Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photography Self-Teach: Wildflower Walk

Wildflower Shadow Self-Portrait
I went on a hike today with my husband and used the opportunity to work on my photography skills.  We went to Edgewood Park in San Carlos, California, which has an abundance of wildflowers.  I've enjoyed seeing other people's shadow self-portraits, so took a couple today featuring wildflowers.  ETA: I wanted to mention that one of my inspirations for this was Nellie Mae's post here on her blog, This Little Blog of Mine.
Here are a few of my favorite photographs from a technical standpoint.  I took at least 3 shots of each subject [one on automatic; one on a preprogrammed setting, such as closeup, portrait or action; and one on semi-manual (I was able to set the white balance to sunny and set the ISO to 800; the camera set the fstop)].  The automatic consistently turned out the worst of the three. I took everything with my 50 mm fixed lens. You can click to enlarge any photo.

Trio of flowers:

Tree on a hill:

California golden poppies (our state flower):

My best "capture" of the day occurred when I heard a bunch of birds chirping but couldn't see them.  Suddenly, I realized it must be a nest deep within a tree.  By standing on a stump and using a flash, I was rewarded with this photo:

I was also able to get a picture of a busy bee:

Here are pictures of DH and me on our lunch break:
Finally, for the photography geeks in the audience (you know who you are), here's the same thistle taken in three different modes ISO priority, portrait setting, automatic), just so you can see what they look like:
Which photo is your favorite?  Have you ever done a shadow self-portrait?


Amy said...

The portrait setting is my favourite of the three bottom photos but I love the bird shot and the golden poppies are magnificent :-) Looks like a gorgeous day - it's got cold here all of a sudden.

scrappyjacky said...

Looks like wonderful weather there...our glorious sun of last week has now disappeared....back to the normal dreary.
Some gorgeous the pics of you and OH....and the poppies look stunning.
With the last 3 photos i prefer the priority setting best.

Sian said...

There is always something new and interesting to see here! I've never thought of doing a shadow portrait..thank you, that's another good idea to store up for the future. I like the ISO priority pic the most, I think..but I love the happy, relaxed shots of the two of you too!

Julie Shoemaker said...

Great pic's Rinda..I've accidentally gotten my shadow in photos before...didn't know there was a name for it. Not much of a photographer, but I enjoy yours.

Nellie Mae said...

Beautiful pictures! I love the shadow portrait! ;-)

sharyncarlson said...

The shadow portrait is so lovely, as are the rest of the photos. And I'm really enjoying the dreamy quality of the photo taken with the portrait setting.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a beautiful day for your walk, and great success with the photos. I like the portrait setting in the last three photos as well. The photos of you and your husband are also wonderful, and the focus on the mushroom is spot perfect--love those ridges along the edge of it. You were so lucky to capture the bird. What fun!

Unknown said...

Super photos, have never tried to take a self shadow - will need to try that the next sunny day! Love the photo of the bird in its nest.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon - and your photos are lovely. Glad you posted one of yourself and the DH. I've never done a shadow self-portrait, but yours is lovely with the wildflower background!

nancy y said...

I like the portrait photo best - but only because I've become very interested in this type of photo lately. I've never taken a shadow self-portrait (or any self portrait really!) but will have to try it. while you headed inland, we went over to your neck of the woods yesterday!

debs14 said...

Don't make us choose a favourite Rinda, they are all good in different ways. Looks beautiful where you are, and heaps of photo opportunities!

Capescrapper said...

Beautiful, just beautiful!

Lizzie said...

Hmm... I think I like the Portrait setting best, because it's sort-of "artistic"; however the ISO Priority does give the "best" picture really... crisp, clear and good balance... I also have problems with the Auto setting on my camera. I rarely use it - in fact the setting I use most is actually Portrait!
Love the orange poppies - I have always liked your California Poppy flowers - so beautiful, and yellows/oranges are my favourites.
That Shadow Portrait is good - lovely crisp, clear edges and a good contrast with the bright almost bleached-out grass around you.
Also love the happy shots of you and DH.

humel said...

I love shadow portraits! And what a beautiful background for yours :-)

I'm hoping to become a photography geek in the near-ish future; my next project will be a photography course!

Oh, and I love the pics of you and your husband xx