March Challlenge: Silhouettes… Entry #7 Malibu Sunset

This next photo was sent by Vickie.

“Malibu Sunset…..taken on our October, 2012 trip to Malibu with a point and shoot camera. Just knew I liked this picture, did not know it was a silhouette until I read about the March challenge…”

Malibu Sunset (Photo by Vickie)

Malibu Sunset
(Photo by Vickie)


March challenge: Silhouettes… Entry #6 Fire Under the Railroad Bridge

As we have all learned, Lorraine will never ever go out and just get a quick shot and be done with it. She obsesses over every little detail and as a result, her photos certainly show the care she has taken.
So here we have Lorraine’s story…

“I had pondered several ideas as to what subject I might use to silhouette for this challenge. I just kept coming back to a silhouette at the railroad bridge that I had selected for my year long challenge. I set up my tripod in the road. It dead ends into the lake so I wasn’t too concerned about cars. I started taking shots as the sun went down. I had to work on it to get the desired framing as I was lower down on the road looking upward. I took a lot of different exposures as the sun was setting in hopes of getting the colors right. Another one of the obstacles I ran into was that the cars at the top of the hill kept pulling in and out of the Rowlett Community Center. It was hard timing it just right to avoid a car and its lights ruining my shot. It took quite a few shots but I finally captured what I wanted.”

Fire Under the Railroad Bridge (Photo by Lorraine)

Fire Under the Railroad Bridge
(Photo by Lorraine)

March Challenge: Silhouettes… Entry #5 Mavros

This entry is from our birthday girl, Tess.
Let me have her tell you about it in her own words…

“As usual when the monthly challenge was first announced, I started a lot of experiment but came back to this few months old picture.

So meet our Labrador/Pitbull mix Mavros. Mavros means black in Greek, of which I asked my mother-in-law the name. We adopted him when we lost our other rescue dog Moko who was run over by a truck which broke our hearts and still does today. The sister of Moko, Mika who is rotten and spoiled was so lonely like us and we were looking for a companion for her six years ago. During that time when my husband was looking for a rescue dog, there was a lady who was about to turn in Mavros to a kill pound of which she found Mavros walking in a golf course. My husband asked him if he wanted to come with him, then he jumped to the passenger side of his truck and leaned his face on my husband’s lap, then the rest was history.
Mavros is 113 lbs, but thinks he is a lap dog. He is very hyperactive, smart and so sweet and of course loves photography. LOL!”

(Photo by Tess)

Happy Birthday Tess!

March 28… we interrupt this challenge to wish “Tess the Mess” a very happy birthday!

Tess was the first member of the club as we put our heads together to see if such a club would be of interest to some of the staff we worked with, and she was instrumental in encouraging people to join as she was still working at the hospital and by then I had retired.

For those of you who do not know Tess… I can tell you she is a bundle of energy, loves to laugh and have fun, has been quick to learn photography as well as her camera and loves to share her knowledge as she picks up new bits of information and learns photoshop. And once she learned some photoshop basics… I knew she could not be trusted. Like the time she sent me a photo of her dogs at the Dallas Arboretum. My first response was… “Wait a minute. I’ve never seen dogs there! My little black pug Mollie Sue would like to go smell the flowers!” And then I realized she had been up to no good and photoshopped her dogs in the picture.

Tess has a good eye and sees things that I simply overlook. We love to shoot together, except for the time we were both eaten alive by chiggers.

Yes… lots of funny stories! Thanks Tess for doing all that you do for the CWPC and for being such a good friend. Happy Birthday to ya!

Happy Birthday Tess! (Photo by Lala)

Happy Birthday Tess!
(Photo by Lala)

March Challenge: Silhouettes… Entry #4 Best Friends

What a wonderful surprise to get this entry from Lily. I know she has been so busy with her photography exhibit. It is always nice to have her join us!

And this is what Lily says…
“This is my silhouette photo. I took it last year when I went to the bluebonnet “photo-hunting”. It was almost sunset. The color of the sky was amazing.
While I tried to make a few shots, two kids came and started to play with the rocks. So suddenly and absolutely unintentionally, I got two models going with my sunset picture. They didn’t even notice me making photos.

Sorry that I became a silent member of your group. Maybe one of these days…
You’re a wonderful group of people. Keep making the photos!
My best wishes to all of you… Lily”

Best Friends (Photo by Lily)

Best Friends
(Photo by Lily)

March Challenge: Silhouettes… Entry #3 Setting Sun

Our next entry will be by Debbie and for this challenge she went into the archives to pull this photo from when the crazy women were shooting the sunset. This is what Debbie said…
“I was looking through my pictures and I ran across this one I had taken at Robertson Park while we were taking sunset shots. I really liked this one because of the sunset.”

As I look at this there is one thing that catches my attention… the silhouetted tree. The tree is definitely the subject even though the sunset is beautiful in and of itself. Probably some of the easiest silhouettes to do are at sunset simply because the bright light of the background (sky/sun) will cause your camera to expose for that, as opposed to what is in the foreground. I very much like the composition with the tree off center and the tree has great structure; however, I do find it a bit disturbing that the tree is not in sharp focus, particularly since this is the subject of the photo. So the question becomes… why did this happen?

Setting Sun (Photo by Debbie)

Setting Sun
(Photo by Debbie)

When I go into properties to see the retained data from this photo (to do this on your photos, just right click on the photo and click on “properties” and then “details”. It should all be imbedded), this is what I am seeing: the photo was taken in aperture priority at 200mm with the ISO at 100, F-stop at F22 and shutter speed at 1/30th second.

Because there is plenty of light Debbie did the right thing in setting her ISO at 100 for best picture quality. We were practicing getting off of automatic and shooting with aperture priority. I do like aperture priority because it allows me to decide how much I want in focus. The higher the number on the F-stop, the more that will be in focus from front to back (this is referred to as depth of field) but the further away you are from your subject, for example, when using a telephoto lens, you may lower your F-stop and still get your shot in focus. She set her F-stop at F22 which will allow greater depth of field and the camera put the shutter speed at 1/30th of a second, and I think this is where she got into trouble. By dropping her F-stop to perhaps 10, the camera would have compensated and given her a faster shutter speed for hand holding and her tree would have still been in focus.

There is an old rule of thumb for hand holding a camera to get a photo without blurring… and it is this: Be sure your shutter speed is no slower than 1 over the focal length of the lens, and she was shooting at 200mm. So in Debbie’s case that should have been 1/200th of a second. Quite a difference from 1/30th of a second that the photo was shot at.

Unfortunately when we look at the back of our camera and visualize the screen, because the screen is so small, a photo may indeed look sharp to the naked eye when in fact it is not. The Hoodman placed over the screen will block out light and magnify the photo so you can better see your image in the field.

Of course… there are many variables to this rule. The more magnified your photo is, for instance when using a telephoto lens to get closer, the more chance of having movement cause blurring. Also your technique for physically holding the camera comes into play. And if you have a cropped sensor, which most of us do, as opposed to a full-frame camera, that in itself must be taken into consideration. I found this article about this very problem and I do think it is worth reading on the subject.

Debbie… I think we can all learn a lot by reviewing this information. Shutter speed plays an important part in getting the shot in focus. So many times I have thought I could hand hold a shot at a slower shutter speed and then would find out that I am not that steady. Just the wind blowing the tree might cause us to need a faster shutter speed to stop the motion. It quite simply requires a lot of trial and error in the process of learning the relationship of F-stop and shutter speed. By altering F-stop, shutter speed and ISO we can adjust for the problems and sometimes it does require that a tripod be used. Get in the habit of varying your settings to better understand the effects of F-stop and shutter speed and shoot lots of pictures.

Thanks so much for your entry Debbie and for allowing us to learn as we go. After all… this is what it is all about. Photography is dependent on so many variables and as we do more shooting, all of these numbers will gradually make more sense and will alert us to when we might potentially have a problem.

Woohoo! Another birthday for today!

It has just come to my attention that John Winter (detectorist/blogger extraordinaire), husband of crazy woman Lynda, and member of the CWPC Men’s Auxillary has a birthday today!

John… the crazy women honor you on your special day. Happy Birthday crazy man and thanks for injecting some of your humor on our blog!

Your entries are always welcome!

Happy Birthday John!

Happy Birthday John!

Happy Birthday, Dana!

We interrupt this challenge to wish crazy woman Dana a very Happy Birthday!

Hope to see you joining in soon with your photography as we know you do some amazing work!

Have a great day, Dana and best wishes from all the crazy women!

Happy Birthday Dana!

Happy Birthday Dana!

March Challenge: Silhouettes… Entry #2 Rooftop Treasure

This next entry is from Donna, and for those of you who don’t know… Donna has a great fondness for old things! (And thank you Donna for being my friend!)

This is what she shares about her photo:

“Today I got off work a little early, and decided to head out around town to find something fun to silhouette. I already had a tree prepared but wanted to find something a bit more interesting. I shot a few church steeples, flowers, gates and happened upon this in downtown Rockwall. As I was shooting the weather vane atop a garage, the homeowner pulled up into the driveway. Needless to say an older woman rolled down her window, gave me a strange look, so I explained I was shooting the weather vane for a photography club and that I enjoyed shooting old things. She was quite pleased and proceeded to tell me how the weather vane was broken during a recent storm and told me I might get a better picture if I went into the backyard! She also invited me back to her home to shoot the old bench and other antiques in her backyard. I might just have to take her up on that! I love how this club has allowed friendships all around!”

(Photo by Donna)

Rooftop Treasure
(Photo by Donna)

March Challenge: Silhouettes… Entry #1 Alexander Bay

I am excited to share with you a photo by one of our newest members, Robin. What a pleasant surprise to receive this in my e-mail shortly after she joined the crazies!

The photo, as explained by Robin, was taken back in 2009 in New York state and is a photo of her uncle by the lake. She was concerned if the photo needed to be a current shot and most generally yes, but if you have something that meets the challenge criteria it is certainly acceptable. And this does indeed meet the criteria for a silhouette.

Robin, I am thrilled to have you join in and share your photo in the challenge!

And for all you crazy women out there… scroll down under “bios” and meet Robin and be sure to welcome her to the club!

Alexander Bay (Photo by Robin)

Alexander Bay
(Photo by Robin)