Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phone Photography

I undoubtedly will take a lot of photos I this class with my phone. My phone is always on me and my dslr is almost never by my side. My phone camera is good but I could definitely use professional help when taking pictures with my phone. 

The photo below was taken with my phone in the Bridgers just outside of Bozeman. Not the greatest picture but all I had on me was my phone. It was the middle of the day and the lighting was not great but in real life the view was still amazing. I used he panorama feature built into my phone to take the picture. 

Below the picture are two links on how to take better pictures with a phone camera. A brief summary is: shoot in good light, have a clean lens, use a high resolution, take a lot of pictures, avoid digital zoom and experiment with white balance.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


One of my favorite parts of photography is taking panoramas. I have only ever been able to take panoramas by using my phone because I have no idea how to stitch pictures together from my DSLR. The first picture below was taken with my phone camera. It was a calm morning with little wind and I thought the reflection off the lake was incredible looking. I wish I could have taken a better picture with a DSLR but I didn't know how to stitch the individual pictures together. I still like the results from this picture though.

This is not my picture. It is taken by Rob Planck. He is a  Nature and outdoor photographer.

For some tips on panoramas check out this article by Nikon. Basically the article says to use a tripod and shoot on manual not aperture priority mode. The biggest thing to do is to shoot every picture in the sequence at the same setting, including white balance. There should also be a considerable overlap from anywhere from 25% to 50% depending on the focal length. A shorter focal length should usually have more overlap.!

Rob Planck's website and gallery

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Aerial Photography

As a pilot I greatly enjoy anything that has to do with flying through the air. When  I do get any free time in the plane I usually try to take some pictures. The picture below was taken with my phones camera on a flight to Bozeman from Billings. It is looking south into the entrance of Paradise Valley. The picture is not great even by my standards I hope I can learn how to take much better photos by the end of this class. 

An aerial photographer I just discovered is Larry Mayer. He is out of Billings and seems to take pictures of the surrounding areas. I enjoy his work and hope to learn from his photos on how to take a good picture.

This link gives some very good tips on how to take great aerial pictures. The article mentions how composing a photo is a little different from the sky than from the ground. One problem is that a tripod wont work in the air. The plane is moving on its own and the article says to stabilize the camera on the window instead.  Another problem about shooting in the air is the photographer has to shoot through a window. This window is rarely made of glass in small planes. This can cause bad reflections, blurry photos, scratches and diminished picture quality. The article gives great tips and tricks to anyone looking to shoot from the sky.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lets take some photos

I have a limited knowledge on anything photography. I like to think I can take super cool photos but honestly I have no idea what I'm doing when my camera leave AUTO. I have always been interested in photography, especially nature photography, but have never taken the time to learn how to take awesome photos the correct way. One main thing I want to accomplish is improve my skills in taking and editing pictures.

I quickly looked over most of the pictures I have taken in the last few years and have posted the best below. I want to use them as a benchmark so I can see how I will improve throughout the semester. The photos are taken from an assortment of cameras. Some are from my DSLR, some are from my GoPro and the rest are from my phone.

This picture had no planning or thought put into it. I was on a hike and thought this log jam at the end of the lake looked cool so I just very quickly snapped a photo and I personally love the result. I think I edited it but I had no idea what I was doing and just pressed buttons until it looked cool.

This is one the thousands of GoPro photos I've snapped. My strategy with GoPro photography is that I will literally take thousands of random pictures and just hope I get a few good looking ones. This is one of my good looking ones! I was riding my bike with my GoPro faced straight up and it was taking pictures I think every 5 seconds. This is picture is attributed to luck.

Another GoPro picture. I used the same strategy as above. I was hiking the Rims in Billings and just taking pictures of everything in sight.

I'm not sure if nature photography can include people but since I don't know I'm including this photo for my first blog post. Again another random GoPro photo while I was running around the Oregon coast. I do not know what makes a picture better than another picture in the technical photography sense but I hope this one is qualified as good because it may be my favorite picture I have ever taken.

I hope to include some very cool pictures from planes. I am in the aviation program at Rocky and want to include the perspective from the air. I took this while flying to Bozeman from Billings.

One of my favorite types of pictures is the panorama. With my phone, I probably take an unhealthy amount of panoramas. This is one of my favorites though. This was taken from my dock back at my parents house. Things I like are the reflection on the lake and the clouds. The wierd part of this picture is that the far left of the picture is looking a bit Northwest while the right side of the picture is looking South. This makes it not accurately represent what a person would see while looking out in the same spot but I still like the picture quite a bit.