Will I Ever Take a Good Picture?

My journey trying to take good photos.

Walk into town.

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I did get out one more time last weekend. I woke up on Sunday(9/16/2012) and went into town around 8am with the camera. The thermometer said 61 degrees but it was cooler than that. The sun hits the thermometer first thing in the morning and this time of year I often get a surprise when I go outside on a sunny morning.

It was a beautiful morning and the first thing I see are geese in the cemetery. That makes three walks in a row where my first subject of the day is geese. They didn’t seem to mind me but they would walk away from me so all my shots have them facing away from me.

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@135mm, 1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100

Then I took a picture of the Congregational Church. I wanted to get a picture of the church and the share garden they have in front (I think the food goes to the food bank). I didn’t like the shots I was getting partly because I wanted a wider shot than I could get in portrait mode. So I took two shots in portrait mode and put them together. It came out ok but the church looks washed out. The negative of a nice sunny day!

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/60 sec, f/14.0, ISO 100

Next up was the library. My favorite place in town; I know some who know me would think the pizza or donut shops would be my favorites but I spend more time reading than eating! By now the sun was getting a bit on my nerves. If felt nice on me but taking pictures was tough as you can see in this shot:

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/800 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

At this point I knew that the light was going to be an issue so I took a bracket of three pictures (-2/3EV, 0EV,+2/3 EV) to see if I liked one over the other and in case I wanted to try merging them together. The previous picture is how the camera metered the scene (0EV). I then went into photoshop and got rid of the shadows from the power lines and library sign, the cup on the right side of the stairs, and the signs on the door. I ended up with:

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/800 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

Then just to see what it looked like I ran the 3 bracketed shots thru HDR pro in photoshop and then did all the same editing I did before and ended up with:

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/1250 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200,3 shot bracket+-2/3

I like the grass in the non HDR version and the building in the HDR version. Can’t win. Does anyone have a preference?

Next up was the Town Hall. The power lines really messed up the picture.

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

So off to photoshop to see what I could do. It took me at least two hours to fix it over a few days.

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

When I watch videos of other people doing photoshop edits they do them fast, unlike my snails pace. Hopefully I get faster the more I practice.

I am happy with the way it came out. I guess I could have also fixed the shadows on the road but maybe a crop is a better way to go:

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@18mm, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

Last stop as I was walking back was at the community center. I belong to the gym here and haven’t been the last few weeks. Nothing exciting about the shot but here it is:

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Canon T3i, EF18-135mm f3.5-f5.6@24mm, 1/125 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

I normally take nature pictures and I found that taking pictures of buildings was hard. I can’t seem to get the building to look straight. Also somehow the ISO setting changed from 100 to 200. I don’t remember changing it and never noticed that it had been changed until I looked at the pictures in Lightroom. I need to make sure I check the camera settings before setting up a shot.

I did have a good time though. The day was gorgeous (just look at the blue sky!) and I was out taking pictures. Can’t get much better than that!

Until my next walk!

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