adds it to your favorites and lets the maker know you like their photo. You can follow friends and family, and its really fun to see what other people post. Here's a video tutorial to help get you started:

I will be posting photos taken with my iPhone, but you can choose to post photos taken with anything you are using to make images. My goal in doing this project is to get myself to take more photos with my phone. Since that is the camera I have with me all the time, it just makes sense.

There are no rules here (isn't that a wonderful thing?).  The photos you post don't need to be taken that day, if you skip a day there is no penalty, I am not going to stick to any particular theme, this is really just for fun. Add hashtags to help people find your photos if you want, but again, no rules! If you tag them with 365kc I'll be sure not to miss them and you can see photos from other people playing along. Hope you'll join me and give this a try. You can find me on Instagram as @kathleenclemons.

Anything that gets you shooting more, paying more attention to the world around you and looking at more photos can only be good for your growth as a photographer! Hope to see your photos on Instagram too!

Happy Shooting,

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Favorite Photographs

At the end of each year I like to go back through all of the images I created that year and try to choose my favorite photos. The photos are not necessarily my most popular with other people, but they are the ones that make my heart sing. Some are favorites because I tried a new technique or a new way of processing. Some make the list because the subject is dear to my heart, sometimes the location where I made the photo has special meaning to me. At times I see a concept or story in the photo that speaks to me. There are always some I choose for no other reason other than that I love the photo. I compile the top 40-50 images into a slideshow which becomes a wonderful memory of the images I made that year.  Here are some photos that made the cut so far:

Start looking through the photos you made last year and put a collection together, think about creating a slideshow of the images. I did a post about making slideshows last year, check it out here if you need some help with the process.

Wishing you all a fabulous 2015!

Happy shooting,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Telling Stories

Most of you know me as a flower photographer. I do love making flower portraits, nature subjects make my heart sing. But I also love to photograph people, especially my 7 grandchildren. When Madison, my newest granddaughter arrived in September, I could not wait to photograph her. But I had a new idea that I wanted to try, a story that I wanted to tell. I had offered to help bring her two big sisters to the hospital to meet her for the first time and I wanted to tell that story in a series of photos, not just one portrait. I wanted to record those moments as a slideshow with a group of images. I had certain photos in mind, but with two toddlers I really had to just wing it and just go with them being themselves, which was adorable.

When I got home I processed the photos and converted them to black and white to lessen any color distractions from the hospital room, I wanted to simplify the images in my story. I made my slideshow video with Animoto, which makes it a very simple process and allows me to license music for my shows so that I can share them. I found a song that fit perfectly for the story I was telling.

Here is my video:

So, in this Holiday season, think about the stories you can tell with your photos. Photograph Holiday traditions and parties, family get-togethers, tell a story with a collection of images and create a forever keepsake for your family and friends. I know my family will treasure this video always.

Happy Shooting!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fun with Instagram!

I recently started posting on Instagram and I am having so much fun with it! If you are unfamiliar with Instagram, you can learn more here. I find that it pushes me to take more photos with my iPhone, and since that is the camera I have with me most often, encouragement to use it more can only be a good thing. The emphasis of Instagram is sharing through photos, what a wonderful way to see the world through lots of different eyes! You can choose people to follow, or just explore images uploaded from all over the world. Tapping twice on an image adds a "like" to it so you can let the photographer know that you saw and liked a photo. You can process your images right in the App, the editing feature is very simple to use. You can also add images taken or processed with other Apps, as well as short videos. Here are some of my recent posts:

Some people share images taken with their cameras, I choose to just share my iPhone shots. To push myself to shoot even more with my phone, I am going to start a 365 day project on January 1, 2015. I will post a photo each day for 2015. I figure if I announce it here and invite others to join me, the odds of me sticking with the project are much better! So, who's with me on this project? You don't need to have taken the image that day, just post something daily.  Making Art every day can only be good for your creative soul! You can find and follow me on Instagram as @kathleenclemons, hope to see you there!

Happy Shooting!