Some of my Favorite Things

My Favorite Things

I was recently asked on Twitter what blogs I read, and so instead of limiting myself to 140 characters I thought I would type of a nice list of some of my daily travels (on the internet, that is). So, without further ado … here they are:

PhotoFocus: Ok, maybe I’m biased, but  before I started submitting to this site (when it was called “TWIP”) this was still my favorite photography blog out there. It’s a very nice, basic blog with lots and lots of relevant info relating to photography. I never go a day without reading from this website. :)

Joe McNally: Joe is one of my favorite current photographers. I’m slowly diving into the world of creative off-camera speedlights, and he is one of my main inspirations behind it. His blog is a fun, and usually humorous, look at some of his recent projects.

Strobist: Ok, this site is almost a no-brainer so if you’ve never been there before, go now! The blog is all about photographic lighting, with an emphasis on small flashes. If that’s your thing then read this blog.

Planet Photoshop: I love using Photoshop, and I can’t stop wanting learning new things. This site is authored by Corey Barker, my favorite Photoshop-guru who works for NAPP. He doesn’t just show you the “normal” stuff … he has all sorts of cool tricks up his sleeve to show you how to do things in Photoshop you never thought possible. Lots of great video tutorials here as well.

Photoshop Insider: This is Scott Kelby’s blog, and always has good info relating to Photoshop and photography. What I like best about it is that it’s always updated with the latest-and-greatest info & news on what’s happening out there in the photography world.

And, last but not least, here’s some more sites I read daily that definitely deserve a mention:

Leggnet’s Digital Capture – Photography by Rich Legg
What the Duck – Photography-related comic strip by Aaron Johnson
Photo Attorney – Copyright & legal information by Carolyn E. Wright, an attorney who works for photographers

Lensbaby Tip

Butterfly

I was recently on vacation in Canada and had the chance to visit the Butchart & Butterfly Gardens while I was there (thanks to the recommendations from my Tweeple!). Before I went out to take photos I decided that I was going to only use my Lensbaby on my D200 the entire time that I was on vacation. I am a huge fan of the Lensbaby; it’s a great way to take something very simple, like a flower, and make the photo into something unique.

When I was in the gardens with the flowers it was really easy to set up the shot … the flowers were still, the light was perfect (nice and cloudy), so I had plenty of time to focus and adjust my exposure manually (my Nikon camera doesn’t work in aperture-priority with the Lensbaby, unfortunately). However, when I was in the butterfly garden it was a whole different story. There was enough light, but the butterflies were moving so fast; sometimes they would only be sitting still for a matter of seconds. It was challenging enough to try and focus on the little buggers, let alone adjust the exposure every time I chased one down!

So … here’s the tip : If you are in a situation where you need to quickly adjust your exposure with your Lensbaby, try using “Auto-ISO“:
– First, start off by getting a good idea of the lowest shutter-speed you are comfortable with (and one that works well with your situation) and lock it using Manual mode. Note: if your camera works well in “Aperture Priority” then you can use that too … or you might not even need this tip at all! My Nikon only works in “Manual” mode with the Lensbaby so that’s mostly what this tip is for.
– Next go to the Menu on your camera and find the “Auto ISO” feature (with my Nikon D200 it’s under the “Metering/Exposure” section in the Custom Settings menu). Set the maximum sensitivity to whatever you like, then turn it on and start shooting! Your shutter speed will remain the same while the camera adjusts the ISO, resulting in proper exposures on the fly.

SLC Minilypse Video

This is a fun video I put together from footage and photos taken during the SLC Minilypse event in Salt Lake City, Utah last month (I also have an earlier blog post about it). It includes my own timelapse footage, and also several still images by some wonderful photographers that participated in the event. (To view more of the photographs from the event please go here.)

Click here to view the video on YouTube (also in HD).

Video is © Nicole S. Young (All Rights Reserved). Cannot be used or displayed without permission. Music licensed from iStockphoto: “Enjoy The Ride“, PumpArtist_39290/iStockphoto.com