I recently took a photo walk across Oakland City University’s main campus in Oakland City, Indiana, and while it was dreary outside, I was still able to snap a few shots that I loved. For the walk, I used my Nikon D7000 with a Nikkor 50mm lens.
My trip started outside the Murray Administration Center, where I got a lovely shot of some dead leaves that are still hanging on the decorative tree out front. To get the shallow depth-of-field the image was shot at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/1250 and ISO-100.
From there I headed across the street and got a couple close-up shots of the stump from a tree that was cut down after a lightning strike last year. The first shot is of a break where the tree was cut. Once again, I shot with a shallow depth-of-field. My goal with the shot was to make the break look more like a cliff than a small variation in the cutting plane. Once again this image was shot at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/1250, but with ISO-800 to brighten the image.
The second shot I got of this tree stump was a close-up of some moss growing at the base. This image was shot at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/2000, and ISO-800. With the such a large aperture, I wanted to push what my camera could do with shortened exposure times.
The last outdoor shot I took on my walk was of my plaid Chucks, which I think are fabulous. You should always have comfortable shoes for a photo walk, and these were perfect, both for ease of walking and the weather. This image was shot at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/5000, and ISO-560.
That got me over to the Student Life Center, where I visited the coffee shop to warm up from the cool dam outside and get a few other shots before heading back to the office. Holy Grounds almost always has muted lighting, which made the shots a bit more of a challenge. This first shot was of the booths along the back wall of the coffee shop, which sit under a vintage panorama of the University along with one I took for them a couple years ago. The photo was taken at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/125, and ISO-560. The longer exposure allowed for more light and a brighter shot.
The chairs at the regular tables in the coffee shop have funky holes in them, so I decided to get a little creative and shoot a photo of one of the baristas working through one. Because of the loss of light shooting thru that space, the photo was taken at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/60, and ISO-1600. My camera has the capability to shoot at a much higher ISO, but 1600 is as high as I like to go. Keeping the ISO so much lower than the 6400 my camera is capable of allows me to avoid any major graininess in my images.
I do also want to take a second to talk about how this image breaks the rule of thirds, and why I love it for this shot. Brittany, the barista, is basically sitting at the center of the lower 3rd line, with her head very close to the midpoint of the image. However, I am still getting those 3rds in a couple different ways. First, I shot the image offsetting where the hole was in my frame, keeping it in the left 2/3rd and leaving the whole right 3rd in darkness. The lit area of the shot also breaks nicely into 3rds with my subject squarely in the lower right cross-section.
Just as I was about to leave the coffee shop, the chef brought out a fresh batch of orange-cranberry muffins. And I love taking photos of food, so I couldn’t help but take a shot. The photo was taken at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/125, and ISO-900.
The last image I took on my photo walk was of a profile shot of Tom, one of the University students, sitting in the break area in the hallway. The brighter lighting in the hall allowed me to drop my exposure back down. The photo was taken at f1.8 with an exposure time of 1/400, and ISO-1600.
*Each of these images was pulled into Lightroom for minor tweaking.
Have you ever done a photo walk? What subjects catch your eye?