Oh, Shoot!|Long Exposures of Cars

Today’s post is going to be the 3rd installment of my ‘Oh, Shoot!’ series. In this series I share small tips for shooting or editing photos that I use myself. Of course, photography is subjective, so an aspect in my images that I really like may not be something you like, or it is not what you’re aiming for in a particular shot.

For this post, I will be talking about taking long exposures of cars. It is super simple and you can get some interesting images.



To take a long exposure, you need a camera whose settings can be adjusted manually and a tripod. I use a typical tripod, but you can use a stack of books if that’s what you have — you might just have to do the photos through the window if you use something like a stack of books.



For settings, you want to have a long shutter speed so you can capture the car for a long time; I put mine at about 6-8 seconds long. To compensate for this, you want to have the rest of your settings set as if it were brighter outside. My ISO was set in the 100-200 range and my aperture was around 13. I played around with the settings of course, so my photos all look a little different. One key thing is to have it very dark outside! When I did this for the first time, it was pitch black, but some of my photos looked like it was 3 in the afternoon.



For setup, I had my camera set up so it was looking down the road a bit; this allowed the car to be in the frame for a longer. I also had my camera in a place where I could see the main road and a side road. That way I got some photos with cars going straight, and some where they are turning. Play around with perspective and angles!



I think it would be really cool to crop images like these as a skinny horizontal rectangle to highlight the lines created by the light of the cars. I chose not to for these photos because I liked the colors in the sky; but I think I may try it in the future!

Like I mentioned before, photography is completely subjective, but here are some of the photos I really like from when I shot long exposures of cars:



Oh, Shoot!|Pan Photography

Welcome to the second installment of ‘Oh, Shoot!’ Last time, I gave some tips on taking photos of the moon, but today I am going to talk about pan photography. Before I jump in, I want to apologize for not posting last week! I had a last minute school event and I had no time to write a post. If you want to know anything about the equipment I use, check out the last ‘Oh, Shoot!’

Settings: Your shutter speed should be at least 1/2 of a second or longer. Then you have to adjust the rest of your settings depending where you’re shooting. Remember that because with pan photography, the background will be intentionally blurred, so your aperture won’t matter.

Grip: Keep your elbows together and close to your chest so the subject is as clear as possible. I haven’t tried this yet, but if you have a tripod, go ahead and use that!

To take a pan photo, have your subject move through the frame, and follow them with your camera. For example, in the photos below, the runners were running past me. I followed them with my camera and rotated my body. Comment if anything is unclear!

And don’t forget to keep practicing. Especially with pan photos, it’s all about practicing and refining your technique.



As you can see I still need to work on my pan a bit, but it’s getting there!

Double Exposure Tutorial

I loved making last week’s post, so here is another tutorial I made using PhotoShop Elements 13! Sorry about all the clicks in the background, I recorded the audio different this time, let me know in the comments which you prefer. I like the style of last weeks. Also please note any settings I did not mention in the voice over, such as brush size when you do this tutorial. Just look at my screen for the settings!

Profile Patterns Tutorial

I have been playing with PhotoShop Elements a bit recently since I downloaded the trial, and I have been really liking it. I used some tutorials I found on YouTube, which I mentioned in my last favorites. I learned a lot about tools in Photoshop I never knew before, such as the quick selection tool and layer masks. I used both of these tool in the tutorial below! This was my first time making a video with voice over so let me know if there something is glitchy.  Hope you enjoy! (If you want to see more images I make on photoshop, follow the NITASA instagram! Link is in the side menu)

How I Store and Process My Photos!

This past year I have become increasingly more interested in photography, using my DSLR, iPhone and for a brief time the film cameras from my school. When it comes to digital photography, I typically don’t print my images, but keep them saved online. Some of the images I work on are made mostly in photoshop and others I sometimes touch up in photoshop or an editing app. In this post I’ll tell you about what apps, websites and software I use for storing and editing my photos.

To import photos from either my phone or camera I use Nikon Transfer 2. This software, along with the viewing software (ViewNX 2) came with my camera. They are very simple to use and ViewNX 2 also shows my the settings used for each image, which is very helpful for me as I am still learning about which settings I should use when for my photos.

Once I have imported and selected the photos that I wish to keep, I drag the folder that contains the photos from ViewNX 2 to my desktop. From there I upload them to my Shutterfly account. This allows my to keep my computer clutter free and minimize the amount of iCloud storage my photos take up. Recently I have learned that I cannot put the files from Shutterfly back onto my computer if I want to, which I am quite disappointed about. Hopefully they will fix this issue or I will find a way to get the files back. In the meantime I am still using Shutterfly, but storing duplicates onto a flash drive.

If I choose to edit a photo, or am creating one in photoshop, I use Pixlr. Pixlr is a free online photoshop that comes in different ‘levels’. ‘Editor’ is the most similar to Adobe photoshop and the one I use most often. The other ‘level’ I use occasionally is actually an app for my phone which I use to edit Instagram photos or any photo taken on my phone. Another app I use often is VSCO, which has great filters and other editing techniques. The link to my VSCO is in the menu on the right!

I’ve tried other viewing and editing softwares, but the ones above are the ones that best suite my personal needs. I’m still looking for a website that is good for sharing photos, so let me know if you know a good one! Thanks for reading and have a great week! 🙂

Analog Dark Room|My Experience

For the past few months I have been working in an analog dark room at my school. We used Holga cameras, which are very basic film cameras, to shoot with. We then developed the negatives and turned them in to final images. I worked with a partner for the developing and shooting process. I had this class for 80 minutes each week and I always looked forward to it.

While we took our photos, we had to keep in mind some elements that make an interesting photo. We talked about the rule of thirds, leading lines and filling the frame as well as other techniques. The roll of film we used had enough room for 12 images on it, which meant that we had to think very carefully about each photo we took, unlike digital photography where you can take as many photos as you want and then pick which ones you like best. This was an aspect I think really helped me grow as a photographer. It made me think about what I was doing.

We then developed the negatives. This was my least favorite part, because it was essentially shaking and resting the ‘buckets’ with the negatives for almost 30 minutes. We used different chemicals to help develop the negatives and when we finished we hung them to dry. After they dried, we cut them into to smaller rows and put them into a contact sheet. The contact sheet is similar to a sheet protecter.

This is the point where we went into the dark room. The first thing we did was do a test strip of the contact sheet. We used a small strip of photo paper that had the contact sheet directly on top and used a cardboard piece to cover most of the strip. We then exposed the part of the paper that wasn’t exposed for 2 seconds. Then we slid the cardboard back a little bit and exposed it again. This way we saw how the negatives came out with different exposure times. After we developed the photo paper by putting it in a series of chemical baths, we decided on the correct time. Then we did a full sheet. There are other things we did during this process, but since this is just an overview I will only go into the basics. Once we saw all of the images, we decided which ones were worth developing. We then put the negative we wanted into the enlarger. We did a test strip and then a whole sheet. Often times we had to redo test strips or entire pages because different parts of the image have different amounts of light. It is a lot of trial and error.

I really enjoyed taking this class and I recommend you take one if you have the opportunity. It helped me understand how to take better photos on my digital camera. I only wish it was a longer class!

Here one of my contact sheets, I wasn’t able to get photos of most my images as they were still drying or I simply couldn’t find them! They are in a few different places at the moment. And I apologize for the quality, I had this photo of the contact sheet with with my phone. (NOTE: I only took the top 6 images)

Contact Sheet

Oh, Shoot! | Moon

Welcome to ‘Oh, Shoot!’ (thank you to my friend, Marie for coming up with this title). In this series, I am going to give quick and easy tips or tutorials for shooting photos, as well as editing. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am going to do something a little different they my past DIYS. I am going to give you a few tips on how to take photos of the moon. Full disclosure, I am by no means a professional photographer, I am simply telling you what I have learned from my (not very extensive) experience.

First, a little bit about the equipment I use. I recently got a Nikon D3200 with the kit lens (NIKKOR 18-55mm) and a NIKKOR 55-300 mm lens. I also have an iPhone 5 which I will sometimes use. When I take an image of the moon, I always use my 55-300mm lens because it zooms really far (which is quite helpful when taking photos of the moon).

As far as settings go, I originally started using my highest ISO but soon learned that was not going to give me a good image. Even though it will most likely be night time outside, the moon is actually quite bright. So change your ISO to a lower one (100 to 300). For aperture and shutter speed, it really depends on the night. Just play around with it and have fun!

I have not tried taking a photo of the moon with a tripod yet (though I think it would be helpful) so I make sure to keep my arms close to my chest for a more steady shot. Do your best to be as still as possible so that way you see all of the detail on the surface of the moon.

Just remember, photography is not an exact science so just play around with your settings. I was not able to locate many of my moon images, but here are a few!

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Moon copy