Thursday, February 25, 2010

crowne plaza

I went to a shoot tonight but it seems that i was a bit early in arriving. One month early that is.
I got there and thought i would take a really quick shot of the exterior of the hotel as the sky still had a bit of color and light in it. I shot this with a 24mm lens angled up which is why all the distortion is there. I then walked into the room that the event was being held and i was the only one there, because i was a month early.
Theres a first time for everything i guess, and i am sure not the last.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

pano using autostitch

Two posts in a day, could be a record for me, at least lately.
I am still trying to get some work done and of course still playing around. This is a shot i took the other night while shooting a conference. I had already shot the stage close up and thought a nice pano would be in order. My 24mm would not cut it for the size of this room so i shot two rows of vertical images. I ended up with 25 photos in total in which to make my pano. I imported them from lightroom into photomerge in photoshop and this was not the result. It did not look good, not one bit.
I used autostitch instead. You can find it at but you mac users are out of luck as it is only for windows. I knocked the images down in size a bit as my computer is far from new by creating an action in photoshop and batch processing the 25 photos and saving as jpegs. I dumped them into autostitch and it gave me almost this. I say almost because i did have to clone in three heads that were very blurry. Other than that it looked really good.
If you try this program remember to go into the options tab and change the output size from the default of 25% to 100%. I also changed the jpeg quality to 100%. Then hit go and watch the olympics until it is ready.

really wide angle

I have alot of work to do this weekend so naturally i am playing with images that are not important whatsoever.
This is just a shot of my tv room that i took with a 24mm lens and a wide angle video lens held up to the front of it. I have done some shots in the past using this lens but more with a 28mm or 35mm lens behind the video lens so it does not give me a complete circle. You may be able to find some of these old lenses at yard sales or at friends houses that dont use them anymore. My dad just gave me a couple from an old kodak point and shoot. They are the kind that you screw onto the front of the kodak lens to make it a wide angle or tele.
I almost forgot to mention that this is an hdr image made up of three photos.

Friday, February 19, 2010

building at sunrise

I am not usually in a parking lot at 6:30 in the morning but today was an exception. I had a shoot in moncton last night and stayed at a downtown delta hotel. I had to be to work early today so i was up at 6 and loading my camera gear into the car a half hour later. As i was loading i noticed the sky and the amazing tones it had. I was tired, did not want to delay my trip home any longer, but had to take a photo. This building was the closest thing to my car so it became the secondary subject.
I truly wish i could enjoy and photograph the spectacular 15 minutes of magic light every morning, but that would mean getting out of bed. And i really like my bed.
I shot this at iso 800, f2 and 1/20sec with a 50mm 1.4 lens.
I much prefer this image viewed larger.

Monday, February 08, 2010

action shot

I shot a volleyball game saturday night and thought this was the best shot i took over a three game span. When this team would get a point all the girls would celebrate. As i observed the game however, I noticed that this girls celebration was incredible. I focused the camera on her and just stayed with her until i got this shot.
This to me says sports much more that a shot of her bumping or setting the ball. When i used to shoot sports for a local daily, i pretty well had to have a ball or a puck in the shot for it to be considered for publication. I am very glad that i dont have to worry about that anymore, or get players names that were in the photo.
I guess this post breaks the water drop theme. Whatever will be posted next hasn't been shot yet so it could be just about anything.
This image was shot at iso 3200 with a 80 - 200 lens. Fstop was f2.8 and shutter speed was around 1/250 sec. It was a dark gym and my main concern was freezing action thus i set my shutter speed first and then my two remaining settings.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

more water drops

I guess i am staying on the water drop theme for now. I had no intention of continuing a theme but took a few shots of condensation on my window today and liked how it turned out.
I added blue to this photo and applied some contrast by way of a curve. The other shot i liked was a bit different and much more blue. I will post that one tomorrow.
I dont take many macro shots but i have always liked them. Kind of like landscape photos also, i never take them but i really enjoy a good one.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

text tip

This is a small crop of a larger image i shot for stock a couple weeks ago. I finally got around to preparing the images for the web today and i thought i would play with this one just a bit.
Other than the crop i used the clone tool to remove another icicle on the left side. I sharpened a fair bit and also did a curve for contrast and color.
Then i did something i havent done for awhile and plopped some text on it. I found a really cool website that you can download movie fonts from for free. Just go to google and type in movie fonts, i think it was the first link. This was a font called signs and i thought it might work here. Why i dont know.
One little tip for text that i will pass on is reduce the opacity of your text layer a bit, like down to 75% or so. It just makes the text blend in better with your image and not look so pasted on. I also like to play with the formatting tab to make the letters closer together or spread further apart.
This image was shot with a 300mm lens at f4 and a fast shutter speed. When i see other people post their image info, aperature and shutter speed and iso, i often wonder why some choose the settings they do. For example, lets say i posted my shot info for this image and it was f8, 1/320 sec at 200 iso. Would you not look at that and say "what was he thinking". The f8 means that i was not going for shallow depth of field or everything sharp, its just middle of the road. The shutter speed probably would not freeze the drop sharp enough and its not slow enough for a blur. Low iso at least is good for sharpness and low noise. But as an overall recipe for a shot its bland, no taste, no reason. The program mode on your camera would rest around there for sure.
I guess what i am trying to say is make a decision as to what your trying to accomplish. Do you need to freeze movement, if so go for it, 1/500 sec or up. Do you need a shallow depth of field to isolate a subject, then crank it down, stay below f4 and your on the right path. Use your iso to help accomplish either one of these feats. A 100 - 800 iso will keep your noise down, depending on your camera, and if you need more shutter speed without sacrificing your chosen aperature then turn the iso up some more.
So the advice part would be to make a decision early on in the image creation of what you want and then set your camera to achieve it. You have three things that affect exposure and you can play them off against one another to accomplish your goal. Just try to stay away from that bland cuisine. Theres not as much fun in it.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

halifax hdr

I made a whirlwind trip to halifax nova scotia and stayed one whole night. I had an early morning appointment and managed to wake up before the sun came up. I of course had to do an hdr shot as it might be another 5 years before i get up before the sun again. The sky was a great color of blue and luckily i had some buildings with tungsten lights on in front of me to really show some color contrast. I had shot some images late that first night and some more after the sun broke the horizon and neither compared even remotely to this one.
I had some other things i wanted to play with in this photo but i have a few real jobs to get out the door which will probably take up any spare time i have for the rest of the week. So this is my spare time, 1 in the morning, winding down from hockey, which was hard to go to tonight as my cars outside temperature was reading -24C.