Monday, January 24, 2011

Photography class: Assignment 4 - Composition

In the last two classes we have been reviewing a lot of different techniques used in composition, for example:
So the assignment was to take 5 pictures and include in each one of them as many composition techniques as possible.

The pictures I took are:

Picture #1: My friendly neighbor the spider

Assignment 3 - composition
What I want to show here is the spider and bit its spiderweb.

Picture #2: Same spider from another angle

Assignment 3 - composition
Same here, I want to focus on the spider and a bit in the spiderweb but showing a bit of the tree where the spiderweb is on.

Picture #3: Las Ruinas de Cartago

Assignment 3 - composition
Main interest here is to show the ruins, the walls and then the surroundings.

Picture #4: La Virgen de Los Angeles

Assignment 3 - composition
Main focus in this one is the virgen statue and then the flowers that are left by people for her.

Picture #5: La Basilica de Los Angeles

Assignment 3 - composition
In this one, I was interested in showing the ceiling and then the inside design of the church as a whole, which is awesome in my opinion.

The suggestions/feedback I received from my teacher and my classmates were for picture #2 and picture #3. For picture #2 they said that the green leaves were distracting even though they were out of focus, so they suggested cropping the photo a bit, in my opinion I think the leaves give context to where the photo was taken, but what do I know, that is why I am taking the class :-). This is how it looks after applying the cropping (I cropped it but leaving still a bit of green).

Assignment 3 - composition

For picture #3 they said that the orange flowers were distracting too, specially because they took a big part of the photo, so they suggested cropping the photo to make the orientation portrait instead of lanscape. Another suggestion was to leave it as it is in landscape but make it black and white to remove the distracting color. Here are the changes applied:

After cropping it, now in portrait

Assignment 3 - composition

In black and white

Assignment 3 - composition

So what do you think, cropping or black and white in this case? I want to know what your opinion.

Also, what do you think about the other pictures?
  1. What is your feedback/suggestions/ideas?
  2. What is your favorite of the five?
  3. What composition techniques you see in every picture?
Please add your comments to the post :-)

Photography class: Assignment 3 - Depth of Field

My third assignment for the Photography class was to take 3 different photos where I focused on different areas considering Depth of Field (DOF), I had to use the Aperture mode.

The main purpose of this assignment was to practice using depth of field, but also to learn how to affect the picture composition using the DOF.

I took three pictures of three simple objects in my house, some souvenirs, here they are:

Picture #1

Assigment 3 - DOF

Picture #2

Assigment 3 - DOF

Picture #3

Assigment 3 - DOF

DOF is not a camera feature, it is something that you can control using the aperture and the focal length. The smaller the aperture (bigger aperture value) the bigger the DOF, the bigger the aperture (smaller aperture value) the smaller DOF.

For me DOF is one of my favorites ways of composing photos, I think it is a great way to guide the user to where you want him/her to focus in the photo, it helps to highlight objects that you think are most important and to remove objects that might be distracting.

Here it is a picture of the same objects but with a bigger DOF, so the focus is not in one of the objects but in the three of them and the background is a lot more noticeable, which can be distracting.

Assigment 3 - composition

Here it is a small video that helps understanding DOF:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Photography class: Assignment 2 - Observing

The second assignment of my photography class was to form my name using photos, more specifically:
  • Use one photo per letter
  • The photo has to be of a common object that looks like a letter
  • I could not use things that are ment to be letters like the McDonalds sign
  • I could not use ropes or strings to form a letter myself
Here are the photos I took, I must say they are not the best ones I've taken, but they were enough for the assignment.

Letter M: Part of my kitchen tiles
Assignment 2 - Letter M

Letter A: Bottom of my Eiffel tower souvenir
Assignment 2 - Letter A

Letter R: Part of a rose stalk
Assignment 2 - Letter R

Letter I: Part of the thing I use to hold my kitchen paper towels
Assignment 2 - Letter I

Letter C: Part of the thing I use to hang my keys
Assignment 2 - Letter C

Letter E: Part of a napkin ring
Assignment 2 - Letter E

Letter L: Part of a photo frame where I have a picture of my dog Sam
Assignment 2 - Letter L

All together
Assignment 2 - Name

What did I learn with this assignment?
  • To observe
  • To pay attention to my surroundings
  • To pay attention to the details
  • To look for forms, lines and patterns
  • To try to pre-visualize how the photo is going to look before taking it
This was fun, do you want to form your own name?

Pictures of Cities I visited in Spain

In 2004 I was sent to Madrid to work in a project that a client was developing with a Spanish company, I spent around 9 months there, traveling to Costa Rica only every 3 months. Because of this, I had the opportunity to visit several different cities and small towns inside Spain. It was a great experience.

Back then, during half of my trip I used my first digital camera to take tons of pictures, which was a Sony Cybershot of 2 megapixels, I say I had it during half of my trip because on December 31st, 2004 somebody stole it during the celebration of New Year's in Plaza del Sol, I was super sad because that same day I returned from a trip to Rome, so I hadn't had time to get the pictures out of the camera, so they stole the camera with most of my pictures from Rome, can you imagine?. The only good thing was that because of that I had to buy another camera, I saw it as an opportunity to buy a better one, so I bought a Sony DSC-V3 that had better features and it was greater in general.

I would like to share with you some of the pictures I took, since they are too many I selected my favorite picture of each city in Spain that I took during that time I spent there, just keep in mind that the ones taken with my first camera don't have great quality like the kind of photos you can take nowadays ;-)

Prince Park
Best part of Aranjuez are the gardens, they are simply amazing, also the palace.

El Escorial
El Escorial 013.JPG
The Monastery is just impressive, if you ever go to Madrid you have to go there.

Toledo - 047.JPG
Like all towns in Spain, Toledo is very beautiful, the cathedral is spectacular, the streets, all of it.

Avila - 003
The best part of Avila is the wall that goes around most part of the town, it is simply amazing and a great place for taking photos.

Salamanca - Convento de San Sebastian - 007.JPG
I think the oldest European university is here.

Guadalajara - 074.JPG
Our trip to Guadalajara was totally unexpected, we were planing on going somewhere else but there wasn't a train available that day or something happened, I don't remember, so we decided to go to Guadalajara, it is a very small town where the most interesting thing to see is this huge grave.

Barcelona Sagrada Familia
If you haven't seen "La Sagrada Familia" then you have to, go go go. I spent around 4 hours going through it all. I was amazed with the whole architecture. Plus Barcelona is a city that you have to visit, you have to go see all Gaudi's buildings and parks.

Granada - La Alhambra - 059.JPG
Best of Granada "La Alhambra", unbelievable!

Segovia, Spain
This place is super beautiful, the Cathedral and the Alcazar are gorgeous. From what I heard the Alcazar was used as a model when Disney created its famous castle, not sure if this is true though.

Cuenca - 073.JPG
Small town famous for its hanging houses.

Valencia - 020.JPG
The whole architecture of Valencia is amazing.

Seville, Spain
This is a picture of Plaza EspaƱa, the design is great, I loved it. This place was used in Star Wars: Episode 2 to represent part of Naboo.

Communications Palace
And finally, Madrid! This is a picture of the Communications Palace in Madrid, I took it during Easter week when coming back from the Catholic celebrations in La Almudena Church. I was a bit concerned because I didn't have a tripod and there were a lot of people walking around, but I was able to figure it out and i think it turned out great with the moon and all.

Spain is definitely a beautiful country with a lot of wonderful places that I would love to visit again with my new camera to take tons of photos, maybe some day!

Saturday, January 08, 2011


My sister and my Mom love orchids and both have a lot of them on their gardens. As for me, I have only a couple that my sister gave me.

When they blossom they all look so great that I have to take my camera and take tons of pictures of them. I am going to show you here some of my favorites, don't ask me their names though, because I have no idea.


Weird orchid






Lluvia de oro


Monday, January 03, 2011


I just want to share some of my favorite pictures of roses that I've taken.


Black Rose


The heart


Colorful rose