Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Super Bowl (or any other) Commercials and the Rule of Thirds

February 6, 2011

While watching Super Bowl commercials or any other ads (whether moving video or still photo) an interesting concept to keep in mind is the content of the following YouTube video. The narrator explains the Fibonacci Series and how it relates to the Rule of Thirds in composition.*

The video is 5 1/2 minutes in length. The first 2 minutes are about mathematical theory, including referring to The Da Vinci Code. The last 3 1/2 minutes are specifically about the Rule of Thirds.

Also interesting is analyzing how Mother (Marion Gunderson) applied the Rule of Thirds in her watercolors. At this link which of Mother’s watercolors catch your eye the most? And, do you think your preferences regarding Mother’s watercolors, or any other artwork, have anything to do with the Rule of Thirds? Is there artwork in your home that over time still keeps your interest, but other artwork you own seems blah? Do you think the Rule of Thirds has anything to do with your continued interest, or declining interest? Even if you prefer to remain private with your response,  the concept is certainly interesting to ponder.

*I understand the Fibonacci Series and I understand the Rule of Thirds. For me to understand more thoroughly how the two theories connect is going to require further study.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


Geraniums in the Fall (actually, anytime)

November 27, 2010

What a difference one week of fall can make. All four photos in this post include geraniums. To enlarge the photos, just click on them.

The top photo was taken one week ago on November 20th. The second photo* was taken today, the 27th.

The third photo is of the geranium watercolor painted by Mother (Marion Gunderson) in 1972. Mother was partial to geraniums, planting them in the several-feet-long brick flower planters at Gunderland following each Memorial Day. (Because of her fondness of them, ever since I was a little girl, on Mother’s Day I gave Mother a potted geranium.)

The bottom photo was taken May 29, 2005, six months after Mother passed away. The photo is of Daddy (Deane Gunderson) placing a geranium on Mother’s grave at Clinton-Garfield Cemetery in Rolfe, Iowa. Mother passed away peacefully on November 30, 2004.







* * * * * * * *

* The second photo was taken with the combination of three accessories: 1. 50 mm lens, 2. Kenko 36mm extension tube and 3. Kenko 12 mm extension tube. Shutter: 1/8. Aperture: f/9.0. Exposure Bias: 0.0. ISO: 400. Manual focus. (I was so close to the geranium that I couldn’t get the camera to focus automatically any better than just a blur.) It was approaching dusk, so gettting dark; I used Photoshop to lighten up the photo just a tad, but not much.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Creepy Halloween — Part II

October 31, 2010

Included in my last post is a photo of something . . . . . . . . . cree—py. One person saw a pirate’s face in the photo. Sister Clara came the closest, guessing that it might be the head of an insect. It is actually a caterpillar that was creeping along the concrete at Gunderland. (Thank you to the rest of you who guessed, as well.)

Do you see a pirate's face? (Click on photo to enlarge.)


I never really stopped to think that a caterpillar might have folds on the back of its "neck."(Click on photo to enlarge.)


While taking these photos I was flat-out on my belly on the concrete outside the garage. My own creeping/following the caterpillar gave me a chance to try out two of my photography accessories: 1. extension tubes in combination with 2. a 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Should I do this again (a caterpillar shoot), I need to train the caterpillar to stay still! Imagine me flat out on the concrete with the camera lens almost touching the concrete and just a few inches away from the caterpillar, AND having my toes being my rudder/steering wheel changing my direction each time the caterpillar changed its! I’m certainly glad no one pulled into the driveway catching me involved in such a silly activity!

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Corn Harvest Shutter Speed Comparison

October 14, 2010

Even with modern harvesting equipment, riding in a combine cab is a little bit bouncy making it difficult to keep a camera steady. Even so, I’m pleased with the photo immediately below, in which I used a faster shutter speed (1/800) than for the second photo (1/320). During next fall’s grain harvest, I’ll experiment with an even faster shutter speed.

The two primary differences between camera settings for these photos are the shutter speed and the aperture. There is a 2mm difference in focal length.

Shutter: 1/800; Aperture: f/7.1; Exposure: Shutter Priority; Focal Length: 53mm; ISO: 200; Metering: Pattern; Exposure Bias: 0.00 (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Shutter: 1/320; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure: Shutter Priority; Focal Length: 55mm; ISO: 200; Metering: Pattern; Exposure Bias: 0.00 (Click on photo to enlarge.)


This photo is taken from inside the combine cab as the combine is dumping the corn into the grain cart, both on-the-go. I.e., the combine and tractor/grain cart are moving alongside each other through the field as the corn is moving through the combine. (Click on photo to magnify detail.)


(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Full Moon Intrigue

June 26, 2010

Jackson and me last night reading Kitten's First Full Moon. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you'll understand the moon's intrigue.

Last night Jackson, Grandpa Bill (my husband) and I went outside to experience the full moon. That prompted Jackson and me to read Caldecott Medal-winner Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes*. After reading, it was late, late, late for Jackson to go to bed.

Even from his bed, nothing gets past Jackson. He came out of the bedroom to realize I was getting my camera ready to photograph the moon. He asked if he could get the “tall thing” (tripod).

So, at about 11:00 PM, all three of us in our jammies went outside into the humid summer night for our photo session. Just the three of us and the moon, stars and lightning bugs. We set the tripod/camera height at about 24″. I sat cross-legged right up to it with Jackson sitting in the bowl of my lap so he, too, could see the camera’s moon-images. I know these photos aren’t the most memorable ever, but those moments from last night are.

One of last night's first photos.


Right before the wind picked up, suggesting we go indoors.

*Click here to hear Kevin Henkes pronounce his name.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page. Soon to be posted is a series of interview segments regarding Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s.)

Extension Tubes in Macro Photography (Part III)

March 7, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page. Click here for Part I of “Extension Tubes in Macro Photography.”  Click here for Part II.)

Miss Kitty's paw photographed with an 18-55mm lens and a 12mm extension tube. (Click photo once or twice to magnify detail.)


These three images illustrate the limitations of three different lengths of extension tubes. All three photos were taken with an 18-55mm lens in combination with an extension tube. From L to R: 12mm tube, 20mm tube, 36mm tube. (Click photo to enlarge.)

In my Kenko tube set I have three extension tubes: a 12mm tube, a 20 mm tube, and a 36mm tube.

I’d been meaning for awhile to experiment with the extension tubes. Last week when Miss Kitty walked by and rolled over exposing the bottoms of her paws, she instantly became a model.  When I used the 12mm tube, I could get pretty close and focus on Miss Kitty’s entire paw (left photo of the tri-photo above). That was all the closer I could get with the 12mm tube.

When I used the 20mm tube, I could focus even closer on just two of Miss Kitty’s toe pads (middle photo of the tri-photo). Not all of the two pads are in focus, meaning, I think, I need to experiment more with camera settings and/or holding the camera steady.

* * * * * * * *

I’d better post about something else before extension tubes wear out their welcome (if they haven’t already)! I have so much I want to post about that’s been on the back burner for awhile (for example, finishing up about Bill’s and my Oregon travels); yet I enjoy posting spontaneously about whatever topic is at hand. Thank you for sticking with the blog, never knowing what serious or absurd topic the next post will be about.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Extension Tubes in Macro Photography (Part II)

March 4, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

This is the second of three posts about extension tubes used for macro photography.  To view Part I, click here.

If you aren’t into learning about the tubes, you might want to just skip the videos in this post and wait for the photos in Part III.  If you have time to watch only one video from this post, I recommend watching the second one, although I think both of the videos are helpful.

The YouTube video* immediately below, while not polished, gives a helpful visual by comparing two focusing distances: 1. the arm’s-length distance a camera lens would need to be away from the photographed object if an extension tube is not used and 2. the hand’s-length distance a camera lens can be away from that same photographed object if an extension tube is used.

This next 7+-minute video* is the most comprehensive (I think) of the YouTube videos regarding extension tubes. It provides easy-to-understand explanations about three tools used for macro photography: close-up filters, extension tubes and macro lenses.

Tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday I’ll post  a couple more cat paw extension tube photos. Since not everyone is enamored with cats (or extension tubes), it will be the last cat post (and extension tube post) for awhile! (I think.)

* Obviously I had nothing to do with the production of these videos, but I’m certainly glad that someone else took the time to make them available.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Extension Tubes in Macro Photography

March 1, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

My 1"-diameter watch photographed with a 36mm extension tube and 18-55mm lens. The end of the camera lens was probably 1" or 2" from my watch. (Notice how, because it is closer to the lens, the heart is not as clearly focused.) (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Last weekend I experimented with one of the photography toys I received for Christmas: a Kenko (brand) extension tube set.

At this site is explanatory information about extension tubes, including a 1/2-minute video at the bottom of the site.

Basically an extension tube enables a person to take a photo focusing closer to the subject than his/her camera would typically allow. The longer the extension tube, the closer a camera lens can be when focusing on an object.

On Thursday or Friday I’ll post more, including photos, regarding the use of extension tubes.  For now, if you have time to read at least the first paragraph, and also to watch the 1/2-minute video at the “this site” link I provided above, it will help toward better understanding of my next post.

I’m sort of like the blind leading the blind on this topic, since I have so little experience using the tubes. I’m just so excited about them that, even with my lack of expertise, I want to post about them. If you are familiar with the tubes and have a better/different/more technically correct way to explain an aspect of the tubes, by all means, please provide your comment(s) below.

One more note…for the previous post, I used a 36mm extension tube with an 18-55mm lens to take a photo of one of Miss Kitty’s claws. The end of the lens was probably about 1″ or 2″ away from Miss Kitty’s claw.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

If It’s Not an Elephant Tusk It’s a(n)…..?

February 28, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Ok, so maybe it’s not so difficult to guess what is in this post’s photo, but it makes at least two people think of an elephant tusk (sort of).

By the time you go to bed Tuesday evening I’ll post an explanation for this photo. (The explanation has to do with one of the photography toys I received for Christmas.)

Coming up within the next two weeks — another mention of the 1940s and the Pocahontas, Iowa, grain elevator.

Click photo once (or even twice) to magnify detail.


(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Iowa Winter with Wildflower “Sunshine”

January 22, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Next week I’ll post about an oral history book that I’ve found to be helpful. Within the next ten days I’ll post an image of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolor of which we’ve most recently had prints made.  The original and prints are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.

On another note, fortunately, Bill and I lost power for only a few hours yesterday. Friends of ours from west central Iowa said this morning that for 1 1/2 miles in either direction of their rural home, there is not a single electrical pole standing. With weighty ice on the power lines, the poles going down is like a domino effect that continues until a line snaps or comes loose from a pole.

* * * * *

From our wildflower garden. September, 2009. (Click photo to enlarge.)

I’ve been wanting to post a few pre-rain-and-ice winter photos from my time at Gunderland (my dad’s farm) early this week. The wintery weather is getting quite old, especially for those without electricity. Because of that, along with the “gray” weather photos below, to pep things up I decided to throw in the above photo of last September’s “sunshine” and color.

None of these photos are edited, except for resizing (but not cropping) the image files. I thought about Photoshopping these winter photos before posting so they would more closely resemble the actual scenery. I decided against editing them because, for one, I can’t really remember what the actual scenery looked like as far as color and whiteness because it was so foggy that day (Tuesday, January 20th). Also, because the photo shoot that day was an exercise for me in adjusting camera settings, including exposure, I figure I’ll post the original images and learn from them.

Next time I take photos of this wintery nature, I’ll try to have a gray card handy. (I’ll post about the benefit of a gray card sometime, as well. I learned about gray cards in my OLLI Photography Field Trips class.)

The following images are of the same tree at my dad’s farm and from approximately the same direction. For those of you aware of where my dad lives, this tree is to the west of the driveway, close to the gravel road.

Shutter: 1/250; Aperture: f/6.3; Exposure Bias: 1.33; Exposure Program: Aperture Priority; FL: 30 mm; Metering: Pattern; ISO: 200. (Click photo for detail.)


Shutter: 1/160; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Bias: 1.00; Exposure Program: Normal; FL: 23 mm; Metering: Pattern; ISO: 200. (Click photo to enlarge.)


Shutter: 1/400; Aperture: f/5.0; Exposure Bias: 2.00; Exposure Program: Aperture Priority; FL: 36 mm; Metering: Pattern; ISO: 200. (Click photo to enlarge.)

When I took this photo (immediately above), I tried a variety of exposure settings.  If I reduced the exposure at all, the photo looked too dark for how bright the scene actually was. It was pretty bright, but not this chalky white.

UPDATE:  In response to Clara’s comment asking from which direction I took these photos, click here for a photo that includes more of the surroundings.  If you are familiar with the area, the photo should help give bearings.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)