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Neodigital Art | technicalities


The Lake

I’ve started today with a photo of the lake that I took  on Sunday; the light was good and you can see it reflects well off the lighter colours. This isn’t just photography, making a visual record of a scene, but art. This is editing the picture to try to make something aesthetically pleasing. A picture that you would like hanging on the wall of your art gallery or living room. My local arts gallery cost $100 million and they have an open arts exhibition in April. They want action shots and the entries are restricted to the West Midlands. This means they will get entries from the arty types with expensive cameras from across the West Midlands, shooting action with their cameras set on fast. They would have been better not specifying a subject and having the local restriction just people in the town rather than the region. Art tends to be politicised though. You can enter competitions and exhibitions even with photographs like this one.


This shot isn’t very good, but you can see the lake on the left and the river flowing past it. On the right are sports fields. I suspect at some time in the past the lake actually was a mill pond because farther down river was a water mill in Victorian times that powered a forge. Lots of trees and bushes have been cut back at the end of winter and so this is a shot I can’t usually get. The camera was set on landscape and so had a narrow aperture.



This shot was more into the sun with the camera set on landscape, so again the aperture was narrow. You can think of the aperture as being like a door way; the more the door opens ( wide aperture) the more light gets in and the slower the speed (the longer the door is open)  again,  more light gets in. A narrow aperture  gives depth of field, which is ideal for landscapes and so if you choose the landscape setting you get a narrow aperture. The door on your camera (the shutter) isn’t opening so much and so letting in less light. In this shot that’s an advantage because the camera adjusts to the light and would make this shot dark on an automatic setting. To focus the shot on a digital camera, you press the shutter button down gently and let it focus and then a little more to take the picture. My camera bleeps to tell me it’s focused and then I press gently to take the picture; trying to keep the camera still and level. Keeping the feet apart so you don’t wobble and maybe leaning on something can help. I leaned on a lamp post to take a night shot with a speed that kept the shutter open a whole second!



I tried to get the tree in the foreground in this picture but the road going away from us gives the picture depth and the trees lining the street help too. The trees hide industry and commerce but also the light rail system and the 18th century canal. I went down a little path and there was a group of cyclists on a Sunday ride down the canals and I got some interesting canal pictures!


I’ve used the hedge on the left of this picture to give it some depth but the tow path and canal going away from us gives it depth too.


This is the River Tame again (down stream) and the sun is lower in the sky but the light is still good and giving us more shadows.



In the park

You don’t need lakes and rivers to get a good picture, this was in a park. I also took a shot that I can’t use of kids playing football. To use that photograph I would need to get parental permission. The kid in the photograph, taking a free kick was in football strip and I set the camera on S for Speed and then set the speed on 1/1000 of a second. The speed comes up in the viewfinder and it came up red, meaning not enough light; but changed to green when I pointed the camera down the small football pitch. I took the shot holding the camera very still and shooting as the young boy took the free kick and it’s a good action shot. I need a shot now that doesn’t require permission and I might be able to enter the art exhibition!

I hope today’s post was informative and you like the pictures. Please comment, like and share. There are more amazing blogs on the Home Page.


11 responses

  1. I liked this very much! I have a very good camera, but for years I’ve mostly been content to take so-so photos, with my only real goal being just to capture the moment. Lately, probably inspired by you and other bloggers dedicated to the art of photography, I’ve felt challenged to learn little more. I do not find this easy! Your explanation of aperture settings was a really good one! I enjoy your instruction very much! Debra

    13, March 2012 at 3:54 pm

    • Hi Debra,

      I try to keep things simple. I also try to take the advice little by little. Every camera is a bit different but many have a S setting for speed. You set that and the camera takes care of the aperture setting. You can set the aperture with the A setting and the camera takes care of the speed! You can do both but who would want to! I think I should make it more interesting now Spring is finally arriving!

      13, March 2012 at 6:37 pm

  2. Hi Mike, Wow, this was so helpful. Your explanation of aperture was the best I’ve ever read! Clear and easy to remember.

    I also like the tip on pressing down the button on a digital camera. People can push it half way down ahead of time if they’re waiting for an action shot.

    My favorite bit of advice though, is to lean on something to get a good shot so the camera doesn’t move. Simple but brilliant!

    An idea for a future photography post: a checklist when you take a picture what to do, such as look for depth, lean on something, etc. People could print that out and keep it with them as they go to take pictures!

    Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us!

    19, March 2012 at 2:38 pm

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    I ws confused for a moment because I wrote this weeks blog this morning, also on apertures. I intend to do two blogs this week, one for this site and I have already written one for that scheduled for tomorrow morning. I went out today to take some photos, I lost my winter photos because my hard drive died; although the good one are on Facebook.

    I’m about to edit todays and there might be some good narrow aperture ones amongst them. The sun is still shining but a bit low in the sky now. I have tried to explain the nubers today because apertures go from F3.2 to F8 on my camera!

    19, March 2012 at 4:27 pm

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