Life of the Party

Holidays, MyPhotography

Dear Readers,

This week, I decided to create and design a variety of “scenes” to photograph. These setups consisted of a range of objects that were centered around one theme (one theme per scene). I then photographed these abstract setups at different and creative angles. The result of my experimentation is below.

P.S Same blog, new layout! Let me know what you think of either the post or the new theme in the comments!



Avignon – France Tour

France Tour, Holidays, MyPhotography, Travel

Dear Readers,

As you may have read from my previous post, I was recently touring the beauties of France. Avignon is another of the many places we visited during the tour, its main and most well known feature a bridge called Pont Saint-Bénézet, known more commonly as Pont d’Avignon. This bridge was the inspiration for the song ‘Sur Le Pont d’Avignon’. The bridge was built between 1177 and 1185 and is now a major attraction of Avignon. Another major landmark of Avignon includes Palais de Papes which translates to ‘Pope’s Palace’. Photographs of this can also be seen in the portfolio below. The Gothic building was opened in 1364 and is simply beautiful inside, taking a floor space of 15 000 meters squared. Enjoy the photos!








































I look forward to posting the third portfolio of the France Tour.

Olivia, expression through the lens…

Amboise – France Tour

Holidays, MyPhotography, Travel

Dear Readers,

A few weeks ago, Australian students were on holidays! I was fortunate enough to be able to go on an amazing tour around France, experiencing so many unforgettable places and making many memories. The portfolio below includes the photographs I took of one of the places we visited – a town called Amboise. This place is significant as it was the hometown of Leonardo da Vinci as he reached the end of his life. The town is on the banks of the Loire river and is 27 km from Tours (a city). Enjoy!

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Olivia, expression through the lens…

Raise Your Voice – Student Blogging Challenge #2

Homework, Student Blogging Challenge, Writing

Dear Readers,

As you may know, I am participating in the Student Blogging Challenge as a school commitment. This week, the task was to complete a post for Blog Action Day, with the 2015 theme being ‘Raise Your Voice’. I have decided to write not about an issue, but ways in which one can “raise their voice” – one in particular that one man who has used this to portray the issue of refugees.

In many countries, freedom of expression is an inalienable concept that is considered a human right, simply because of democracy. One’s opinions and ideas can be expressed in many ways, one of which is through photography. Photography is a broad area that can be used to portray and express nearly anything that the photographer feels, or wants to portray. Through colour, texture, light, perspective and emotion, photography has been used for many things, one in particular being the pressing issue of refugees.

Shawn Baldwin, an American photojournalist, photographer and traveller has lived in Baghdad for over three years. He has worked throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe, documenting photography and stories from extreme poverty in the slums of Mumbai, to the portrayal of the growing influence of Islam across the Middle East.

With much courage and determination to live in a country that is considered so dangerous, through his photography, Shawn captures and portrays the poignancy of living conditions in Syrian refugee camps and detention centres. From vibrant, hopeful colours; monochromatic facial expressions; dusty camp tents to rioting refugees; tragic landscapes; heart touching captions – Shawn Baldwin has truly captured the experience and environment the refugees of Syria endure.

He has subtly portrays the political, religious and rebellious changes in this society – such as an image of a young, veiled woman sitting leg to leg with other Muslim boys, a sight which would be unthinkable in other Muslim countries.

Exposed to many horrifying sights, the photojournalist uses his photoblog to express himself and “raise his voice” on the issues of refugees, revolutions, war and tragedy in the Middle East. I think this is a beautiful and poignant way in which to express oneself and the true environment of the Syrian war and other war-torn places in the Middle East.

Please do visit his photography website, but at your own discretion, as some confronting and gruesome images do appear on the site.!/index

81 Photos of a Ladybird

Animals, MyPhotography












































































Olivia, expression through the lens…

P.S. Obviously some photographs are better than others, but none are edited – goes to show that you do not need to edit your photos for them to be beautiful!

Student Blogging Challenge Wk 1

Homework, Student Blogging Challenge

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to announce that for the 6th time, I am participating in the Student Blogging Challenge. To introduce myself simply, my name is Olivia and I am a student currently in Year 6. I have been blogging for over 4 years now and have changed the identity of my blog multiple times now as my identity is constantly changing! Currently, my blog is called SHOOT THE CANON, a play on words in that I have a strong passion for photography and believe it is vital for one to try new things enthusiastically (I know it’s cliche!).

On your arrival at this blog, a homepage would have appeared to you. This page plays a crucial role in the navigation and introduction of my blog and I. Firstly, you will see a brief summary of me and my (current) identity. Following this, a page called “Introduction”, which I call the virtual handshake between you and I. Please do read this page to introduce yourself and see my introduction to you!

Secondly, you will see the Blog page. This is the page you see here! Lastly, the Photography page. This is a portfolio page where I post portfolios of my personal photography. I look forward to making your acquaintance and participating in the Student Blogging Challenge!

Olivia, expression through the lens (and words)…


MyPhotography, Writing

Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

lemon smile
you bear a
disposition of
ignorance of

your vibrant arms
enclose me
an embrace of
melting the frost
layered upon
me in
a cold world

without you
ablaze with ethical
what would this world be?

frozen, numbed
no sun to thaw
the envy
the imperfection
of Earth

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Must Be Love

MyPhotography, Poems, Writing

Photo Credit (x3): Olivia Cejnar (me!)




a swelling of
the heart
every inhalation brings
sweating of
my palms
of scalding fires
when I see
your piercing eyes
infusing my world
the sweet fragrance
crisp taste
of something
and new
this must be love

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Passion Project Wk 8

MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, School

Dear Bloggers / Photographers,

This week, I am required to write a reflection of my progress and overall completion of the passion project. My organisation, struggles and achievements – how did I progress through my project? Were my organisation skills enhanced? Did my struggles over power my weaknesses?

As an overall reflection, I am immensely proud of what I have produced and learnt, certain that photography will remain a significant aspect of my life. I have, from this passion project, learnt and collected a valuable set of skills that I will certainly be implementing in my future photography. I will also be posting more about my adventures with photography following the close of the project itself.

One of the most valuable and important things that I told myself as this project was introduced and we were told to prepare was that I must at least choose something that I am genuinely passionate and engaged in. Despite the trials, difficulties and stress that I faced as I progressed through the project, I genuinely enjoyed my chosen project.

I discovered that I had an immense passion and interest in photography – and wished to learn and discover more about “professional photography” after experimenting with the 8 megapixel small digital family camera and my parent’s phone cameras. After given the DSLR camera by my amazing Dad, I was instantly engaged in my project. A true passion is what I wanted, and it is certainly a successful outcome!

How was your time management?

I have always been poorly and managing my time. From last year to this year, I believe I have improved slightly with my management, however, in order to remain successful in senior school and not “burn out”, I will need to step up my game and learn to manage my time better. This project in particular was designed to improve and “test” time management skills as the project was spread out into a whole term.

One of the significant things of which I learnt during the project and in school generally this term, is that I work extraordinarily well under extreme pressure. For example, in many cases, I have left important assignments and projects to the last minute, perhaps even the day before, and have managed to complete them thoroughly in a time frame of, well, very little time!

What were some challenges you faced?

Time management was certainly one of my challenges. Leaving things to the last minute occurred often during my passion project, which in some cases I am disappointed with myself, but in other ways, I don’t really mind, as I know I have always produced well completed results mainly on time!

This was the case with many of my posts and in particular, my photobook. I had, in fact, left the presentation (book) to the VERY last minute, in fact, the Thursday before presenting! A few weeks before, I had begun a photo book that included ALL my pictures, but slowly became IMMENSELY expensive as I added pages and pages. The photos in it were also abundant in number and most not my best quality photographs.

How did you overcome these challenges?

So, on the Wednesday a week before the presentation, I went through my 3000 photos and picked the best 500. Quite a tedious task! The following day, I spent the ENTIRE period of time between arriving home from school, to going to bed (at 11pm, might I say!) starting, and finishing my book!

I was extraordinarily proud of myself for completing something that would normally have taken me, and anyone else a few thorough weeks to complete well. This is one of the instances where I learnt that I work well under pressure! Of course, if I had done it over a few weeks, I would have probably completed an even better book, but the current result is still pleasing.

Did you achieve the task you set out to complete?

Yes, fortunately, I did complete and achieve the task I set out to complete! This is a quote from my second week of the passion project, describing what I was aiming to achieve by the end of the project.

I need to learn these skills…

  • how to photograph using an SLR camera (no experience)
  • aperture, ISO, shutter speed, depth of field
  • angled shots
  • edit photos
  • sharpen images and use RAW
  • enhance photos and colour

I will know I have completed my task when…

  • I am able to easily enhance my photos using photo editing
  • Be able to explain clearly what each feature is
  • Be able to incorporate into my photography and explain what I have done
  • Produce quality images with descriptive, thoughtful poetry

After progressing and developing understanding and implementation of these skills, I have discovered (after learning what in fact they are!) that some are not for me. Such include editing photos and using RAW. I have not completed or achieved these skills, as editing photos properly costs money (using programs such as Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop) and using online editing websites such as PicMonkey are not great quality for a professional outcome.

However, yes I did manage to achieve the rest of these skills in great detail, in fact, I went beyond these as a result of my obsession with photography. So, I learnt much more about the types and in camera effects. I also explored it with more detail than I initially anticipated.


Were your goals realistic? Of what are you most proud? 

I do believe my goals were realistic, however, I did not manage / want to engage in photo editing for reasons I have stated above. The rest were very realistic with passion and determination that were involved! I am overall, extremely proud of what I have achieved, and believe it is an extremely worthwhile project if a genuine passion is chosen.

Otherwise, the project is not enjoyable and the difficulties become exceptionally more difficult than for those who have chosen true passions. I am overjoyed that I have discovered this passion | hobby of photography. I am also proud that I produced a beautiful photo book that I will treasure forever! My development of poetry is also a valuable skill for me.

I hope you have enjoyed following my progress!

Olivia, writing (and photography) on a whim…

Passion Project Wk 7

MyPhotography, Passion Project

Dear Bloggers / Photographers,

So, this is our last week completing our passion projects! Hasn’t it shot by swiftly… Over the course, I have learnt and gained an immense toolbox of skills – from never even holding a DSLR camera to mastering and learning the many techniques.

Though how will I present the project? I have created a photo book with Snapfish. Snapfish is an abundant site that works with photos and presenting beautiful accessories for different occasions. The service caters for many specialising in stationary, books and more!

– calendars

– stationary

– photobooks

– more!

To display and showcase some of my best and most interesting photographs, I have created a photo book with Snapfish to share on the day of presentation, which will be Thursday, 18 June.

The camera I used will also be on display along with its case. I will also be bringing an antique Brownie camera to ‘contrast’ the two. The photo book will be resting on a stand, which is supposedly designed to hold a cookbook whilst cooking.

In case of an emergency, where the photo book doesn’t arrive on time, I will be using my laptop and presenting the preview of the photo book online.

Hopefully, everything goes to plan! I will be posting some pictures of the final printed copy of the book once it arrives!

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Burst Zoom Photography

MyPhotography, Photo Editing

Dear Bloggers / Photographers,

Another technique that I have been learning about this week has been burst zoom photography. This type of photography is simple in that it can be used with any DSLR camera. The result creates a colourful, blurred effect for the photo that brings attention directly to the subject and enhances colour.

How it works is that the shutter speed must be set to a slow setting, so the aperture must be raised to avoid overexposed shots. While the photo is being taken, the photographer can zoom out – in or in – out towards the subject. To create a whirly effect, the photographer can also turn the camera with the right hand while the zoom is zoomed simultaneously.

These are a few of the examples that I took:

What do you think?

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

High Speed Photography

MyPhotography, Passion Project

Dear Bloggers / Photographers,

This week, I have been browsing the internet searching for different photography techniques and skills. There are the simple ones, such as ISO, aperture and exposure. And then there are the interesting, experimental techniques, such as infrared photography (specially manufactured camera/lens),  burst zoom photography (more in next post), HDR (underexposed, perfect and overexposed photos of same scene merged – not my thing), perspective (see previous posts), diffraction and starbursts (sort of done).

Slow shutter speed (when I get a tripod!), camera toss (I’d LOVE to try it! maybe soon…), smoke art photography (I’ll try to learn it!), light painting (tried with the moon in earlier post), time-lapse (interesting…) and high speed photography (which I have experimented with in this post!

It worked alright, however I will need to try again once I have a tripod, also, for my birthday, I will be receiving a photography kit that takes the photo when something happens, such as sound trigger, light trigger and more! This will work better as the timing will be more accurate. In the photos below, have a look at the splashes of water and the captures of the lemon falling to certain submersion!


The lemon, cut!




The lemon, before the inevitable fate of being chopped up and used in a photography experiment. Some examples of bokeh photography as well – light in the background has been blurred, creating bokeh! I took a few shots in different angles of the lemon to create different effects with the bokeh.












Just skimmed the surface of the water…


Full submersion! A thin wall of water barricading the lemon!


Floating… rejuvenation!


Droplets of water on the lens, as well as ripples from the splash!


Cascading… towards the bowl.


The imminent fall of a water droplet.


Peaceful bowl.


My hand about to release…


More floating – has the lemon’s flesh tanned?


SPLASH! Not quite a bellyflop, perfect capture of submersion.


A zoomed out shot of lemon’s submersion, water droplets sprinkle the air.




The droplet… almost falling!


Both halves collapsed from the fall…


Whoops, autofocus focused on my thumb, not the lemons!




I’m not really sure what autofocus was doing…


This time it was on the bowl… next time!


Bokeh water, because… yet again, the focus was wrong…


Again, on the bowl… the lemon falling!




Collision / submersion.






Nearly there!




FOCUS!!!! I’m so angry with it! But it did create lovely bokeh!


That’s better, I love this shot!


Another pretty good one…


A fleeting moment captured.



I switched to a cup to create a more dynamic / prominent effect from the splash of water.


The two experimental resources!




The black bowl again…


The reason I switched from the white bowl to a black one is because the black contrasts against the water, whereas the splash of water is harder to see and less prominent against a white bowl.


A web of water…


An overexposed shot, however, the splash of water is pleasing!


I tried capturing a few shots of a tennis ball thrown into the pool! It creates a lovely rippled effect!


This one is particularly interesting, the submersion of the ball made a tower of water and some beautiful ripples…

So, those photos were my experiments with high-speed photography. The trick is to set the shutter speed to the fastest the camera can go! My camera goes up to 1/4000, which is the setting I used!

What do you think?

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Passion Project Wk 6

MyPhotography, Passion Project

Dear Bloggers,

As a result of a dramatic (though beneficial) fluctuation of weather patterns, I have been able to venture out of the warmth of my house and do some photography as I walked my dog.

Currently, my personal opinion is that our street is one of the most sumptuous halls of autumn shades! Crisp orange leaves line the pavement in neatly stacked piles and threadbare trees droop over the ebony bitumen, wary of the approaching winter. So… I have been taking many autumn / winter photos to share.

I will also be spending the last week of the ‘doing’ stage of the passion project learning and absorbing as much as I possibly can!

As you can see with most of these photos, the exposure has been perfected. Even though I have learnt the functions of ISO, I have chosen not to adjust that particular setting in the area I was photographing, as the light was sufficient. From the skill of exposure that I have learnt, I have implemented it in order to create perfect photographs.

One thing I really need to work on is how recklessly I photograph. From what I learned about perspective recently, I have been snapping multiple photographs of each subject in different angles, consuming much space on the CF card!

In this photoshoot, I also executed the skills I learnt in my ‘focus’ post and how I can focus and use aperture and depth of field in order to enhance the focus and blurred effect of the background and of the subject itself. In many of the above photos, the focus and emphasis has been placed solely on the subject, the depth of field very shallow. However, in other photos, the setting, background, foreground and subject have been carefully taken into account and the aperture / depth of field set to the appropriate setting.

In the next Wk 6 post, I will be posting on my monochrome photographs, and my experiments and education on how I can enhance the effects of my monochrome photography. As well as this, I will be posting my poems in mass. Don’t forget to read my Wk 5 post to check out what I will be doing about the poetry!

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Crimson Canopies

MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, Writing

Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)


deep, chestnut skin
cracked, dehydrated
crimson canopies
catching alight as they
brush the sun

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…


Art, Create, Homework, MyPhotography, Passion Project, School, Writing

Dear Bloggers,

As in the last post, I learnt about perspective. So, what is perspective and how can I use it to enhance my photos?


Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

Perspective Definition

Perspective can mean, in photography – from a personal view or a two dimensional illustration drawn to give the perspective of a 3D object.

What is perspective in photography?

Earth is 3 dimensional, but a photograph is 2 dimensional. When a 3D object is photographed, it is really a 2D depiction of a 3D object. Putting perspective into action in photographs can make an image much more interesting.

Perspective refers to the relationships between objects in a photograph, the distance, size and space etc. When the perspective is changed, it can, for the mind, change the shape, size and, overall the perspective of the scene.

Linear Perspective

The farther an object is from the viewer, the smaller it appears, also, when parallel lines meet at a distance this is called linear perspective. This is how the human brain judges distance. Linear perspective is affected by the distance from camera to the subject and the focal length of the lens.

Rectilinear Perspective

All lenses apart from some like fisheye lenses are rectilinear. This means they shoot the lines as they are (straight lines). A fish eye lens, however, produces a rounded perspective. For example, as shown:

Parallel lines in a photo gives the perspective that they will eventually meet at a far distance, this is called vanishing point. This is another example of perspective.

Height Perspective

When photographing a landscape scene where the foreground gradually rises toward the horizon, the viewer‘s mind reaches the conclusion that the higher up the base of an object is in the ground, the greater its height perspective. I have experimented with this whilst photographing trees.


Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

Overlap Perspective 

When photographing a scene with different objects overlapping, the objects that are nearer to the camera overlap or obstruct the objects that are farther away. THis is obvious when viewing the photo. This partial obstruction or overlapping of various elements gives the viewer a sense of depth and perspective of the distance between objects in reality.


Dwindling Size Perspective

In our mind we are aware of the sizes of most objects we are familiar with. Such as people, animals, trees etc. When photographing, this can be used. For example, in a scene with two people, if one appears twice the size of the other, the automatic expectation is for the viewer to think the bigger person was closer to the camera.

When shooting a landscape with a person or any known subject in it, the viewer will be able to guess the distance and the scale. The photographer can then establish a scale the viewer could use to compare the real size of various objects in the photograph.


Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

Other simpler perspectives include bird’s eye view, side view, keystoned (from below). These are the perspectives I have used in my previous post’s photographs.

There are a few more, however, I won’t get into that today. After learning about this, I will try taking a few photos in more industrial areas!

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…


Passion Project – Wk 4

Homework, MyPhotography, Passion Project, School

Dear Bloggers,

This week I have been experimenting with photographing the flowers my Mum received for Mother’s Day. Using my camera, I was experimenting more with ISO, aperture, exposure times, shutter speed and exposure brightness.

As you can see in the first few photos, I have adjusted the exposure and the aperture to change the effect of the colour saturation and tone. In the first photo, the exposure and aperture was set perfectly to have maximum brightness and good tone.

The second and fourth photos, however, were under exposed and came out too dark. The third photo came out quite yellow, neither under or overexposed, however I was not satisfied with the tone. This is why the first photo is the best.

I was also playing with the exposure brightness. The higher the exposure brightness, the brighter and more exposed this image will look. I changed it to 3 settings below the average to make the photos look less exposed.

Another aspect that I was focusing on this week was, in fact, lens focus (get it?). By turning the lens focus, the image can be more distinct and clearer in certain areas. For example, if I turned the wheel towards the right, subjects closer to the lens would be in focus. If the wheel was turned to the left, objects and landscapes further away from the lens would have been in focus. I often changed the setting to ‘Manual’ for the lens focus, so I could manually choose which object I wanted in focus.

For example, in a few of the photos above of the roses and the ferns, I have alternated between focusing on the rose and focusing on the fern by manually changing the focus. By changing the focus, it also changes what appears clearer in the background and the depth of field.This also sometimes gives a lovely, interesting effect because, if the frontal subjects are blurred and the focus is sorely on an object in the near distance, it can have an interesting effect, such as some of the photos above do.


Lastly, I have been looking at perspective (get it?). The angle of the lens and the shot can give different perspectives. For example, in some photographs, I have angled the shot to be bird’s eye view. This gives the perspective of the bird, or of the viewer looking above the subject. I have also incorporated side view, which is one of my favourite angles in photography. The side view I find interesting because the subject is stark and focused from the side with a plain, blurred background that contrasts against the subject.

The perspective of the image can also make the photo look like an illusion. For example, if a person stands near a large building and the photo is shot closer to the person with the building in the background, the person can appear nearly as large as the building, which comes out like an illusion. Same goes for inanimate objects. If a bed of flowers is shot closer to the lens with a larger image in the background, it can appear larger than it truly would be in reality.

Geometric shapes shot at a particular perspective can also make the shapes look like an illusion. See more on this subject here: Perspective

So that’s what I have been doing this week! In the following post, I will be posting my poem and more information of this week’s investigations.

Olivia writing (and photographing) on a whim…



Dear Bloggers,

This was taken with my Dad’s Samsung Galaxy S4. Very good quality, 13MB but great all the same. I did not have an SLR then, now, instead of playing around with his phone camera, I have an SLR that I can play around with. Still, never underestimate the abilities of a phone! Especially Samsung! Keep scrolling for the poem!


Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

in lilac flower
are the faeries
an agapanthus bloom

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Enveloped.”


MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, Weekly Photo Challenge, Writing

Dear Bloggers,

I have recently discovered the ‘The Daily Post’ for photography. This fits beautifully with my Passion Project of photography and poetry (Poetography). This week’s challenge was ‘Forces of Nature’.

I have chosen the beauty of small things. I have picked a selection of photographs that I have taken with my new Canon EOS 400D Digital that my Dad brought home from work. I took these photos around my house and down the local area.

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.
– Aaron Siskind

So true. With this new camera, I have been able to acheive some great things, in my opinion. What do you think? I’ll pop a poem I will write down the bottom, so keep scrolling!












In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.”

real beauty
genuine elegance
only appears in nature
innocence is beauty
peace is beauty
soft hues are beauty
the forces of nature
not always powerful
but dainty
small large
powerful powerless
this is
real beauty

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

All photographs copyright. Subject to Olivia Cejnar, 2015

Forces of Nature

Passion Project, Poems, Writing

Monotone Canvas

MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, Writing

Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

monotone canvas
hostile obsidian
raven feathers
enclosing, protecting
wet acrylic
pure, rich black
one inconsistency
a dirty yellow moon
unfulfilled, floating
an accident
on a monotone canvas

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Dainty Daisies

MyPhotography, Passion Project

Dear Bloggers,

As you may or may not know, I received a new camera on the weekend! I have been avidly photographing anything and everything my camera lens will lay its focus on. In this post I will be showing you some photos of the purple daisies that consume our garden with their violet glow. With the new features and abilities of the SLR, I have been able to include depth-of-field in my photos, which is basically how blurred the background is or how much focus is on the subject.

I have also been taking the photos at different angles to create different effects. I think the most effective part of these photos is the depth of field. It allows more focus on the subject and gives a much more professional and generally better effect. I changed the aperture to make some images brighter and some darker as you can see below. I also set the focus to manual and adjusted it to suit each setting.

This is one example of a few of the photos I took with my small digital camera. They are beautiful, perhaps my best photos, but aren’t really the same as the depth-of-field or the blurred background are very automatic, taking away from the experience. The camera does do a great job, however!


I think these photos are clearer and more ‘macro’ because the digital camera is nearly entirely automatic, so it adjusts it perfectly, at least better than I (just learning) can manually achieve. My camera’s issue is also that, since the lens is a 24 – 105mm lens, it’s purpose is not for macro shots and so does not allow the camera to be too close to the subject without the focus becoming blurry because of the closeness.


However, both cameras and photos have beautiful effects and are able to achieve much in their photographs.

What do you think of them? Which camera’s photos do you like? Digital or manual?

Let me know in the comments!

Olivia, writing(and photographing) on a whim…

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…

Canon Fired

Homework, MyPhotography, Passion Project, School

Dear Bloggers,

So this Friday evening, I was fortunate enough to be given a DSLR camera by my Dad! After weeks of wishing, dreaming, hoping for the fulfilling experience of using a manual camera. To listen intently to the ‘flickering heartbeat’ as the shutter snaps another memory. I have been dreaming of that beautifully blurred background and the stark, focused image of the subject.

Finally, at last! I now have a Canon EOS 400D Digital DSLR! Some of the features of this DSLR include:

  • 10.1 megapixels
  • Nine-point auto-focus
  • Continuous shooting burst (up to 27 shots JPEG / 10 shots RAW)
  • 2.5″ LCD monitor
  • 3 settings for long exposure noise reduction
  • Picture styles
  • Built in flash
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • From 1/4000 to 30 sec and bulb shutter speed
  • ISO 100 – 1600
  • Full aperture
  •  Exposure modes – program, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, auto depth-of-field, full auto, programmed modes, manual, autoflash
  • 510g body only
  • CF Card
  • Custom white balance
  • 12 picture modes
  • Good quality images

The lens I am using is a 24-105mm zoom lens. Over the past few days, I have been experimenting with the new features this camera offers. Since this is my first experience with a manual camera, I have been learning and reading about how to extract and gain all I can from it.

In the following post, I will be beginning to explain what I have learned about how to use a manual camera and what I have done to gain the most from each feature.

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Passion Project – Wk 2

Homework, MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, School

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Week 2 of my Passion Project! This week, we are required to write about the preparation of our term-long project, the skills, resources and materials that will be needed in order to complete a thorough and well planned project.

In case you missed my Week 1 Post, here’s a recap of what I will be doing for my project.

“I wanted to incorporate my passion for writing and poetry with photography. As you can see if you click on the ‘MyPhotography’ / ‘Photo Editing’ categories, I have been taking macro shots with the digital camera and uploading it to my blog. As an addition to this, I have found wonderful inspiration and have discovered poetry photography, or photography which is written about and described using free verse photography. A few of the blogs that have acted as an inspiration to me include: The Ancient Eavesdropper Raindrops, Passion Through Poetry, Nina Joan, The Darkroom Nerd and more… See my blogroll for more.

Long story short, I have decided to do poetry and photography as my passion project. The learning aspect of this is that I will learn how to use an SLR camera and demonstrate these skills by taking photos and experimenting with aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I will then be writing free-verse poetry about these photos and posting it on my blog. For the presentation of the project, these posts will be put in a portfolio and made into a book.”

I have decided to call my project Poetography, as it will incorporate learning how to use an SLR camera and poetry to broaden my perspective of the world and my appreciation of it. Though in order for me to complete this project, I will need to prepare a number of materials, skills and resources. This will be an exciting project to carry out as I have had no experience, in fact, I have never even handled an SLR / DSLR camera of any kind.


I need to learn these skills…

  • how to photograph using an SLR camera (no experience)
  • aperture, ISO, shutter speed, depth of field
  • angled shots
  • edit photos
  • sharpen images and use RAW
  • enhance photos and colour

I need these resources / materials…

  • a camera – SLR
  • computer to edit and write poems
  • information sources – to learn about photography
  • photography/poetry blogs to read and be inspired

I will know I have completed my task when…

  • I am able to easily enhance my photos using photo editing
  • Be able to explain clearly what each feature is
  • Be able to incorporate into my photography and explain what I have done
  • Produce quality images with descriptive, thoughtful poetry

An example of one of the Poetograph posts I have done are as follow:

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Into The Depths

Holidays, MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, Writing

Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

an infinite mass
of deep blue
occult and mystery
ever resonant flavours
in an unfathomable abyss
gradually melting
into the depths
of the earth

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…

Ivory Saffron

Create, MyPhotography, Passion Project, Poems, Writing

Photo Credit: Olivia Cejnar (me!)

ivory saffron
melts into lilac blush
fragile fingers, blemished
reach towards a luscious nectar
effervescent champagne tears
dapple wounded petals
verdant greens contrast

Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…