Monday, May 31, 2010

365/151 Negative Space/2

I decided to play a little with low key photography, and I think it looks interesting! Definitely worth exploring more, maybe with a more cooperative model.

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 14mm, f/13, 1/250sec and ISO 100. Flash @ 1/2 power fired into umbrella.
Alexis Low Key

Sunday, May 30, 2010

365/150 Negative Space/1

This week's theme is negative space, and here is what I just randomly saw.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125sec and ISO 800.
E Looking into negative space

And the color version:
E looking into negative space in color

Playing with light: Low Key

Last night I stumbled across an article about low key photography, which completely reminded me that this in combination with B&W can create some of the most dramatic photos. Of course I wish I had remembered this at the beginning of B&W week, but now I have a reason to whip out the flash again!

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ f/11, 1/250sec and ISO 100. Flash OCF at 1/4 power.
E Low Key

Saturday, May 29, 2010

365/149 Black and White/7

Final black and white! I miss the theme already, I think I really have a secret love for B&W photography. I may just have to do more in B&W now that I got hooked! It's ironic: after all that technology, going back to the basic of basics. I have to say though, B&W is really how photography is done. It makes drama more dramatic, and something it even makes you wonder how a certain scene would have looked in color, and your imagination is the only way to take you there.

So anyways, here the 2 for today, one of them horribly out of focus, but I liked the moment, so it's going up anyway.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125sec and ISO 800.
Mama on puter

50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125sec and ISO 800, and I let the camera figure out what to focus on (awesome job, not).
Alexis on mama

I will say this: normally in a situation where it's not clear what the camera should be doing when I point a focus point as something, I usually let it focus and then I adjust manually when I shoot f/2.0, just because the thin DOF may not give the desired result. Laziness or haste don't work well, so that's a big lesson learned. I think the photo moment would have stuck around for the extra 0.1 second it would have taken me to actually pay attention. As far as AF is concerned, it did its job perfectly, it focused exactly where I pointed the selected AF point.

Friday, May 28, 2010

365/148 Black and White/6

The glass is half full, half empty or has 50% of its contents in it.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/100sec and ISO 3200.
Half full

Thursday, May 27, 2010

365/147 Second Shot!

How many people own a lens with this focal length and aperture? I bet it's the majority of photographers, and if they don't own one now, they have at one point.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4.0, 1/250sec and ISO 400. Flash @ +1 EV, bounced off the ceiling.

365/147 Black and White/5

It's been one of those days. For her, I had a great day!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0 1/160sec at ISO800.
Erika tired

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

365/146 Black and White/4

I'm starting to see the light! Or well, the moment. I blame B&W photography for this, I'm really enjoying black and white and the following picture was taken because I felt the light would look amazing in B&W. And it does, but you be the judge!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125 and ISO 400.
A eating icecream

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

365/145 Black and White/3

The kiddo and her grandma!

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/125sec and ISO 800.
Alexis and Meme

Monday, May 24, 2010

365/144 Black and White/2

Some macros from a recently opened Iris, in B&W.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/200sec and ISO 400.
Iris BW 1

50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/100sec and ISO 800.
Iris BW 2

365/143 second take!

Alexis Playing with Yarn 4
Alexis Playing with Yarn 3
Alexis Playing with Yarn 2
Alexis Playing with Yarn

Sunday, May 23, 2010

365/143 Black and White/1

It's Black & White freestyle week, o lots of variety this week!

50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/100sec and ISO 400.
Candle BW

and White:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/100sec and ISO 400.
Tissue BW

Saturday, May 22, 2010

365/142 Accidental Letters/7

Next week is Black & White freestyle, but I'm not sure if I know how to handle this without a theme to force me to find a subject, maybe I should just do a week of B&W portraits! As for today, here's the last 3 letters of the week:

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/125sec and ISO 400.

50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/100sec and ISO 400.

50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.8, 1/250sec and ISO 400.

Friday, May 21, 2010

365/141 Accidental Letters/6

U(ninspired). Long work days do that. Nevertheless, it's today's capture. Oh for good measure, the right side of the U is out of focus due to shallow DOF, which could have been avoided by using a smaller aperture. I went for lazy and left it at f/2.0 (I didn't feel like dealing with high ISO noise today), so I could use ISO 400 with the flash. ISO 400 with flash? Yes. It was bounced off the ceiling to be able to use the reflection and contrast to accentuate the "U" shape.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/250sec and ISO 400. Flash compensation at +3EV (max).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Love NY

'Nuff Said.

Lens and camera data:
I'm not sharing this one ;-)

I love NY

365/140 Accidental Letters/5

Today three letters, from the same object. Idea stolen, that too, except I have different letters.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/25sec and ISO 400.

Coffee Cup D

Coffee Cup O

Coffee Cup Q

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

365/139 Accidental Letters/4

Another T today, this one found by my wife! I know for a fact she didn't bother putting the utensils in this arrangement, because the way we leave things on the kitchen counter, it could have easily landed this way.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/4.0 (needed the DOF), 1/80sec and ISO 800.
T spoon and knife

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

365/138 Accidental Letters/3

Nature makes some really nice letters! Maybe it could be a side challenge of sorts to find every letter of the alphabet in nature.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/250sec and ISO 100.

Monday, May 17, 2010

365/137 Accidental Letters/2

I accidentally stumbled upon this, which makes it a double accident! I'm not sure which one of the two angles I prefer, I do know the head-on one needs more DOF, maybe f/4.0 would have been better?

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/30sec and ISO 400.
Horse Shoe 2
Horse Shoe

Sunday, May 16, 2010

365/136 Accidental Letters/1

Today's contribution is brought to you by the letter T. Or whatever else letter I will find through the course of the day. I really like this theme!

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 54mm, f/3.5, 1/1000sec and ISO 100.
Hydrant T

I wish I had that f/2.0 aperture from my 50mm on this lens, for just a little more bokeh, but it's not the lens I had on me, and it worked. What helped, is that f/3.5 seems to give good DOF for this subject at this distance, and focus was dead on.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

365/135 Hometown/7

The park.. again. I wish I had an hour to myself to really drive somewhere and get a few nice shots. No such deal this time, so I hope you like these instead.

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 14mm, f/2.8, 1/800sec and ISO 100.
Lonely Bench
Shooting wide open was a bad call this time, apparently this lens has some chromatic aberration distortion that makes the image appear soft, but I've only noticed this at the widest angle at wide open aperture.

14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 22mm, f/2.9, 1/200sec and ISO 200.
No aberrations here, just a clean image (apart from the blown highlights).

Friday, May 14, 2010

365/134 Hometown/6

It was an overall sunny day, except for this rogue thunderstorm that made everything overly humid. I went for a ride, but irony dictates that the better shots are taken close to home, so guess what. 50 feet from the front door I saw this. Sure, it would have been better if this was an open field, but it works!

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 14mm, f/2.8, 1/800sec and ISO 100.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

365/133 Hometown/5

No time and exhaustion will produce this:

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/15sec and ISO 400.

Sure I'm lazy, what of it. Work's been kicking my *ss lately so I'm running on fumes right now..

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

365/132 Hometown/4

This sign tells you, clearly, that you're now entering the town of Rotterdam, right? Well, unless you're a local and you know where you are, you wouldn't have a clue what town you just left. There is no "City of Schenectady" sign anywhere, and as far as I know, there's only 2 locations with such a sign, even though there's plenty of roads leading to the city.

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 17mm, f/11, 1/125sec and ISO 400.
Rotterdam Sign

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

365/131 Hometown/3

I was running out of light, so I didn't have time to drive anywhere. What do you shoot that follows this theme and is of your hometown? Well, this:

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 14mm, f/11, 1/80sec and ISO 400.
From the back balcony

This is the view you get from my back balcony. It's a dreary day, and I was losing light fast, so it's going to have to do right now.

Monday, May 10, 2010

365/130 Hometown/2

Finally some sun today! My wife really liked this view, so I decided to snap a photo of it.

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 17mm, f/13, 1/100sec and ISO 100.
Schenectady from park

Again, landscapes are best viewed much larger than 500 pixels wide.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

365/129 Hometown/1

Anyone who's followed my blog from the beginning (few have) will know where this is. One of my favorite places in this town for photography, Central Park in Schenectady, NY. Not quite the NYC version, but certainly a nice park either way!

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 31mm, f/8.0, 1/25sec and ISO 100.
Central Park Sch'dy

The "medium" size in flickr really doesn't do this photo justice. I saved the "original" JPEG version at 900 pixels wide, which is a little better, but I think it wants to be printed large!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

365/128 Affection/7

This is how my little girl shows her affection. Lots and lots of drawings! Well these are connect-the-dots, but she'll do the same with drawings or paintings.

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 20mm, f/2.9, 1/40sec and ISO 1600.

I think I went for the "color cast" look here. The photo was white balanced for the light coming through the window and the lamp light turned this glow-in-the-dark yellow. Sure, I could have just used flash and controlled light color, but it's really not that spectacular of a capture to begin with, I didn't find it worth the time and effort.

Friday, May 7, 2010

365/127 Affection/6

To all people with a dislike of photos taken in full sun: it's not evil. In fact, full sun can be your friend! Just remember that full sun will create very dark shadows, kind of like using a flash in a dark room.

A small moment of "affection" between my cats, because they both wanted the one tiny patch of sun coming from a window.

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 @ 40mm, f/4.5, 1/500sec and ISO 100.
Boris and Baby

Thursday, May 6, 2010

365/126 Affection/5

Helen taught me this trick (HRP on ILP). Before PP, there used to be a flash dead smack in the middle of the heart, the heart was also upside down (arms just simply don't bend that way). I set my camera to f/22 and 1/250 (highest sync speed) and ISO 100 to remove all ambient light, and I set the flash to 1/8th power to shoot just enough light into the picture toward the camera to work as a back light but not illuminate the top of the hands (camera side). This resulted in just the inside rim of the heart being illuminated. In PS I used a levels layer to set the black point to exclude everything but the brightest part of the photo. And now we arrive here:

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 @ 35mm, f/22, 1/250sec and ISO 100. Flash @ 1/8th power, firing toward the camera.
Heart from hands

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

365/125 Affection/4

I thank Azure for the idea, although I'm thinking she doesn't read this blog. I wanted a no-person photo today, so went with my wedding band. I wanted deep blacks and just a tiny bit of light. There's a distracting reflection on the ring, I know, but right now it's going to have to do.

Lens and camera settings:
50mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, 1/60sec and ISO 1600.
Ring 2

Yet more macro! Broken Record Time!

Light can turn an ordinary flower into a work of art! The peddles of a flower are semi-transparant, and this particular one had gorgeous shades of purple when light shines through them.

Purple Flower Macro

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

365/124 Affection/3

It's only right to make my favorite subjects, closest to my heart, part of this theme! Today I experimented with Lightroom, to see if I can get away with not using Photoshop at all for processing. Close, but no cigar. Fair is fair, all of the actual post processing was done in Lightroom, but then I still needed my 20 pixel frame with 2 pixel white border and my logo to be included, which ironically I needed Photoshop for. If anyone wants to enlighten me to the path of freedom by showing me how to do those simple things in Lightroom, I'd forever appreciate it!

Lens and camera settings:
14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II @ 27mm, f/3.0, 1/100sec and ISO 100.
Mama and Alexis

Not bad at all, especially not with the colors! A little oversharpened, I must admit, probably because in PS I ended up resizing the photo after adding the frame, and then I accidentally resharpened, and I was too lazy to reprocess.

Monday, May 3, 2010

White Balance Play

Today I decided to play with custom white balance, the properly set kind. Olympus seems to prefer white surfaces to the "neutral grey" kind. As a treat, I processed this photo in Adobe Camera Raw and Olympus Master, both with identical exposure and white balance settings, post processing layers the same, all that was different was that Olympus Master was set to the in-camera processing defaults, and ACR was left to its own devices to figure out what to do with the Raw file.

Baby Proper WB #1

Baby Proper WB #2

Let me know which you prefer, and I'll reveal which is which! All I have to say, is that I still prefer Oly processing, but with CWB set, the difference isn't as big as it used to be.

Also: see the green "cast" in the photo? It's actually not a cast, since the whites are white. It's actually proof you should never shoot under CFL bulb light! The limited color range of these bulbs turned everything "green". I did take a photo with the flash also, which looked a lot more natural.