The September SuperSmashingGreat Upload!

Greetings, Hola and Bienvenue!

Its that time again for the mid month upload for the month of September.  I recently read some advice that all bloggers should not mention how busy you are.  We’re all busy so stop making excuses…except this time I’ve got a real doozy for you.  My second daughter was born on Sept 5 so needless to say its been a bit of a dust up at home for everyone and the 50mm f 1.4 Canon prime lens is back into heavy rotation for all those kid shots.  It really doesn’t hurt to hone your chops doing something else for a while and I’m the photographer-elect in my house (although my wife takes a fine picture without the 27 point bullet list that I have floating in my head for what I have to remember for a good photo!).
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This month’s upload has some variation from my usual work.  The style that I like is quite easy to see from previous blog posts; I don’t usually take shots with people or machines etc or of smaller ‘scapes (unless its a family photo!).  I like the large landscape photography shots and the larger the vista the better…but as I mentioned above, you need to depart from your usual style for a while (and leave it temporarily before you get bored) and you’ll come back to it with new perspectives.
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“On with the show this is it!” (as Bugs Bunny says…):
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1) Harvest
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My father-in-law is a career farmer and this shot is from their back yard in Port Albert as they worked their usual magic with the combine.  This shot uses depth of field to focus on the wheat which is going to meet its next stage of life.  You’ll notice that parts of this photograph are in focus/others are not which is only possible when you get into the manual modes of the camera.  I spend about 90% of my time in the Aperture priority mode (Av for Canon shooters) so I can set the aperture manually and the camera will calculate the shutter speed for me.  In this case, the aperture is set to f4 which is the lowest aperture or ‘wide open’ setting.  The odd thing that you’ll have to get used to is the lower the Aperture number, the more wide open the lens will be.  The closer you are to your focal point with the camera lens wide open, the more exaggerated the blur will be.  As a point of reference, the higher the aperture number, say f22, the more the field would have had a greater depth of field and the lens opening would physically be smaller (which is a really fancy way of saying more of the photo would be in focus).
The second part of this photograph that we can learn from is the ‘half press’ technique.  Half press of the shutter button will allow the camera to focus on a certain part of the picture and if you keep holding  down the ‘half press’, then you can recompose so that your focus is not always in the centre.  The only way to do this is to manually set the focus point (in this case the center focus point in the camera).
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 Inevitably, some people will have wanted everything in focus for this shot, especially the combine, but the only way to take your photography from snap shots to photographs is to tell a story and this story is about the crop that is about to be harvested.  Let me know what you think.
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I think Perez Hilton would be proud of my notes I made on this page!
A minor point to be made is that the leading lines don’t lead to the main subject (the wheat) but I think the leading lines still work so that your eye follows to the combine and back down the left side of the photo to see what the combine will do next (in this case the wheat that is in focus).
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Shot with a Canon 50D, 24-105 f4 IS lens, f4.0, 1/400s, handheld
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2) Purple Sand
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Often one of the best photography spots along the beach will be the streams that feed the lake.  It can break up any monotony of shooting a horizontal ‘beach meets lake’ rut you may be in and this one helped me out a lot.  Often when you’re shooting oblong objects, the portrait orientation will work out the best.  As usual, this is shot at sunset when the colours explode.  This same shot at lunch would be a typical snapshot you’ll see people often taken during convenient hours.  Inconvenience yourself during sunrise or sunset and plenty of color will be there!
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Shot with a Canon 50D, Canon 10-22mm wide-angle, f11, 15s with a Manfrotto tripod
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3) Dungannon Fall
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My in-laws own property close to Dungannon and taking a walk amongst the turning colors of the oak and maple trees is one of the highlights of the fall.  The color palette is incredible and a photowalk on a cloudy day can yeild a number of good shots.  The human eye is drawn to color, especially red, so maple trees in the fall are going to increase your chances of a keeper.
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This photo was shot at a reasonably high ISO (1600) but if its exposed properly, the digital noise won’t ruin the photograph.  Also, when shots are printed, usually any digital noise won’t come through on the print.  For a laugh, you can go to any photography forum and see people obsess over digital noise since they’re viewing their photos at 4000% magnification and wondering what is wrong…just go out and shoot already!
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Shot with a Canon 50D, 24-105mm f4 IS lens with a polarizing filter f4, 1/250s, handheld.
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That’s it folks!  As usual, head over to www.finnerphotography.com for the high resolution shots and photo sales.    Dungannon Fall is for sale at the Victoria Park Gallery in Kincardine by the end of the week.  The gallery has a fall display on now, check it out!  Support your local artists!  Drop by and see awesome work there which makes for great gifts and there’s always an artist there to help you out.  Soon I’ll post my full inventory at the Gallery so you have an idea of what you can pick up immediately.
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Follow me on Facebook, or enter your email on the main blog page for all updates.
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All the best,
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JF
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PS – A special thanks from my friend Paul Balsom for the title of this blog post!

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