Is it Procrastination or Just Good Planning ? Dan Busler Photography – Video

I’ve been planning to write this post on procrastination for some time now, but I kept putting it off. But something always caught my attention on my way to write it and I just ended up doing that other thing instead. 

I was born in mid-March, smack dab between the Ides of March and St Patrick’s Day, so I am a Pisces. They (meaning Google) say that I’m a dreamer … (but I’m not the only one),  easily distracted, live in a fantasy land, I’m totally scattered,  and I won’t face reality. Many who know me are nodding “yes” as they read this. My family loves me for who I am .. well, I think that they do anyway. And my fellow  Pisces are agreeing .. “yea, that’s me”.

Does this make us procrastinators?   Well we certainly appear that way. Maybe we’re just good planners … always sitting and thinking ( aka “daydreaming”) .. looking at it from all angles, weighing the options, summing up our findings and preparing to move forward with the best course of action ….

OK, yea, we’re procrastinators.

So this brings me to the Procrastinator Fix … lists .  If I don’t have a list, nothing gets done.  And I don’t mean a “to do list” , that’s for normal people , this has got to be a running list of all the things that I see that need to be done.

Here’s how it works – each morning  you’d write down what you want to get done that  day, number them in order of importance and then you can get out of bed. ( this is the normal part .. like a normal person would do).  Then as the Pisces mind starts to run you see a million other things that you see that have to do right that second.

Well, unless it’s pick up a sock and put it in the hamper, put all these random tasks  you’ve just thought up on the list and start as you had planned on the most important task .. the one that you marked as number one .. before you got out of bed.  Sure you can re-number your tasks to include these new tasks, but don’t just do them as you think of them. … Because you might just be .. Procrastinating. Or attention .. challenged. It’s probably a little of both.

I plan on taking my own advice, one day, if I could only stop putting it off.

Dan Busler is a professional photographer specializing on portrait, performance and event photography and camera basics instructor with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. Examples of his work can be seen at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Dragging Your Flash Can Be Enlighting !

The light from your camera’s flash travels a further than you might think. So why is the background pitch black in some of your photos and nicely lit in other photos that you photograph?

Now before we go any further, I am referring to photographing in an environment where the background is not brightly lit by the sun or room lights, but there is still some sort of lighting (sunset, buildings, table lights) . So think of when you photograph indoors at a church or party or when outside at dusk and you want to have some of the room or background behind your subject lit. 

First let’s look at two things:

  • What controls the light on your subject ?
  • What controls the light behind your subject ?

It is after all the same light from your flash – but it’s two different settings in your camera which controls it.

For those of you who use the automatic setting on your camera you are basically letting the camera make all the decisions for you regarding how the subject and background will be lit.

If you want to better control this there are three main setting that you can make

  • Aperture – this is how much the shutter opens
  • Shutter Speed – this is how long the shutter is open
  • ISO  – this is the speed of the film (although in a digital camera it controls how sensitive the camera’s digital sensor is to light.

A light meter is a device you see the  photographer hold in front of the subject and then test the flash. The meter tells the photographer approximately how to set their camera for a correct exposure.

OK, so let’s say that the meter  says that the light on the subject is perfect at ISO 100, 100/sec (shutter speed) and F8.  You set your camera to those settings and take the shot. The subject looks great, but the background is pitch black.

The technique to allow you to extend how much of the background is lit is called “dragging the shutter”.  It simply means setting the shutter speed to a slower speed (try 50/sec) , allowing the shutter to stay open longer and the camera’s sensor sees more of what is behind your subject.

Aperture controls the light on your subject and shutter speed controls the light seen behind the subject. So we didn’t change the aperture, we changed the shutter speed.

But you don’t have a flash meter !  OK, you’ll have to do a bit of trial and error. Give this  a try. Set the aperture to f8 and 100/sec and take a flash picture. If the subject looks great you now know the correct aperture setting.  If the subject is too bright just change the aperture to a larger number .. like F11 and take another picture.

The next step is to set the shutter speed so that the background is lit the way you want it.  If it’s too dark at 100/sec, go to a smaller number like 50/sec More of the background will be lit because the lens is open longer and it’s “seeing” a bit of the ambient light (filtered sunlight, table lights) . To make the background darker do the opposite and set the shutter speed to 200/sec and like magic the background will be darker.

So let’s start you with lighting the subject and a bit of what’s behind them by dragging the shutter .. OK?  You do that and your photography will be take a huge leap. OH YEA!

Here are some examples of dragging the shutter – in every picture the aperture is F5 – which correctly lit the subject (the sign).

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This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 200/second – the background is almost black ( and and when I shot this there was filtered sunlight on the background)

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This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 100/second – Half the shutter speed of the picture above – The background is a tiny bit brighter , but still too dark

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This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 50/second – This is half the shutter speed of the picture above – but remember, the aperture has remained F5. The background is even brighter

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This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 25/second – the background is very bright, but because of this slow shutter speed it is best to use a tripod.

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. He also offers camera instruction for the new DSLR user. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

Adams Farm – Walpole MA – Dan Busler Photography -Video

Adams Farm is a well known area in my town just south of Boston MA where families, kids and (leashed) dogs can run,  play, hike, cross country ski and explore. It’s full of wide open fields and well laid out paths through beautiful woods.

Here’s an overview from the Adams Farm website:

“The Adams Farm property includes approximately 365 acres of town-owned land, additional acreage held in adjacent land conservation trusts, and land owned by the New England Forestry Foundation and the Norfolk County Agricultural School, for a total of over 700 acres open to the public for low-impact recreation”

There is a butterfly garden with a special section along the back fence devoted to milkweed to provide a habitat for monarch butterflies. Although I was there in March 2016 .. so everything was kind of brown 

But soon the grass will sprout and the birds will be singing and the butterflies will be .. doing what they do.

If you want a peaceful place – this is it.

 

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Families walk the fields and paths at Adams Farm

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The paths into the woods are clearly marked and so peaceful

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The bench at the far side of the field

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The plaque on the bench

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The view from the bench

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The signs are right to the point – if the dog poops .. you have to clean it up ! HA!

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

What story do your pictures tell?

Every vacation, school concert, awards ceremony , religious  event or family get together … we take pictures. Sometimes they’re funny or blurry or maybe they’re incredibly solemn. But everyone of them may one day be priceless.

The subject of these pictures are of course … the people in them. Actually it might be your cat or car or cow .. but they’re the subjects of the picture.

One way to improve these images is to include the environment. You’re at the fair, show the ferris wheel in the background, at the Grand Canyon or in Paris step back / zoom out  and show the place. It adds to the story that your pictures tell. You were there, you experienced it and you captured a picture of how cool it was.

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The engagement session – after the proposal

But then there are times when you can add some interest or value by including a sign or something that helps explain the picture.

Your spouse or child is speaking or performing  at an event – show the crowd, signage, the massive room. If we only get that close up shot we soon forget how epic the night was.

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And then there’s theater – the sets, the signage, the costumes and the performance.

Zooming out allows us to see complimentary staging and props that add to the picture of the actor(s).

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Of course we all zoom in for that portrait, but there is more to the picture that you may also want to capture.

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com