Passion Project – Wk 3

MyPhotography, Passion Project

Dear Bloggers,

Recently, I received a new Canon EOS 400D Digital SLR camera! In my latest post, I was explaining a few of the features of this camera and the lens I will be using. So over the past few days, I have been avidly photographing anything and everything I can lay the lens on.

From flowers, to animals, to a sickly yellow moon, I have been (perhaps overly) enthusiastic about this new camera and its open abilities. Even when I am experimenting with its capabilities (which are dramatically different from the small digital camera I owned prior) and making mistakes, I have managed to transform these mistakes into modest successes (if not masterpieces).

Saturday night in Sydney, the moon was an unusual yellow shade. So at 10.00PM that night, I ventured out, armed with the camera, a skimpy cream nightie exposing my skin to the unwelcoming and frigid night air. Since this was my first time with astrophotography, (let alone my first time holding a DLSR camera), I decided to begin with unplanned experiments.

Originally, my goal was to photograph a few clear images of the yellow moon, and perhaps a few photographs of the stars that seemed to be dappled across the universe. Easy! However, to master (for me grasp) the art of astrophotography proved difficult. Initially, I placed the mode to Manual, set the exposure to 10″ and off I went. However, to take crisp images at such a long exposure time was near impossible without a tripod. My photos came out blurred and trails of light were the result of my camera shake.

In order to reach my goal, I experimented with faster exposure times, ranging from 1/5 – 30″, attempting to discover the perfect exposure for the situation, settling with 8″. The photos remained blurry, as a result of the lack of any tripod. However, the trail of light began to catch my attention, and when I set my exposure time to 15″, the blurry trail transformed into ‘light patterns’.

From this, I gave up trying to take crisp moon photos and focused on making more patterns with the light. I realised this was the result of the movement of the camera, and, setting the exposure time to 8″, began to move the camera in patterns to make shapes with the light.

After doing this, I tried changing the aperture, where I discovered that the lower the f/stop number, the brighter the image. So I changed the aperture to F4.0. This setting allowed maximum light in making a brighter image. Later, I learned this is because the lower the number, the more light it lets in. This is why, in some photos, the image is whiter and brighter than prior photos. When I changed the aperture, the light transformed from a yellow light to a cleaner, platinum white.

At the time, I did not change the ISO, but have now learnt that changing it in darker scenes is agood idea. However, the higher the ISO, the noisier and grainier the image will be. I only dared experiment with ISO 100 to 400. So it turns out that a disappointing mistake has transformed into an unanticipated success! Experimenting with the exposure, ISO, aperture and shutter speed was definitely enjoyable and produced a promising result.

After this, and absorbing what I had learned about how I can adjust the settings to extract the most from the camera, I tried to take some crisp, clear photos of the oddly yellow moon and the stars (I am always amazed by them, they seem to be dappled among the infinite universe of blackness). As you can see, nearer to the end of my gallery, I have (barely) managed this, but have certainly improved from where I started! I have definitely learnt a lot in this one hour. You can see my (failed) attempts of star photos in the images that seem to be black. If you look close, you can just see a few patterned specks!

You can see my (failed) attempts of star photos in the images that seem to be black. If you look close, you can just see a few patterned specks! This probably failed because the photo would have only been clear if the exposure time was 30″. I was unable to access a tripod, and my shaky hands could not find a clear picture of the stars because of the camera shake. Next time!

Astrophotography will certainly be difficult to master ( in my case grasp), however, until I near it, playing around with settings will be fun! In the following post, I will be writing the poem to describe my favourite or most intriguing photo. Which do you find most interesting? Have you experimented with astrophotography before? Let me know!

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

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18 thoughts on “Passion Project – Wk 3

    1. Dear Amber,
      Thanks! Yes, I had great fun taking those photos! I LOVE photography! I guess that’s why I’m so into the project, because it’s my PASSION!
      I’ll definitely stop by your blog to check out what you’re doing with architecture!
      Liv xx

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  1. Hi Olivia,
    This looks amazing! You are so lucky to get a new camera, and I know overtime, as you grow in your photo taking skills, it will come in very handy! You have some great pictures of the moon, I found it fascinating that it was that dirty, yellow colour, usually I think of the moon as a piercing white shade! Just wondering, is f/stop the same as aperture?
    Well done!
    Darcey

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    1. Dear Darcey,
      Thanks so much! I have my amazing, wonderful, awesome Dad to thank for the camera! Thanks Dad! I totally agree that in the general course of life, photography will come in handy as a skill and a hobby. Yes, how fascinating about the moon! My dad thought it may have been the overlay of pollution that had caused the moon such an unatural colour. And yes, f/stop is what the aperture is measured in. So if the aperture was large, the f/stop number would be small. I’ll definitely be stopping by your blog to check out the progress of your book!
      Liv xx

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  2. Hi Liv,
    What a detailed description of what you will be doing for your passion project! Your photography skills are awesome! I loved the photos you took as well; fascinating! I wish you lots of luck with the rest of your project!
    Gemma

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    1. Dear Gem,
      Thank you so much! I do love photography, it has so much scope for imagination, expression and creativity. I chose this project because I felt I must learn to have a more open mind on our beautiful environment to embrace the sometimes hidden beauty of it. How fascinating about the moon! Thanks again and I will certainly be stopping by your blog to see what you’ve been doing about that awesome 20km bushwalk for the possums!
      Liv xx

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  3. Hi Liv,
    Wow, those photos are amazing! I always thought that the moon was a very bright white but after reading this post I now believe that it is a dirty yellowish colour, how fascinating?!
    You are SOOOOO lucky, I would only dream of getting an SLR camera let alone a small one!!!! you are like the luckiest child alive!!! I wish you luck throughout your passion project and I can’t wait to see more amazing photos that you take:)
    -Lucy W

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    1. Dear Lucy,
      Thanks so much! I agree with you that the moon is a very bright white, however on this particular night, it seemed to be yellow! My Dad thought it was the overlay of pollution. How sad but fascinating at the same time! I know I am very fortunate thanks to my amazing, wonderful, awesome Dad! Your Dad’s camera seems to be amazing quality as well, after looking at your posts! Again, thanks so much Lucy! I’ll definitely be looking out for your amazing posts about your beautiful dog and photography. You have some very unique and awesome ideas!
      Liv xx

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  4. These photos are very cool, I love that you’re experimenting and having fun. It’s a liberating thing to realise that when things that don’t turn out how you expected, they may in fact more beautiful than if they had conformed to your expectations. Keeps life interesting (and surprising!).
    I can’t wait to see what else you discover.

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    1. Hi Christine!
      Thanks so much for commenting! Yes, as you can see from my post, I have developed a true obsession of photography! Isn’t it an amazing hobby? It is very liberating when mistakes turn into successes! Thanks again,
      Olivia 🙂

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  5. Hi Olivia,
    Wow, your camera sounds amazing!
    It looks like you put a lot of effort into this post.
    Your pictures are also really cool. I can’t wait to see what other pictures you take on your SLR camera!
    Good Luck!
    Kaumudi 🙂

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    1. Hi Kaumu!
      Yes, I have to say, it really is! Thanks, Dad! I did spend a bit of time on it as I absolutely LOVE photography. It really is my passion.
      Good luck to you too!
      Liv xx

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  6. Hi Olivia,
    I enjoyed looking at all your photos! It must be really fun fiddling with all the effects and buttons that are found on the camera. I understand that you might have had a few difficulties with this camera but, I am sure you will get it right soon! You are also very lucky having a SLR camera to take wonderful photos to present. I can’t wait to see much more photos. I enjoy reading your post and I hope to see more photos and effects during the week.
    See you at school!
    Happy Blogging!
    Mia

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    1. Hi Mia,
      Thanks so much for visiting! It is very fun fiddling with the effects and buttons, seeing what they do, their effect on the picture… everything is so new! I am very lucky, thanks Dad! Thanks Mia,
      Olivia xx

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  7. Great work Olivia, I love the way you have clearly explained what you learned and then how you tried to apply that knowledge to your photographs of the moon. You are of course very lucky to have been given such a fine camera but I am equally sure that you will repay your father’s generosity with some amazing images in the end.

    Mrs Miller

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    1. Dear Mrs Miller,
      Thank you very much! I have tried to do this, and as a result, have ended up turning a mistake into a success! Of course, I will try my hardest to ‘pay’ Dad back with some lovely pictures.
      Thank you again for visiting,
      Olivia

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  8. Hey Olivia,
    I couldn’t find your week 4 post so I’m just going to post on this. 🙂
    I love how you explained how the camera works. And I love those pictures you took they are amazing! But how are you going to present the final product? I think you should make a calendar with all the photo’s you have taken. I think it would be a great idea so you can just see all your favourite photo’s you took for different months.
    Love you blog!
    -Peri

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    1. Hi Peri,
      So sorry! My post is up now, WordPress was doing funny things with my posts and just as I clicked Publish, everything disappeared! So… I had to rewrite everything… But thank you anyway. I am planning on creating a book with my photographs and poems in SnapFish, but a calendar would be a great idea too… I will have a think! Thanks!
      Liv xx

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