Friday, December 30, 2011


We are sorry for confusion,
but Sarah has not been able to post the linky this week.
I only have the option to post it on this page.
So you can link up here until we get things straightened out.
If needed, I will move your links for you.

December 30 - End. The end of another year. What is your best memory from this year? or How do you celebrate the end of a year. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spotlight Photos & Help Wanted

Our theme was LIGHTS 
and I am happy to say 
 there was quite a variety of light included 
with all of your photos. 

Here are some Spotlights...

This lit tree by Dawn Treader reminds me of patterns of stars. 
She did a nice job isolating the light 
and keeping the dark background.

Light colored fountains were submitted by Jama.

I love that JarieLyn played with the zoom technique!

And I am a huge sucker for bokeh.
This shot is by Kim.

This is touching by Minor...
lanterns with sentiments to the victims of this year's earthquake in Japan.

And a creative touch by Pauline using natural light.

A nice capture of flames by Ranu. 

Help Wanted...
We are looking for one or two people to help 
with the posting of weekly Spotlight Photos. 
Please leave a comment below if you are interested!

This week's topic: End

December 30 - End. The end of another year. What is your best memory from this year? or How do you celebrate the end of a year. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Double Takes wit Rebecca: Fun with Holiday Lights

For me it is Christmas lights,  
but any lights will work!
Here are some things you can do with lights.

You can make lights seem to twinkle
by using a higher aperture setting.

f25, ISO 400, 30sec on tripod 

If you can attach a filter to your lens,
try using a star filter for this effect.

f 2.8 ISO 1250, 1/60 sec on tripod 
using a 4pt star filter 

Below is an outdoor tree  
covered in blue lights.
If you have a zoom lens you can do this one. 
My camera was on a tripod, 
I selected a slow shutter speed  
and turned the zoom on my camera while  
the shutter was open.  

1/6 sec, ISO 100, f2.8 on tripod
rotating zoom.

And of course, everyone's favorite these days...
The out of focus lights in the background create bokeh.
Use a wide aperture
and add distance between your subject and the lights.

f1.8, ISO 640, 1/200

Do you have any tips for shooting lights?
Please share them,
I'd like to try something new!

I posted Double Takes a week early this month
before the holiday lights come down!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spotlight Photos

Here are some Spotlight Photos for our Wheel theme!

A line up of scooters by Ann

A cutie pie inside the wheel by Coloring Outside the Lines.

An interesting bench on wheels by EGWOW.

A row of wagon wheels by Jarielyn.

A really cool shot through the glass by Mark.

A colorful wheel and a little different 'spin' on the theme by MummyJam.  

And a lovely quilted wheel by QMM.

Thanks everyone for your submissions. 
I think it was a good topic!

Next up is Layers...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Spotlight Photos for Imbalance

Well, this was quite the challenging theme. I know I was not sure if I "got it" or not. But our shooters came through with fantastic photos and interpretations of the theme.

Imbalance in photography - Lack of proportion or relation between corresponding things. Shots with strong points of interest on one side of an image and ‘emptiness’ in another area. Misproportioned.






Our theme and challenge for December 9th is Wheels.
 Have fun and HAPPY SHOOTING!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Double Takes With Rebecca: Panning

No, I am not referring to panning for gold, 
but that would be exciting! 
I am referring to capturing the feeling of motion 
in your still photo.  

Here is the Wikipedia description: 
In still photography, the panning technique is used to suggest fast motion, and bring out the subject from other elements in the frame. In photographic pictures it is usually noted by a foreground subject in action appearing still (i.e. a runner frozen in mid-stride) while the background is streaked and/or skewed in the apparently opposite direction of the subject's travel.

I took the photo below from a ferry. 
I steadied myself along the edge of the ferry 
and using a slower shutter speed 
I followed the jet ski as it passed 
with my camera. 

You can see the splash is blurred 
as is the water - 
caused by the slower shutter speed,
Yet the action of the 
jet ski seems stopped - 
cause by following it with the camera. 

If I had a second chance, 
I would have slowed down the shutter speed some more.
But they were not aware of my pleas to circle around again!

Here is a great way to practice...
as long as you don't get too dizzy.
Go to a playground with one of those spinny rides.
I don't know what they are called, 
but you push them and they go round and round.

Sit on one side,
have someone sit opposite of you.
Keep your camera steady by bracing your elbows against yourself.
Spin the ride and snap your photos.

Here is an example.
Note the blurred background from spinning.

So how do you achieve that slower shutter speed?

Option 1:
If you shoot in manual (M)
or shutter/time (S or TV) priority,
you can set your shutter speed. 
How slow depends on what you are shooting, 
how fast it is moving, and how far away you are.
In the above photo, 
the speed was 1/25.

But if it was a race car I was photographing 
and I was relatively close 
I might have used 1/125.
The great thing about digital is you can experiment
and see which way you need to adjust.

To control shutter speed:

Nikon users select M (Manual) or S (Shutter) 
then use the appropriate dial on your camera to select..

Canon users select M (Manual) or TV (Time Value) 
then use the appropriate dial on your camera to select.

If you select S or TV the camera will choose the other settings.
If you select M you will have to make those adjustments yourself 
until you achieve proper exposure.

Option 2 (Possibility):
I am not sure if you can trick a point and shoot 
that does not have manual (M) or shutter priority settings (S or TV)
into doing this or not.
I would start by choosing the landscape/scenery preset on the camera,
usually indicated by the Mountain icon. 

That will let less light in the camera 
forcing a slower shutter speed. 
But the camera might outsmart you and 
raise up the ISO too much
and not achieve a slow enough speed.
But you can always try! 

For examples or idea inspiration 
do a Google search of Panning and select Images.

I hope this gives you something new to try. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spotlight Photos for Symmetry

All of our shooters did a great job this past Friday with the theme of symmetry. I was very impressed!!
Here they are!!

Suzy - The Grand Ballroom of Larnach Castle. My eyes are drawn to the fireplace. And I notice how it is decorated so identically from one side to the other. (is identically a word?)

Ann - Viking Boat. This photo is mesmerizing. I look along the sides at the windows and little wall lights, up to the tip of the boat and down to floor with the posts all around and back again to the windows and lights. When a photo makes your eyes travel all around like that ......... that is a great photo!

Heather - Heart. I had a hard time between choosing this one and the walkway she had posted.

Jama - (to quote Jama)
The underside of the 260meter long   (850ft) and  70 meter-wide (230 ft.) Esplanade  road -bridge that spans across the mouth of the Singapore River in Singapore  which is lighted nightly with different colours.

Pauline - Yucca Plant. Perfect!!

QMM - Ceiling Fixture. A beautiful light. Another photo that draws me in.

From my post many visitors really liked my swans. I don't usually post one of mine, but just thought I would tell you all a little more about the shot. I took this shot with my telephoto lens. I was not close to the swans, and there were many on this part of the river. It was our first freezing frosty morning so it was also foggy. I think they were just trying to sleep away the cold frosty morning. I focused in on these two swans. Notice the ripple on the water behind them? A couple of swans swam through the shot. I didn't like the way it looked with them in the shot so I just waited until they were out of the photo before snapping.

Our theme for this Friday is Lawn Tools. Have fun and use your imagination with this one. And, as always, HAPPY SHOOTING!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spotlight Photos

I think you all deserve an A
for your Letter A finds this week! 

Here are some spotlight photos 
we want to make sure you didn't miss.

An Arched rainbow by EG WOW.

Ambiance by Elaine Dale
Very moody!

Amphibians by Scriptor Senex
Love how the toad appears to be pushing the grass 
out of his way to see.

Autumn by Kerry
What spectacular colors and lines!

Acorns by Kim
A nice capture of an Autumn classic.

Next up is symmetry. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Challenge for November 18 ~ Symmetry ~

This is our challenge for November 18. So .... what is it?
 The balance of design elements where one side equals another.
 Balanced visual weight in the photo.
 The effect of an evenly balanced arrangement of visual information, such as patterns, on either side of a central division.

 Whew!! So what does all that mean? 

Happy Shooting!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spotlight Photos for Strange, Unusual or Spooky Signs!

As you may know, Mr. Linky is being a little spooky itself this past week and it is not working for us!! If I missed any participants in last Friday's challenge it was unintentional. I did post a discussion post for the naughty Mr. Linky but I just received an email from Sarah and she said all is well now. So sorry for jumping the gun here!! 

What fun to see unusual signs from all over the world.


Dawn Treader


Jama - (we need one of these in my town)

Southwest Arkie - closed due to flying hot mud

This week the challenge for FMTSO is the Letter A. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Discussion on Mr. Linky

Hi All! 

 As you may have noticed Mr. Linky has not worked at all this weekend. Now, I just went there and tried to open the comments and those won't work for me also. 
 What to do? 

 FMTSO is open now for any suggestions or ways to do FMTSO a new way. 
 Shall we just do it all on one site?
How about having a post on the weekly challenge and then just go visit everyone by the comments? 
 Does anyone know how to add a link in the comments that would take the reader to their post for FMTSO?
 That would make it very simple I would think.

 Open for discussion...........

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spotlight Photos for Creepy Crawlies:)

OH my ......creeepy even to me and I love bugs..this gave me the willies. By Dinah!

Beautiful spiderweb!! By Dawn!

Cool creepy snake by Ewow!!

Beautiful, creepy cool pics all!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Double Takes With Rebecca: Baked or Raw?

Did you know a photo is like a cupcake?

If you shoot in jpg, 
which all cameras can do, 
then your finished photo is like a baked cupcake - 
with all the processing decisions being made 
by the camera.

You can ice it, 
 add sprinkles, 
and maybe cut off some burned edges if you need to, 
but you can't go back and adjust 
the ingredients that made the cupcake! 

Your camera is very smart 
and often makes good decisions for you,
but not every time or in every situation. 
Shooting jpg leaves you little latitude later on.

That's where shooting in raw 
comes in.
If your camera has the ability to shoot in raw, 
it will collect all the raw ingredients 
needed for your photo to 
give you the power to 
make adjustments to the recipe 
before baking...or printing in this case. 

All images begin in raw...
it just depends on who 
makes the processing decisions:
you or the camera.

jpg - Your camera decides
raw - You decide

Here is a diagram from a helpful link 
at The Lightroom Lab website:

Most dSLR's will shoot in raw, 
and many point and shoot cameras will as well.
You can check your camera's manual
to learn about its settings. 
Check under image quality options.

Shooting in raw has an upside and downside.

The downside is
your file size will be much larger 
and eat up space on your camera card 
and computer.

The upside is 
your file size will be much larger 
and you have more information 
to work with saved on the card and computer!

So, I consider it a win-win!
You can always buy a larger card if you need to! 

You do not need to feel like you are cheating 
by adjusting your raw photo.
A raw photo comes out unprocessed 
and therefore looks kind of muddy. 
It is expected that you will 
play with the ingredients 
to get a recipe 
that captures what you saw creatively.

You will need software to read a raw image. 
But most photo software including 
Picasa, Photoshop and others 
(including any software that came with your camera)
will read a raw image. 

After processing,
 you can save the image in jpg
and share it with others.

Back in the day of film...
the same thing happened.
A photographer could buy specific types of film 
and use different darkroom techniques 
to get the creative look they desired. 
It was a more difficult process, 
but there was still a creative process involved. 

That being said, 
I do not always shoot in raw.

I shoot in raw when 
being able to correct white balance 
or exposure is important.
When someone pays for portraiture I shoot raw. 

When I am taking snapshots, fun shots, 
or rapid shots I use jpg.
I shoot my son's soccer games in large jpg.

If you don't shoot in raw...
at least shoot in the largest file size you can 
(shown below.)
A large file size collects more pixels 
and will give you a better looking photo, 
especially if you plan to enlarge it. 

Happy Shooting!