Sep 29, 2011

a Birthday

My mom's birthday was a fun day.
It was also my first attempt at photojournalism. It's hard. But enjoy the photos!

Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast :)
Skyping and school in the morning
A special snack! ;)
Baking a cake instead of Algebra 2!
Cocoa powder is so messy!
A bouquet of roses from a friend
Dinner out at a nice restaurant... with GREAT burgers!
The Present Pile
Opening gifts :)
The cake!
It was DELICIOUS. With a little coffee ice cream....mmmmm.....

What a great day.

Sep 28, 2011

White Balance Applied

Well, as I am learning a little more about white balance (and about setting it manually!) I decided to share some better examples of white balance with you. 

I took some photos of an egg that my sister dyed recently. 
(Visit her blog here.) 
She'll be posting about the eggs once I take photos of all of them for her....:D

Anyway, these are 6 different photos, taken at exactly the same place, at the same time of day. 
You can kinda see what white balance does with these photos.
It basically adds a little tint to a photo that is unbalanced in color.
For instance: Take the cloudy photo, or even the shade one.
If you take a photo on a cloudy day, or in shade, the lighting is more cooler, more blue, than if you were to take a photo on a sunny day.
 The cloudy setting will add a little pinkish red to the photo to make it look balanced, and the shade will add a little yellow tint.

But the halogen (for indoors, in unnatural light) will add a little blue to the photo, 
because often photos taken  indoors can turn out too orange or yellow, because of the unnatural light. 

Getting it yet?

I won't talk much about setting manual white balance, but basically, you tell the camera what the neutral color is in the light you are in, so white looks white. Sorta complicated. But you can usually get a better photo when you set the white balance manually. Auto also works very well ;) I think the auto, or even the daylight photo looks better than the manual one. Humph. I'm not great at setting white balance manually yet. :(

To learn more about white balance, visit 31 Days to a Better Photo: What's White Balance?


Sep 27, 2011


Here are the photos I promised you!
Actually, most of them are not from the tournament last Saturday...
They are from a few different games I have watched recently.
Most of the photos are from the girls' games.

A quick drink and a talk from the coach
Group huddle before the game starts
On the net...
End of a set
On the net...again :)
Linesman | Waiting for the ball
(Boys' game) Blocking...
You always shake hands/high-five the other team after a game! :)
Tomorrow I'll have another tutorial or educational (*wink*) post for you :)
It is also my mom's birthday tomorrow, so I'll be posting birthday photos soon!

Sep 25, 2011

And More Flowers

 I spent a good part of yesterday at a volleyball tournament at the school (where I take a few classes)...
I had a lot of fun walking around the campus and taking photos of flowers with a friend :) 

These were beautiful... some kind of orchid, I think.

We couldn't decide what these were; I think they are leaves. But look at how colorful they are! 

This is a random bush.
I know the word random is over used, but it describes this bush well. Please forgive me. :)

 Ah, daisies. I love daisies!

 Enough flowers though. I post way too many photos of flowers on this blog. But they are much easier to photograph than people. They don't (usually) have weird expressions on their faces when I am trying to take their photo ;)

Next time, I'll post some volleyball photos. I'm still learning how to take action photos. And later in the week, I should have some birthday photos to post! *grin*

Farewell for now, friends :D

Sep 20, 2011

The Hunter

Our cat loves to hunt anything. 

She has been known to attack:
- rocks
- trashcans
- legs 
- noses
- my camera
- leaves
- trees
(while we are writing)
- butterflies 
(of course)
- rats
- geckos
- cellphones
- hair
- toy cars
- plastic balls
- water balloons

She loves to sleep on:
- shoe racks
  - the hoods of cars 
(when they are still warm!)
- in cardboard boxes 
(when it's raining)
- in baby strollers
- on a ledge above one of our windows. 
(she climbs up the window screen to get there, naughty cat!)

Our cat keeps us entertained.

Sep 19, 2011

Once in a Blue Moon

 {White Balance}

Ever seen that famous blue moon?

Now you have.

The above photo is unedited. I took it straight out of the camera.
I didn't edit it to make it blue. I didn't do anything to it, except re-size it and add the watermark! (Impressive, hm?)

Here's what happened:
Before I took the photo, I adjusted the white balance. 
White balance is the setting that changes the balance of lighting in the image. Yeah.
Well, it is hard to explain.

If you take a photo outside, in the middle of the day, the lighting is very different than if you were to go take a photo near a lamp with a yellowish bulb. White balance fixes that, and makes the photo look the right color. See, if you have the white balance set too high, a photo taken near a lamp will look very yellow. And if you have the white balance set too low, it will look bluish.

That is basically what happened in the first moon photo. I had the white balance on a low setting (or a low temperature) so the moon looked blue.

The white balance on this photo is correct ;) The moon looks like it should!

And this photo has a very high white balance, (high temperature) so it looks ORANGE!

Now (I hope!) you know a little about white balance. :)

Sep 18, 2011

Lantana & Bougainvillea

 That last name is a mouthful.
Don't ask me how I pronounce it.

Just a few flower photos to show you today...

I know I over-edited the two photos above. Part of me likes it, part of me doesn't.... What do you think of them? :S I'd love to know...

Sep 15, 2011

The Elusive Clothesline

This is our cat.
Cute, huh?

She loves anything that moves. She attacks anything that moves.

 Yeah, even the clothesline. My sister was wiggling it.
But our cat has been known to attack the occasional rock. For odd reasons that I really don't understand. Or even know, for that matter.

Yeah. We hang our clothes on that sometimes.
Our cat doesn't have germs. I hope.

 Attacking a clothesline takes lots of concentration. Note her scrunched up eyes in the photo above.
I love it :)

Eventually she lost interest and decided to go stare in the door instead.


Sep 13, 2011

The Mannequin

{3 Ways to Correct Underexposure}

Meet Manny the Mannequin.  
I rediscovered him today.
He was abandoned on a shelf after being bought at a garage sale last year.

And he's a great poser.

See, he's waving at you.
He loves it when people wave back. *hinthint*

Did you wave?
Now he is bowing to you. What a gentleman.

Sadly, these poor photos are very dark. Technically speaking, they are underexposed.
:( Not enough light.

But never fear, dear reader. I have been learning how to fix that here, and here also.

This is cool. But don't worry if you don't understand it. I didn't understand it the first time I heard it.

You can fix an overexposed (or underexposed) photo three different ways. 

Photo 1

This underexposed photo, number 1, was taken at f-stop 8.0, at 1/5 sec. shutter speed, with an ISO of 80.
How to fix an over (or under) exposed photo?

You can change the aperture. For Photo 2 I just changed the aperture from f-stop 8.0 to f-stop 3.4. The lens opened wider, which let more light in.
Compare it with the photo above. It looks a bit better. 

And notice the wire in the background is blurry? Yes. That is what happens when the aperture is set to a lower number ;) 
Photo 2

Alright. Photo 3 looks even better.
I just changed the shutter speed here.
F-stop was 8.0, and ISO was 80, same as Photo 1.
But I changed the shutter speed from 1/5 to being open for a full 5 seconds!
That let lots of light in. :) Thus, a better exposure.
Photo 3

And for this last photo, number 4, I changed the ISO. That basically controls how fast the camera lets in light. The higher the ISO, the faster it lets light in. BUT, the image quality decreases the faster you let light in. 
The ISO for the previous 3 photos was at 80, but the below photo's ISO is 1600.
So again, more light was let into the camera! But the image is much grainier.
Photo 4

Alrighty. So the three ways to correct overexposed or underexposed photos are:
Change the aperture.
Change the shutter speed.
Change the ISO.

Manny, quit showing off. You know your ballet isn't anything to write home about.

Brownie points if you learned anything from this post.

Redeemable for virtual brownies.