Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sunday Social Photo Tour-April 13-Fell Point

When I scheduled the Sunday Social Tours, I didn't realize the the weekend of April 11 is the Fells Point Privateer Festival!  So our tour on Sunday the 13th of April was quite interesting.  There were tons of boats in the water, schooners docked along the piers and people milling around, some in their best pirate attire (read: boobs and tight pants.)

We met at the Daily Grind for a crash course to explain the basics of photography including aperture, shutter speed, white balance and focusing. 

Our first stop was again the courtyard where Schooner Lion is on display.  I love this spot; it's a great place for people to get used to all the "new" settings on their dSLRs.  Attendees practiced shifting their focus from foreground to background while shooting wide open and then increased their aperture to see the different it made in their images.  Many also played around with White Balance, to see the affect it had on the feel of their images. 

After spending some time there we moved across Thames Street to the pier where the pirate ship Fearless is docked.  This was a great place to take images with a very long depth of field. Under Armour sits directly across the water and there were lots of boats out sailing.  The lighting wasn't great for outdoor shooting, but these were just practice shots to get people ready for the Golden Hour later in the tour. 

Next, we stopped at the old Homocide: Life on the Streets HQ building We were graciously greeted by Snowdrift the deaf Pitbull and her master who were sitting on the steps.  Both were very friendly, well behaved and kind enough to allow students to take their photos. This unexpected opportunity resulted in some great photo journalistic images.   

For our mid tour break we headed to The Point in Fells for some yummy light fare, drinks and a slideshow of students images thus far. This also gave everyone time to relax and mingle. 

Once back out on the street, we worked our way down past HQ to the water taxi stop. Attendees spent some times shooting each other in front of the blossoming trees and hectic background of Fells.  We moved down to the Broadway pier just in time for the crew to be furling the top sail on Pride of Baltimore II!

As the sun started to set, the Golden Hour of photography arrived, making the water shimmer gold. We moved along from Broadway to Bond Street.  The setting sun and the natural light diminishing made it an ideal time to explain exposure bracketing.

When the sun was mostly down, we switched to shutter priority to capture some light trails and motion blur as cars drove up and down along Thames.  

See more pics from the tour below.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday Social Photo Tour-March 23 2014

Our 3rd tour on Sunday, March 23rd was overcast and chilly, but 8 brave photogs joined us on a trek around Mt Vernon.  Overcast days are good for shooting outside; the clouds works as a natural diffuser for the sun so there are few shadows.  

We met at a coffee shop on Charles Street to go over photography basics including the exposure triangle, metering and focusing and white balance.  After a half hour or so, we moved outside to start the tour, shooting on Aperture Priority. 

Our first stop wasn't really a stop at all.  To reinforce the concept of light metering, mainly where to meter if you are in a situation with different levels of light, we shot some buildings across the street with the bright white sky behind them.  They also practiced changing their focus from foreground to background.  We used the hypothetical situation of trying to capture a friend in front of a building when the light is behind them creating a silhouette. 

After spending a bit of time there, we moved on,heading south on Charles Street.  We stopped at the building at 1111 N Charles Street, which has a beautiful facade and a raised courtyard out front.  There were also some skateboarders nearby who were practicing tricks and rail slides.  The attendees wanted to try to capture the skateboarders, but they were moving pretty fast.  I had everyone switch to Shutter Priority and explained two types of captured motion: Freezing an object and implying motion in the object. 
To freeze an object, we used some flags that were nearby.  I showed them the difference between shooting the flags with a shutter speed of 1/400 VS 1/20.  The faster speed stops the motion, while the slower speed shows a blur where the flag had waived. 
We also used my assistant Shane to capture movement.  I explained how to ban a subject with a slower shutter speed, to get them in focus and the background be a motion blur.  Shane and I walked back and forth in front of attendees as they panned.  Once they practiced with slow moving us, they tried to capture the skateboarders as well. 

We moved down Charles Street to stop at The Belvedere Hotel.  I asked the front desk person if we could shoot inside for a bit, to warm up.  The lobby had tons of interesting objects, from chandeliers to posters to floral arrangements.  We discussed the concept of frame filling images.  When shooting something pretty and large, but you just can't get an angle that is interesting, zoom in so there is nothing in your frame but that object.  
There is an example below. 

 Also from The Belvedere:

We worked our way down to Maisys for some light fare, drinks and to warm up again.  This gave us a chance to review attendee images so they know what to work on for the second half of the tour. 

Back outside, we moved to the Washington Monument just in time for the golden hour of light.  The clouds cleared and the buildings were cast in a beautiful gold.  

The sun going down also gave us another opportunity to practice metering and moving stops to get more or less light in the images. 

All taken at the same time of day.

Finally, we moved up Charles Street a bit, to where the road split around the monument comes back together, to practice light trails and capturing movement of cars. Because it was darker out, there were more challenges such as keeping the camera as still as possible without a tripod. 

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunday Social Photo Tour-March 9 2014

Last Sunday, March 9th, was a brisk and sunny day which provided some challenges for the attendees of our Sunday Social Photo Tour.  Sunny days, although glorious, can be difficult for beginners to shoot in. Shadows and taking photos that are "Blown Out" are common. 
After going over the basics of the exposure triangle, and making sure attendees knew how to change their shooting mode, focus spots and ISO, we were on our way walking around Fed Hill. 

Our first stop was right outside our meeting spot, Little Havana, was he site of the former Globe Brewing. Now, just a fenced off concrete slab, it was a great subject to practice focusing and shooting wide open. 
Focus on background

Focus on foreground

Right next door, Harborview Marina provided a great location to shoot landscapes with wide depth of field. 

While at Harborview, I explained the principles behind capturing motion in photographs.  Whether it's the waves in the bay or a person walking, attendees switched to shutter priority to practice.

 After a bit, we moved to Riverside park, which had tons of opportunities for silhouettes and dogs!

After walking about a mile it was time for a break, so we stopped at Don't Know Tavern on Charles Street for some food and to warm up.  On our laptop we reviewed attendees photos, making notes of things to work on during the second half of the tour. 

 After about an hour, we left to make our way to the top of the hill, and stopped at the AVAM along the way. There are so many beautiful things to photograph there!

After a trek to the top of Federal Hill, we arrived in time for the sun to start going down (the best time to shoot outside, second only to sunrise!)

Attendee Submitted Photos:
Photo by Kristin Lemieux

 Photo by Kristin Lemieux

Photo by Kristin Lemieux

Photo by Kristin Lemieux

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