20181207: Lesson on photography withOUT a tripod, yet long shutter times for cellphone users!

I learned to shoot night street photography in Los Angeles in the 1970s, specially leaving my job working after school at 1am or 2 am.

I could not bring a tripod to school, so I had training to hold my 35mm film camera still while taking several second long shots.

  1. LEARN to hold your breath. Obviously, if you are talking, the camera is shaking. I was into swimming so that was easy.
  2. Practice “lightly” touching the shutter button to active it. I learned to shoot a gun at an early age. YOU SQUEEZE the trigger, Not smash or yank the trigger if you want to hit the bull’s eye. Same with cameras!!
  3. Use supports! If you have a cellphone on a long pole, the wiggle is worse, However if that pole is braced against a streetlight post or wall or car BEHIND the camera!  No one knows even if you send it off a minute later & you got a better photo because the  street light post or wall helped keep the camera steadier.
  4. Turn OFF  the auto flash, YOU DECIDE when to let the lights of the “Scene” light your photo or add flash.

 

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4935FB

No tripod, but standing on the side of the road and waiting to have no cars going by. Grab a breath, let some out & hold it. Press the shutter down smoothly & slowly.

In this photo you can see the cat stopped for a second on the steps, the cat is blurry but easy to make out it’s shape and adds a Rembrandt effect to the over all image. I held the shutter open for I think 2 seconds or more.

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and this photo again, the graininess of the High ISO, the long slow shutter effect & overall appearance of the image is surrealistic.

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Again, seconds long shutter, notice the fig leafs moved in the slight breeze but the cactus & wall stay sharp.

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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20181116: A bit of moon over San Juan de los Lagos river bridge

Yes, always the night photographer, the flooded river gave a nice vantage point to shoot from without wet feet or tripod.

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4935FB

There was quite a bit of traffic so I did not bother with getting out a flash for light painting the bridge just a little bit.

Maybe next storm???

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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20181115: Natural Frames to accent the photographic image lesson

Yes, I am using this photo for a 2nd lesson because of what it involved to catch my eye.

That center cross is a telephone & power pole.

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4953FB

But with the three sharp triangle shapes pointing near it & the semi obvious church towers behind it. You tend to think it is a religious cross too, then after you let your eyes play in the clouds, you come back to see that it is a power pole.

I am using standard advertising & artistic design concepts at least as old as the building themselves & that church is 300 years old or so.

So the ‘golden circle’, ‘spiral’ & ‘triangle or leading lines’ of the Renaissance Art schools is still alive & WELL.

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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20181115: A few demonstrations of clouds with a polarizing filter for more “Impact”. Pt 2

So one of the main REASONS of a polarizer in landscape photography is the clouds have more depth & texture making the photograph more interesting to the viewer.

An “app” can’t do this because you have to have the ‘original photograph data’ for an ‘App’ program to use & only a real polarizing filter can give you that. HDR apps come close but are not the same thing.

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4953FB

So while the photograph is not very interesting, the clouds are very expressive. With a circular polarizer you just dial it in.

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4952FB

As you can see, those clouds add a very nice “dramatic” environment to the fountain shot. By using a lower shutter speed I added a ‘slight’ motion to the water squirting in the fountain. Your polarizer will drop a half to full f/stop for the darkening effect.

Also get a “good Glass” polarizing filter, the polarizer just like neutral density filters will cause color cast changes. I have some plastic graduated neutral density filters that have a very red to purple shift. Very nice for sunset or sunrise photos but I am careful about their use & aware of that color shift.

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4963FB

I do work my images in Lightroom, but the polarizer allowed me to dial in the clouds for this photo and still have the plants & flowers to be bright enough for contrasting colors to those clouds.

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And a couple minutes later on the other side of the river, I dial in the clouds which also brings the glare off the river down nicely.

So yes, I recommend that you keep a polarizer in your kit and at least step down rings for different lenses if you carry several lenses.

What a polarizer does is not able to have a computer “app” do, the computing power to design in “Details” that the camera RAW or other file format did not capture “in the original photo” is going to be immense.

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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20181115: A quick demonstration of why you should still carry a polarizing filter

Yes, there are some things that Photoshop can not do, nor any other photo editing program.

I was asked about photography & when do I start to edit my photos.

I replied from the first second I see an image to shoot. I am twisting the camera this way & that way. If I have a zoom lens (quite common), I am zooming in or out to see the over all image.

Then the polarizer filter gets a twist or two to see what I like.

Normal, using polarizing filters is to cut glare & reflections: That is something photo editing programs can not do simply because they have no DATA to PRODUCE the non-glare image.

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In this image above you can see the left side is darker & you see into the water it’s self. This makes the reds of the flowers pop a little more & causes the greens of the plant to also see a bit richer. Also notice that the stones in the retaining wall change colors slightly & lighter in the above photo.

Here in the image below, you see the water reflecting on the left side & the right side has is a tiny bit darker than that of the top photo, but you do not see into the water any deeper.

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Whereas in this Mexican stonework wall, I used the polarizer to accent those richer oranges & yellows. Yes, you can use photo editing programs to do the richer colors in the photos. Vibrance & Saturation plus other color sliders & layers can do this step.

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In street photography, specially shooting from the hip as much as I do, the polarizer is good to have because like this shot. You can see it was near enough to being set right at the woman/girl in the back passenger seat & the front seat passenger are both visible without glare issues. I did not look thru the view finder, I have the camera in my lap and just turn it to the needed direction and press the shutter. Few of those people ever know I shot their picture.

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In the stone wall & bamboo below, I use the polarizer to flatten off the bright reflections on the leaves & it also added separation for the plants from the stone work.

20181113 street & flowers& old car-5015FB

However the most popular use is for making your clouds much, much more expressive!

By the way, I shot this without that taxi after this frame with the taxi & decided I just liked the yellow contrast to the blues of the sky & made the clouds more impacting.

20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4967FB

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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20181022: Hazards of sitting still too long! San Juan de los Lagos weeds!

Yes! a play on words, these rod iron column forms for a construction site have grown over with a local plant, weed.

A few Days after these photos were taken the construction site started putting them in place.

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However on this day, i did like the cloud kind of pouring moisture on the weeds and still letting plenty of sunshine in too!

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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20181007:

hum, San Juan de los Lagos is boring for an artist. Great for religious folk but boring for artists.

Fountain & clouds playing.  {{yes, I get offers to be driven out of town to “nice vistas”. However read any Mexican Newspaper/news story and that is the standard of Mexicans, drive you out of town and shoot you dead. Well maybe just leave you there with no place safe to be from someone else killing you for your shoes. The current tally is about 20 people have tried to kill me with poisoned food or wanting to go out of town with them for special parties & nice vistas. Even the police will cooperate with their locals in criminal activities}}

20180924 street & restore photo-4746FB

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018

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