Photography: Toying with lightning

In my path to learning more about photography, I’m keeping my art sense in mind when I shoot things. The big idea behind much of my art is to simply try new things, to experiment with new methods. Along those lines, I decided to try shooting some lightning.

Conveniently, there was an angry storm outside, so my idea was timed pretty well.

I set up the tripod just inside the back door, with my Canon T3i mounted on top. Having (unsuccessfully) tried to shoot the moon, I figured similar settings would be a good idea (failure is how I decide on good ideas).… Read the rest

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art of russell dickerson

Photography: Of Flowers and Camera RAW

As with art, writing, and everything else that I do, I like to experiment. Often, that experimentation is very raw, very chaotic, and can lead to fascinating places. Other times, the experimentation is more clear, more precise, and still leads to interesting places.

In this case, I wanted to try taking some shots of the flowers in our backyard. It was a chance to work more with photography, to try and understand all of the nuances that go into taking a good picture. On the flip side, it also meant that I could work with Camera RAW, something that I’ve been getting very interested in.… Read the rest

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Photography: So many spiders

Last fall, while we were in Florida for a rocket launch, we decided to check out the many nature reserves along the way. We came across one that had a nice walkway through the swampland, and I thought it would be a great chance to try the Canon T3i dSLR that we had just purchased.

I tend to take pictures of just about anything, but wildlife photos can be a lot of fun. The photos from yesterday’s blog about the elk is a great example of how I like to take photos of large animals.… Read the rest

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Photography: An afternoon trip to Estes Park

On my travels as an amateur photographer, my plan is to write about my experiences in learning about the craft. Living in Colorado affords me a lot of chances to take many different kinds of photos, and my photography articles are here to help me remember the good parts of what I do. I have a relatively new Canon T3i, which for me does a nice job.

One important note before I start talking about my afternoon trip to Estes Park. Our entire area (quite literally) was hit with massive flooding last September.… Read the rest

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hawk

Photography: Capturing the flight of a hawk

I had a great chance to take the new Canon T3i outside this weekend, as it was a pretty nice day out. My daughter and I stopped at a local area that’s known for having lots of wildlife, and it didn’t disappoint.

Now, don’t forget, this is a brand new camera, and I’m no expert. I’m sure many of the things I do are from the amateur side, but they are still fun. I’m sure there are others out there in the same situation, learning their way.

I had a number of other types of shots that I took while we were out.… Read the rest

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Photoshop: Color Correcting and Curves

Now, there are roughly a billion ways to do any one thing in Photoshop. When it comes to color correction, there may even be two billion. But today I just want to look at one particular method, using the Curves adjustment layer to correct color.

A couple of caveats: I haven’t installed CS6 yet, despite it sitting here on my desk. This tutorial uses CS3, but any version from CS2 on will work just fine. The buttons might be in slightly different places, but they are there. Secondly, though you could do this destructively, I prefer to use Photoshop’s non-destructive Adjustment Layers.… Read the rest

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Spider

Experiments with the new camera: Indoors

Over the weekend, we picked up a brand new dSLR camera, a Canon T3i. Our Canon point and shoot is about five years old right now, and we thought it would be a good time to pick up a newer camera. Especially with the upcoming trip to the Kennedy Space Center, it was time.

Now, before we go any further, I am, at best, an amateur photographer. Sure, I used to own a 35mm Minolta back when the years started with “19”. But I don’t remember that much, so keep that in mind when you’re bashing me for not knowing pro stuff.… Read the rest

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The Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Spiral

Now, before we begin, let’s just say that my years of being an engineering student are way, WAY behind me.

But I was looking at a couple of sites today that discussed the Golden Ratio or the Fibonacci Spiral, a quasi-magical scientific idea (let that roll around in your head for a minute) by which supposedly “better” or “more pleasing” art can be developed. The spiral is better defined on other sites, so I’ll wait patiently while you Google it.

… all done?

Now, I don’t discount such ideas, including the rule of thirds, the rule of not centering your work, those kinds of things.… Read the rest

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A B-17 and dabbling in photography

I dabble a bit in photography, something I’ve always found to be fun.  I don’t (yet) have the fancy cameras, but I still like to do it.  I think, especially being an artist and a graphic designer, I have a decent eye for composition.

I also like dabbling with duotones when I’m working with photos.  Full color is fun, but I really like altering the perception of an image based solely on it’s color. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, images can be (and this is really simplifying things) full color, grayscale (“black and white” to most  people), and toned.… Read the rest

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The places you go

Family trips aren’t always conducive to finding those unique places that are either interesting, affective or both.  But my wife’s family is from Oklahoma and Texas, and both states offer places that we visit when we are in the area.

Above is one of the empty chairs from the Oklahoma City National Bombing Memorial, and it’s a site I’ve visited a few times now. I’m sure most people out there know the story (or you can find more information here), and the memorial is a beautiful, respectful area in downtown Oklahoma City.… Read the rest

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