Favorite Photos + Reader Contest!

Winners never quit but quitters get refunds.

I recently signed up for and started a four-week BetterPhoto course on Learning the Canon EOS 7D.  I quit before the end of Lesson 1.  I own the book that the instructor wrote; Kris bought it four years ago and I have never read it.  When I saw this course I thought “Perfect! The same information by the same woman only in manageable sections and with accountability!”  Lesson 1 was more than 20 screen lengths – it WAS the book.  I bowed out gracefully and they in turn honored my request to switch to Creating Depth in Landscape Photography, which started yesterday.  Since I shoot mainly kids and wildlife but write about where I live, I could do with some new landscaping tools.

Donning my student cap, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite shots from last week’s vacation and pick apart the process in which they were achieved.

Potrait – Human Category


Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.49.19 PM

Farrah on the cabin’s loft floor on a cloudy morning.  I set my white balance and increased my exposure compensation 1/3 due to the darkness of the loft and that’s about it.  I caught her in the right light and with it right on her face.  She’s moving as the blur of her hands and feet indicate but her face is locked in focus.  The only edit I made was to render out a little brightness on her jammies.







Portrait – Non-Human CategoryMinocqua

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.50.21 PM

A mother loon builds her nest on the Minocqua Lake shore.  I took this from our pontoon which must account for my 1/400 shutter speed – she’s clearly not moving – so I must have made that adjustment for the boat’s movement.  Mid-afternoon sunlight kept my ISO very low which produced the nice clarity and detail.  It helped that she was nesting so close to the water – my zoom, which I love – is only a 300mm.  I definitely used the Vibration Control feature on my Tamron – I find that I use it by default.  Great feature for those of us without a tripod because we carry babies instead.

No editing.







Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.32.17 PM

Cabin on Lake Superior, 6:04am.  That beautiful early morning light was hitting this cabin waaaaaaay over there so I used my zoom to capture this landscape image.  Felt weird to use that lens but turned out right.  The morning was crystal clear but at this distance the image looked hazy – it didn’t appear true to what I saw so I did increase the definition during editing.  Now the branches and tree line pop a bit more and detail is improved.

A note about metering: despite having taken at least two in-depth lessons on metering, I only know what Spot metering does.  You’ll see these photos either have Pattern or Center-Weighted Average because I never know what the default should be after coming off Spot.






_MG_8761 Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.28.02 PM

Boy jumping into Minocqua Lake.  Like the loon, I took this shot from the pontoon. I cranked up my shutter to 1250 to cover both the boy’s and the boat’s movements.  We were in early afternoon sun but my ISO still went up to 400 which may account for the lack of definition here.  Or maybe I just didn’t hold the camera steady. I can tell this was one of my last shots in the scene because of my 70mm focal length – we were passing him by and I was likely firing off in a panic.  Switching to High Speed Continuous would have helped no doubt.

I increased the vibrancy and brightness while editing as well as lightened his face.  I probably upped the definition as well.  A lot of work to make it work.





Whew! Thinking is hard.

And now, time for my Reader Contest!  Be the first person to correctly identify the bloated, buggy, boggy body in the photo below and win a Hufa Holder.  Enter your answer in a Comment to enter.  Winner will be announced Monday.




Nature is crazy.  Thanks for playing and have a great weekend!



One thought on “Favorite Photos + Reader Contest!

  1. Pingback: Favorite Photos + Reader Contest! | Black Panty Salvation

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