Sunday, January 31, 2010

Project 365, Day 31 ("Self Portrait", Day 1)

Well, here it is! My first ever self portrait! It took a few tries, but I'm thinking it's a pretty decent first attempt :)

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/11, 1/160sec and ISO 100, Flash off-camera right, 1/8th power.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Test post for "Self Portrait"

Hand held macro of my eye. Looks like it worked just fine! I might get a great opportunity to play with light this week! I, for one, am very excited!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4.0, 1/100sec and ISO 100. Flash head on, no flash compensation.

I'm watching you!

Project 365, Day 30 ("Monochrome", Day 7)

The last monochrome for the week: a blue towel, macro style.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/100 and ISO 100. Flash bounced off the ceiling @ 0EV compensation.


Next week's theme will be interesting. "Self Portrait". Not sure how this will work out, since I won't be in much control of what's going to be in the frame at the time the shutter is "pressed". We'll see!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Project 365, Day 29 ("Monochrome", Day 6)

So I spent the day in New York City yesterday (for a small set of captures, see my Flickr set), and I captured this image. It's a fairly close up of a large sandstone arch that's the entryway to a commercial building on 42nd street. It's a pure monochrome.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/400sec and ISO 100.


One of my photos from the set is this one (not a monochrome):

Lens and camera settings:
14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 14mm/f/11, 2 seconds and ISO 200

Grand Central Terminal

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Project 365, Day 28 ("Monochrome", Day 5)

Today's monochrome is the only actual B&W conversion I'll do this week for this theme. I made a promise to my wife to take a portrait of her and do a B&W on it for the project. Now of course she's not very patient to pose for me, nor would she let me pick a nice spot to pose from. It was a little on the cold side (25°F with harsh wind and it had just snowed a lot), as we were in NYC's Central Park on the only day this week it decided to be cold, snowy and windy, so while this photo does follow the rule of thirds, and it's properly exposed and in focus, it needs a less distracting background.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/320sec and ISO 100.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Project 365, Day 27 ("Monochrome", Day 4)

There was a wreath from Christmas still up at my In-laws', and it was green. Very green. Very monochrome-like green. So, sparked by my curiosity and lack of other subjects, I went for yet another f/2.0 macro. If I had more aperture, I would have used it, just to single out a single blade and bokeh out the rest (this expression, if it doesn't already exists, will be used by others someday, you'll see).

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f2.0, 1/50sec and ISO 100. Flash bounced behind me at the walls and ceiling @ +2EV compensation.

I had some difficulty choosing a bounce angle/power combination. This photo really wanted to have clipped shadows and blown highlights at the same time. I somehow managed to find a setting that worked in combination with this angle. I might need to invest in some real OCF equipment soon.

Oh yeah, the photo, that's right. Well, without more talk, here it is:


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project 365, Day 26 ("Monochrome", Day 3)

A little better today, at least it's not totally boring today. With Valentine's day coming up, it's only right to do a Valentine's monochrome.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/160sec and ISO 100. Flash bounced off the wall right, 0EV compensation.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Project 365, Day 25 ("Monochrome", Day 2)

This one is a little better. I might be lacking inspiration today..

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/3.2, 1/160sec and ISO 200. Flash bounced at the ceiling @ +0.7EV


Project 365, Day 25 ("Monochrome", Day 2)

Now, normally when I don't like a photo, I just simply don't bother exposing it to the public. This one, however, is bothering me. It's a technically correct photo, well exposed, no clipped or blown highlights or shadows (darn close with all that black, but not clipped, check the histogram). It even has the DOF I like so much. And it's in line with this week's theme!

Maybe someone else has an opinion?

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/160sec and ISO 200. Flash bounced off the ceiling-ish @ +0.7EV compensation.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Project 365, Day 24 ("Monochrome", Day 1)

Today starts monochrome. Instead of doing the obvious (B&W conversion), I decided that I already have something (or someone) indisputably monochrome. My cat Boris! He's as Black & White as they come, so the perfect subject today. I promise, I will eventually get around to posting portraits!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/160sec and ISO 200. Flash bounced off the ceiling, +0.7EV flash compensation.


The reflection in his eye actually shows the photographer.

Pretty much unsharpened (apart from what flickr does).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More rust

Here I popped the rust a lot more, and it came out really rich!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/5.6, 1/100sec and ISO 400


Project 365, Day 23 ("In The Garden", Day 7)

The final day of this project! And this is what I found in the garden, attached to the shed. Rust makes for some very rich and deep colors. Even fairly unprocessed, there's a lot of deep color going on here.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/1250sec and ISO 100


Friday, January 22, 2010

While I was at the Rose Garden...

As I walked back to the car, I decided to turn around to see if anything interesting was going on. This arch is where lots of people have weddings in the summer. A sea of roses would normally be where the dead brush and snow is now.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/6.3, 1/100sec and ISO 100.

Arch Rose Garden

Project 365, Day 22 ("In The Garden", Day 6)

I went to the rose garden in Central Park (no, not the one in NYC) here, and I took this photo. Now if you happen to see a little camera shake, I know. It was very windy, and I was trying to hold the branch in place while taking the photo with my other hand, but it looks like it came out ok at this size.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4, 1/100sec and ISO 100.


Project 365, Day 21 ("In The Garden", Day 5)

I saw these berries the other day when I was taking the photo of the bird house, but when I took one then, I tried to take it hand held. The awkward position (fairly high) and bad light conditions then made it impossible to get a good shot. Not so this time! I grabbed my tripod and focused manually. It also helped that the sun was out this time.

The only issue I have with properly exposed pictures with lots of dark red in them, is that the red channel always blows in sRGB. I have yet to figure out how to prevent that without having to dial down the red and orange luminosity in ACR.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4, 1/400 and ISO 100. Camera on tripod.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Project 365, Day 20 ("In The Garden", Day 4)

Seeing everyone else's macros made me want to attempt one of my own, so I did. It was just barely above freezing, and this drop was actually freshly melted snow that was falling off and on all day.

Any CC is always welcome!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4, 1/100sec and ISO 200

Water Drop

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Project 365, Day 19 ("In The Garden", Day 3)

Today was a little more interesting than the past few days! I actually managed to get out to the "garden" and get some photos. I found a very old bird house that I felt was a good subject for this week's assignment, but you guys can be the judge, of course :)

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4.0, 1/80sec and ISO 200.

Bird House SOOC

Edited version:
Bird House Edit 2

Monday, January 18, 2010

Project 365, Day 18 ("In The Garden", Day 2)

This was actually taken late last night, when I saw the snow come down. I wanted a photo of something with fresh snow on it, since most of the snow had melted in the past day or so. Of course, this meant flash, and I try not to keep my flash on the camera if I can help it, since head-on flash is, well, kind of flashy.

This twig with fresh snow on it drew my interest, since it was the only thing with color sticking out of the white landscape. I did some minor boosting of color on this one, since it would have been a fairly lifeless photo.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/5.6, 1/125sec and ISO 100. Flash off-camera left, 1/16th power, set off by pop-up flash at 1/64th power.

Snow on Branch

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Project 365, Day 17 ("In The Garden", Day 1)

Good start of the week here, with a pseudo-macro of what I found in front of the house. Normally, by that I mean the rest of the year, this area is in full bloom. Because of the winter, below is what you'll mostly find. Nice open aperture for some creative focus, and I underexposed the snow to preserve detail. There weren't many shadows in danger of being clipped, and at ISO 200, there's no noise to worry about.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/3.2, 1/125sec and ISO 200.

Snow in the garden

Friday, January 15, 2010

Project 365, Day 16 ("Sun", Day 7)

I also took this picture, it's a snap to illustrate why there haven't been many other sun shots this week. The weather really does it to you when you rely on it for photos! Not much for landscape though, kind of boring. Maybe I'll get to go to the park soon, it's spectacular over there.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/8.0, 1/320sec and ISO 100.

Sunny Street

Project 365, Day 15 ("Sun", Day 6)

Sooner or later, you guys are going to get sick of these flares, good thing it's day 6! I do have to apologize, I'm just having way too much fun with these.. Tomorrow I'll do something different, I promise! I should probably start practicing people photos, since that's what ILP is all about. One more for the books:

50mm f/2.0 @ f/22, 1/100 sec and ISO 200.

Street Sign Flare

That said, once you get these flares, they're fairly easy to do. This street sign was ideal for flare, because of that small space to peek the sun around. Not sure what those red speckles are at the bottom of the frame, but I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will have the answer to that!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Project 365, Day 14 ("Sun", Day 5)

Now I realize this photo is one of photography's biggest no-nos next to out of focus shots, but I really had only one chance to take this one (I was in a hurry and on my way out) and apart from the camera shake induced blur, it's still cool. Every bright surface in the picture has a sun burst, and there's a nice big flare all across the frame. As far as that goes, the exercise was a success!

Many will say that the photo could have been taken with, say, ISO 400 to get a stable 1/100sec shutter speed, and I realize that, but this photo would have been underexposed no matter what at f/18 and at ISO 400 and up, this camera gets pretty noisy.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/18, 1/25sec and ISO 100.

Coffee cup with flare

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Project 365, Day 13 ("Sun", Day 4)

After shooting yesterday "sun", I decided to look at the weather, and of course, the sunny day was too good to be true, it called for overcast skies. Looks like we may be in for more snow soon. There's no such thing as snow flare, is there?

Anyway. I looked at the blinds as there was an annoying beam of sunlight hitting my eyes just the wrong way and I noticed this big flare. Removing the lens hood before shooting a sun flare is key.
The lens hood is there with its only purpose being to prevent sun flare, so yeah, it came off. Once you do this, you start to notice that 3 things influence the amount and quality of the flare:
1) where the sun is coming from, or rather, what it's shining through (the small holes in the blinds work wonderfully for this).
2) where you put the sun in the frame (rule of thirds anyone? Nicest flare seems to happen when the sun is exactly on that line) and
3) at what angle the lens is facing the sun. This one needs some experimentation.
oh let's not forget 4) Set your aperture to a really small opening like f/22. Anything f/16 and up will work, the higher the number, the nicer the sun burst, but don't forget you still need light for your photo as well.

And here it is:

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/22, 1/80sec and ISO 400

Flare through blinds

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Project 365, Day 12 ("Sun", Day 3)

Finally some sun! I ran outside and started shooting the second I found the first tree branches to shoot through. Here's the result:

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/22, 1/80sec and ISO 100. I also boosted the saturation and contrast a little.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Project 365, Day 11 ("Sun", Day 2)

This is more proof of concept of a sun flare than a technically correct photo, or even anything remotely as beautiful as some of the photos I've seen today. However, skies were overcast today and I was at work so this is what I came up with to stay with the theme.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/16, 1/80sec and ISO 400. The flash was off camera at full power. I taped a piece of black card stock with a dime size hole in the middle to the head to simulate a circular light source for the "star" effect of small apertures. I was forced to boost the exposure +2 stops in ACR due to the ambient light simply not being powerful enough to fill in behind the flash for correct exposure the way it would happen with a correct sun flare.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Project 365, Day 10 ("Sun", Day 1)

Today marks the first day of theme "sun", and of course I missed one of the most spectacular sunrises I've ever seen from where I work. My work day is basically from sunrise to sunset in the winter, and I didn't bring my camera (yeah, don't yell, I know), so out of desperation, I went with this instead.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/25, ISO 100 and flash bounced off the ceiling with no flash compensation.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Project 365, Day 9 ("Resolutions", Day 7)

Last day of this theme: I will definitely keep up with this blog! Or at least try my very hardest to take a photo every day and post it here! If anyone could tell me what causes that funny colored line through the picture, I'm pretty sure it's not a lens artifact. Maybe a refresh line of the screen itself?

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/30sec and ISO 200. No flash.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Project 365, Day 8 ("Resolutions", Day 6)

This one is familiar, it's also the first blog post on this blog. It wasn't the greatest framing, which in turn makes it fitting as a resolution: To improve my composition. I tend to get way too close.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125sec, ISO 200. Flash with -0.7EV flash compensation, bounced off the ceiling.

Lexi giving look

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project 365, Day 7 ("Resolutions", Day 5)

I would love to learn more about OCF (Off Camera Flash), and it's definitely on my list of stuff to do this year. Also next on my list of stuff to purchase is a set of remote triggers, a light stand and a shoot-thru umbrella.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125sec, ISO 100 and flash off camera at 1/16th power. Fired by remote in slave mode with the pop-up flash at 1/64th power.

A higher shutter speed to eliminate ambient light. Ambient light would distract too much from the subject, although I notice a small patch of green from a reflection off the Christmas tree behind the camera.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Project 365, Day 6 ("Resolutions", Day 4)

Below show my resolution to drink more of the black gold we call coffee. Nothing special done to capture this one though, it was right after I poured the coffee, and I needed a themed photo. I have to say that next time I'll leave out the coffee maker. Its blue display is way too bright and distracting, and even more so in out of focus background.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/40sec, ISO 100 and flash, once again, bounced off the ceiling with no flash compensation.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Project 365, Day 5 ("Resolutions", Day 3)

This photo illustrates the goal to be healthier in 2010. Of course eating healthier is probably a better way to go but hey, it's better than nothing.

I used black poster board for the background.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 at f/2.0, 1/25sec, ISO 100, flash bounced off an overhead wooden arch, no flash compensation.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Project 365, Day 4 ("Resolutions", Day 2)

Another resolution is, or should be, to manage money better. I don't have too many real resolutions this year, but this is definitely a goal. Too bad the dim iPod Touch screen wasn't exposed as nicely as I would have liked with the bounced flash. Maybe next time I'll use a tripod and use a much slower shutter speed. I could probably get away with no flash then.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/20sec and ISO 100, flash bounced off the ceiling at +0.3EV flash compensation.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Project 365, Day 3 ("Resolutions", Day 1)

Today starts a new 365 theme on "Resolutions". My first one, like many people, is exercise. Emphasis on the weights though, the scale is just to enforce the theme.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/25sec, ISO 100 and flash bounced off the ceiling with -0.7EV flash compensation. This seems to be about the butter zone for correct exposure in this particular house.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Project 365, Day 2 ("red" day 7)

A photo of my little one. You'll see a bunch of photos of her over time, since she's my main portrait subject. I think she's getting more tolerant to the fact that I'm pointing this black thing that flashes bright light at her all the time though. To stay faithful to the ILP "red" theme, I put red sunglasses on her.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 at f/2.0, 1/25sec, ISO 100 and flash bounced off the ceiling with -0.7EV flash compensation.

Alexis Red

Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 365, Day 1 ("red" day 6)

It was the holidays, and I found this basket on the dining room table at my in-laws'.

Lens and camera data: 50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/25sec, ISO 100 and flash bounced off the ceiling, -0.7EV flash compensation.

You'll find lots of flash photos I take taken at a slow shutter speed because I like to blend ambient light with flash to create the illusion that flash was never used. I haven't quite gotten to the subject of light creation and photography with all controlled studio light.


January, 2010

I decided to process this photo I took around the holidays because I thought it was an interesting pose. I have to admit though, that my 50mm is too long of a lens for some purposes. I don't think I could have moved too much further away for this one, and I think the framing is too tight.

Lexi giving look