Do I love Github? You had me at hello

So, I have to start by saying that I’m an amateur at web application programming.  But I love it.  If I had it all to do over again, I would certainly do nothing else.  Mostly, the tool that I love to use is Ruby on Rails.  It’s incredible and so interesting to use.

And one of the cool things that I have been trained to use is Github for my code management.  It is amazing.  I love being able to work very quickly and to send up my modifications to Github for safety and managing my changes.  So cool.  And I do it from command lines while I’m coding my applications.  So, as I’m working on projects like my FDC project, I can be assured that my code is backed up.  And if I totally make a blunder, I can call up my older versions and instantly go back to them.

I know that there are other platforms out there, but for me, I don’t need to go any further than Github.  It’s free for open repositories, and as little as $7 per month for personal & secured repositories.I

If this was a review site, I’d be giving Github 5 stars.  It’s pretty damn cool.

 

HDR Photography Explained

HDR is an interesting form of photography which takes software to recompose.  The concept is to take 3 pictures.  One normal exposure, one under exposed (dark), and one over exposed (bright).  Then the software can combine them to add detail to the picture that you would not normally have.  This concept gives you closer to human vision through your camera.

HDR Normal Exposure
HDR Under Exposure
HDR Over Exposure
HDR Completed

HDR is pretty artistic and sometimes people push the color levels to brighten the image to a point that is over done.  This HDR can be realistic or sometimes pretty fake looking.  I tend to find myself pushing the color levels a little far.

So now, you’ve got to be wondering – how do you do it?  What do you need?

  1. Well, the first thing you need is a camera that is capable of taking the three shots automatically.  I use a Canon EOS 5i Rebel.  It has the capabilities but you’ll want to watch a video on how to set it up.
  2. A sturdy tripod.
  3. A remote picture trigger.  I use a wired one that plugs into the side of my camera.  I think I paid less than $10 for it at Amazon.
  4. Software.  I am using Aurora HD to process.  Seems to work well.  I know that PhotoShop has a plugin for processing HDR, Canon software that ships with the camera can do it too.  Also, Affinity Photo on the Mac processes HDR very well.

My favorite picture that I’ve taken recently in HDR, I also combined in slow shutter speed because it was running water in a creek.  It is pretty interesting looking.

The combination of the three images add a lot of detail to the stones but the vibration of the falling water did add a slight shake to the tripod which is evident on the stones on the left side of the picture.  Still a very beautiful picture.  Other than running it through the HDR software, no enhancements were done.

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Composition Basics

Today I am going to share with you the basics of photo composition. Take any composition to a whole new level by putting these easy techniques to practice!

Technique number 1: Rule of Thirds

When you pick your subject, use the rule of thirds to place your subject. If you imagine a 3×3 grid over your image, place your subject on one of the grid lines, instead of directly in the middle of the frame. Here is an example:

rule-of-thirds-vertical

 

Notice how the lighthouse is not directly in the middle – it is off centered on one of the lines of your imaginary grid. This is a great example of the rule of thirds!

Technique number 2: Horizon Line

Placing the horizon line is similar to the rule of thirds. You’re going to use the same imaginary 3×3 grid. Place your horizon on the top or bottom line instead of directly in the middle. This will bring your photo a whole different feeling to your photo than if you place it right in the middle. The same photo above is a great example of this… the photo would not have the same feeling if the horizon line was right in the middle!

Technique number 3: Leading Lines

Let your composition tell a story by moving the viewers eyes around the image using leading lines. This is any sort of movement in your image that leads the viewer to your subject:

horse-boarding-las-vegas-nevada

See how the lines of the Las Vegas horse stables bring your eye across the image? This is an excellent example of leading lines. Just like how I know an excellent example of a good Miami Restaurant Hood Cleaning Service.

Technique number 4: Point your subject into the frame

Last, but not least… Imagine you are about to photograph a living subject that is facing left. Are you going to place the subject to the left of your frame, or the right of your frame? The answer is… the right! When you place the subject leaving room in front of their face, it makes the image flow so much better than if you cut the photo off right in front of their face. Here is an example of an image done right:

final-cropped-bird-c

Now imagine if the bird, facing the same way, was to the left of the frame. It would look like he is about to swim right out of the photo! Photos flow so much better when it looks like your subject can see and move farther into the frame, instead of looking like they are about to run into the edge of the photo – it makes your subject look crammed! Keep your subject comfy by leading them into the frame.

And there you have it! Basic techniques that can bring your photos from good to great! Remember… these are rules, but sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Experiment by using these techniques, then purposefully going against the technique and see which photos you like more!

Happy photographing!