Showing posts with label digital photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital photography. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review

Watching the Salinas River Go By


The Salinas River was not part of my life until 1995, when my mother moved to a part of Paso Robles California only three blocks from river access. It was the first time I had lived near a real river. I grew up in Los Angeles County, and the only rivers I saw were mostly empty cement waterways that only filled after heavy rains. When we lived near Seattle for four months I was delighted to see some real rivers. I had always wanted to live near one, and now I live in Mom's house where the Salinas River is a short walk away. I love to watch it.

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
An Ideal Place to Sit and Watch the Salinas River in Paso Robles, taken with Nikon Coolpix S9300

Getting to Know and Photograph the River


Once I had such easy access to the Salinas River, I began to study it and observe and photograph it on a regular basis. The Salinas is a subterranean river. That means I don't see it most of the year because it's flowing underground. If we get heavy rains, it becomes visible again for a few weeks and then disappears from sight. I try to make the most of the weeks when I'm able to photograph the flowing river. I have put many of my Salinas River photographs on puzzles, greeting cards, posters, postcards, and other print-on-demand products at Zazzle. You can see most of those products here. Among them are a poster and greeting card of the bench photo above.

I just made a new poster of my favorite river shot. The river always makes me feel peaceful as it flows by me. So I added a bit of text that reminds me of one of my favorite hymns: "Like a River Glorious"

Here is my new poster. For ordering information, please click the photo. If you'd prefer to have the poster without the words or if you want to change the words, it's easy to do once you click through to Zazzle and click to customize.



You can listen to the hymn here. Sample the many digital professional recordings of the hymn on Amazon.




The Day the Salinas River Came to Me


One January day I had been walking in the dry riverbed after some recent rains, hoping the river was visible again. I didn't see much more than a few puddles. I was walking away with my camera to return to the riverbank when suddenly the river first trickled and then rushed toward me. I was able to capture it on video. I also got some still shots. You can see the video and the photographs I was able to capture that day and also learn more about the river in this article: The Salinas River: Now You See It. Some of my products also feature photos you will see on that page.

What I Like about Photographing the Salinas River


Access to the river from Larry Moore Park is easy. It's also easy to find a parking place beside or very near this neighborhood park. I get some interesting sunset shots over the river if I walk the river trail at dusk. Here are a couple of them.

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
Taken with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS



Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
Taken with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

I can also find a wide variety of native plants, weeds, and trees to photograph beside or even in the river. I also see a lot of driftwood. I especially like this shot of a log in the river.

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
Taken with Nikon Coolpix S8200


The sand on the bank also provides some interesting shots. In the photo below, you see footprints leading down to the river.

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
Taken with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS


Sometimes one may see some unexpected wildlife. Birds are common, but hard for me to shoot. Rabbits, though,  appear quite often at dusk. I almost didn't see this one. Do you see it?

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
Rabbit Blending with River Sand, taken with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

After the winter rains, the riverbank can come alive with color, as in the shot below. I was looking down from the trail when I took this photo.

Photographing the Salinas River: A Review
Taken with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

No matter when I visit the river, whether it's flowing or dry, there is always something new to discover and photograph. My shots aren't as professional as my friend Mary Beth Granger's who gives us some tips in Challenge Yourself to Take Better Photographs, but I have fun.

My Photography Equipment


Photography is my hobby, and I get along fine with a point and shoot camera. My favorite was a Nikon Coolpix that fit in my purse or pocket, but somehow I lost it when I went out one day with friends and we made a number of stops.

Some of these photos were  taken with my Canon PowerShot, another point and shoot. It has a longer zoom than the Nikon did. The zoom helped me capture that almost hidden rabbit above. The Canon won't fit in my pocket, but I got a nifty case for it that will also hold my cell phone and extra battery packs and San Disks. Nothing is worse than finding out that your battery is dead just as you find the perfect shot you'd been searching for.

The case below is the one I chose to go with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS. It's light and the strap is so comfortable that I don't mind having to carry the larger camera. When I still  had my Nikon, I could even fit it in the slot next to my Canon, though I think it was really meant for a lens. Now the PowerShot and the case go with me everywhere because every time I leave them home I find a shot I wanted to take and couldn't.

Did You Enjoy this Brief Look at the Salinas River?

If you would like to photograph the Salinas River from Larry Moore Park, here's a map to help you find it. My directions are from the Paso Robles Walmart parking lot. You can drive to the park from the southeast exit and park along Riverbank Lane. Or you can park just west of J. C. Penny, that white building on the map closest to the river. That diagonal path you see next to Penny's leads to a park entrance. When you reach that entrance, go straight toward the river. You can't miss it. 




I'll leave you with one last photo with a bit of wildlife. I couldn't get close enough, even with my zoom, to bring the ducks closer, but occasionally they do get to the river. This shot was taken with my Coolpix S8200 and it didn't have as long a zoom as my Canon,  which I did not yet own back in 2013 when this was taken. I didn't want to crop the photo to make the ducks show up better because it would diminish the view of the river.

Ducks Swimming in Salinas River





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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review of Photography book by Scott Kelby

 

The Perfect Gift for the Photographer on Your Gift List

Do you know someone who loves books and photography? If so, I have the perfect gift idea for them. I too love both books and photography, so reading about photography is a natural for me.
My favorite series of photography books are written by Scott Kelby. Scott gives tips to the reader as if he were on a photo shoot with them. He doesn't bore you with tons of details but rather gets right to the point and says "try doing it this way". Whether you are a someone who just likes to take photos for fun or you are a new or not so new photographer trying to get the most out of your photos, Scott has some great tips for you.
I invite you to look over the books on this page and then think about those people on your gift list. I bet you have someone who would really love these books!
Happy Shopping
all photos by the author-mbgphoto

The Digital Photography Book - Scott Kelby

This book was my first introduction to Scott Kelby and I can tell you the pages are getting rather worn from all the times I have read and looked at this book. I love the way Scott gives you step by step instructions on how to perform various photography skills.
Scott starts out the book with a basic chapter on telling you how to get really sharp photos. The following chapters tell you how to shoot like a pro whether you are shooting flowers, weddings,landscapes,sports, or people. Scott also includes chapters on avoiding problems, traveling with a camera and printing. All of these chapters are great and the way they are designed you can review a certain chapter right before you are going to shoot that subject.
The last chapter in the book shows beautiful photographs and then gives you the formula for shooting the photo. The book has great, easy follow instructions.

Predawn Sky in Minnesota 
colorful predawn sky


This photo used a tip found on page 62 of The Digital Photography Book . It is entitled The Golden Rule of Landscape Photography and states a landscape photographer can only shoot during two times each day; dawn and dusk.

The Digital Photography Book -Volume 2 - Photography Tips

Book two is written in the same format as book one and gives you many more great tips for photography. It adds a chapter on using flash, one on setting up a studio and a great chapter on shooting portraits. In addition it has chapters on landscapes, weddings, travel, and macro that give you more great tips on these subjects.
One of my favorite tips from this book is found in chapter 4 on page 114 where it tells you not to stop shooting after sunset. It states if you are patient and wait, after many of the photographers have packed up their bags, you will capture some magnificent shots. On many nights just after sunset the sky turns a deep,deep blue and beautiful colors appear. These will only last for about 10-12 minutes so you must be ready.
In September, I went to the grounds of a nearby college and I was shooting sunflowers at sunset. I had gotten some great shots, but then I remembered the tip about waiting around after the sunset for the great colors in the sky. I waited about 10 minutes and the sky broke out in beautiful colors. There was a fountain nearby and I photographed the beautiful sky reflected in the water of the fountain and pond. The resulting photo is seen below.
Beautiful Sky after Sunset
Beautiful Sky after Sunset
Beautiful Sky after Sunset

 

The Digital Photography Book- Volume 3 - Tips to Shoot Like a Pro

Volume 3 picks up where book 2 stopped. It has two more chapters on using a flash and using your studio. This book also has a great chapter about tips to using different lenses. it tells which lens to use under different circumstances. It also includes chapters on shooting products, people, outdoors and sports.
I have always found the fisheye lens to be fascinating, but was never quite sure when to use it. In chapter 3 of this book, Scott explains that he like to use a fisheye lens if he is sitting up high in a sports stadium and if he is shooting skyscrapers and wants to get them all.

The Digital Photography Book Part 4 - more advanced photography tips

This book is on my wish list for Christmas. It has great reviews. It picks up where volume 3 leaves off. One of the reviews I read said that if you are a beginner you will want to start with volume 1, but for the more advanced photographer part 4 is by far the best of the group. I can't wait to delve into this book.

The Digital Photography Books - boxed set

This set contains volumes 1-2-3-and 4. It also includes a new #5 that I have not read yet. It would make the perfect gift for the photographer on your list. Whether they are a beginner or someone who is more advanced, they are sure to find helpful hints in Scott Kelby's series of digital photography books.



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Scanning Old Photos with the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II

Turn your old photos into digital files. Learn how in this review of the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner.

Have a box of old photographs, negatives, or 35mm slides? Turn your old photos into digital files. Learn how in this review of the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner.

Do you have an old box of photographs and negatives hiding in a dark corner of your closet? Do you find 35 mm slides during your wanderings through the flea market? Wondering what you can do with that old photographic film in this electronic age?

Turn photos, negatives, and slides into digital files


Photography has been a hobby for me since the mid-1970s. Over the decades, my hobby has filled a box with 35 mm slides, negatives, and photos. When I decided it was time to make some money from my photos, I needed a color image scanner to turn those photographs into digital files.

After doing some shopping, I narrowed my choices to the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII and the Epson Perfection V600 based on these requirements:
Buy the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner on Amazon.com
Buy the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII
on Amazon.com
  • Low price. I didn't have a lot of money to spend and couldn't afford a top-of-the-line professional scanner. Both of these scanners are priced below $200.
  • High resolution. Many of the products available through the print-on-demand services such as Zazzle or CafePress are large. The Canon scans film at a maximum resolution of 9600 x 9600 dpi and the Epson at a maximum resolution of 6400 x 9600 dpi.
  • Scan multiple formats. The Canon and the Epson digitize slides, negatives, photo prints, and printed documents. Files can be saved in JPG, TIFF, PNG, and PDF formats.

Digitize images with the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII


The Canon CanoScan has more than met my expectations. The setup was simple and the software drivers installed without a problem. Here are some of the features that I really enjoy about this image scanner:
  • It is simple to scan multi-page documents and convert those pages into a single PDF file.
  • The film guides hold slides and negatives securely.
  • The protective cover is easy to remove for slide and negative scanning.
  • The included software reduces image editing with automatic image enhancement features.

Enhance photos with the My Image Garden software


The Canon CanoScan includes My Image Garden software for scanning, enhancing, and organizing photographs. I'm not usually a fan of the software that comes with many electronic devices, but the My Image Garden software has saved me a lot of time. I especially enjoy using the ScanGear utility to scan slides and to correct imperfections.

Here's an example showing the settings for a 35 mm slide and a preview of the image.

The Canon CanoScan comes with ScanGear to scan an enhance photos

The ScanGear image scanning utility gives complete control over images. As different resolutions and different levels of image correction are selected, the utility shows the output file size. Here are other ways to use this scanning software:
  • Remove dust spots. Images files from slides and negatives that are old, have been  handled over the years, and are dusty can be difficult to clean up. I estimate the ScanGear utility removes 95% of the dust spots from my scanned slides and negatives.
  • Fix over-exposed photos. It's heartbreaking when a well-framed shot is ruined from a bad exposure. Adjust the backlight and exposure options while watching the changes in the preview window.
  • Adjust the color. Sometimes the color in the photo isn't as vibrant as the memory because slides and negatives fade over time. Increase the color saturation, brightness, or contrast and see the adjustments in the preview window.

Preserve photos and documents with the Canon CanoScan


The Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II scan 35 mm slides easily. Buy it on Amazon.com
Scanning a variety of documents is made quick and simple with the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner. The scanner comes with guides for 120 format film, 35 mm slides, and 35 mm negatives. It also operates as a flatbed scanner and turns pages as large as 8-1/2" x 11" into PDF files.

I give this scanner 4.5 of 5 stars for ease of use, high quality scans, and image editing abilities.

If you have a large number of photos, slides, negatives, and other documents that you want to turn into digital files, I highly recommend the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner.



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Thursday, June 12, 2014




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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