F-Stop Challenge

Do you know what an f-stop is?

If you are a photographer, I am sure you know what an f-stop does.

For those of you who don't know, basically, f-stop is the aperture setting which controls what is in focus when you capture a photo.

A small number like 1.8 means that only a small area of your photo will be in focus. Smaller numbers are great for shooting portraits and details. This is when you can achieve some cool bokeh1

A large number like 8 and above give you more areas of focus in your photo and work well in landscapes or portraits of large groups of people.

You can find better explanations of f-stop and aperture in many books, photography classes, and online articles. Just google f-stop or aperture if you are curious.

One of my goals earlier this year was to pick up my DSLR on a regular basis and shoot photos.

Well, I have done a terrible job of keeping up with that goal!

This week, I stumbled across a Facebook Live event on the B&H page about 'What to Shoot When There's Nothing to Shoot'. 

You see, the thing is, I am not a professional photographer. I am not even sure I want to be a professional photographer.

It is something I enjoy doing and would love to do it enough to get paid to do it!

So I thought, in order to push myself to pick up my camera on a regular basis, I should give myself some challenges.

This morning, I had my 35mm 1.8 lens on my Nikon and went in my backyard to see what I could shoot.

Here is what I found using f/1.8 only as my aperture setting:

 Settings: 1/50 sec at 1.8/f, ISO 100

Settings: 1/50 sec at 1.8/f, ISO 100

 Settings: 1/320 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

Settings: 1/320 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

 Settings: 1/500 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

Settings: 1/500 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

 Settings: 1/125 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

Settings: 1/125 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

 Settings: 1/250 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

Settings: 1/250 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100

Ok, so I didn't just 'find' my 50mm lens in the backyard, but I thought it would make the best first photo for this challenge.

As I walked around my backyard, the only setting I had to change to capture all of these images was the shutter speed. At f/1.8, this setting lets in the most light available because the lens is open at its widest.

So what do you think? Which image is your favorite?

If you are a photographer, have you ever done an f-stop challenge?

I am thinking I should challenge myself each week with a different f-stop. What f-stop should I shoot at next week?

 

 

Italy - Day One

If you have read my posts about our quick trip to the northeast, you might just be thinking this is becoming a travel blog.

Honestly, I wish it could be because I LOVE to travel!

If I had unlimited funds and time, I would love to travel as much as possible.

But since I can't, I am finally going to take some time to write about our time in Italy.

Especially since my last post about Italy was back in April...

Our first day in Italy wasn't even a full day, so I am not sure if I can really count it as day one, but I am going to anyway.

We landed in Rome around 3pm local time. Since we didn't check any bags, we didn't have to wait around for our luggage once we got off the plane. 

We made it to Rome!

We had to take a train into Rome from the airport. There are actually a few less expensive options to get from the airport into Rome, but we knew we didn't have a lot of daylight hours left on this day. And after a nine hour flight (and a nine hour time difference), we were ready to get outside and enjoy some of Italy!

Once we made it into Rome, we took a taxi to our AirBnB.

Outside our AirBnB in Rome

One thing I would highly suggest if you are going to take an international trip...be sure to add the international plan to at least one of your phones! We needed to call our AirBnB hosts at each location, and being able to check in with our kids gave me a bit of peace of mind as we were traveling so far away from home!

Anyway, once we got all checked in, our gracious host told us to head toward Campo de' Fiori and look for the Forno to find some really great Italian pizza!

 Fresh flowers for sale at Campo de' Fiori

Fresh flowers for sale at Campo de' Fiori

Eating pizza in Italy!

After we finished eating our pizza, we walked along and across the Tiber River.

Tiber River in Italy
Views along the Tiber River in Italy
Many people out walking along the Tiber River at night
Tiber River in Italy
Goodnight Italy!

If my health app on my phone is accurate, we walked just under 3 miles on this day and got just a small taste of how beautiful Italy is!

Like I said, we didn't have a lot of time on our first day in Italy, but it was definitely enough to document it with a few photos!

Stay tuned for more from our Italy trip!

January Photography Focus: Food

"Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution." - Ansel Adams

Over the past few years, I have working on learning more about photography and using my DSLR to its fullest potential. I have learned how to use it in manual mode and participated in a couple of year long projects of taking photos every day.

This year, I have decided to focus on one subject a month rather than randomly take photos of whatever fits the prompt for the day type of photography project. (Does that make sense?, excuse my rambling!)

Anyway, for the month of January, I decided to take photos of food. 

Why?

Food is readily available, it is rather cooperative, and I am usually cooking or baking something in my kitchen almost every day.

Now, I have no desire to become a food blogger. But I have been taking advantage of watching videos from CreativeLive on food photography. Have you heard of Andrew Scrivani? He takes some pretty amazing photos of food!

So, here are some photos I have taken this month. In Lightroom, all I did was apply the lens correction and edit the white balance. All of the photos were shot using my 35mm lens.

 Potatoes for a new soup recipe with our Christmas lights still in the background

Potatoes for a new soup recipe with our Christmas lights still in the background

 Made    homemade bread bowls    for our leftover split pea soup

Made homemade bread bowls for our leftover split pea soup

 Making salsa

Making salsa

 It is January, we are suppose to be eating healthier, right?

It is January, we are suppose to be eating healthier, right?

 My typical lunch, PB&J and an apple

My typical lunch, PB&J and an apple

 Can someone from South Carolina ship me some of these coffee beans?

Can someone from South Carolina ship me some of these coffee beans?

Now I have to admit, all of these photos were taken in my kitchen under the florescent lights. Not ideal, but I am pretty happy with the way they all turned out.

What have you been taking photos of this month? Are you working on a photography project?

My Daily Life in Black and White

Are you on Facebook or Instagram?

Most people have an account on one of those social media channels, if not both.

Have you been tagged in the recent Seven Days, Black and White photo challenge?

My friend Kendra tagged me on Instagram to participate. Since I love photography, I decided to join in on the challenge.

Not only did I post seven days worth of black and white photos on my Instagram account, I decided to use my DSLR to capture similar images also. And I kept to using my 35mm lens.

So here is a glimpse of my daily life in black and white:

I have to tell you, that photo with my contact lens case and my glasses was a little interesting to capture.

Why?

Well, I am super near sighted, and I didn't even think to just go ahead and put my contacts in my eyes before attempting to take that picture. Ha!

Have you completed a photo challenge recently? What type of photo challenge do you like to participate in?

More Fall Photos

Practice, practice, practice...it is the one thing we should do to get better at something, right?

I am making an attempt to pick up my DSLR every day this month and photograph something, anything really. The things I have been photographing are pretty random, and most of them are things around my home right now. Here are the things I captured this past week:

 Settings: f/2.2, 1/40 sec, ISO 1600 with 35mm lens

Settings: f/2.2, 1/40 sec, ISO 1600 with 35mm lens

 Settings: f/2.2, 1/160 sec, ISO 100 with 35mm lens

Settings: f/2.2, 1/160 sec, ISO 100 with 35mm lens

 Settings: f/2.2, 1/40 sec, ISO 400 with 35 mm lens

Settings: f/2.2, 1/40 sec, ISO 400 with 35 mm lens

 Settings: f/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 800 with 35 mm lens

Settings: f/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 800 with 35 mm lens

 Settings: f/2.2, 1/125 sec, ISO 1600 with 35 mm lens

Settings: f/2.2, 1/125 sec, ISO 1600 with 35 mm lens

 Settings: f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO 100 with 35 mm lens

Settings: f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO 100 with 35 mm lens

 Settings: f/2.0, 1/200 sec, ISO 100 with 35 mm lens

Settings: f/2.0, 1/200 sec, ISO 100 with 35 mm lens

Along with trying to take a photo every day this month, I have limited myself to using my 35mm lens. Since I shoot with a cropped sensor camera, this lens works more like a 50mm lens would work on a full frame camera. 

What is your favorite lens to shoot with?