More and more, when I’m on my weekly photo hike, I try to frame the images I wanted directly in my camera. That may mean changing lenses so I can get in tight, or changing my orientation to change the photo’s perspective. I also shoot in very high resolution, which seems to allow me more flexibility if I want to further crop an image.

Using different manual settings – Aperture or Shutter – I can manipulate the depth of field or give the image a feeling of motion. I sometimes like to highlight my topic with a shallow DoF, and can do this by using a wide aperture (a lower number like f2.8), or I can heighten the blur of a waterfall with a slower shutter (1/15s or 1/8s).

For low light situations, like when I’m trying to capture the perfect sunset, I use a tripod. No matter how steady your hand, or how effective the Vibration Reduction in you lenses/camera, you can still get blur. I like to set up my camera, and use my remote to take the photo, eliminating even more chance of shaking.

AbSantaOGI can shoot in black and white in-camera , but what I can’t do is all those cool special effects like color saturation, spot color or focus, and HDR. For that I rely on post editing software.

There are a few simple modifications I can do within iPhoto on my Mac. I can straighten a landscape, or fix smudges, but for more involved edits, I use the free program, PicMonkey. The basic editor offers everything I need as an amateur hobbyist.

The top photo was tightly cropped, rotated, color saturation increased, clarity heightened, and polarization applied to create a more abstract image.

The smaller photo is the original image straight out of camera, resized to fit the post.

The WordPress Daily Press theme for March is Phoneography, and this week the focus (see what I did there?) is “Abstraction.”

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9 replies »

  1. Ooooo a remote. I’m jealous – but you knew that already. I know the theory behind a lot in my camera, but I need to practice it more so that it becomes second nature. I’m not fully automatic, but too close for what I should be unfortunately. One day… LOVE PicMonkey btw! I’m almost glad – what was that other site that everyone loved? – went away ;)


    • The remote was surprisingly inexpensive, I would recommend one if your camera has that feature. (If I remember right, the other site was Picnik. PicMonkey was developed by some of the same people.)


    • The only feature my camera doesn’t have that I wish it did, is a cable release for time-lapse photos. With the remote, I can use a tripod, set a very slow shutter speed, and not have to worry about shaking. A remote is also great for taking group pictures that you want to be included in or self portraits, without having to get settled in the 10 seconds you get with a timer.


  2. I’m a Photoshop whore, I also am so in love with Picasa. I played around with iPhoto, but honestly found Picasa a better photo manager, and editor. Reading this makes me miss my dad. He was a photographer, and we’d regularly go out on photo expeditions. Then I’d help him out on Photoshop… Have you ever tried the Adobe software? With a few classes you could do amazing things!


  3. I was chatting with my artsy son-home-on-break this morning about photography and effects, frustrated with my little digital camera (with virtually no effects of any sort) that’s many years old.

    I love seeing what can be done. Your little Santa makes an excellent example.


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