Friday, November 5, 2010

Things I've learned about photography

It may be cold here, but it sure is good to be home.  (though if I were to guess, I would say that Bailey would have been just fine with us staying in Tennessee longer so he could hang out with Grandma and Grandpa some more)

I stand by my assertion that I would never want to live there, but Tennessee and Kentucky sure are quite beautiful in the fall.

On my trip to Tennessee, I took both some really great pictures, and some absolutely terrible ones.  I have made myself feel better about the terrible ones by reminding myself that I bought a book called "Understanding Exposure" at Barnes and Noble before I left for Tennessee, and someday I might actually read it.  Someday.  Secondly, I rationalize them by blaming the camera, and my lack of ability to buy a better and more expensive one.  Then I remember that even if I did have the money to buy a better and more expensive camera, I wouldn't.  I would buy a K9II dog dryer or a new Blauwerk mountain scooter (for in-harness dog training).  At that point, if I need further assistance forgetting about the bad ones, I just look at this...


or this...


and definitely this...


This is Mater. (Remember Mater, from the move "Cars"?  The name fits him well.)  He is gorgeous.  He is from Allele's first litter.  Allele is the bitch I am hoping to get a puppy out of soon.  She is due on/around November 22.

Speaking of puppies, I now have a girl and a boy name picked out.  Both of them are insanely science nerdy (just the way I like it).  I've had names stolen from me before, but I have faith in you guys.  And, well, I doubt anybody would actually want to steal these names anyway.

Bonus points to anybody who can guess the CALL name that would go with these (insanely genius, if I may say so myself) registered names.

Girl:  ... Forgotten Lady of Photo 51

Boy: ... Monk in the Garden 

The breeder's kennel names will go in front, hence the "..."

Ok, back to photography.  As I said, I did manage to take some really nice pictures.


That's Gatlinburg down there, nestled in the Mountains.
Gatlinburg has a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Of course, I went there.  It's just something I have to do.
Gatlinburg also has an aquarium.  I went there as well.


So, about those things I've learned about photography.  While I might not be able to get the exposure right all the time, I have learned a lot about perspective.  Time and time again I have had people look at me funny or say something to me about how I take pictures.  Whether it be holding the camera way up above my head, or getting down on the ground, or walking around some object for a different perspective.  I find this single factor has made a HUGE impact on the quality (if you can call it that) of my photos.

That said, I don't always get it right...


Here, you see a rocky wall that has been cut out to make a roadway going up the mountains in the Great Smokies National Forest.  I knew it would be best to get down on the ground for the best perspective, but I somehow failed to notice my car's freaking TAIL LIGHT in the frame.  Now, could I crop it out?  Of course.  But, ya know, what the heck fun would that be?

Then there's the times I get it right.  Well, at least in my opinion.



The banks of this creek are wicked steep, and it was drizzling all day.  I suffered wind and rain and laying in wet grass for these pictures, but I find it to be well worth it.  I was not, however, dedicated enough to try and kill myself by climbing down the rocky embankment. 
I can't count the number of people I saw jump out of their cars and snap a picture of the creek at various spots, all of them just taking the picture where they were, right at eye level.  Like this:

 It's not terrible, but I find the one above to be much more attractive.

 At places like this, where there was a long section of parking places for people to stop and take pictures, I often walked the whole length of it to see where the best pictures could be taken.  And, if I was lucky, at some point the clouds would move just right so as to let the sun shine through and illuminate the trees in certain spots on the mountain.  I thought it was extremely cool.


It was a bit gloomy, and in some pictures that definitely shows.  I'm sure I could do some kind of editing to make this look better, but I'm just far too lazy for that.  :)


Lilly, Whitey and I walked on one of only two trails that dogs are allowed on in the WHOLE Nat'l Forest.  (did I mention I would never want to live there?)  I spotted this big rock and though the girls might behave for a picture on top of it.


It was completely impossible to get a nice profile picture of Whitey.  She's just too much in love with people to focus on anything I threw out in front of her for more than a mili-second.

Lilly, on the other hand, did great!



Now here is a case of "I have no idea how I did that, but I like it"...


I have no idea why this picture looks so different from the ones above.  None.  I don't remember changing any settings on my camera.  (which does not necessarily mean I didn't, just that I don't remember it)

This is one of those very limited cases where I wish I was better at photo editing.  Eventually I need to have somebody take that leash off Lilly.  I was simply too afraid to unclip it at the time in case a rabbit or something came darting through the woods and all hell broke lose in the National Forest. 

Later on I found another rock that I thought would make a cool picture.
Lilly did not agree.


I think all the wind rushing through the trees made a noise she wasn't very comfortable with.
 Arby's roast beef made her feel a little better, but with only one person it didn't make for much of a picture.


Well, that's about enough for now.  I'll share my worst photography offense with you next time.  :) 



  1. Don't think your photos are bad! I like them, especially the 'gloomy' looking one. Dark skies and sunlight in the foreground really make for some astounding fall colors!

  2. Sunlight and fall colours sure make for some nice photos:)

  3. Um.....I like these \great pix. But who am I? ;)
    I LOVE moody skies...clouds, sunlight in and out. changes things up all the time. I'm lazy too....about the editing. and you have to take lots of pix to get a few that you LOVE.
    Your pups are beautiful and I can't wait to hear what you name the 'baby'. What kind of dog is Mater? SA-Mo-A? forgive the girl scout cookie reference......

  4. Mater is a Samoyed. (properly pronounced Sammy-Ed, but most people say it wrong) Samoyeds are my new found breed to love. I'm hoping to eventually start training dogs to run on a sled team just for fun (not really racing or anything). Since I'm confident I could never live with a husky, I have found Samoyeds to be a great happy medium for me. Also, as far as having a dog to show, a good Samoyed moves absolutely beautifully - their structure is just amazing in my opinion.

  5. What a beautiful autumn scenery!!! I love those great pictures of the Whitney and Lily on the rock. It looks like it's their pride rock : )


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