Tag Archives: photography

Oct 2014 – a bit of wedding fun!

My sister got married this weekend and my kids had the opportunity to be involved.  My son was a ring bearer and my daughters both flower girls. 

I did have a chance to shoot some photos and loved every minute of it. 

Here is one photo I thought I would share.

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Hope you like it.

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Oct 2014 – 10 reasons I miss my dslr

Don’t worry.  I kept my dslr.  Both of them.  I’m not crazy, but this weekend I chose to leave them at home when I went on my trip to vancouver.

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I think my smartphone is capable of taking nice pictures.   Even good pictures.  Even great pictures but the creative control I have with a dslr is almost incomparable. 
So here it is, in no particular order, my top 10 reasons for hating my smartphone (or why I miss my dslr):
1.  Dof – I admit since I got my d800e I shoot at some pretty crazy fstop values mostly wide open but there are times when closing down and expanding the depth of field is required. 
2.  Lenses – interchangeable lenses and different focal lengths and distances are occassionally requirements of taking a picture.
3.  Dynamic range –  yes software and sensors in phone cameras have improved dramatically in the last 5 years but being able to bracket and having even wider dynamic range helps to bring out the natural range of the human eye. 
4.  Focus – I have a love hate relationship with autofocus and the speed of a smartphones autofocus is still a major delay in taking a picture.  Moments are fleeting and hard to find and a 1 to 2 second delay in shooting a frame can be costly.
5.  Focus again, a near lack of manual focus means getting soft focus or off axis focus exactly right is next to impossible on a smartphone.  Yes in post these issues can usually be resolved with good source but im a fan of getting it in camera when I can.
6.  Colorcast.  White balance, color cast and bit depth are all still very real problems with smartphones.   The sensors no matter how many improvements are still weaker in a smartphone then a dslr.
7.  Sharpness.  Smaller sensor less light  more software post processing and lower resolution only several reasons why the sharpness in smartphones is lacking.  Even from lens to lens and fstop to fstop the sharpness on a dslr can vary.  Imagine what dust fingerprints etc are doing to smartphone pictures.
8.  Iso.  No manual iso and much higher noise.  Smartphones just dont have the same options for controlling the exposure triangle.
9.  Shutter speed. On exactly the same note as iso it hurts the creative control you have.  When was the last time you changed shutter speed on your smartphone.  Now I get it.  There are apps that will do this but with 3 buttons I can change shutter iso and fstop in beautiful harmony. 
10.  Lack of raw support.  My workflow is so happily integrated with lightroom and developing photos from RAW that the results are obviously hurt by not having raw files. 

Long story short I’m not saying I won’t take pictures with a smartphone or all of them are garbage.  Im just saying given the option I still see the value in a dslr. 

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Overall not a bad set of shots but would still have liked to go that much further. 

Anyway this month I will be attempting a high speed photo with the theme superhero. 
I am hoping to capture a lego man with a cape of liquid frozen in time.

Wish me luck!

Sept 2014 – lemonade

So I did it.  I think

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I think it turned out.  Not exactly what I thought it would be like but im actually kind of happy with it. 

Here are 2 originals

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As you can see recomposing and including more of the bandshell would contribute to the visual appear. 

I tried to save the dull gray light but only ended up making things worse. 

Attempt 1

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Kind of dreamy but unnatural.

And try 2

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A bit better but missing the punch of having actually shot with real sunset light. 

I didn’t do much to the black and white image for post processing.  

I simply opened it twice in photoshop from raw.  The first time to get the highlights and white crisp and the second to get the dark sky nice and tonal. 

I then blended the two images with layer masks and trimmed a bit.  I adjusted the lens correction and used a couple approaches to try and accentuate the height of the model primarily making the image narrower in the horizontal. 

Finally I converted to black and white carefully balancing the blues and cyans for the trailing fabric and then sharpened. 

Overall I kind of like the black and white image.  What do you think? 

Would selective color work for this image?  Is that overdone?

What do you think of the other post processing attempts overdone?

Any suggestions of things I missed in post production.

Sept 2014 – shoot day

Well today is supposed to be shoot day.  Im not sure I have a model confirmed and the weather (thunderstorms in september?) Is not cooperating. 
Assuming as always things find a way of working out I should be taking some pretty cool pcitures today. 
Yesterday I unfolded the cloth that I will be using and the sheer fabric may introduce more miore than I expected…also in certain light it looks purple so some color hrading is going to be essential. 

My batteries are charged my bad is loaded my memory card is clear I’m ready to go. 

I am going to try and make a strip lighy out of two prungles cans.  The idea came from another website (popphoto.com)  and I think it is a great fit for my shoot today. 

Now hopefully I can confirm a time…

Sept 2014 – planning for shoot day

Without a model for this shot the risk of failing to complete it is high.  A subject is an understandably important piece of the photography puzzle.  Regardless I am choosing to be optimistic and planning for success.  I am going to make sure absolutely everything else is in order so I can drag and drop a model into place when the time comes. 

I stopped by the location yesterday.  The light was excellent golden crisp light and I wanted to see how it illuminated the spot I had chosen. 

I am going to have to be much earlier to the venue than I first had thought.  Due to the tree canopy the sun was already below the horizon at 630pm.  That means I am going to have to shoot prior to 530 which means setting up at 430 which means having to call the shot as on before even seeing what the clouds light and sun are doing as sunset approaches. 

This presents a bit of risk but I just cant give up the location.  Here is another view.

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Gorgeous right?

I will get a bit of a wider sweep of the location as well.  As best I can tell my smartphone camera is a 31mm equivalent and I plan to use a 24mm lense or 27mm (18mm in dx mode).

I also think my smartphone pics have a weird aspect ratio.  I will be using editing software to try and crop to a 2:3 rectangle from the raw files anyway so the camera aspect ratio is not an issue.  Just might vary the FOV a bit. 

Its going to be great!

Now to find someone willing to smile for the camera.

Sept 2014 – model search

I took out an ad in the local online classifieds…
No responses so far.

No one wants to be paid in photos of themselves….
#Noonewantstoworkforfree

Please help!

I considered highering a model but the local agency does not appear to have what I am looking for. 

I am currently taking university classes but walking up to a stranger and asking to take their picture is a bit weird.  Admittedly I don’t want to be that creepy old guy on campus. 

Reason 263 why I hate shooting portraits.  Ok enough complaining just needs a new approach.

September 2014 – it’s on

I’m going for it. 
I am going to try and take a portrait over a year in the making.  My location is chosen the storyboards are done and it is the right time of the year to get the perfect light on the perfect day. 

I have chosen a bandstand in one of our local parks.  It is nestled in some trees with beautiful flower gardens and a lake. 

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The idea is to shoot with a wide angle lense and use strong leading lines to draw the eye to the subject. 

I think I mentioned previously that I bought a piece of fabric for this purpose. 

I am excited to share with you the process of constructing this image but I am also nervous that it will fail to meet my high expectations. 

Next step….find a model. 

And….
GO!