Monday, February 28, 2011

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: Indoor Lighting

This weekend Jake and I went to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill 25 miles south west of Lexington. It's a restored historical village of the Shaker community dated from late 1800's. We started the tour in the Craft Store which had an array of hand-made wooden Shaker boxes, bee-products like beeswax candles, and wooden furniture. Most of the restored dwelling houses and workshops are located along a main street. The largest dwelling house once boarded 200 people. The workshops including laundry, weaving room, kitchen, and wood shop, were built to hold a team of deacons or the Shaker workers.

The Shakers was a closed-knit community where everyone was responsible for every aspect of daily living, from crop harvesting to textile production. Since the Shakers believed in celibacy, the Shaker population grew from outsiders joining in the community.

Every house we visited were large enough that some of the top floors were converted into rooms for the inn guests at Shaker Village. Plenty of windows in every room with natural sunlight. Sounds all nice, but not with my photography skills. I was trying to figure out the best aperture and other settings that would help me take pretty indoor pictures with natural lighting. For every picture and every room I took, I adjusted the aperture several times until I am satisfied with at least one of the 10 pictures.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Main street. Note the maple syrup tapping going on in the picture.
f/4.5, 1/2500, ISO 400

Meeting Hall
f/14, 1/40, ISO 1600

Kitchen with the largest wooden mixing bowl I have ever seen
f/6.3, 1/10, ISO 400

And the largest bundt pan
f/4.5, 1/125, ISO 1600

A shot of overexposed Stairway to Heaven. What am I doing wrong here?
f/4.2, 1/500, ISO 800

Some what better this time, but I still couldn't get a shot of the whole staircase. I forgot all about exposure!
f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO 800

f/3.8, 1/400, ISO 800

f/4, 1/4000, ISO 1600

f/7.1, 1/100, ISO 1600

f/3.5, 1/160, ISO 1600

Beautiful Shaker boxes.
f/4.5, 1/320, ISO 1600

f/4, 1/60, ISO 1600

Lesson from this weekend, always be prepared and be able to adopt to different lighting conditions. There are so many things to consider when it comes to taking a good picture. For every picture I posted above, there are at least five other pictures with the same scene but different settings. In indoor lighting, larger aperture like f/7 allows more time for light to enter through the lens. Yet, there's a balance between high and low aperture to achieve the best light exposure.

Practice makes perfect pictures. I am slowly getting there.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Day in Lola's Life.

A day in Lola's life is full of excitement.

Lola's day involves hanging out with Goose,
f/5.6, 1/80, ISO 400

taking power naps through out the day,
f/4.5, 1/13, ISO 1600

and begging for food scraps in the kitchen.
f/8, 1/25, +0.3EV, ISO 3200

Sometimes Lola pretends she is a snow bunny,
f/4, 1/12/50, ISO 200

or the Queen of Dog Park,
f/8, 1/500, ISO 200

or the Original Melon Dog (not to be confused with the Original Melon Cat).
f/5.6, 1/13, ISO 1600

Most of all, Lola likes to play dress-up,
f/4.5, 1/25, ISO 1600

hangout at her favorite sunny-spot in the house,
f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 3200

and be my goofball who greets me when I come home.
f/4.2, 1/10, ISO 1600

She's Lola. The one who will loves me for who I am, even if I come home late, or forgot to feed her, or take her on a long run. She's Lola.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wild Turkey Distillary

This weekend my man Jake and I visited the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. As soon as we walked into the visitor center/ gift shop, the smell of sweet caramel-like embraced us. A displace of 12 different types of whiskey was in front of us as we signed up for the distillery tour. The tour guide showed us a short video about the fermenting process of whiskey and then we went to the storage houses filled with barrels and gallons of whiskey. The tour ended with whiskey tasting, each of us got to pick two varieties to taste.

Wild Turkey Distillery. f/4, 1/3500, ISO 400

Whiskey barrel warehouse. f/20, 1/80, ISO 400

Part of the old distillery overlooking the old train bridge.
f11, 1/320, ISO 400

f/4.5, 1/30, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

f/4.5, 1/13, ISO 3200, +1.0EV

f/5.3, 1/10, ISO 3200, +1.0EV

Gobble, gobble, wild turkey, gobble.
f/4.5, 1/25, ISO 1600

I was not ready for the taste master.
f/8, 1/10, ISO 3200

Get ready for some sweet, strong, burn whiskey.
f/731, 1/250, ISO 100

Welcome to Kentucky, ya'll.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ISO Sensitivity

Besides adjusting aperture and/or shutter speed, ISO sensitivity is extremely helpful in different light conditions. The higher the ISO sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure, allowing higher shutter speeds or smaller aperture. This is especially true when in low light environment. The ISO setting on my camera ranges from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, and higher.

Let me show you what I am talking about. All pictures were taken with f/7.1, the camera adjusted the shutter speed automatically when I changed the ISO sensitivity setting.

ISO 100, 1/15

ISO 200, 1/20

ISO 400, 1/40

ISO 800, 1/100

ISO 1600, 1/250

ISO 3200, 1/500

Noticed how as the ISO sensitivity goes up, the picture looks darker?

My man and I went plant-shopping today. We got several houseplants in addition to the several plants I got already. And now we live in a greenhouse. This is a neon pothos. I love the bright green color.

Remember the birthday flowers I got two weeks ago? I was sad to see the calla lilies turn brown, but I save the roses. They are sitting on my kitchen counter slowly drying up.

All pictures were taken at f/5.

ISO 3200, 1/13

ISO 1600, 1/5

ISO 800, 1/2.5

ISO 400, 1/1.6

ISO 200, 1.3

This time I started the ISO sensitivity from the highest setting until the shutter speed was 1.3s. I did not use a tripod at the time that was why the pictures were blurry at lower ISO settings. Also, the bigger ISO sensitivity, the "grainer" your picture will look. Try zooming all the way on a picture with taken with a high ISO sensitivity.

This is what I love about SLR camera, there is endless possibilities of different settings. Playing with ISO sensitivity is only one of them, but I did learn something easy that could change how my pictures turn out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What I Did This Weekend: When In Doubt, Just Click

What I did this weekend:

I went to Lexington Historical Museum
f/6.3, 1/13, ISO 1600

f/6.3, 1/13, ISO 1600

f/6.3, 1/25, ISO 1600

I celebrated Chinese New Year with 200 Chinese, a pomelo, and the Original Melon Dog.
f/6.3, 1/13, ISO 1600

f/5.6, 1/20, ISO 1600

f/5.6, 1/20, ISO 1600

I watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader. In 3D! It was so cool that I kept the 3D glasses and wore them around the house. Because I am that dorky.
As you can tell, it was my first 3D movie. From now on, I will only watch movies that require special glasses. f/6.3, 1/30, ISO 1600

I made Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies with my friends for Valentine's Day.
f/6.3, 1/13, ISO 1600

And I ate them all...
f/6.3, 1/25, ISO 1600

I took my camera everywhere this weekend, but I wish I had took more pictures. Like when 200 Chinese were singing New Year Celebration songs and my friends making cookies. I thought I would be the "camera dork" if I took pictures of everything. However, those are the pictures that tell the stories. People are generally happy that you are taking pictures of them.

Lesson from this weekend, when in doubt, just click.
Pin It