A Little Experimentation with Photography

Over the last year or so, photography has become one of my favorite hobbies. I don’t have any formal training; I’ve been teaching myself through practice and the wealth of knowledge available on the internet.

Anyway, I’ve been having fun experimenting a bit with photography lately. Here are a few of those experiments:

Long exposure

Long exposure of a lake at night
Long exposure of a lake at night

At my grandparents’ cabin a few weeks ago, Nick and I experimented with long exposure photography for the first time. We took some photos of a fire in the cabin’s wood-burning stove and then we went down to the dock to take some photos of the lake.

It was completely dark and nearly freezing, but we had a lot of fun. Because it was so dark, we couldn’t really see what the camera was pointed at until the photo was taken. We tried to take photos of the stars, too, but there was too much light from the full moon.

See the rest of the photos in my Long Exposure album on Flickr.

Aluminum foil bokeh

Lego motorcyclist with aluminum foil bokeh
Lego motorcyclist with aluminum foil bokeh

I read an article about using aluminum foil to create a bokeh effect and decided to try it out. I set up Lego minifigures on my kitchen counter so there would be a reflection from the granite. Then I crumpled up a piece of aluminum foil and used it as a background with a shallow depth of field to get the bokeh effect.

I don’t have any flashes or other lighting equipment yet, so the lighting was just overhead lighting from the kitchen. I wanted extra lighting on the Lego, though, so I turned on the flashlight app on my phone and pointed it at the Lego while I was taking the photos. Pretty crude, but it was fun to use just what I had lying around. 😛 I already have a few ideas for when I try again.

See the rest of the photos in my Aluminum Foil Bokeh album on Flickr.

Selective color

Selective color Columbine
Selective color Columbine

This one is less exciting to write about, but I’m really happy with how the photo turned out.

I took a photo of a columbine plant in my backyard and I wanted to be creative with the editing. I made the background black and white, leaving only the purple flowers in color.

See the Columbine photo on Flickr.

Woodland Park Zoo

I went to the Woodland Park Zoo last weekend with friends and family. There are lots of babies at the zoo right now, so it was a fun time to visit. Gavin the porcupette was hiding, but we caught a glimpse of him. I wanted to see the twin sloth bear cubs, but the sloth bears were M.I.A. while we were there. The adorable, fuzzy tree kangaroo joey isn’t on exhibit yet, but you can watch him via webcam. The quadruplet lion cubs were definitely the most fun to see.

Some of the photos I took at the zoo are below:

Lion Cub Lion Cubs Lion Cubs Lion Cubs Lion Cubs Elephant Gazelles Hippopotamus

New Camera: Canon T2i

Union Bay and Cascade Mountains
Union Bay and Cascade Mountains

Nick and I have been without a decent camera for a while now, relying on our cellphones for taking pictures. A couple weeks ago, we decided it was time to invest in an entry-level DSLR camera. After a lot of research, we had it narrowed down to a Canon EOS Rebel T2i and a Nikon D5100. We went back and forth between the two several times (they’re both very comparable) before finally picking the Canon T2i on the advice of our friend, Shaun Pezeshki.

Nick used to be pretty into photography, but I’m only a novice, so I’ve been learning from him, the wonderful world of the Internet, and (of course) experience! We’ve been posting our photos on Flickr: Nick and Marie’s Photostream.

Prior to yesterday’s Tulip Festival photos, Nick and I didn’t have a system* for determining who took which photos, so I’m not entirely sure who took which photos in the Magnuson Park and Arboretum and Kerry Park sets. Nick took all of the Woodland Park Zoo photos because I knew Nick would do a better job taking photos of moving animals (at least until I get more experience). 😛 I’ve included a few of my favorite photos I have taken so far with this post.

Red and Yellow Tulips
Red/Yellow Tulips at the Tulip Festival
Orange Tulips
Orange Tulips at the Tulip Festival

*Our current system is to take a photo of our shoes before we start taking photos lol.