Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thanks Des -- Brooks Alberta Photographer

This year my wife and I decided that it was just easier for each of us to buy our own anniversary presents and pretend it was from the other person (much easier that way). Des got herself some fitness equipment and I bought a... lens (I know...big shock).

for those that are interested it is a 50mm f 1.8 lens. at 1.8 it has a really shallow depth of field so you can isolate parts of your subject really well. In addition, it is 4x faster then the "kit" type lenses that come with cameras, meaning it lets more light into the camera. it's not the most expensive lens (actually it's one of the cheapest lens canon sells) but I wasn't prepared to spend 4x the price on the next best one (f 1.4) or 12x on the top of the line one (f 1.2).

Here is a sample shot I took to demonstrate to my wife why I bought it:

And again for those interested. Here is how I shot the above image:

I used an old cardboard box, 2 sheets of white paper, 2 sheets of glossy craft paper and some flashes. I cut holes in the sides for the light to shoot through and covered them with the white paper. Then I cut a hole on the top and covered it with one of the glossy pieces of paper in case I need to have light come from above in the future. Than I taped the last glossy page to the back wall and let it curve toward the camera to create a seamless background.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Old Wheel -- Brooks Alberta Landscape Photographer

Here is an example of what you can do to fix a blown out sky. On the day I shot this the sky was overcast and gray (not to interesting). I couldn't sit around waiting for the clouds to break up so I composed the image and planned to spruce it up in post. If the sky did look like this when I took the picture I would have used a graduated filter (or 2) to get the same effect.

To get the final image I brought the original photo into Photoshop, cut out the sky and brought in the sky from another photo. Once the photos were layered on top of each other I used a digital graduated filter to get the effect I was looking for

The way I look at is if you know what you would have needed to do in the field to get this shot if/when it presented itself then you can create what you saw in your mind when it doesn't. Does that make sense?

Here are the images I used

here are the layers involved

Sunday, May 17, 2009

4 months and 17 days old -- Brooks Alberta Baby Photographer

for those interested: shot with Canon 40D (1/250 @ f 2.8, 70mm), Canon 430EZ flash
(camera right attached to DIY beauty dish), triggered with pocket wizard plus transmitter.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A little time on my hands and my run-in with the law

I went to play some basketball last night but no one showed. Life happens and so does the weather. So I took advantage of the dark and gloomy clouds that were hanging over Brooks and armed my self with a few supplies and headed out.

My first stop was a field on the East side of town. I was driving by the field earlier in the day and saw something that seemed peculiar... a fire hydrant. A big red metal hydrant (here in Brooks most of the hydrants are painted like cartoon characters or gumball machines amongst other things) just sitting there in a prairie field. Of course the fist thing that I thought of was photo op! (I know I'm strange you don't have to tell me, just love me the way I am). So when I found my self with a little time on my hands (hence the title) I took advantage of the opportunity with the following results:

After I spent some time alone in a field with a camera, a light up ten feet in the air and people driving by looking at me with a "what the" look on their faces, I decided to head down town to another spot that I have been wanting to shoot someone.... wait that didn't come out right. Aaaaaannnyyyy waaaayyyyy, I headed down town. Since I didn't have a ready subject I decided to shoot my self...ah crud I did it again.

during this time I had my run-in with the law. Come on, is it a crime to hang out in a back alley looking like this....

OK... maybe I did look a little sketchy.

In reality I think the officer that drove by a few times and then eventually parked across the street was was just interested in picking up a few photo tips... really.
I later walked over and showed him a few of the images and he just laughed.