Me Again

Yesterday I tried the selfie thing again. My photo club (not the weekly class, but the monthly club) meets next week, and I am forcing myself to take some selfies for the assignment. The examples were all very creative- such as a person reaching out from inside the LCD screen on the back of a camera to click the shutter. I have been working on a (lame, so far) composite for the following month, so decided to just be straightforward about this topic.

So here I am again. Bear with me. . .

20160413-MMA_0046_melinda_anderson-EditI took only 3 shots: one serious (I look mean), one squinting into the lens (also mean), and then this smiley one. I really wanted a serious shot, but I can’t seem to achieve it. And I really dislike the process.

Human Touch

One of the assignments in The Studio was to create a still life with an added human element. My photo ended up being predominantly human rather than still life, so the human touch in a still life is something I’m keeping on my (mental) to-do list.


HAPPY 2013!


Yup, I’m still here taking photos- thanks for dropping by!  I’m sure the neighbors wondered what I was doing on the front porch with a tripod this morning, but I think I’m getting past being self-conscious about my photography.

For the last month or so, I’ve been thinking about my photography goals for 2013.  I listened to a great video about becoming a better photographer on Scott Kelby’s The Grid last week which pretty much reaffirmed what I’ve been thinking about.  The first step was to decide what kind of photographer you want to be- that you can’t be good at everything. I’m still thinking about that one, but know I love to photograph my grandsons, do portraits of my friends and family, and shoot flowers, macros, and “arty” shots.  I like landscapes, but don’t think that will ever be my niche; I don’t like the idea of getting up a zero-dark-thirty for good light! I will of course keep taking those landscape photos, but I know my limitations. And I know that event photography is definitely not for me; my worst nightmare would be shooting a wedding! So. . . I intend to improve my skills in the areas where I know I do well.

I’ve also been inspired by the books of David duChemin, who writes about photography in terms of finding your vision. His books and website are amazing.  He is making me a bit more intentional in how I take photos; I’m trying to stop my tendency to just keep snapping away.

This year I’m participating in a Clickin Moms’ monthly challenge group and for the first time have submitted some photos to their website (I’ve always been too intimidated by the level of expertise in this group).  I will continue to participate in Flickr and Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday, and, now without the pressure of producing a new photo daily, I can hopefully take the time to work on the quality of what I do photograph.

Happy New Year- and to my photography friends- Happy Shooting!



Day 319- Grain and Me

There are so many aspects of photography that I still don’t understand.  One of them is the whole area of noise and grain.  About half the time, I remember to use the noise reduction feature of Lightroom to reduce the noise in photos I have shot at a high ISO- but I often forget.  And then there is the whole sharpening issue- I don’t totally get all of that either.

Today’s topic in my daily challenge group is grain.  The photos posted so far have been wood grain or grain as in wheat, but I decided to interpret it as grain as referred to in photography.  I’ve always been a bit very confused about the difference between noise and grain- especially because I’ve heard them referred to interchangeably.  Noise always seems to be a BAD thing; we use noise reduction to get rid of it!  But grain is sometimes added to photos to simulate the look of old film photos or movies.  There is actually a slider in Lightroom to ADD grain.  I googled noise and grain today to find out once and for all what the difference is.  As I understand it, noise happens in digital photos that are taken at a high ISO (knew that. . .), is regular in shape and size (1 pixel) and can include color noise (horrible!).  Grain is irregular- no color (I think it’s actually silver) and more pleasing to the eye.  That’s as much as I care to know.

I haven’t done a selfie in awhile, so decided to do a grainy self-portrait.  This isn’t a very scientific demonstration, because I took the photo early this morning in low light with a high ISO (1000)- so there is digital noise already in the photo- especially because it was underexposed.

Here I am with no grain added and some noise reduction applied (there is still some digital noise present, alas- in the shadows especially).  And, for my friends who know that I ALWAYS re-touch photos (skin-smoothing etc.), I DID NOT do any of that in these photos in order to not mess up the scientific results! 🙂

And here I am with LOTS of added grain. At first I added grain by adjusting the Lightroom grain slider- eventually to maximum.  But to really show OBVIOUS grain, I ended up using a preset.  I’m not sure WHAT it did, but yes, it is really grainy.  Not sure this is pleasing to the eye, but I’m considering that it could potentially hide wrinkles!

UPDATE:  I just looked carefully at the sliders in Lightroom to see what the preset actually did to make the photo so grainy.  It not only pushed the amount of graininess way up, but also increased the size and roughness of the grain (I had ignored that part).

Actual settings for grain:

amount: 79, size: 47, roughness: 100

Just in case you want to try this at home!

Day 261- Desperate Measures

No time today!!!! One of the themes this week is DOTS. And that’s that! 😉


Day 182- Off the top of my head. . .

The topic today was to take a photo off the top of your head- seriously. . .