Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Photography Assignment #5: Still Life

Teachers Instructions:
"A still life is generally an interior scene of inanimate objects, often of a manipulated or constructed set of elements. Find a “non-action” situation that appeals to you visually. Make a photograph of this. Think about the composition of the image, and the edges of the frame. What information do you want to include and to exclude from the frame, and why."

Coffin of King Tutankhamun

This photograph is the Coffin of King Tutankhamun at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. The museum has strict rules of no flash photography and you can not use a tripod. What I wanted to accomplish while photographing the Coffin of King Tutankhamun was to have him centered on a completely blacked out background. The reason for the blacked out background is because I did not want any of the exhibits, lighting or people that step into the background of the picture to be a distraction from the subject I was photographing. For the most part I accomplished what I pictured in my head before photographing the coffin but had to make a few minor adjustments in Nikon's Capture NX Software. There was two spots in the background showing through but the rest was black so I adjusted the lighting in those areas to complete the black background I was looking for.

I photographed the picture with my Nikon D70s with no Flash. I shot the photograph in Manual Mode and in RAW format. The exposure was shot at 0.077 sec (1/13). The aperture was f/4.5 and the focal length was 46 mm.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Journey to the Past Series Part 3: The Bobcat and the Rattlesnake

A few years back I was hiking in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve with my camera and I came a cross a bobcat which I have actually seen him a few times on my hikes in about the same area each time. I stopped to photograph him out in the field he was laying down in but all of a sudden it looked like he was getting up to charge me. I quickly started backing away from the fence but keeping an eye on him cause I did not want to loose eye contact with him. It turned out just a couple feet in front of me there was a rattlesnake which was in striking distance from me. I did not notice the rattlesnake until right before the Bobcat started attacking it. The rattlesnake never did its warning rattle sound when I was standing in front of it. Thank goodness the bobcat saw it and started going after it cause that could of been a bad situation for me to have been in. I call the bobcat my little guardian angel. It was an interesting experience to see the bobcat and the snake fight it out with each other but another hiker came around and started yelling at the bobcat and the bobcat ran off before the fight was even over.

Here are a few of my photos I took of the bobcat not all taken on the same day and then a picture of the rattlesnake.

Approaching the rattlesnake

About to attack the rattlesnake

After I have backed away and the bobcat has gotten close enough to the rattlesnake it got into striking position

Taken about a week later after it attacked the rattlesnake

Taken about a week later after it attacked the rattlesnake

Adam and Eve

One of my favorite past times is to go hiking and one of the places my husband and I go hiking at is up in the hills at Villa Montalvo.

Villa Montalvo is a historical landmark built in 1912 by James Duval Phelan.

James Duval Phelan was a three time Mayor of San Francisco, California and he was California's first popularly elected U.S. Senator.

James Duval Phelan would invite writers and artist to the estate so they could be inspired by their surroundings.

Some of the many guest that would attend the estate on a regular basis was Jack London, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Douglass Fairbanks, and Edwin Markham.

The view from on top of the hills when you go hiking is very beautiful but also Villa Montalvo has several interesting statues in its gardens that I really enjoy seeing when I visit the estate. My favorite sculpture is of Adam and Eve. Here are a few pictures of the Adam and Eve Sculpture at Villa Montalvo.

What you can not see in this picture is the serpent holding an apple behind them but you can see his tail at the bottom left of the picture near Eve's foot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photography Assignment #4 - Lighting

Teachers instructions for this Assignment:
"Find a lighting situation other than “daylight”. Make a photograph in this situation using one of the “White Balance Control” choices in your camera. Please do not use "Auto"!"

My choice of subject for this assignment I decided to photograph my Pet Rock. Actually the rock is painted as a Tiger done by someone who used to work with my mother. I collect tigers and my mom bought it for me since my moms co-worker sells her rock artwork. The woman that painted the rock can actually see the animals in the rock before she decides what she wants to paint on the rock. Once she sees the animal in that rock then she will paint the animal on it.

I used my Nikon D70s for this assignment since for some reason my Nikon D300 was not working properly. The Flash I used was my Nikon SB 600 Speedlight. I shot the photo in Manual setting and used the Flash White Balancing Control Setting. My aperture was f/5.6 and the focal length was 70mm.

DSC_8036 Pet Rock Tiger - FB

Monday, October 18, 2010

Journey to the Past Series Part 2: Western Lowland Gorillas

Throughout the years I have gotten to know an interesting Gorilla Troop at the San Francisco Zoo and the Gorillas have gotten to know me also. There are actually two gorillas I have gotten to know the most which is Oscar Jonesy the Gorilla Troops Silverback and his half sister Zura. When I visit with the gorillas I sit there for several hours just watching them and studying their behaviors when I am taking their photographs. Oscar Jonesy and Zura love to sit right in front of me when I am visiting with them. When Oscar is right in front of me he will watch me and people are surprised by the attention he is giving to me and the camera. Zura is actually my favorite she will come up and make faces and will stick her tongue out at the camera. She also does the sign language symbol for love. Zura also laughs a lot while having fun for the camera. Zura also knows a bad symbol that she has picked up from the crowd which is if she does not like you she will flick you off. I've never had her do that to me but other photographer friends have told me she has done it to them. There has been several cases that I have actually been able to calm Zura down when she is upset. She gets upset a lot when a new Docent comes up to the exhibit and they don't realize that her and Oscar Jonesy do not like the uniform that the Docent is wearing. Zura and Oscar Jonesy get really upset about this uniform for some reason not sure why. When Zura sees me she actually starts to calm down and when I realize it is the Docent setting her off I have to ask the Docent to take off the jacket or just step back from the exhibit. Docents who have been volunteering at the zoo for a long time know that the jacket comes off if you approach the Gorilla Exhibit.

Here are some of my favorite photos I have taken of the San Francisco Zoo Gorilla Troop:

Oscar Jonesy Smiling - I spoke his name and he turned around and smiled at me

Zura - She looks like she is thinking

Oscar Jonesy - He looks Buff

Bawang the Matriarch

Nneka Bawang's daughter up in a Gorilla nest

Monifa - this photo was used across the United States in the News when Monifa refused to take care of her new born baby boy Hasani

Hasani the youngest of the Gorilla Troop

Black and White Portrait of Oscar Jonesy

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Journey to the Past Series Part 1: African Lions

With this series I plan on featuring some of my favorite photos I have taken over the years before starting this blog and starting my photography class.

The first of this series I am just featuring my favorite African Lion photos I have taken since my first photo that I took that got me into photography was of African Lions back in September 2005.

All pictures taken at the San Francisco Zoo:

Jahari and Kimani (Siblings) September 2005 the photo that got me into photography:

Jahari holding Red Bowl - my all time favorite photograph I have taken

Jahari with his mate Amanzi

Tunya father of Jahari and Kimani enjoy birthday treats for his kids

Kimani - This photo is actually used as one of the rotating pictures the San Francisco Zoo uses on their website homepage. You have to refresh the page several times sometimes for the photo to eventually appear.

Amanzi drinking water

Jahari enjoying Halloween Treats

Tunya - The San Francisco Zoo also uses this photo for the info on African Lions

Frogs Remind Me Of My Niece

On my recent trip to the Oakland Zoo I went into the Reptile & Amphibian House which has snakes, turtles, lizards and frogs. Every time I see frogs they remind me of my niece Christina because when she was really little she loved frogs. Every time she had a birthday or Christmas would roll around everyone would buy her some thing to do with frogs since she really loves them. Now that she is 13 years old she says she has grown out of liking frogs but we know deep down she still loves them since she will still play with frogs and some times even kiss them. There is a bull frog at my parents house that lives in one of the planters next to the pool and he will climb in and out the planter to jump in the pool for a swim. Christina has gone and kissed that frog a few times but we have to tell her to leave the frog alone and it will not turn into a prince if she kisses it.

While at the Oakland Zoo I photographed a few of the frogs and they always bring a smile to my face because of Christina. Here is a few of the pictures I took of the frogs.

Amazon Milk Frog:

Panamanian Golden Frogs: