Thoughts and images along the path of photographic discovery.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Quinn Nathaniel Galbraith
Monday, December 15, 2008
Previsualization to Reality
Its a great story and its well told. This brings to mind a shot I have in my mind that I want to shoot. Unfortunately, its a shot I would have had if my batteries in my camera hadn't died. My folks live on the top of a valley that's full of trees. One winter the temperature dropped rapidly resulting in hoarfrost. It was the night of a full moon and as it rose in the sky I saw that it was a bright neon pink and it cast its glow on the white trees below. Breath taking. Phenomenal. But how often do you see a neon pink moon? If I ever see it again I will photograph it.
One Tip. The one to remember
His response was to shoot with the light behind you. Its astounding but I remember my Aunt providing me with this tip when I was really young. (Like 5 or 6???? I also recall her saying not to try to shoot through glass because of the reflections.) Its such a simple thing and yet, with digital cameras we have somehow forgotten this tip. Or at least it hasn't been drilled into us like it used to be.
Imagine in your mind a building. You are on the north side of that building at noon on a day with a few clouds but mostly blue sky. Are you going to get a reasonably exposed image? Probably not. (Unless you use HDR which is a whole other topic). If you move to the south side of the building, you can then expose the building and the sky correctly. Simple. Important.
A lot of beginners see their subject, and fire. Armed with this rule in mind, even if you have your camera on auto it will be able to handle the scene. The other nice thing about this rule is, once its in your head, you start seeing light differently. You see that hard light from the front kills shadows and makes your subject lose depth making it look flat. You'll see that those last rays of sunlight when cast from the side or at an angle are absolutely beautiful.
While I call it a rule, its a fun one to break now and then. The thing about photography rules is that 95% of the shots you do should follow most of them. When you break a rule, though, make sure its obvious and deliberate. Backlit subjects turn into silhouettes quite nicely. If your subject is backlit you can let it go completely black. The other option is to use some fill flash.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Why black and white?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
A trip down memory lane - Mom's Olympus Trip 35
The thing that has appealed to me about this camera since my mom gave it to me is the fact that it doesn't require batteries. It has selenium cells around the lens to power the light meter.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
A fine day for photography!
So while the baby shower was on I banished myself. I had promised to help my brother-in-law stack his new dryer on his washer. After that we went outside and I took some pictures of Finnigan: Wonderdog Extraordinaire!©
So after playing Frisbee with Finnie, I ventured forth to Banff. I had never been on the Lake Minnewanka loop so I thought this would be a great little trip. With all the snow and ice it was marvelous.
So with the sun pretty much gone I headed for home. In retrospect, I wish I could have gone home a bit earlier. Just outside the Banff townsite there was probably 100-200 elk. Like I said before, I had never scene one elk. Here was an enormous herd. It was too dark to capture them and I was concerned about the weather. Maybe next time. After all, with this bounty of picture opportunities I guess I can't get too greedy.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Woodies! Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter...
It was for this reason I went outside to a nearby playground with my two woodies. My initial idea was to pose them either "pointing" to where Art might be found or shrugging indicating they didn't know where he was. When I got there I found that there was some convenient rocks around the edge of the sandbox. I also found out that shrugging doesn't work with my particular woodies.
The rocks almost looked like caves so I considered putting Art with Osama Bin Laden. We'll see. There's time for retakes I guess.
The rocks also presented a different opportunity. I removed the base and stand from one and hung him from the edge of the rocks making him (hopefully) look like he is rock climbing.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Remembrance Day Ceremony
Unfortunately, I, like most people , remember the sacrifices made during the World Wars and seem to forget that Canadians have laid down their lives in other conflicts. We forget that those who fell in Korea and Afghanistan made no small sacrifice and deserve to be remembered no less. That message hit home when, during the wreath laying, family members of soldiers who died in Afghanistan layed theirs wreathes.
Lightroom 2 fun
South of Cochrane, Alberta. Nikon D50. Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED lens at 18 mm. ISO 200, f/8, 1/50 second.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
And...the winner is...
Monday, October 27, 2008
I wouldn't call myself a guru yet but what I have seen so far has been impressive. The spot remover is probably my favorite gizmo. Select the tool, size your cursor to the size of the dot and click. Lightroom hunts around for an appropriate spot to match and fills in the blank. Its that easy. I was stumped temporarily when I came across a hair or some kind of fibre in some of my shots. In those cases I just used multiple points.
Black and white conversions are done nicely and you can fine tune them easily. There is a preset to do either high-contrast black & white or low-contrast black & white. From there you can go into the grey scale menu and adjust sliders for 7 different hues (Red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, and magenta).
Dodging and burning seem more intuitive for me in this program. I don't think its any harder than other programs but the way the controls are setup just seem to work for photography better. e.g. You adjust the exposure by the amount you want and the value is measured in stops.
There is a myriad of options and features I haven't even scratched the surface on such as keywording and ratings. I imagine you can do selective desaturation but I haven't figured out how yet. I also haven't figured out how to export pictures to JPG with any degree of control. I dumped out about 37 Jpgs in high quality full size. I'd like to be able to control the file size and output size as well however.
Overall however, my experience has been favorable and I am certainly contemplating making Lightroom my tool of choice.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I am sooooo happy!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Calgary Digital Photo Expo 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Oneexposure - 1x.com
It sounds like a different photographic community.
From their FAQ
What is Onexposure?
Onexposure is an artsproject and a photo community with a difference. Take the most talented photobloggers of the web and other famous photographers as well as many serious amateurs, select their best work and put it all in one place - there you have Onexposure. Everyone is welcome to contribute, but every photo is screened, which means it has to be approved by an editor before being published. Onexposure is like a constantly evolving high class photo gallery with new art every day. We don't judge over good and bad, or over art, we merely decide if a photo fits into our gallery or not. Like in an arts gallery, you can buy many of the photos as prints and hang them on your wall. Onexposure also offers a premium membership, which includes unlimited image hosting and your own professional homepage with complete control over what photos to display.We created Onexposure because we missed an online collection of only high quality photos, we thought the photo critique was too brief on other sites and we wanted a site that was elegant and easy to navigate. Our mission is to be a source of inspiration and ultimately finding the sublime together, but if the latter doesn't succeed we believe that everyone will develop as photographers and make some friends along the journey.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Abstract Photographs. Now with more feeling!
These images were all created using the same shooting technique but used different subjects and different editing. The technique was basically zoom burst (zooming while shooting) and twisting the camera. I found the effect to be almost whimsical and airy and light in the first image and almost rather dark and ominous in the third one.
In the first shot I was shooting fall leaves with the technique. The third shot was of a flower bed. The second was also fall leaves but with more sky involved.
Personally I really like the pastel colors in the first one. It almost feels like a painting to me. The second and the third one especially, feel darker and as such aren't quite as enjoyable to view. (Kinda like looking at a train wreck. Not nice but you can't take your eyes away).
Saturday, September 20, 2008
iStock Photo - MY FIRST ACCEPTED SUBMISSION!!!
To view my iStock profile go here.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Selling and Publishing your photos
The extent of my photography sales is pretty limited. I've donated a couple of pictures to the Progressive Alternative Society of Calgary (PASC) for their annual art auction. Certainly its satisfying and helps me put a value on the work that I do. However, it would also be nice to have an opportunity to sell my photos and keep the money.
A podcast on This Week in Photography spoke about the whole subject of selling and publishing your photos. (http://twipphoto.com/archives/524). A lot of good information and sadly some of it was somewhat disheartening.
The average photographer in the US makes $26K a year.
Professional photographers actually spend only about 15% of there time shooting.
The other 85% is spent "smiling and dialing" (i.e. selling and making contacts).
The expectation for professional photographers is that there work is great. In fact, the ability to sell your work is more important than your ability to shoot to it.
And the five steps to getting published? 1. Show the work. 2. Show the work. 3. Show the work. 4. Show the work. What’s #5? Yep. Show the work.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Singh-Ray Graduated Neutral Density Filters - How the heck do you use em?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Myth of Talent
The one line I really like is:
Being labeled talented only means we have survived being untalented.
Finnigan - Doggie Model Extraordinaire!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Beijing Olympics: 360 degrees
360 degrees and you can look up and down. And zoom...wow.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
120 mm developing reels
The blog posts
The shooting I understand. I have my wedding in 9 days. (NINE!!!!) As such I just simply haven't had time to go out and shoot.
The writing however is a different story. I have had stuff to post here. I was out and about July 1st and somehow those shots didn't get up here. I was out in Wetaskiwn and then out to Fernie one weekend. Something else to post and write about.
So I guess this post is just recommitting to write something about photography.
So to wrap it up I will provide a quote:
"You can never have too much money, too much RAM or too much glass."
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The entire scene
Vary with different focal lengths
Change angle, height
Different times of day
Different shutter speeds
More inform on EDFAT can be found at:
And a couple of other acronyms:
LUDA (Look up, down, all-around)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Stock Photo License pricing
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
10 terms you should know
The aperture is the hole that the light passes through. Usually we talk about the size of the aperture however. A larger aperture lets more light in however it decreases depth of field. Conversely, a smaller aperture lets in less light but increases depth of field. Aperture size is usually described in f-numbers. The larger the number the smaller the aperture. I like to think of the f as 1. So in the case of f/22 I would think of it as 1/22. Obviously 1/22nd is smaller than 1/5 (i.e f/5)
Shutter speed describes how long the shutter is open for. The longer the shutter is open the more light is let in.
Camera shake is a common problem in photography when telephoto lenses or long shutter speeds are used with a non-stabilized camera. The resulting images will appear blurry and smeared. There are two primary ways of counteracting camera shake. A tripod will stabilize the camera. Additionally a higher shutter speed will help. As a rule thumb the inverse of the focal length is a good speed as a minimum. (e.g. a 50 mm focal length would require a shutter speed of at least 1/50 second).
ISO describes the sensitivity of the film or sensor. A higher number indicates a higher sensitivity. With higher sensitive more grain (in film) or noise (with digital) occurs.
Distance of the nearest object in a scene that is acceptably sharp when the lens is focused on infinity.
White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. Our eyes are very good at judging what is white under different light sources, however digital cameras often have great difficulty with auto white balance (AWB). An incorrect WB can create unsightly blue, orange, or even green color casts, which are unrealistic and particularly damaging to portraits. (from http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/white-balance.htm)
Monday, June 23, 2008
Interesting tip I learned this week
When you have the sun in your shot, using a small aperture (like f/18 - f/22) creates a "star burst effect". Basically when your aperture is wide open the hole is more like a circle. However, when it is closed, the blades of the aperture create a polygon. This shape is what what creates the sun burst.
Here is a sample of one I tried this out on today. (shot at f/18)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Phototips - Pioneer Woman Photography
Her style is quite light and humorous and she approaches it like she is sharing information with a peer which is nice.
Speaking of tuts ("toots"). I watched the curves tutorial last night and it is pretty good. I have some shots I took over the weekend I need to go through so I think I'll play with curves then. Come to think of it. Liam is in those shots so playing around with the information on making eyes pop might be fun to play with too.