Archive for August, 2009

August 31, 2009

Canon G10 Macro Fun

CicadaI’m taking some time to learn my Canon G10 so this morning I did some macro photography.  I just used a Nikon SB600 flash with printer paper for a diffuser to get this shot of a cicada shell.  Set the camera to macro, in manual mode and fired the flash with Pocket Wizards and Bob’s your uncle, a hideous monster.  I haven’t done a lot of macro photography because I don’t have any macro lenses for my DSLRs, but with the G10 I think I’ll play around with this a bit more.

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August 28, 2009

iShot (kind of)

I like many of the photography apps I have on my iPhone and DSLR Camera Remote is the latest one to capture (no pun intended) my attention.  While a lot of the photo apps are somewhat gimicky, this is one I can really use in the real world.  Really.  With it I can remotely control my camera and make adjustments to shutter speed, f-stop, white balance etc.  I can even adjust exposure compensation on the fly.  Nice! And there is an intervalometer and bracketing control.  Of course, these wonderful controls come on the $20.00 version of the app, while you can get the $1.99 version and just have the ability to fire the camera.  I learned about this amazing bit of technology from Moose Peterson’s Blog,  you should have this bookmarked if you don’t already.  I have not had the time to really work with this app yet but in the short time I have spent with it I can say it is awesome.  I have fired my camera remotely with Pocket Wizards in the past and they are great because of the range they give me. But all I can do with them is release the shutter.  With DSLR Camera Remote I can see LIve View on my iPhone screen, focus and shoot.  Really cool.

IMG_0400This is an amazing shot of a window in my office.  Ooooh.  Aaaah.  This is what the screen looks like on the iPhone when the camera is connected.

For me, the only drawback is that the camera has to be tethered to a computer, Mac or Windows.  And it won’t work with my D2X, only my D700. And I hear it works on those Canon thingies, too.  This makes setting the camera up in some remote location a bit more difficult.  Or harrowing, like say behind a soccer goal or in a tree.  I can’t say if this works with wireless remotes but I would think so.   On the other hand, I can see where this will be fantastic in a studio or on some location shoots where you have creatives who want to see the shots on a computer as they come out of the camera.  Shoot to a download folder (your choice) and (in my case) set up Lightroom2 to download from that folder and the images come up on the screen of the laptop, ready for any creative to look and ask questions. I also like that this frees me from being behind the camera while shooting.  What if I’m working with monkeys?  Or even worse, cats! (you thought I was going to say “children”, right?)   I can’t control them while hiding behind the camera!

This app works on the iPhone and iPod Touch.  I don’t know what happens if a phone call comes in while using this on an iPhone so I have something to look forward to.  I just bought the app from the iTunes store, synced my iPhone, downloaded the DSLR Remote Server software from the onOne Software website, plugged in the camera, the camera picked up my laptop on a wireless connection and I started shooting.  It took me all of five minutes.  It was that easy.  If your looking for a solution for a camera remote and you have an iPhone or iPod touch, this is the way to go.

August 27, 2009

A new day for Meagan.

1stDayI took my daughter, Meagan, and all of her stuff, to her dorm room at the University of Maryland today.  We’re all excited and perhaps a bit nervous.  So with a new beginning for her I decided to start a new tradition.  That is, I am going to get a picture of her on the first day of each year, the day we drop her off at the dorm. And when her two brothers start college, I will do the same for them.  A way of keeping track, I suppose, like I like to do with my cameras.  For me, being a visual person, a picture means more to me than just words in a journal alone.

Some pictures are meaningful only to the persons involved in their making.  This shot is in terrible light and I shot it with my G10, not one of my “big” cameras.  I had no fill panels or lights and her face is in shadow and that’s OK.   It means something to Meagan and those of us who love her, but I’m sure it won’t catch anyone else’s interest.  There are some interesting things in the shot.  Notice how all the elements seem to be in balance except the subject, Meagan, she is just left of center in the frame.  I think its a good composition.  Technically Ok, not great.

Sometimes when I look at pictures I can almost feel the moment they were taken.  I can get into the moment and share in what was going on at the time, even though I wasn’t there.  I think we all do that in some way.   Especially with things that are common to most of us, like births, graduations, marriages and all.   There is something real happening that is captured and relived many times through the coming years.  This is another reason why I love photography.

This is a significant moment in our lives. Meagan’s first day at college.  A picture to celebrate.  A picture is a celebration.  Of life.  And all the things we do along the way.

So look at this picture and know that here is something special.  Not a special picture in a technical sense, but a special moment in a girl’s life.  Touching the nose of Testudo on her first day at the University of Maryland.   A new day for Meagan and all the promise it holds.  Go Meagan.  Go Terps.

August 19, 2009

New Look/Self Portrait

I changed the look of my blog to more closely match my website because I now have it set up to navigate to here from my website.  I think I like the new look!

I spent the morning working on a self portrait.  This was a lot more work than I had anticipated for several reasons.  Like most photographers I know, I don’t like to have my picture taken.  I just have never been comfortable in front of the camera. (Probably because of that ugly mug!)  Focusing is difficult as the person I need to focus on is also the one taking the picture (me).  I used a light stand to focus on and after some messing about I finally got focus on my eyes.  Adjusting the lights and finding the right pose just added to the work but in the end I think I got it.  I am much better when working with another person as the subject.

SelfPortrait

Portrait of the artist as an old man.

August 17, 2009

Photoshop Camera Raw Preset

Playing around in Photoshop CS4 I tried to make a preset to “punch up” pictures.  Kind of the opposite of the “Dave Hill look” but more than the “Punch” setting in Lightroom 2.  Here is the result.  Any ideas?

boatsI am going for a look that isn’t natural and yet not too far out there.  Any opinions?

August 17, 2009

Farm land

I just got back from a trip to Michigan, in the middle of lots of farm land.  Acres and acres of corn, soybeans, and a few dairy farms.  A place where neighbors depend on each other and families are close by, sometimes closer than one would like, but always available to help if help is needed.

So of course I spent some time with my camera, although not as much as I would have liked.  I got the shot below while walking around a barn one early morning.  I like the textures in the wood.  I like the corrugated metal siding and the play of the red and white paint.  And I like the lock.  “Where did I leave that screwdriver?”

hasp

August 10, 2009

iShot

I don’t know why.  I just can’t look at this statue and not smile.

Bob's Big Boy

August 5, 2009

Back from vacation.

We went to my favorite place in the world for vacation, the Adirondacks.  Had a great time, it’s just beautiful in the north woods and I really want to go back there for good.  I left all my camera gear at home except for my new Canon G10.  I made the right decision as it really is a great little camera.  It was nice to go away with the family and be able to concentrate on pictures just for us and not on work.  Here is a sample from the trip.

canoes

I won’t win any awards with this but really, this is from a point and shoot camera?  Well, OK, it is a bit more than a point and shoot.  Taking just this camera was the perfect decision.  No regrets.  And by the way, I’m a Nikon guy.