Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Photo Geek: California Screamin'

This is my very favorite ride at the entire Disneyland Resort. I love the countdown to the launch, the super-fast acceleration, the soundtrack, the hidden Mickey that I found on my own. These photos were again from a day where there were very few crowds at the park, and I think I rode this coaster three times. Twice for sure, maybe 3 times. I really love it!! Then I walked over to watch the launch of a few trains, and got the idea to take a few pictures. I balanced my camera on a railing for most of these, and the experimenting began.

I started with my camera on the action setting, so the camera knows I'm trying to capture something fast and it selects appropriate settings. What's useful about that is being able to check the settings the camera picked because it gave me a good place to start when I went to more manual setting. The camera started at a shutter speed of 1/800 sec for action shots. After a few clicks, I realized I had the camera set at ISO400, so I switched to ISO 100 and started slowing down the shutter speed because I decided it would be fun to try and capture the action in my shot instead of trying to "freeze" it. I also started shooting in shutter priority mode, letting the camera pick the aperture. Here's a shot from after those initial changes:

ISO 100, F5.6, 1/500 sec. (remember the camera started at 1/800 sec.)

At this point, I just kept dropping the ISO to get the motion effect that I wanted, from 1/500 to 1/200:

ISO 100, F11, 1/200 sec.

Then from 1/200 to 1/124:

ISO 100, F10, 1/124 sec.

Then from 1/124 to 1/100, where I got this shot. I was also really hoping to get the photo I wanted with the RED train because I thought it would be the best contrast and create the most interesting photo. I was pretty happy with this one:

ISO 100, F14, 1/100 sec.

I took a few more shots of the following trains, but eventually got bored of standing in the same place. By the time I got done, I had taken about 20 pictures in this one spot. It wasn't until I got home that I decided this very last shot with the yellow train was my favorite. The camera settings are the same as the one above with the red train, but by zooming out, the train is placed in the setting better. Also, as it turned out, the yellow provided a better contrast with the blue sky and the bright red roof in the building behind the coaster. I think I have a winner. :)

ISO 100, F14, 1/100 sec.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photo Geek: Space Mountain

You know you're a photo geek when... you have fast pass but get in the standby line anyway just so you can get a picture. And here it is:

ISO 1600, F5.0, Shutter 1/13 sec
Processing: High Pass Filter, 25 pixels

This photo was a little grainy due to the high ISO, but I'm not sure I could have done much better without a tripod. I did take a few shots at ISO 800, but I started to lose clarity due to a longer exposure (1/8 sec.) I guess proof of a true photo geek is bringing a tripod to Disneyland?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flower Candle | Hybrid

This was easier than it looks!!!

Recipe for a cute hybrid project:

1 - 3" square jar candle
4 - large hearts punched out of pink/yellow paper (approximately 1 3/4" x 1 1/2")
4 - large hearts of white printed paper
5 - small hearts punched out of red printed paper (approximately 1/2" x 1")
1 - 2" circle of paper
1 - 1"x11" strip of printed paper for the band
1 - button, about 1/2"-3/4" diameter
3-4" narrow white ribbon

First, glue the band around the candle. The 11" wasn't quite enough to go all the way around, but the place that is not covered by the band is where the flower is glued on.

Next, use the 2" circle of paper as the base for the flower, and the first layer is made from the pink/yellow paper hearts. Cut a slit in the heart, about halfway up from the point, and overlap the now two points and glue them. This will give your "flower petal" some dimension, and you can fold/wrinkle/bend it as you like. Repeat for 3 more pin petals, and glue them on to the 2" paper base.

Next is the 4 hearts from the white printed paper. First, cut across the heart, removing the point, about 1/3 of the height of the heart. Then, like with the pink "petals," cut a slit, overlap the bottom sections, and fold/wrinkle. Then glue these on top of the pink hearts.

Last, is the 5 red hearts. This was made from a smaller, narrower heart shape in my example, so you may or may not want to cut the point of the heart off before shaping them, just like the larger heart-petals. Layer these on top of the flower.

String the ribbon through the button and tie a bow, trimming the ends of the ribbon to your liking, then glue the button on top of all the heart petals to hide the unfinished edges.

Last step! Glue the entire heart on to the candle, and done!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Font Friday: junko's typewriter

I'm going to try and get back to posting fun fonts again! Another new font obsession I have is with typewriter fonts. I've been having fun with this one recently, and the kind of cool thing is that I've actually used it twice in the last couple of weeks. First, the font, junko's typewriter, available on dafont.com:

I like it because it's random and kind of has a "ransom note" quality. The messy spatters are really fun, as are the funky angles and varying sizes. Mix in caps with the lowercase adds even more fun, like in this flyer I made for my church:

I used it as part of my title in this scrapbook page. I created this page as part of a "speed scrap" challenge, and I combined two of the instructions, use a font and an alpha for the title and use a spatter or splat, and used a spattered font.

Monday, March 7, 2011

You know you're a photography geek when...

Last week, I went to Disneyland for part of a day. At the end of the day, I was stopped by a cast member taking a survey wanting to know how many rides I'd been on that day. Keeping in mind that on the day I went the place was as empty as I've every seen it, I went on... 6 rides in 6 hours. However, my photo count for the day was 178 frames. That's 30 pictures an hour, or one every 2-3 minutes. The photos I'm about to post are boring. They are of the parking lot. But, they did provide a chance to stand in one place and tinker with photo settings until I got the photo I wanted. :)

I started with the camera in Program ("P") mode because I knew I definitely wanted to keep that pesky flash from firing. A shot in that mode is useful to know what the camera picks so you know what to start changing. For all these photos, I was using an improvised tripod by setting my camera on a railing. (And lest you have a sympathetic heart attack about the camera sitting on a railing 4 stories above a street, you should know the strap was still around my neck!) Here's what I got, and really, I was happy with this photo as a snapshot:

Geeky details: ISO 1600, Exposure 1/60th of a second, F-stop f/4.50

Then I started to play around a little because I wanted to see if I could get a cool effect with the moving cars. I can't remember if I switched to Shutter mode ("TV") or Manual ("M") for the rest of these shots. If I was in Shutter mode, the f-stop was selected for me by the camera. If I was in Manual, I set it myself. I do know that I increased my exposure time, and reduced my ISO, and this is what I got:

Geeky details: ISO 800, Exp 5 sec, F-stop f/22

I don't remember really looking at this image on the camera screen too much before bumping my exposure up again. At the top of the ramp, just about dead center of the photo, there are headlights, but 5 seconds was just not long enough to get the effect I wanted. So here's what I got next - WARNING: Sunglasses required!!!:

Geeky details: ISO 800, Exp 10 sec, F-stop f/22

It was when I saw this image that I realized for a long exposure I needed to change my ISO, so I dropped it all the way to 100. Ah, much better:

Geeky details: ISO 100, Exp 10 sec, F-stop f/22

Now I'm getting close! I have some long trails of headlights, and the exposure isn't so bright that I feel like I'm going to get a headache. I increase the exposure time once more to 15 seconds, and shot a couple more frames, and this is the one I like the best:

Geeky details: ISO 100, Exp 15 sec, F-stop f/22

This is still not perfect as it's still a little bright, but I had fun and learned something, so that's what counts, right?