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A New Adventure

I begin a new adventure on Monday when I report for work at a new job. I was awarded a part-time internship at a local accounting firm. This is what I have trained for and will finally have the opportunity to use that training. The dichotomy of the job search is that if you don’t have experience, you can’t get a job. If you can’t get a job, then you can’t get the experience. So, I’m excited (and a little nervous) to start and to learn. I know I will learn a lot.

I didn’t do it alone, either. There were so many people pulling for me, helping me, and teaching me. I owe so much to the people in my life—not just for this instance—but for all they’ve been and done in my life that brought me to this place.

Today, between other tasks, I took my camera out and put in the last lens I bought a year ago or so. It’s different. It’s a fixed lens and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I think it will take nice closeups, like the images below. Today I took pictures of cactus blooms, a pine cone, and a huge, open dandelion seed pod. (Is that what it’s called?)

Pine Cone on Ground

Make a Big Wish

Cactus Bloom

Claret Cup Cactus Bloom

I think they turned out really well and I can’t wait to take more.

The Best Camera

They say the best camera is the one you have with you. For me, that is my iPhone camera. I’ve gotten some amazing shots with it, and I’ve also produced some real duds. But without it, I’d have not captured one of those shots. For that reason, I always want to have the best camera app and know how best to get a good shot. I like Camera+, but there are many other worthy camera apps, and the one that comes with the phone is fine, too.

This video was produced by B&H Photo and includes some very good and practical tips for those of you who want to do more than take a picture of where you parked your car so you can find it after Christmas shopping.

Clouds Jump from Photograph, Don’t You Think?

I was looking around on my Skitch account today and found this. I know quite a few people have seen this, but certainly none of my Twitter friends. And, because this is a photo blog, and this was such a cool learning experience for me, I wanted to include it here.

I took this picture summer 2009. If you’re familiar with HDR, you know that three or more shots of different exposures are taken, then “melded” together to produce one photo. Usually I just do all this in Photoshop because my camera really hasn’t the capability. If I change exposure, then I wiggle the camera, no matter how careful I am.

While I understand it’s not HDR, it’s fun nevertheless. That, after all, is what this is all about. Does anyone know what “they” do call that?

In this shot though, I did change the exposure for each of three shots. One’s underexposed, another is exposed properly, and the third is overexposed.

I used Photomatix Pro to put them together, and probably tweaked it just a little in Photoshop afterward.

The interesting thing about this photo is the clouds. They almost jump off the page. I learned something from this shot that I didn’t understand before.

Previous to this photograph, I had been looking through the photographs at stuckincustoms.com. Trey Ratcliff travels the world with his camera and takes the most incredible HDR photographs. However, I noticed some of his picture seemed just a little surreal, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. That’s not a “judgement” either. I love his work. I remember one in particular in which he photographed sailboats. The masts looked like they were slightly raised a off the photograph. It was something I didn’t understand about his photographs. I assumed it was part of the process, but I didn’t know what part.

When I took and processed this picture, I realized what it was; movement. From one exposure to the next, the masts must have moved just a little as the boats moved with the water. The software doesn’t perfectly match the elements of the picture, so that effect is the result. At least that’s my best guess. Although the clouds didn’t move a lot, in my picture, they moved enough in my relatively long, manual-exposure-change time, to achieve that effect. I’m sure I also moved the camera while changing the exposure.

Anyway, I think THAT’s why those clouds jump off the page. They moved just a little each time I had to change exposure, and they were too different to match well in Photomatix.

Not only did I like the effect I got, I had a lot of fun playing with this photograph.

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