Saturday, May 25, 2013

pure photo workshop #3: motion

click for larger view
The workshop assignment over at Pure Photo this week 
was presented by our workshop coordinator, Jane. The assignment had two parts: 
First, to study motion by varying your shutter speed. And the second part was to study water in relationship to motion. Sadly, I ran out of time, energy, and light for the latter part of the assignment, but I do have a water photo from my trip to Baltimore to share at the end.

I had many, many ideas for the motion part of the workshop. As time was rapidly flying by and the rains were not ceasing, I went to the waterfront, settled down on a bench with my raincoat, tripod and camera, and watched...and clicked...and clicked...away.

I had a blast the likes of which I can't even put into words.
I went through three memory cards. Yep. THREE!

Boy did I learn alot. I loved this assignment! I don't usually hang out at the waterfront, and never with my camera. To sit and look at people going by, AND boldly take their picture...hoo boy!
That was a moment in itself! ;)

The first thing I learned, is that people don't walk/jog/bike in a straight path, 
hence it is very difficult to get sharp focus,
since I had chosen to remain stationary and catch what passed in front of me.
Using a larger f-stop (smaller aperture) helps, but depending on the light (which is ever-changing in the Pacific Northwest), you have to balance your shutter speed with your ISO to stop action
(or record action) depending on your creative desire.

In daylight with a low ISO setting, it is difficult to achieve a slow shutter speed even at larger f-stops.
Luckily, I have neutral density filters in my arsenal...I used 2 8X ND filters plus a graduated ND filter
to block sky light during this photoshoot and to help me find balance 
between shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and the creative desire.

The first shot is a collection of mostly low shutter speed shots to capture the subject's action. The subject is in motion and the surrounding background and foreground should be in still.
The black and white image is a panned shot that stopped the motion of the biker, 
but not the runner crossing in front. Too cool.

Another thing I learned, is that the shutter speed that works on a cyclist to capture their motion is not the same shutter speed needed to capture a jogger or walker. Yep.
It took awhile to change my parameters fast enough between all the walkers,
bikers, and cyclists to get the shot and not just an empty frame. 
And another thing, some of these cyclists are racing down the path, 
and others are pedaling leisurely...another thing to consider. 

The second shot is a composite of a man in a business suit walking in front of me. He stood out from the crowd, and was the only businessman I saw. In this series of shots I had chosen
to freeze the action and take multiple frames of the man walking.
I just had to process him in black and white!

My favorite method: panning. Loved. It. 
In this method the photographer focuses on the subject and moves along with the subject so that the subject stays in focus and the background/foreground is blurred, thereby depicting the motion.
I had to readjust my shutter speed to capture the motion in the panned background, then focus on the subject and pan...being careful not to pan up and down, too! Hah!

click for larger view
I love the girl above...she is so Portland!

So many kinds of many people to watch.

click for larger view
This runner was fantastic! I didn't even realize I had caught his smile. I think the panning wasn't pristine, but it's definitely captures the motion of a runner.

This biker was a seasoned pro. He was weaving in and out and all around the walkers.
Nothing fazed him.

Below is a water shot taken at the harbor in Baltimore, MD. 
It was just around or after sunset. I used a low ISO, large f-stop, and a long exposure to blur the water.

Thank you Jane for a grand assignment! I'm looking forward to seeing how the other participants approached both parts. I hope you'll join me in perusing their work!

Have a fabulous rest of your weekend!! xo

Time has been transformed, and we have changed;
it has advanced and set us in motion;
it has unveiled its face, 
inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.
~Kahlil Gibran  

Friday, May 24, 2013

happy happy

We have been very busy here at Chez NK.
I'm not sure I have much to show for my time...
...but I'm pretty sure I've been occupied.

My new obsession is perusing this site and I might've spent a little time in their store.
And I kind of like this site, and this one, and this one, too.

Before you know it, a week has gone by.
Oh well...after the test knitting was completed, what else was there to do on a rainy evening?

Not only is it a holiday weekend here, it is a big birthday weekend for my mom and sisters.
I suspect there will be a lot of celebration...and cake!
What about you, anything festive planned for your weekend?

Have a good 'un!! xoxo
But he who dares not grasp the thorn 
Should never crave the rose.
~Anne Brontë  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

pure photo workshop #2 point of view

The second assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop was to study point of view by Mariska de Groot.
We were to take a series of photos of a subject from different perspectives, lighting, and angles.
The first three images are lit in different ways.

The first challenge to lighting is to have steady light...i.e. no clouds rolling by if you are out in daylight.

In general, I like back or side lit subjects as the edges are nicely defined, and any texture shows up nicely with side light. The side lit image isn't as textural as it could be as clouds kept drifting by and diffused the light. 
The front lit example is ok as it was late afternoon and the light was hazy and low, and it seemed to work well with the pens.

The next set of images explored top down vs bottom up.

I liked the pens top down!
There is a lot of detail at either end of a pen. I think this image would be improved if I had shot it with a smaller aperture and a longer depth of field to capture some of the details lost in the bokeh of this shot.

The rose photographed from the top worked better for me than the next image which was captured from the bottom up. I prefer the top down image of the rose because there is so much detail in the petals that can be seen from this vantage point; whereas, very little of that detail can be seen in the bottom up image. So, maybe depending on the subject matter and identifying its focal interest will help in deciding whether top down or bottom up will generate a more successful image.

I also noted, that I preferred a more open aperture, f2.8 - f4.0 for the rose shot. Larger than f4.0 generated a longer depth of field and too much detail in the background that also turned out to be distracting.

That being said, the little vintage medicine bottle is displayed well in the bottom up image. But it isn't really the subject and may've been a bigger distraction from the subject if a smaller aperture was used and it was in better focus.

What do you think?

The next two examples explored close-up vs distance.

I just found my calligraphy supplies after many years in storage. To my great delight this wonderful vintage fountain pen was in my box of pens. I love it! The detail of the nib is rich. There is even a little heart in it.
The close up captures that detail.

When I move the camera back, and  capture a wider view of the scene,you see the rest of the story.

Thank you Jane and Mariska!  This was a great assignment. 

It's fun to explore different points of view and what gives each their strength and weakness, and to think about what you need to differently to get as much out of a different perspective as you can.

What was the journal entry?

I hope you'll have time to bounce over and check out some of the other participants' blogs!
Have a great rest of your weekend!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have,
but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
~Frederick Keonig  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

pure photo: style assignment

Hi! Welcome to We Heart Yarn! 
My name is Gail, aka Neuroknitter. I'm a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and mom to four cats, and work full time in a multiple sclerosis research laboratory.

I've been shooting digitally since starting this blog - almost 8 years now!
I shoot with a Canon 5DMkII (full frame), and my go-to lens is the 100mm macro.
I mostly shoot knitting and fiberarts as still life compositions, but have developed quite a passion for food and nature photography over the years, and will frequently shoot food with my knitting, and my knitting out in the wild! Recently, I've been expoloring landscape, candid portraits, and night photography.

I'm not very active on Pinterest, so creating a style board proved challenging. I have very few boards and the one most populated was the food board, so I thought I would use that to inspire and define my style for this assignment.

For this assignment, I'm photographing a finished pair of socks and the remaining yarn from the skein. I wanted to purposely prop my images with items I would use for food, so I used a ceramic bowl, mug, and cookie sheets. The "napkins" are hand-dyed wool squares that I recently acquired.

Thank you, Britt! This was a great assignment. It made me stop and think about style and mood and what I was wanting to accomplish with my imagery. I'm planning to start a formal style/mood board and will keep adding to it over time.

Thank you Jane, for hosting such a great workshop!
I'm looking forward to viewing each of your assignments over the weekend! :)

p.s. for the knitterly crowd, 
this is the  monkey sock pattern by Cookie A in an STR mill end 

Friday, May 10, 2013


And we're back!
The sheep and wool festival was a blast!
The weather was perfect for the show,
and exploring the neighborhoods and cafes around town.

I have over 2000 images to sort through!
Somebody's shutter finger is pooped-out!

I'll be back with some pics of the show and Baltimore as soon as I can
get myself all caught up!

I hope you have a great weekend!!
If you're a mom to two legged (or four legged!!) kids - 
Happy Mother's Day!! xoxo
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes.
~Marcel Proust  

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

and we're off

No more sleeps!
I'll probably be winging my way to Baltimore
for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival as you read this!!

Yippy skippy!! Party!!
What do we have planned you ask?

A little night photography around the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. 
It'll be a far different view from the St. John's bridge pictured above!

And I bet there might be a little hike up to the Rawlings Conservatory.

And I'm pretty darn sure there will be a lot of laughter, coffee, more laughter, 
sweet treats, tons of giggles, knitting, and endless chatter and catching up
with my sister of different mothers, Linda (who is still blogless if you can believe that)!!

I'll see you on the flip side!!
I hope your coming week and weekend will be as filled with 
good times and laughter as mine is sure to be!! xoxo

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another,
'What! You too? 
I thought I was the only one.
~C.S. Lewis