Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Fabulous Father's Day Weekend

Yep, Father's Day Weekend is about one guy. Dad. Letting him kick back for a day and bask in the glow of his family's love. Right?

Can you pick out the dad in the photo below?

He's the happy guy in the middle.

Everybody was raising their hands high for Dad!

But the weekend began ominously, weatherwise. Freddy and I walked up to our favorite viewpoint on Thursday night.

The clouds kept building.

We went back to our little trailer.

And listened to the thunder and lightning.

Friday was a little bit damp.

My theory on weather is simple. There is no such thing as bad weather when you are camping. You are simply wearing the wrong clothes. Just adapt. Like these folks did on Friday.

Saturday was perfect. We went for our morning walk and happy campers were already up and about.

 On a paddle boat at seven in the morning.

Walking back to our site we were assaulted by a bouquet of delicious breakfast smells. I think we both drooled a little bit. I know I did.

Dog Day Afternoon.

It started out small with just Freddy and Bailey.

Then another bunch came out to join in the fun.

The CCC (Canine Connection Company) spread the word and dogs started arriving from all over. One in a wash basin on top of a trailer pulled by a Harley.

One that Frreddy corraled on a walk.

And one in a boat.

A good time was had by all. The sun set.

 I had the pleasure of taking three more family camping portraits in the last few days.

This is one of the free amenities/perks that we offer here at Camp Coeur D'Alene.

Yep. In addition to free firewood, wifi, boats, etc. I will happily take a portrait of you and your family to capture a moment of your time spent here.

If you see me and the wonderpup walking around the campground, just say hi. We are also camped across from the upper bathroom. I put two pink flamingos in front to help you find us.

In my last two blog posts i have put up photo tips for the outdoors. This next one won't be as long but to me it is one of the most important. I wrote these a few years ago...plenty more to come. In fact, the next one will be about taking pics of fireworks.

Playing with your Aperture (Depth of Field)

Grabbing my camera and playing around with aperture settings is one of my favorite things to do after a long day at the office. Especially my office. I have no heating or air conditioning. There are always bug and rodent problems, sometimes even carnivores ramble through my workplace. No roof means I am at the mercy of the weather. Don't believe me? Here is proof.

The aperture setting on your camera controls the depth of field, also known as the plane of focus. In any photograph, only one point (a certain distance from your camera) is in perfect focus. The rest of the photo resides in circles of confusion. I love that term. What that means is everything else is out of focus. But that amount of unfocusness (is that a word?) varies depending on your camera's aperture setting. The smaller the F stop, meaning the higher the number, brings the level of "acceptable sharpness" into play. Ansel Adams, and to some extent Edward Weston, were members of the F/64 club. They would set the aperture to F/64 on their big view cameras and everything from just in front of the camera to infinity would be acceptably sharp.

But that is not where I am going with this photo tip. I am going the opposite direction. Call it bokeh, baby. Shooting with your lens wide open, (smallest F/ number) reduces the depth of field to inches or less.

Imagine if I had taken this photo at F/16 instead of F/3.5. Well, you will have to imagine because I didn't. The result would have been almost everything in focus and the flower would have blended into the background with almost no separation at all.

Bokeh also comes into play when shooting wide open. There is much debate about good bokeh and bad bokeh but it boils down to whether you can see the lens blades or not. Creamy bokeh will have nice round circles while nasty bokeh will show the blades.

Mine is in the middle for this lens as seen below.

You can see some edges but hey, so what? The point to all of these tips is step away from auto mode and take some neat photographs.
Here are two photos showing the dramatic difference in depth of field while shooting wide open.

I think those two would look good on the wall next to each other. That's what I am talking about. Photos that would look boring in auto mode can become interesting by setting your camera's aperture to wide open and just walking around the campground.

Here are two more.

The last one was taken at Ocean Beach State Park in Washington in May 2012. You can tell by the water drops. There was some rain during that trip...

So don't be a slave to the auto setting on your camera. Play with your aperture.

Greg and Freddy and the wonderfull staff at Camp Coeur D'Alene

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