Monday, July 29, 2013

Camera Tricks

Tomorrow (Tuesday that is, July 30th) I will be engaged in a battle of cameras. The rules are simple:
No post-processing
No cropping
No adjustments of any kind.
Three shot maximum.
One location, limited time frame.
In short, straight from the camera.

The winner gets bragging rights, and the adulation of millions of people.
Well, maybe not the last part, but I am determined to win this.

So in order to shoot something worthwhile, I needed to practice, and enlisted the aid of a close friend of mine to model. I don't normally do glamour photography, I simply don't know enough about it, but this time around I didn't want to do any landscape shots. So tonight she was kind enough to let me practice. The image you see here is straight from my Nikon D2x, in Black and White mode, with a 135mm f/2.8 manual focus lens.
The soft patterning you see is not from photoshop, or lightroom, or anything of that sort, but a black silk stocking attached on the end of the lens (the part that goes into the camera, not the other end)
AS you can see, it softens everything and gives you the soft Hollywood glow from times gone by, which was exactly the effect I was looking for.
I hope the judges like the shot (I will have to replicate it tomorrow, but I am confident I can) and I hope you do too. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

More Colour

 Another colour run came through our area this weekend. Much smaller than the one I run in, and this time I decided to shoot from outside the run. Deciding what lens to take wasn't easy, but in the end I took my main concert lens, the 80-200mm, figuring the variable focal length would give me flexibility. The constant f/2.8 aperture worked wonderfully, as you can see with the first picture, how nicely the runner is isolated from the background.
It was a partially sunny day and I could always have the sun behind me no matter where I went, giving me good solid skin tones and accurate colours. Most shots were at ISO400 allowing me to stop the action in mid-stride (like in the 2nd and last pic)
The full set can be seen here:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hacker In Training

Meet Argo the Hacker In Training. I was working on a laptop for a friend and Argo came wandering over to see what I was doing.
Actually I suspect he just came over for the sunny spot. Since he was kind enough to sit still, I grabbed my Nikon D2x with my landscape lens still on it (17-35mm) and snapped a few shots. He sat still long enough for this one shot, then moved on.
So, if you get any funny e.mails from me, blame it on Argo!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Point Made

Ever since I moved into my new house, my time has been taken up with that. As anyone who owns a house knows, there is always something that needs doing. In this case, it's the yard. And I'd rather walk through fire than do yardwork. So it goes without saying that although it needs to be done, it's slow going, and I'm rather reluctant to do it. It also cuts into my motivation to be creative with my photography.
I got a comment the other day on my fireworks pictures, which is posted (more or less) verbatim here:

"Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as 

though you relied on the video to make your point.
You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just 
posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?"

The comment, regardless of the source, has merit. So from here on out, I will write more, be more descriptive about the process and results.
But since I don't have any pics to show right now, I will upload two stories I have written. Each story was written as a page a day, with a cliffhanger at the end of each page. It was fun to write that way, being constrained not only by page length, but ending.
Do please let me know what you think of them:

You will find I'm hard on my main characters, I generally have a solid idea about the beginning and ending, it's the middle I'm fuzzy about, but by writing a page a day, I find I have time in between to think about how the story will shape up. 

I'm not a great writer by any stretch, I have issues with subject verb tense, but I'd like to think I get the point across and entertain you for a little bit. The second story is more violent than the 1st, but I'm pretty certain they are all ages friendly.


Friday, July 5, 2013

July 4th

 Or how NOT to take fireworks pictures. My city, in its infinite wisdom, decided to host the big fireworks bash on July 3rd. Not the 4th, the 3rd. Why? I have no idea but I missed it (the 'werx would have been over the city skyline) because I was expecting it to be on the proper day. Silly me.
In any case when I found out I'd missed it, I was right ticked, so on the 4th I went to a much smaller venue and sat too close to the show, thus cutting off most of the edges. Oh well, next time right?
In the meantime, here are some I did like.