Saturday, October 31, 2009
To go completely opposite of what I've been doing I give a you photo with the sky completely blown out but I'm okay with that. When I saw the early morning sun shining through the tall grass I thought I'd see what I could come up with. Dialing it down to lessen the light in the sky I lost color in the foreground. One way to do the shot with good exposure would have been to shot for the sky and then shot for the foreground and then merge the two photos but I didn't do this. I kind of like the sky blown out.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The nice thing about doing this year long project is the ability to experiment and to do so without regret. I mean...why do a picture a day if you aren't going to test your creative and skill boundaries? I remind myself of this everytime I take some photos and just find that I'm not all that excited about any of them for that particular day. Today is one of those days...two different types of eggplant. I took shot at different angles, at an angle vs straight down, and on different surfaces, reflective vs. black fabric.
None really worked for me creatively but I did get to practice more with using the mirrors to light areas that need some extra light.
I was asked if I could show how I setup the shot for Day 301. The main light is just off frame directly above the flower. It's a shop light with a homemade snoot directing the light straight down for a spot light type effect. The mirrors were used to cast some light onto the lower flower petals and the dark glass bottle the flower was in. The bottle was on a silver reflective surface that was slightly turned up closer to the camera so the flower reflection had a slight ripple appearance.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I've avoided photographing flowers for quite some time but it was late and we had some well past their prime flowers sitting on a bookshelf so I thought I'd play with lighting, angles and reflection.
Single light straight down with mirrors to add light where it was needed. Surface was the silver reflective poster board with black fabric directly behind the flowers so there would be no stray reflections. I'm not quite sure if I like the distance between the flowers and the reflection. It may be too much empty space but I do like how the lighting and reflection turned out. I should have lit the little bottles the flowers were sitting in a well so it didn't appear so much like the flowers were floating. There is always tomorrow with still life :)
Monday, October 26, 2009
A couple of weeks ago a couple of my coworkers were trying to take some photos of one of their rings using a small point and shoot and were talking about how bad the photos looked. I mentioned that I was a photographer and would be happy to take a few shots for her and today we finally had the chance to do so. I brought my camera, macro lens, black fabric and a couple of mirrors into the office this morning. It was a nice sunny day and we had a table right next to a south facing window so was able to use natural lighting. I used the mirrors to provide extra lighting where needed and they worked wonderfully. I didn't feel like lugging my tripod around so used the back of a chair for stability. I took some shots at different angles I liked this one the most because you can really see the details.
300mm macro setting, 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 100
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Today I was reminded why you bring your camera with you everywhere you go. If possible anyway. My wife and I went out to run some errand around midday and on our way home we drove through the downtown part of Monterey and it was completely fogged in. Not that that doesn't happen regularly but not usually at midday. The part that got me wishing for my camera was this lake that people were riding around in the very touristy foot paddle boats. There were a number of them on the lake and it was completely covered in fog but with midday sun giving it a completely ethereal appearance. I knew it would be gone by the time I got home and grabbed my camera and drove back out there and I was right. So from now on my camera will be with me at all times, like it used to be but I've gotten away from for some reason lately.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I've driven by this golf course water trap (aka pond) at least a couple times a month and have noticed the reeds in the water but have never stopped to photograph them. Today I was driving by in the early evening so the sun was just high enough to still provide some light on the pond and there were no golfers in sight so pulled over and walked around a bit to get the angle I wanted. The bit of tree up in the upper left hand corner may need to be removed in post though...not sure I like it there although it may help explain the tree in the reflection.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I was determined to photograph some steam. To do so I made as much steam as I could possibly make while not overlighting the scene. There was a lot more steam than what I seen in the shot. Just glad I can finally move on since it has been bugging me the last couple of days.
I had the cup up on a very thick old dictionary with black fabric on it. I wanted to raise it so I could put a couple of mirrors to either side of the cup and shine some light back up into the scene because my main light was directly above. I tried backlight, or rather back and off to the side, but it gave more light than I wanted. I could have tried to diffuse it I guess but didn't have time to figure out the best way to do so.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I couldn't decide which version I liked or if I even liked them at all. I used nothing but the light above the stove because I wanted that particular look. You know...the early morning I really need my coffee or tea and man that light is bright and kind of sickly looking first thing in the morning look.
For me the portrait version puts more emphasis on the teapot spout without really noticing the fact that it's on a stove while the landscape version does the same but lets you know that it is indeed on a stove. I also shot it with the gas burner on but didn't like how it looked. Aside from not sure of which version I like I've also asked myself these questions?
Does the blurred out clock add or distract from the image? I think it adds to the mood.
Is the bluish light okay? Also a mood factor like I explained in the first paragraph.
Why couldn't my stove be a dark color so I could have tried to include steam?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I was heating up some water to make some tea for my wife and thought I'd try to photography steam coming out from the teapot....turned out to be a bit harder than I thought. Will have to read up on the best way to do it. I'm guessing I may have had better luck with my 50mm f/1.8 wide open but wanted more of a closeup so went with the macro lens instead but had to use f/5. Too much light caused the stainless steel to shine too much so tried to isolate light onto the steam itself using mirrors but still not enough. To the naked eye there was all kinds of steam...not so much to the camera.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Inside of an abalone shell. The rainbow from yesterday inspired me to look for colors tonight. I wasn't sure if the colors I could see with my eyes were translating correctly into the camera because the back of the camera wasn't showing me what I wanted to see. I used a circle polarizer and didn't find that the colors showed true until uploading to my computer.
Sigma 70-300mm macro @ 300mm, 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, circular polarizer filter
Monday, October 19, 2009
Chasing the Rainbow
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Went out for a walk today with the intention of photographing things out of the ordinary. Or rather things that maybe other people may not even look at much less photograph. It was an exercise in improving my artistic vision.
I found that I also need to think ahead a little. I took three separate shots of the pipe, left, middle and right, but didn't think that maybe I could put them together into a triptych. Because I didn't think of that while shooting the left hand shot is a bit off compared to the other two shots. I must have slightly moved in since I was using my 50mm. I will try this shot again next time I wander around Carmel-by-the-Sea. I'm determined to find something interesting about this town...it's such a tourist trap with gaudy clothing, jewelry and art that I really find it ugly but I'm determined to find some beauty to the place via my camera.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Our first real storm of the winter hit today. Nothing all that spectacular for those of us that grew up in Washington State, like my wife and I, but Californians seem to think the world was coming to an end.
Tonight in honor of the storm I opened up my garage door and looked around for something to shoot. The streetlight isn't anything special but I wanted to see if I could catch the rain and light in an interesting way.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sometimes things just don't work or look as intended or thought out and I'm alright with that.
I wanted to see how a vintage stainless steel (or chrome) hand mixer would look on the chrome sheet I bought recently. I added the eggs as some contrast and something else in the shot other than just the mixer. I'm not sure I like anything about it and especially needed to add more lighting to the top of the mixer.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Yeah I know...I did this exact same shot just 3 days ago. The reason for the duplication stems from getting a piece of silver reflective paper at Michael's craft store and wanted to see how it would work. Decided to see how the rocks look in comparison. The shot from 3 days ago the rocks was on a piece of clear acetate on glossy black paper.
Not much of a difference that I can tell...maybe a bit more rock in the reflection due to the reflective nature of the silver (almost like a mirror) paper.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I went to a small vintage air and car show today. Got several photos of old World War II era planes and a few car photos. What I ended up finding more interesting was a photographer taking photos of some models made up like 40's pinup girls but with lots of tattoos posing with some of the airplanes. He didn't seem to mind that other guys with cameras were taking photos of the girls so I took a few. I was more interested in watching him direct the models...I'm a bit weird I guess because all the other guys were pretty much only focused on the girls.
My photo of the day is one I took after the photographer was done directing the model. I wasn't standing so she was looking towards me but that's alright...it was interesting watching the shot. Below are some shots I took of the photographer directing the model in her poses.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wanted to experiment a little with a sheet of black glossy card stock paper I picked up today at the craft store. I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone by also working with a candle to practice with long exposure.
For comparison I also shot the lantern on a piece of clear acetate on top of the black paper.
Instead of a real candle I used a battery powered candle. A little more light without the smoke and heat.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I don't know why I hadn't thought to photograph the rocks we have around the house. We like to collect a few cool looking rocks when ever we go exploring new beaches or while camping.
I put the rocks on a piece of clear Fiberglass on a piece of black silky fabric. The light was directly above. It's a bit off center so may reshoot with better positioning.
Used my Sigma 70-300mm in macro mode at 214mm, 1/5 sec, f/5, ISO 100.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We bought a cool bamboo vase that is about 3 feet tall on a trip to Bend, Oregon about 4 years ago. Today it doubled as my prop. I put a shop light down inside to see if the light would shine through...as you can see it did but not quite as much as I had hoped for.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Not the greatest photo but this is a learning process and tonight was my first attempt at multiple objects and multiple light sources. Not a very good job but I was a bit lazy and didn't try very hard. I spent more time trying to draw something with the crayons...yes it's hard to see but it's my best attempt at a self portrait...my drawing hasn't evolved much since I was 3 :)
There's a story behind this setup. The other day I referenced the book, Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod as my inspiration. I quoted the book about avoiding crowds and tried to tell that story via a photo. Tonight my inspiration is the following quote from Ignore Everybody... (Chapter 7). My photo is my "creative" way of expressing my interpretation of the quote.
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the "creative bug" is just a wee voice telling you, "I'd like my crayons back, please."Photography has become my box of crayons. I spent years trying to find my box of crayons. This chapter also talks about your adult voice and your wee voice. The adult voice is the voice of reason, the one that tries to tell you all the things that could go wrong and trying to tell your wee voice to shut the hell up
I think all of us that have embarked on a 365 project or even those of us just taking photos because they enjoy it, have heard our wee voice at the back door to our soul. Do we let it in? or do we allow our adult voice to prevail? I'm trying very hard to allow my wee voice to take over. How about you?
Monday, October 5, 2009
An old high school friend that I've reconnected with on Facebook asked if I'd be interested in this old Kodak book he found recently. It appears to be a 1951 edition Kodak Master Photoguide pocket book. Thank you Leonard...it's a great little book and has some information that is quite useful.
After loading the photo onto my computer I noticed it wasn't quite in focus since I was shooting hand held with my 50mm f/1.8. I don't feel like reshooting tonight...
Here's a page of information that if you ever need to shoot a carnival, stage show, wrestling or boxing match you might find useful. Click on the photo and it's readable.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I had a birthday recently and one of my gifts was a book I had on my wish list. The book is Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod. I haven't had a chance to read it yet but was flipping through it and found a quote that has stuck with me this past couple of day.
"Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether."
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wanted to see how sea glass would look if lit from below. All right I guess if you like sea glass. I'd like to figure out a way so not as much actual light comes through the spaces between the pieces of glass.
Used the 70-300mm at 263mm (macro mode), 1/30 sec, f/18, ISO 100
Thursday, October 1, 2009
This a dried leaf on a sheet of fiber paper with lighting from below. Yesterday's shot was the inspiration for todays shot.
Yesterday's shot was not quite like this...looks kind of like it but it was a paper fiber lamp shade with the leaf skeleton set into the fiber. I sit by the lamp everyday while at the computer but hadn't thought to photograph it until yesterday. I'd been playing with back lighting and leaves last week but I guess I didn't think to try incorporating other textures into the shot until posting last night.
Not sure if anyone is interested but this is my cheap setup for taking these back lit shots. Because I'm using my 70-300mm macro (200-300mm is macro) lens to shoot these I need to have the tripod up kind of high over the shot so have it on the floor and stand on a chair to look through my viewfinder.
Small desk lamp below the round piece of glass which is about a foot off the ground. Fiber paper is on top of the glass and the leaf on top of the paper. The tripod is straddling the setup so I can shoot looking straight down.