Friday, December 31, 2010

Evening at the Cathedral of Saint Paul

I recently attended a Minnesota Wild game in Saint Paul. They played against the Detroit Red Wings and lost handily, I don't even want to post the pictures I took there. So here's a photo of the great view I had when we returned to our car after the game.

Cathedral of Saint Paul

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Dogs on a Snow Day

It snowed here in central Minnesota over the weekend. Perhaps that may be an understatement. We got dumped on! And boy did our dogs love the winter wonderland!

Snow Dogs Digging

Snow Dog Spirit

Snow Dog Calvin

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lesson #4 ~ To Flash or Not to Flash?

More Las Vegas vacation photos have been uploaded, and it gave me the chance to observe something and report what I've learned to other beginner, amateur, or self-taught photographers out there. To flash, or not to flash?

Monte Carlo Goddess (with Flash)

Flash is an invaluable tool that brightens a dark space. At night, flash can make all the difference between seeing your intended focal point and a dark frame full of unrecognizable features. Like any other light would, a flash can help illuminate what's in front of the camera.

Monte Carlo Goddess

Flash can also obscure what's in front of the camera. Notice that you can see a lot more of the details of this goddess outside the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. That's because basic flashes are mounted on the camera and pointed straight at the subject, reducing the occurrence of shadows that would normally add depth and detail. Additionally, the intense brightness of the light washes out the whiteness of the marble on this statue.

Photography is one of the few practices where less light can actually reveal more.

Las Vegas Vacation Photo Album
Las Vegas Vacation, Part I
Las Vegas Vacation, Part II

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brightness & Saturation

I'm not real big on editing my photos, for the most part I like to leave them as they are except maybe to make play with brightness. My reasoning is brightness and contrast are things that could be adjusted in a dark room. More recently, though, I've been working with color saturation, too - something else a little time in a dark room can fix. Here are two photos from my Vegas vacation and road trip that I thought didn't quite look right and needed to be fixed.

Smoke Blotted Out the Sun {Before}

Smoke Blotted Out the Sun {Fixed}

Traveling through either Arizona or Utah, a tree-covered mountain was on fire. The smoke was so thick that it blotted out the sun. The first photo was way too dark. The sun struggled through the smoke, but it was slightly brighter than that. The sort-of eerie lighting of the second photo is way more accurate.

Smoked Out {Before}

Smoked Out {Fixed}

The same with this photo, it was just a little dark and needed help. When it comes to saturation, there is a fine line between enhancing and making the coloring look fake. For both of these photos, I made the minimal adjustments to saturation, brightness, and contrast to bring out some of the details and make them look more accurate to what I remember.

See more Vegas Vacation photos at Flickr and at True to Words Friday Photography - Vegas Vacation, Part I.