Converting to Black & White

Out with the Camera

With today’s skies being somewhat overcast and grey, I’ve spent my afternoon having a lovely walk through the woods with our dog Bailey and my Nikon D7000 just clicking away practicing and trying to improve my skills at Landscape Photography. Ok, you may ask yourself why is this post called Converting to Black & White, well its all to do with adding that little bit of mystery to a photograph after it was downloaded.

Before cropping and converting to B&W

Before cropping and converting to B&W

The photo above was shot in NEF (RAW) using my D7000, but once download I wasn’t happy with the results so I went about playing within Lightroom (Lr) and converting the image to Black & White to see if I could improve my shot whilst also adding a little bit of life into the photograph..

After Cropping and Converting to B&W within Lr

After Cropping and Converting to B&W within Lr

By converting this photography into B&W and cropping in a little, I think I’ve managed to add just a little more feeling and depth into this photo, and hopefully, by doing the same to the below photographs I’ve added just a little hint of spookiness,

Converted to B&W using Lightroom

Converted to B&W using Lightroom

well maybe not but when the skies are grey why not try converting your images to Black & White and see what happens

Old Watermill

Out with the Camera

Lovely spring day, had the day off work so thought I would get out practicing taking more photos.

So mountain bike out, camera kit all packed and off I went. I hadn’t been cycling for long when I came across this lovely old watermill just outside of Petersfield in Hampshire.

ISO 100, 13mm, 0.8 sec, f/22

ISO 100, 13mm, 0.8 sec, f/22

Using Shutter Speed Priority to help slow down the movement of the water, and then converting to black-white using Adobe Lightroom when I got home, I managed to achieve the above image.

The day was also spent taking time to practice using both ND and GD Cokin filters, using these filters together can help slow down your camera speed on bright sunny days, and also help capture any cloud cover there maybe

ISO 100, 13mm, 0.8 sec, f/22

ISO 100, 13mm, 0.8 sec, f/22

When using both Neutral Density and Gradual Density filters together, you need to take care. As doubling up filters can create an unwanted purple tint on occasions.

Daughter joins JustGreatShots

Quick update

So after a lovely walk around Petersfield and Steep Marsh in Hampshire with the family and our camera’s, it would appear that JustGreatShots has a new amateur photographer within the group. Our daughter Jessica spent the day playing with her Nikon D3200, learning how to use both Shutter and Aperture Priority and trying to get to grips with Depth of Field.

ISO 800, 75mm, 1/640, f/5.3

ISO 800, 75mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.3

The above image was taken whilst she learned about Shutter Priority, with the below image being taken whilst she learned and practice using Aperture Priority on her camera. This was her first time taking photos not using AUTO, so if my 17-year-old daughter can do it, so can you 😉

ISO 140, 105mm, 1/160sec, f/11

ISO 140, 105mm, 1/160 sec, f/11

Go on give it a go, switch that mode dial over from Auto

Aperture Priority Practise around Old Portsmouth

Out with the Camera

So spent the other evening out around Old Portsmouth learning more about using Aperture Priority, so what is Aperture Priority you might ask yourself and what’s it all about.

Aperture Priority on your camera will allow you to set and control the F stop (the amount of light you let into your lens) whilst the camera controls the shutter speed required to capture the photograph.

Anchors Aweigh

ISO 100, 24mm, 1/8sec, f/10

The above image was taken just as the sun said goodnight, which allowed me to capture this anchor silhouette.

Night Photography

Out with the Camera

Taking photographs at night just after the sun has gone down and the stars have started to come out, is a great time to learn and practice both Nightscape and Long-Exposure Photography

As you still have enough natural light to see what you are doing and set up your camera before it gets too dark, and you can practice taking photos above 30sec without the use of an ND filter

Night Photography

Taking photos at night

One thing I learned whilst trying out night photography, and that’s don’t forget your torch as the light just goes so quickly, I was lucky as the D7000 comes with a backlight option. Without this option I wouldn’t of had a clue what my camera was set to on the display lol!!!

I took the above image with my D7000 setup on a tripod and used my shutter release cable to fire the shot, once again setting my camera to manual and using bulb the shot was taken using my iPhone as a stopwatch.

Camera Settings:

Manual Mode, ISO 100, 121sec, F4 at 12mm

Adding Background Movement

Camera skills

So adding background movement in a photograph is all about getting your panning right along with your camera set up, so what is panning I ask myself.

Panning is having the ability to move your upper body but keeping your feet still and your camera on target to the subject you wish to photograph, whilst keeping the subject in focus but adding blurred motion to the background.

Bad Panning movement

Panning not quite in time with the subject

As you can see in the image above, the panning in this shot isn’t up to time with the movement of bike and background, blurred foreground and background was caused by me moving the camera to fast

Good Panning

Panning timing nearly right

Ok, so with practice and keeping my camera settings set the same as before, I practice slowing down my panning movement to allow the camera to focus on capturing the motorbike, whilst adding just enough movement to the background and therefore providing action to the above photography

Camera Setting:

Aperture Priority, ISO 200, 1/160sec, F11, and 185mm

Using ND Filters for the first time

Camera skills

So here goes, my first time trying out ND filters after purchasing a Cokin P series ND filter kit from Amazon. ND filters are designed to help cut out light and therefore allowing you to set lower camera speeds in daylight etc.

Remember I’m still new to all of this, so may not have set up my camera in the same way others do it. But this site is about helping myself and others to learn Free of Cost how to get that better shot out of using their DSLR cameras.

How I set my camera up, using a tripod to steady the camera and set my Nikon D7000 to Manual (NOT USING AUTO) I fitted the Cokin P series ND filter to a Nikkor 12-24mm Lens, I composed the shot using the rule of thirds.

Using a shutter release cable, I set the camera to BULB. Setting your camera to Bulb allows you to manage and control how long the shutter remains open manually and therefore increasing exposure time above 30sec

Using ND filters

Using ND filters

The photo was taken using an ND4 filter for 24sec on f/20, as you can see this has made the water look like glass but setting my camera to f22 didn’t give me the depth of field I would have liked, but depth of field is a whole new skill you will also need to master lol!!!!