Availability | Calgary Family Photographer09.18.12

I have a last minute opening for this weekend on Sunday morning.  Can be location or studio?  It is going to be a gorgeous weekend and thought that if you are as last minute as me, it might work for you:).  Please let me know if you are interested in this session – 403-701-0106.

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Energy | Calgary Family Photographer09.13.12

Yeah, my computer is back up an running and I can finally share some of the wonderful sessions from August.  It was so nice to be back in full swing of shooting.  Armed with full energy, the silliness education of my two children through the summer and a new camera shooting 11 frames per second, I was fully prepared for this energetic bunch.  It is the first time that I have shot all of them together and it was so great as they are such a close group of kids.  Mom wanted to make sure we captured the things that they love to do, from riding bikes to running, to twirling, to dancing, to swinging, to climbing,…  FUN…it is good I wear runners to sessions:).  A couple of the pictures the kids are laughing and I am pretty sure they were laughing at me and not with me as I broke into the silly rhyming song that the little guy was singing.  I am glad that mom knows me cuz I am pretty sure she would have thought I was a loon otherwise:).  The email from her after clarified that acting like a loon was worth it though as her kids had a blast.

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ISO | Summer Photo Challenge09.01.12

This is the last post of this series!  Just in time as I will be diving into sharing a bunch of client sessions over the next little while:)  So, the last part of the exposure equation that we have been discussing for the last few weeks is ISO.  The ISO determines how sensitive the digital sensor is to light…how much light is needed to burn an image.  The ISO can range typically from ISO 100 to ISO 800 to ISO 5000 and beyond.  The higher the ISO the more sensitive the sensor is to light (and again you will have to consider the other two factors aperture and shutter speed).  ISO will also determine how much grain (noise) an image has.  The higher the ISO the grainier the image is.  This is why you would usually want to keep your ISO as low as possible (although I do not mind a little grain at times for the right image).

Here is an example of the graininess of the higher ISO (I have enlarged this image so you can see):

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The first looks very grainy compared to the second.

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In sports photography, a higher ISO is typically used so that a faster shutter speed can be used to stop the action (particularly for indoor sports).  I like the high ISO capability so that I can shoot in low light situations – this is definitely a factor I take into account when purchasing new equipment.  Test yours out and see what you can get without using flash – remember you have to be in manual mode to be able to manipulate ISO and the remaining factors (aperture and shutter speed).  Practice, practice, practice so that you can capture those moments quickly.  And practice before the big events (like birthday parties) come so that you do not miss the moments.

Here is a few examples of pictures with higher ISOs:

first one is f2.8, shutter 1/125 and ISO 2200

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The second one is f3.5, shutter 1/1000 and ISO 8000_DSC8043a

The last image is at f1.4, shutter 1/80 and ISO 1600_DSC6475 copy

Good luck with your shooting!

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Shutter Speed | Summer Photo Challenge08.28.12

Sorry for the delay but it is that time of year:) I am sure that you are all getting into the swing of back-to-school so not certain how much you will be picking up cameras to play after this long weekend. I will put up the last “Summer Photo Challenge” post on ISO before the long weekend so that you can practice a bit more.

In this post I am going to look at another variable of the equation of light – shutter speed. Shutter speed determines how long the shutter is open and in turn how much light hits the sensor. It is is shown on your camera as a number like 60, 300 and up to 8000. This is actually 1/60th of a second, 1/300th of a second and 1/8000 of a second. With 1/8000 being significantly faster than 1/60th and letting way less light in. The other factor that is determined with the shutter speed in motion and how it is captured. If you would like to slow motion, you will want a slower shutter speed so that the shutter stays open longer to allow motion to occur through the image. If you would like to stop motion, you will want a fast shutter speed. Here is an example of stopping and capturing motion. You can see how without anything else changing, the aperture must change to accommodate the slower shutter speed from the first to the second picture.
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It is important to note that typically anything slower than 1/60 will see some motion if you are hand holding your camera and not using a tripod or monopod. There are some amazing effects that you can produce using the long exposure range of your camera (slow shutter speeds) but for our purposes, we will just look at being handheld.

As in any image that you are producing, you will want to consider the story that you want to tell so that you can get the desired effect. To illustrate, I am going to use three image I took at the Redlands Classic (an international bike race in the spring).  I was just there with my family hanging out and at the time did not know that I would use them to illustrate a point so they are not as perfect as I would like.  I have commented where I would have improved on two of the images though.  I still think that they illustrate my points though:).

The first image (f 4, shutter 1/800, ISO 200) was stopping the action so that we could see the bikers’ faces.
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In the next image, I wanted to show how fast the bikers were moving past us (you can see the car faintly behind them is still (slightly blurred as I was hand held and not using a tripod as I should have been). I used f22, shutter of 1/30 and ISO 200.  _DSC8254a
In this last image, I panned with the biker (at a bit too low of a shutter speed as he should not have a halo effect on him) in an attempt to blur the background and keep him sharp. I used f 22, shutter 1/13 and ISO 200._DSC8261a

Here are a couple of other pictures from recent sessions where the client was moving and having fun and I stopped to action to capture the expression.

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Have fun capturing some action!  Looking forward to seeing your images.

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Delayed | Summer Photo Challenge08.27.12

I am a bit behind this week as I had a full week shooting last week and needed today to get organized back at home. I will have my shutter speed post up tomorrow afternoon. I will probably combine the ISO one with it so that you can practice through the long weekend. More soon…

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