Day 2 – Spring is Here

5 Apr

I thought it was going to storm today so I was a little worried about where I was going to be able to take photos but the rain held off long enough for me to take a drive and get some shots. I also wanted  to try out some different settings on my camera  since this blog is going to be more about technique at first rather than the subject matter, but hopefully it will eventually be about both.

Spring is such a beautiful time of year especially around our downtown area with so many trees in bloom. Right across the street from my building is a row of Bradford Pear trees that are starting to bloom and I knew I wanted to get a shot of those, unfortunately they sit in the shadow of the library so this was the perfect chance to use the Fill Flash outdoors. This is a great way to cast some artificial light on those pesky shadows we think we can avoid just because we have natural lighting. I didn’t get the exact results I wanted but the difference in the original to the one using the Fill Flash was very noticeable and who wouldn’t be having a better day if they could look out the window and see this!

Bradford Pear Trees in Bloom

Bradford Pear trees without fill flash

I couldn’t choose just one shot today because as I was turning around in an alley I saw one of the best parts about spring, which are the wildflowers (and yes some weeds) that grow everywhere making even an ugly alley beautiful. I decided to try using the AV setting on my camera and focused on different points in the shot. The AV setting is really nice for getting that blurred effect while the camera chooses some of the other settings for you. This is one of the shots that came from that round of photographs in which I was able to focus only on the center of the photo while the foreground and background are blurred.

Wildflowers in the Alley

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13 Responses to “Day 2 – Spring is Here”

  1. Laura April 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    I had to hurry to get my pic today as well. Good stuff! I’m having trouble getting the Bradford pear trees to sit still while I shoot them. Too much wind! I’ll keep trying, though.

    Regarding flash fill, did you use the on-board flash or the external? Just curious 🙂

    • mindymilburn April 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

      Luckily there was zero wind today so I didn’t have issues with that. I just used the on-board flash which ironically seems to work great outdoors. I don’t think I have ever used the external flash for that purpose.

  2. Julie April 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Do you have the other shot, without the fill flash? I want to see the difference you’re talking ’bout. 🙂

    • mindymilburn April 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

      I added it to the post. I really thought about posting the before shot but I was so rushed trying to get it up that I got lazy. I KNEW someone would ask to see it and I should have known it would be you 😀 Love ya chick

      • Julie April 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

        The colors look so much brighter in the fill flash one. Amazing what a difference just that one change can make. 🙂

  3. willa banet April 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    GREAT PICTURES Ive always wanted to take shots like that

  4. PMC April 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    I was shooting the same thing this weekend and found that all that white against the sky can turn your blue sky pale. I end up shooting with a Vivid setting which helps a little, but what helped the most was finding dark evergreens to use as a backdrop to the blooming trees (kinda cheating but hey LOL), and shooting with the sun at my back (duh).

    • mindymilburn April 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      Hey if you can cheat it and make it look good who cares LOL You need to share the pics with me Miss Patty 🙂

  5. Stasia April 6, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    I really like both of these pictures. You’re not going to have any lack of outdoor beauty to photograph for a while, I think.

    • mindymilburn April 6, 2010 at 10:44 am #

      It is the best thing about Spring 🙂 Summer I could do without. If it were just Spring and Fall all year round I may never put my camera down lol

  6. Kimmy April 6, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Wow, amazing the difference in the two Bradford pear tree pics but I must focus on the wildflower pic because I love that effect. I’ve seen photographers use this before where it blurs out the majority of the picture and then focuses in on one thing in particular. Tell me more, please?! Is this something a rookie can do or do you need more mastery skills to accomplish this? lol

    • mindymilburn April 6, 2010 at 10:47 am #

      If you need mastery skills I am screwed LOL! Does your camera have an AV or an A setting? If so you can do this 🙂 When you look through the viewfinder whatever lights up (or at least that is how it works on mine) will be in focus and the rest will be blurred. The amount of blur depends on your aperture setting so play around with the number until you get the look you are going for. On my camera in on the AV or A setting all of the other settings are basically taken care of for you so all you have to worry about is the f number 🙂

      I hope that made sense, if not call me and I will give you a convoluted in person tutorial!

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