Archive for the ‘photography’ tag
I was testing out my new toy. It’s a Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch. It helps me take sharper pictures by keeping my hands off of the camera. For these shots, I set my camera on a tripod with the remote switch attached. I set the mode to Aperture Priority and selected the desired aperture. This setup allowed me to take a 15 second shot at f11 at ISO100.
and in case anyone’s wondering, looks like I’m working from home tomorrow too!
There’s a new picture in the mail, and it’s one of mine! I just finished a project involving the Gales Creek Camp for kids with diabetes. I’m hoping that it’s more of a start of an ongoing project though. I had the opportunity to create some greeting cards with my photos distributed by a local business. They give all of the revenues to Gales Creek Camp in the form of a scholarship. It was something they had already set up, so it was easy for me to participate. All I had to do was create the cards and place them on the shelves.
This project is exciting though in that it gives me a chance to share my photos with the world in a way that has some benefits for it. Diabetes is something I’m not especially fond of. We have a personal relationship of sorts. Having the opportunity to make a kids life a little better was just too good to pass up.
Another benefit of the project was that I found I enjoy making the cards. In fact, some of you may see a few greeting cards under your tree this year.
You can view all of the photos currently available here.
Emily and I were planning our day this morning and we decided to set up the lights and take some pictures. We took turns taking pictures of her stuffed animals. Finally, Karen decided to join us and we took a family portrait. Well, sort of…
They arrived today.
Boy was I impressed! I selected a few photos that I liked and would have normally printed at Costco. It’s unbelieveable how good they look. The metallic paper creates a unique look for the prints. They’re sort of shiny.
Will I still use Costco? I really like the ability to upload prints and then pick them up in an hour at the local shop. With Mpix I uploaded them online, then waited three days or so. They cost more too. My guess is that I’ll use both services and continue to experiment with larger prints from Mpix.
As I mentioned, I neglected to bring my camera to the first day of my Open Source meeting. I did not make the same mistake on day 2. I left home about 6 AM on both days, so I hit the Columbia River Gorge fairly early. The view that caused me to stop and get out of the car was Cascade Locks. The river was like Glass. The light was perfect. It was a beautiful day.
Last week I had the honor of hearing Linus Torvalds speak. He said he didn’t like to speak in public, but did a great job anyway. He spoke bluntly and passionately. I was at a work-related meeting, so the only camera I had was my little point and shoot. You can see the crappy picture it took. Dirk, Dave, and others had their nice DSLRs out. Guess that will teach me not to bring the camera. Turns out I brought it the next day, but that’s another blog post.
The meeting was an open source meeting. It’s interesting hanging out with some of the more passionate open source folks. Some of them live in their own little world, protected by the open source force field. I’m just glad the force field appears to have a door or two
We had a wonderful weekend with family and friends. There were a ton of people at Helen’s. It was great to see them all and say hello. Here are a few portraits I took during the weekend.
After reading all about the online stock photography market, I thought I’d try my hand at it. I combed through all of my photos and submitted about a dozen of them to the various stock sites. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their editors provide very detailed feedback on each submission.
I received rejection after rejection from each of the sites. Most of the sites rejected all of my photos. The reasons varied from “it needs to be more than 4 mega pixels” to “too much noise” to “bad composition”. These are for what I considered pretty good pictures. There was one site, fotolia, that accepted three of my pictures. This was last summer.
Today I sold one!
I took this picture in Hangzhou, China around dusk. The boat is a crew of pearl divers. Hangzhou is my favorite city in China. The name means “Heaven on earth”, which fits it perfectly. The saying goes “Above is heaven, below is Hangzhou.”
I mentioned that I was getting some lights. Well, they’re here and they rock.
Here’s the setup:
The difference the lights make in the quality of the pictures is simply amazing. In the past, I had been shooting using my 420EX Flash on a tripod off of the camera. It produced acceptable images, but just barely. These lights show all of the details and make the image look much better than I had imagined.
Here’s an example:
Jason also suggested that I throw the backgrounds in the dryer to get rid of some of the wrinkles. Good idea! Either way, the lights are here to stay.
I’ve been sliding on this slippery slope for a while now. First, I was taking pictures of Emily in the living room (or kitchen, garage, den, outside, pretty much anywhere). Then I started taking a few headshots for my father in law. I borrowed a friends backgrounds and instantly knew I needed some. The quality of pictures were just a bit better without the livingroom clutter in the background.
A few months ago I set up the 12 foot long, 10 foot high backgrounds in the livingroom with my camera flash on one side and my wall of windows on the other. The shots came out great. I shared some of them here (I could link to them but that would be too much work for New Years Day). Then I thought, hey my pictures would be even better if I could control more of the lighting. All I need is some big lights!
I searched every photography website, went to the local camera store, talked with my friends, etc. The verdict seemed to be that Alienbees were the way to go. Some say they are too expensive for amateurs. Others call them cheap but good lights. For me they seemed about right. I ordered
- two lights
- a 48″ silver / gold umbrella
- a 30″ x 60″ foldable softbox
- two light stands
Two of my three boxes have arrived and I’m already excited. I have the two lights and the softbox, but not the stands or the umbrella. There supposed to be here tomorrow.
I set up one of the lights and softbox on a stand I already had and took a few pictures of the girls. Karen smiled nicely and asked where I was going to keep all of this stuff. I have no idea.
This weekend I’m hoping to set up the backgrounds and lights and attempt to take a family portrait.
p.s. here’s a nice write up by someone who went to visit the Alien Bees store in Nashville.