Monday, June 24, 2013

FSO Spotlight, ‘Through the Fence’

The topic this week was very enjoyable and all the posts by our little group had one or more exceptional photos.  My process has always been to read each post and to pull at least one photo from everyone into a file on my computer and then as a group look at each, looking at how the topic is approached and the quality of the photos.  For me the quality of the photo is the hardest to determine – I either like the photo or love it or it speaks to me, evoking a memory or other thoughts.  Meeting the topic head on is easier.

To find the photo that approaches the topic the best I often note which one everyone likes the most and if that one wasn’t my favorite, I go back and look again, appreciating what you all have appreciated and then choosing between my favorite and yours.  I know this isn’t very scientific but generally works for me.  The advantage of being  an admin volunteer is that you can do what pleases you and still be right.

garden plums 048 Ann on both sides of the fence.

Ann’s “look…”  I made the photo larger and still couldn’t make out what everyone was seeing inside the fence, but by the attention being given, the finger pointing, the girl leaning in, all indications that what is inside the fence is very interesting.  This was my thought provoking choice.

1-Skip Spot-001[1] Barb world lens

Barb’s ‘neighborhood watch’ through the fence is an excellent photo, and I know by her story that these stray dogs are now safe, but the photo makes me wonder if this dog doesn’t wish for a little adventure out beyond the fence.  Great Photo, thought provoking.

and last but in know way least….

Paulins through the fence

This photo was not Pauline’s best overall photo.  She had two others that I like a lot.  I almost did a Pauline only spotlight.  But this photo is the best of ‘through the fence’ topic shots; breaking through the fence looking for the best morsel of grass, now how to back out without putting a hole in his new wool jacket.

Next week:  Light and dark contrasts with Peggy on Spotlight.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Photographing the Moon

Camera Settings on manual:  f11 1/125 ISO 400  270mm (432 equivalent for 35mm)

Because you will use a slow shutter speed, use a tripod or some other way to stabilize your camera. If you have a self timer or remote, using one will help reduce any camera shake which would blur the image.
Focal Length
Use your most telephoto lens and zoom all the way in.

(Extra info: If you don't understand this it is ok.  Just move on.)  If you have a teleconverter this is an inexpensive way to get a closer shot. The longest lens I have is 300mm and used on a crop frame sensor, which most dSLRs are, I will get a magnification factor of 300mm x 1.6. So it would be like I was using a 480mm lens on a full frame or old 35mm film camera.  If I had a teleconverter I could increase the magnification factor even more.

Set your auto focus to the center of the moon.  Refocus throughout shooting since nothing would be worse than loading your photos later and find the focus was off.

If you can manual focus, set your focus to infinity and then back it off just a tad.  Infinity setting images below:

No Flash
Turn off your pop up flash.  A flash won't light the moon and it doesn't need light anyway.  Advanced photographers: You might use a flash if you want to light a subject standing with the moon behind it. This is something for those who want more of a challenge.  Expose for the moon, then add flash to light the subject.

Recipe for Manual Mode Exposure
The best thing you can do is shoot in Manual Mode if you can.  Here is a starting point:
Set your ISO to the lowest number: 100 (Canon) 200 (Nikon).  This will help minimize digital noise in your photo.  And even though it is dark outside, the moon is very bright.  Many people overexpose the moon and lose all the interesting detail.  An overexposed moon in a photo is not considered a proper exposure.
Set your aperture to F11. (F8-11 is usually suggested for shooting the moon.)
Set your shutter speed to 1/125(Canon) 1/250(Nikon) This will be your variable (what you change) to get proper exposure.

Give the above settings a try.  Check your shot on your lcd screen.  If the moon is too bright and has no detail use a faster shutter speed until you can see the detail.  If the photo is too dark use a slower shutter speed until you get enough light.  I usually find, with my gear, that when the moon looks just right on my lcd screen, it is actually a tad over exposed, so I photograph it when it looks just a tad dark on my lcd screen.

The reason you need to use manual mode is because the camera will read all the darkness of the night sky and try to brighten all of that up and in so doing overexpose the moon.  You need to tell the camera to keep the sky dark so the moon is not overexposed and the sky remains dark.

Here is a quick video using a Point and Shoot camera to shoot the moon. 

Photographing the moon takes some planning.  If you want a photo for our upcoming moon theme, you will need to start planning now.  I find the best time to photograph the moon is when there is still some light in the sky from a rising or setting sun.  Sometimes I like a little color left in the sky rather than black.  Of course, you also need to check the moon's phases to make sure you will have a moon in the sky before you plan to photograph it.  

Use this link to determine when the moon rises and sets in your neck of the woods.

Some other ideas to consider - Moon reflections, Moonlit silhouettes, Moon in the day sky

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Odd Rule Spotlights

The Odd Rule worked for me when I applied it, and after seeing the rest of the team's examples of the rule in action I am more convinced than ever. 

It works with boys in America:

That's the Way the Cornbread Crumbles

With girls in Singapore:


And with boys and girls in Sweden:

Dawn Treader

The participants this week sure proved that it works in photography as well as gardening and interior decorating. 

A surprise was that the rule also applies to jewellery, I hadn't thought of that.   Can't produce three ears but ear decorations in clusters of three works beautifully. (Just realized that jewellery is another word that has different spelling in the US.)

Ruth at Dian's Timpanalley

Hope everyone has a good week looking through the fence.

Monday, June 10, 2013

FSO spotlights for theme warmth

Rebecca your example was beautiful.

I expected a lot of fires, candles etc but was actually not surprised at the varied interpretation of this theme.
We are a great group.
Thanks to our adms and all the work they put in for us.

I tried to pick examples of each interpretation.

Jama's colorful Warmth of friendship.

In fact Pauline's warmth from a fire was the only shot of an actual fire highlighted by the moon.


 A classic warmth of a gramma and a gran by Ruth

Barbs warmth of a kiss between friends.

Warmth from the beach shared with a loved one by
Dawn Treader.

Til next time
Happy shooting with ODDS.

Dear folks please forgive me if I have attributed you with the wrong photo.
I make a list but sometimes put the wrong name with the wrong photo.
If so my bad and set me straight.


Thursday, June 6, 2013


I was stumped on this them...
and I suggested it.  :(

Fireman's Hall Museum

Philadelphia, PA

It warms my heart to know people willing to risk their own life to help others. 
Kudos to our firefighters and police officers. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Spotlight on Vintage

I think this was a great topic to showcase us and our towns.   Maybe the older we get the more likely we are to appreciate vintage, classic;  the items that still exist from our parents and grandparents time, our childhoods.  And from my time things remembered but not found:  saddle shoes, puddle skirts, and vinyl records.  Singles and Elvis.  The descriptor ‘Vintage’ is used most often with wines, in fact if you look up the definition, the dictionary talks only of wines.  So we (as in we people) use the word like in fine wines to describe matured / past era / fine representation of a period and OLD, but older than us, of course. 

This week’s spotlight photos;

From Monica at Dawn Treader – A spinning wheel

CIMG3629-002[14] - Dawn Treader

All eras – boys and baseball the love never changes

from Kara & ‘the way the cornbread crumbles’

   DSC_7799 the way the cookie crumbles

Next week, June 7 – Warmth:

spotlights by Peggy

Have a great week.