Piper Snow Ball

Piper Snow Ball by mypixelizedview
Piper Snow Ball, a photo by mypixelizedview on Flickr.

I have been practicing with Black and White (And a touch of color toning) in my photos recently and wanted to share this shot of Piper carrying one of her toys in the snow this winter. This was shot in January with my Canon T3i using my canon 50mm 1.8 lens.

The shot itself has these settings:
Canon T3i, 50mm, 1/2000 sec, f/3.5

What do you guys think?

Quick Update for Zack

In response to Zack’s comment in my post Bath Time! I redid the shot to see how it would do with a more horizontal crop and less road showing.  Here’s the result.

Here's the new shot with the closer crop


And here’s the original again, just so they are both on the same page.


Pets in Cuteness

I wasn’t happy with my last post.  It’s nice to have a moon shot up, but the photos weren’t pleasing to me, so I’ve decided to try another post.  This one is of the beautiful Piper and Ellie, both of my wonderful babies.

We had a box sitting next to our laundry room that my wife had brought home from work.  It had food or somesuch that she had used for a potluck.  And Ellie apparently loved to hang out in the box.  I tried to get a shot of her jumping out, but my camera just didn’t want to have that kind of shutter speed in our crappy house lights.  But I did get this adorable shot of her!

But also, though the two rarely get along, (Ellie doesn’t really like Piper all that much) occasionally you can find them together.  And when they do, you sometimes see them acting as a unit, like when they watch my wife cook.  Here’s a beautiful shot of the two looking at my wife cook dinner as they both want the food.

Puppy Love

I love my dog, her name is Piper.  She’s just slightly over 1 year old, and she’s probably been the most active and affectionate addition to our family.  She’s half Golden Retriever and half Yellow Lab, but she really looks like a pure blood golden.

Not only is she a wonderful and loving dog, but she’s quite photogenic.  This post goes out with thanks to my wife who was willing to put up with me for these photos and be my model.  Also to get Piper to be in a state of mind built for happiness and photographs.  Here is the first shot, a view of just how happy Piper is with my wife, and just a show of the love between the two.

You can see the love and happiness from Piper

One of the things Piper loves is to fetch…  Continue reading

Just a big ole Puppy Hello

My beautiful Puppy has been so forgiving of my time in front of the computer and behind my camera, still loving me even though that means less time for her.  I’ve decided to attach this picture of her.  Her face is not the main focal point, and for some odd reason, I like it better this way.  I just feel like this shot has a lot of Piper Personality in it.  I love it!  So here you go, the beautiful Ms. Piper


The Visiting Twins

In my family, currently, there are two young twins, who are the sons of my wife’s cousin.  These kids are really great kids, and while I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with them, I did have the opportunity over a recent weekend to have them visit our house after watching Disney on Ice.

I’ve never tried child photography, I didn’t really think about it prior to that day, but while they were there, I just thought, “What the heck, I need to take some Photos.”  And so I did.  Out of those photos, I’d like to share the story of their visit, along with a slight bit of the photography behind it.  First off, my house is HORRIBLY lit, very low, yellow light that almost requires a huge ISO or a very slow shutter speed.  (In some areas both), but as they arrived, the twins were already showing their alternate personalities, one was happy, the other sad.

Twins showing their different personalities

As they got used to the fact they weren’t in the car anymore, it was time for their lunch, so they sat down at our table and waited to be served.

Can I have an Apple?

As they were sitting there, one of the boys asked for one of our apples, so polite!  Anyway, they ate and the family visited for a time and they all got to know my baby, a Golden Retriever named Piper.  She’s a 1 year old beauty and we are so fond of her.  The boys had not really gotten to meet her yet and she mostly left them alone while they ate, but afterward we headed to the yard to play.

Here’s my Piper laying in the yard next to one of her balls that she LOVES to fetch.  The story behind this is that Piper will fetch, and I mean fetch till she falls over exhausted if given the chance.  And she gets impatient if you don’t throw the ball, and, well, she followed the boys around as they wanted to play with HER balls. 🙂

Piper sitting with her ball enjoying the sun

As the boys came out, they picked up Piper’s ball and she started following them around to get it, but the boys just weren’t sure about this much larger dog that they had never met before.  She definitely outweighed the cat that they are used to seeing.

My Ball Little Guy!

Piper wasn’t aggressive, she just followed the balls around, and kept nosing the twins hands encouraging them to throw the balls.  I think one of the twins just wanted to keep the ball for himself though as he tries to sneak out of Piper’s notice with the ball.

Did I get away with a ball?

Eventually we taught the boys how to play fetch with Piper and they really got into it!  We were so excited for them as they seemed to be having a blast!   Continue reading

Torc Waterfall – An Actual Shot

So, previously I’ve played with post production, today I want to just talk about me taking a picture.  I have been over the fact that I’m using an Olympus E-PL2 a Micro Four Thirds camera that is somewhere close to a DSLR, but not quite there.

Many of the functions you find in your typical DSLR, you will find in the Olympus camera.  One of those is Aperture Priority Mode.  This is the mode that I took the majority of my shots in while in Ireland.  I feel like, post-trip, I’ve learned a lot about mistakes I made while shooting there, but, I guess that’s why you take the pictures, to learn and take more.  Luckily, I did just fine for capturing memories for myself.

Anyway, Torc Waterfall is supposed to be this amazing, photogenic waterfall in Ireland’s National Park in Killarney.  I will go ahead and say, it’s beautiful.  The thing about this waterfall is that it isn’t the biggest waterfall in the world (by far) but what you get out of it, is you don’t necessarily feel awed and overwhelmed by nature.  Instead, you end up with a beautiful piece of scenery that is calming and fitting to the forest it is in, while still holding enough raw power to make you respect nature and it’s forces.  It’s definitely enough waterfall to make you notice, but not so vast as to almost numb your senses.  (Enough trying to verbalize an internal feeling I can’t seem to get out)

Today, I’m going to take a couple different shots I took of Torc and the area around it and share them with you.  If I do any post processing on these shots it will be extremely minor, I may attempt to fix the white balance slightly or make some minor changes to the tone curve, but that will be it.

The first photograph I’ll post is the most encompassing photo I was able to take.  I was attempting to get as much of the falls in the picture as possible  while giving it a good frame.  I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode and had my aperture set to f/4.0 on an Olympus M.40-150mm lens.  (On a non-PEN camera, that would be about an 80-300mm)

The camera shot at 1/100sec with an ISO of 320.  I had the lens at 40mm to get the widest angle possible in that lens.

Here is Torc Waterfall, capturing as much of it as I could with my 40-150

My first problem that I ran into, was not truly understanding my technology.  If I wanted the most clarity out of my picture with a wider depth of field, I should have had a higher f-stop than my lenses lowest setting.  The issue I run into here is there was fairly low lighting, and the urge to choose between visibly flowing water with a slow shutter speed and a more crisp still of the water.

Since I didn’t have a tripod, I went with the 4.0 and the 1/100 shutter speed to keep things at least somewhat salvageable.  In retrospect, a tripod would have been an absolutely stunningly great item to take with me on this trip, regardless of how awkward it would have been to carry in a lot of cases.

But, you will see that mostly, the image is crisp around the falls themselves, and a lot of the foliage starts to blur due to the depth of field.  The main focal point is left of center where the three streams of water seem to meet and create a large chunk of falls.  I really feel like this photograph gives an idea of scope for the viewer, showing both the major part of the falls in the top 2/3’s and then the softer part as the water disperses through the rocks in a much more gentle way.

This dispersion among the rocks is actually quite interesting on its own, and as you went down the stream a bit, it definitely had a different feel to it.

The rocks in front of Torc Waterfall with the falls in the background

The next picture I want to share focuses more on these rocks and less on the falls themselves. You can see that the falls in the back are slightly out of focus, but the rocks up front are clear as is the water falling between them.  To me, this picture really shows the duality of the site, as you have the violence of the major fall just behind the tranquility of the lake going between the rocks.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still falling somewhat hard, but if you look where the water falls between the rocks and meets the next pool, you will notice a lack of splash that you wouldn’t expect that close to a large fall.

Also, worth noting is that this photo has all of the same settings as the last, except the shutter speed apparently decreased to 1/80 of a second.  This does add a little more motion to the water, especially visible in the background, and unfortunately for me, I feel like this is in the in-between area where the motion of the water is not enough to show “motion” beautifully, but not crisp enough either so that you just look like you got some blurry water in the falls.

Again, this is purely inexperience and lack of understanding on my part, and I hate that I ended up with that particular result, but since I can’t walk back out there, grab a tripod and wait for proper lighting and conditions, I have what I have.  I do really enjoy the photo nonetheless and it gives me a great memory of the site itself and what it offered.

My final photo to show is only just a few feet farther down the stream.  This is a close up of the water moving through the rocks.  In my opinion, this picture shows off the tranquility beautifully and really shows just how quickly that noisy and strong fall calmed down to a moving, but very serene stream.  You definitely still see the action of the water, you see it fall, but you can see a tranquility to go with it.  I’ll let you see what you take from it personally.

The calmer waters just a small distance from the large fall

And finally, just because I thought the picture was fun and it made me smile, a dog that was at Torc smiling as I take pictures.

This dog was so happy to be there with us as we visited Torc Waterfall