Brenda’s Photo Study: Tempo

This is my submission for Brenda’s A Photo Study: Tempo.

I knew it! Tempo follows rhythm — it’s logical, but I was hoping it wouldn’t happen this way. 😉

This time, I couldn’t even get helps from google. The word “Tempo” is often used to describe “Rhythm”. For example, in Elements of Art, Rhythm is describes as “A principle of design that indicates movement, created by the careful placement of repeated elements in a work of art to cause a visual tempo or beat.” Doesn’t it sound like if a photo has rhythm, it has tempo, too?

And, in Ted Forbes’ Tempo in Visual Composition and Photography video, he does use several photos he showed in his Rhythm video as tempo examples.

These rhythm and tempo exercises remind me of my golf lesson. After listening to my instructor for a while and watching him demonstrating how to hit a ball several times, I was still not able to hit the ball correctly. Both of us were frustrated. I finally said, “Numbers! Can’t you give me some numbers?”

“What numbers?” he said.

“How much do I bend my upper body? 25 degrees? 30? How far do I turn my body? 45 degrees? Numbers like that! I need numbers!”

Well, after he managed to come up with some numbers, I was doing much better. 😉

Hmm… maybe there are numbers that go with rhythm and tempo, too… Before figuring it out what numbers I need, I guess I just have to wing it. (By the way, I enjoy Brenda’s photos a lot. I think she knows this subject well.)

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Brenda’s Photo Study: Rhythm I

This is my submission for Brenda’s A Photo Study: Rhythm I.

Rhythm in visual art is probably the most difficult subject to comprehend for me. More and more, I realize that things I can’t see in my head are harder for me to understand. And rhythm is one of them.

After reading Brenda’s post and watching Ted’s video (link on Brenda’s post) a couple of times, I became concerned, because I didn’t fully understand what they said. As usual, I started googling like crazy. Reading several articles later, I still didn’t quite get it. That’s when I decided to go back to the basic: (1) what is rhythm in music (I thought I knew, but maybe I didn’t.) (2) how does one apply rhythm in visual design (not in photography, but in art design).

I am happy to say that I finally did find an article and a video that helped me to grasp the concept.

Article “Rhythm in Art”: “The concept of rhythm in art represents the easy movement of the viewer’s eyes following a regular arrangement or reproduction of elements in the art work.”

Ah-ha, I totally understand “the easy movement of the viewer’s eyes”! 😉

Video: Beat and Rhythm Explained

This simple video helps me to remember what rhythm is.

I feel exhausted, but I am very happy. Can you sense the beat and rhythm in my words? 😉

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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XDrive Photography Learning – 20 – Bokeh (Redo ;-)

This is my second submission for XDrive Photography Learning – 20 – Bokeh.

Have you noticed my mistakes in my previous Bokeh post? Ha ha ha. You see, all details have to be spelled out and easy to be understood in order for me to “get it”. Several articles I read say “bokeh is artistic quality of out-of-focus area”. What does “artistic quality” really mean? Is it enough if I think my photo has artistic quality?

Amy (The World is a Book…) has a wonderful post on Bokeh. You can find it here. Mary (Tales From the Back Road) commented on Amy’s blog: “…so many people are just posting shallow depth of field photos, with no bokeh.” Oops, I think some of my photos are shallow-depth-of-field photos. (Raj didn’t want to hurt my feeling… 😉

So, I googled again, and this time I found Shivanand Sharma’s article: “Bokeh Vs DOF – the Difference Between the Two”. In that article, Shivanand says, “Bokeh refers to the quality of blurred imagery complemented by circular discs of light rendered by out-of-focus points of light.” Ah-ha, circular discs! (It can be other shape, too, like the heart shape I had in my previous post.)

That’s the story, and now here are 3 photos I took this afternoon.

Better? I hope. I feel better anyway 😉

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Photo Experimenting 3: Playing with a Crystal Ball

I don’t remember when the first time I saw a crystal-ball photo was. It looked interesting, but it was one of those things that I could live without, I thought to myself. However, it didn’t hurt to find out the price, so I checked on Amazon. It started around $8 and one of them costs $58. I bought one for $14; I would bring it to my next trip, so I thought.

There are a lot YouTube videos on how to shoot with a crystal ball. There are, also, several videos on how to flip the image inside the ball (the image inside is always upside down.) Here are a couple of them: tips on how to shoot, and tutorial on an easy way to flip the image.

I had a lot of fun. But one thing for sure is: I won’t bring it to trips, because (1) it is heavy (camera is heavy enough) (2) it takes time to set the crystal ball – the spot to place the ball, the light, the angle… etc. Besides, someone named Andrius had already done that; see Andrius and the Glass Ball Project.

Are these photos useful? I am not 100% sure. I have an idea for this year’s Christmas card though… a family tree decorates with lots crystal-ball photo ornaments 😉 That would be cool, wouldn’t it?

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XDrive Photography Learning – 20 – Bokeh

This is my submission for XDrive Photography Learning – 20 – Bokeh.

Bokeh means blur. It was the first thing I learned when I became serious in photographing several years ago. I learned that to blur the background, I should shoot in aperture mode with F4.5 (I believe, F4.5 was the maximum aperture I could get with my equipment back then.) I didn’t know ISO, shutter speed… Using aperture mode and F4.5 , whenever I needed to, made me happy enough. A blurring background makes my subject stand out, and I like that a lot.

I haven’t given bokeh a lot of thoughts until I read Raj’s lesson. While working on the assignment, I found out it could be used to create surprises. For example, in the following photo, my instant reaction was to blur the candle. After taking several blurring-candle photos, I wondered what if I focused on the candle instead, and I was surprised how much I like that little twist.

Once in a while I caught some bokeh highlights in my photo, but I’ve never figured out how to recreate them. After carefully reading Raj’s lesson for a couple of times, I realized that as long as I didn’t focus on the lights, I would get the effect I wanted. 😉

Then I remembered one blogger had posted an article on creating a custom bokeh (I believe it was Kelly, but if I am wrong… 😉 I was anxious to try, but later totally forgot about it.

I made a small heart-shape hole on a piece of black paper and held the paper right in front of the lens to create the following photo.

I had so much fun. Thank you, Raj, for another great lesson.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Tomato and Brenda’s A Photo Study: Sub-framing

Sub-framing is the subject of Brenda’s photo study this week. She explains it well. I have subscribed Ted Forbes’ YouTube Channel for a while and I had watched Ted’s video on sub-framing before (I think he has more than one on this subject). Still, I learned something new from reading Brenda’s post. Thank you, Brenda.

(On the lighter side, Maddie and Josh, Photograph Down Under, has a short video on sub-framing also. You can click here to see it.)

First, here are 3 photos I took at the farm.

Then, here is a photo of one tomato and three apples.

I don’t really know how the idea of this tomato photo came to me. My guess is that it has something to do with my recent discussion with a blogger on lessons learned in life.

There were times in the past that I had worked hard to be a part of a group. On the surface, people in the group did treat me as one of them, but later things happened and I found out I wasn’t one of them. I felt being rejected; I felt hurt and sad. I didn’t understand what went wrong.

I laugh at this matter now. They didn’t reject me; we were not the same kind of people, and that’s the fact. I am not talking about skin colors. I am talking about personalities, passions, attitudes toward life…

That’s my tomato story.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Farm Visit and Brenda’s A Photo Study: the Photographer

It was warm three days ago, so we decided to go visit Lyle’s farm. Before we left, W said, “Think what kind of photos you want to take before we go. Don’t just go there click, click, click.”

I wanted to say, “I DID!” But I thanked him instead. After all, he couldn’t read my mind (which, in some cases, is good 😉

I really did. We have never visited a farm in winter. It would be a good opportunity to practice minimalist photography, I think. In my mind, I saw Michael Kenna’s photos.

Half way driving there, I was surprised at what I saw. “What happened? They don’t have a lot of snow down here!” I said to W. In my head, those minimalist photos started fading.

We took some photos at the farm anyway. We told Lyle we would be back. Next time, I will call to find out the snow amount first, and I will dress warm. It was windy, feeling 10 degree lower at the farm – lesson learned.

Last week, Brenda’s A Photo Study is about photographer. It was a wonderful post; I read it more than twice. I was going to post this before Brenda posting her next article, but a family emergency made that impossible. (Everything is okay now.)

1. Identify one photographer that inspires and study their work.

I am going to say: Michael Kenna and Fan Ho 😉 Michael’s photo is quite inviting; I really want to be alone in his photo world. I feel that the landscape in his photo is custom-made just for me 😉 (I know many others feel the same way. Ha.)

Fan Ho’s photo tells story, which I don’t want to miss. His photos (many of them) bring me closer to the society, to people I care. After all, we are all in the same boat (earth).

At first, it may seem weird that on one hand I like to be alone, but on the other hand I want to hear people’s story and be with them. Well, it is when I am alone that I am able to regenerate energy to serve people I care.

Allow me to sidetrack… Otto recently posted an article, Creative Collaboration. It’s a good one; it makes me think hard. I think a good collaboration can bring three times, four times… of joy, but a bad one can easily ruin the whole project (and maybe ruin your life too). Finding a good partner is difficult. Personality, level of skill, even life philosophy, attitude toward art and toward each other… they all play a part, I think.

2. Explore my history – where have I’ve been?

I have shot different subjects in the past: landscape, portrait, still subject, street photographing…, and I enjoyed all those experiences.

“Find out what you like to shoot the most (narrow the focus)” is one advice I often heard. A couple of times I locked myself in the room trying to figure out what I wanted to focus, but even if I had made a decision then, it didn’t last long. I finally realized that I am NOT the targeted reader (listener) for that advice. That advice is for someone who has a clear goal like becoming a pro, I believe. I, on the other hand, want to shoot beautiful or meaningful things. Beautiful or meaningful to me, that is.

Maybe eventually one thing will stand out… I’m in no hurry.

3. Find one element to photography during the week to build upon.

I want to continue paying attention to light for the rest of the winter.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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