Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guest Post: Jeff K.

Today, I am off to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, making sure to spend lots of time at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! So we have a guest post from Jeff (aka my dad), of JeffK Photo. Enjoy!

I am delighted to be the guest blogger for Amy, who is the brains and skill behind 'Artistically Amy'. She also happens to be my daughter, and this by itself makes the post extra special to me, where I can say I am thrilled beyond belief at her abilities as a writer, photographer, and daughter. And of course, asking me to guest blog.

Amy is now engaged, and while I always knew it would happen someday, I kept hoping time would stop, or at least slow down a little bit, giving me more time to enjoy her time at home, going on family vacations, all the stuff that daddies enjoy. I always knew Amy would be successful at whatever she attempted, and thus far, she has managed very well -- Master's degree in Education, personable, approachable, concern for people and the environment, all-around good person, and soon to be Jon's wife, and a mother some day.

So enough with the gooshy stuff, we are here to discuss photography, and speaking of photography, I am here to comment on just that. Without actually planning it, I must have instilled in Amy the joy and satisfaction of a perfect photo, or at least attempting the perfect photo with the help of such wonderful tools like Gimp, PS, and PSE, as well as others. In my days of film in high school, we weren't so lucky to have a delete key and erase button on our dslr cameras and laptops. We took many photos, threw away many that were blurry, had fingers showing, wrong content or the lack of intent. But before we could examine our photos, we had to develop them, either in the darkroom in the school, or by bringing the roll of film to "Fotomat". Anyone who did film may remember Fotomat, where you dropped off your roll of film and came back a day later, or maybe 2 days, to pick up your pics. (I had one Fotomat location of preference since there was a cute girl running it, but we'll save this story for another time).

Many trips were made to Fotomat after graduating high school, and I have hundreds of photos and slides packed away for a rainy day. I want to scan them in to have digital backups. I may even put them up to Flickr or a blog page some day. I remember working in the lab in school, and seeing the photos come to life in the tray, red light surrounding us. The joy was tremendous, but I suppose not enough to get me into becoming a professional photog. I cannot afford to be one now, with the cost of lenses and bodies so high (like the 11-16mm which I dream of, or the Nikor 18-200VR, or maybe an EOS 5D or 7D) . I bought a Canon Ftb in high school, and this was my workhorse. I bought a 70-300, a wide angle, and assorted filters. It was a fun hobby, and I did not spend a lot of money. Then I purchased a Canon AE-1, which I still own, and this was a fantastic film camera. This body was used to take many of my shots, which adorn the boxes they are packed away in.

I now own a Nikon D80, thanks to Santa, (actually my family). The D80 came with an 18-135mm, a very good basic wide / zoom lens. After using a film camera for years, I now had to learn the digital world of photography. I had been using computers since 1980, thanks to a career at IBM, and of course, VCR, microwave, etc. So I thought it should be easy. And it is! Just put the setting to Auto, and point and click. But wait! This is not a point and shoot, but a top of the line (in 2007) Nikon, which can be used in Auto, manual, dark, light, action, anything! I am still learning how to use it, with the myriad of different settings. And it can be confusing. The best part is the delete key. However, since I can get 1000 shots on my card, I am in no hurry to delete until uploading to the computer. Then I can really view the shots for what they are worth, or not worth.

One way to learn is jot down the settings for the photo, like dsc_0001 Auto, dsc_0002 manual, dsc_0003 f5, iso400, and on and on. I had made a BIG mistake during a photo walk once on the Walkway. I had the iso set for auto-iso, with no limit. Not realizing it, my skies were being washed out. Many shots ruined. No blue sky! I was aggravated, but I figured it out later at home, by going into the backyard and doing just what I talk about... taking many shots and writing down the settings, then comparing on the computer. I finally get most shots as I intend, and can do tweaking in Gimp or PSE. I use mainly MANUAL on the D80, but use Auto when I just want to shoot in a hurry.

The following are some examples of my efforts at photography: all are SOOC with the exception of the final shot.

1) Auto-iso, washed out sky. Should have been manual set to Iso 100, no auto.

2)Also Auto-iso, 1/100 and f5, but set in manual mode, nice colors, good detail.

3) Dark edges, bright center. If this was the purpose, it is not bad, but I was not happy with the outcome from the camera. So what I saw with my eye, was not conveyed in the picture. Iso was 250, manual mode, 1/200, f5. This might have needed a longer exposure.

4) Iso was 250, manual, exposure of 1/500, f5. I am finally getting the hang of settings, to get the outcome of what I see.

5) Perhaps one of best SOOC shots I have gotten with the D80. Attached was my 70-300 Sigma. I am amazed at the photos I get with this lens. This shot was pure luck however. Detail and colors have not been touched. ISO was 100, and speed 1/400. I do not recall the stop.

Final shots:

a) SOOC, ISO 100, 1/1000, f5

b)Same as above but run thru an HDR filter in GIMP, with level adjustment
I thoroughly enjoyed sharing a bit of myself and my photos on Amy's blog. I hope I did not bore anyone. I look forward to another guest blog in the future.

Jeff K.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Nice write-up pops.