Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time to save my pennies.

This looks pretty inciting. I've been a daily reader of David hobby's strobist website for over a year now and am currently reading Joe McNally's book. It's only $100 and located in Indy. For a conference, $100 isn't a bad price especially when they will have gift bags with over a $100 worth of gear in there, thanks to their sponsors.

Here's to hoping...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Donaldson Cave

Other than taking a few shots of the boys playing wii this is my first go at the video mode on the Nikon D90.  The opening scene I had the setting at 1080i, and am not that impressed with it.  I think the 1080 is pushing it because didn't even know it had 1080, I was sure it was supposed to stop at 720.  I don't know much about this so, i'll have to look into it.  The other three scenes were shot at the default mode, what ever that was, because I haven't went back to look.  Much of the snow is blown out, and it is all hand held.

I'm posting this to have a reference point to the rest of my videos as I figure out the ins and outs of this video buisiness.  Look out Eslingers!


Negative Reflector

Took a hike to Donaldson Cave at Spring Mill State Park.  Brought along a section of black foam board to help balance the reflectivity of the snow.  Once we made it to the cave Les was positioned so the cave acted as the negative reflector, adding contrast to the face.  I felt the light was very soft here.  I did increase the vibrance in PSE 7 and using the 'clipping' feature to make sure I wasn't losing any whites.  Particularly since I've discovered my monitor doesn't show whites very well.

Stats: D90, 18-105; ISO 400, EV 0, F5.3, 1/80th, 70mm

Donaldson Cave is currently closed to visitors due to White-Nose Syndrome, a bat disease. Nonetheless, it is my favorite hike in the park (Never take the stairs!).  This is the entrance of the cave and the negative reflector I used in the previous photo.  I used some fill here to bring out some detail in the cave entrance.  Also increased the vibrance a bit to help Aly pop out and give some color to a very gray scene.

Stats: D90, 18-105; ISO 400, EV -1, F8, 1/160, 105mm


Monday, January 24, 2011

Fun with Toys!

I got a hold of the boy's toys and was able to take a few practice shots while trying to figure out Nikons Creative Lighting feature.  Unwired the flashes to see how the pics would turn out.  Idea for using toys comes from Pop Photo magazine as thier reader competition of the month.  Problem is, they never post the contest online in a convienent manner.

Take a gander at the results...
This was a stacking toy that was Henry's.  Laid it on its side and shot a flash through, at somewhat of an angle.

stats: D90, 18-105@85; F10, EV -0.7, 1/60, ISO 200

Followed up by Way's Harmonica.  It's sitting on the Harmonica box with Hanks stacking toys providing the color reflection at the top.  decreased the blacks in ACR to give more detail. I do like where you can see the word blues on top of the harmonica.

This is my fav. of the series.

stats: D90, 18-105@85; F10, EV -0.7, 1/60, ISO 200

Legs of a caterpillar music box toy. I like the spacing of the legs. May use this one if I can only submit 1 photo. Window light in the primary light here.
D90, 18-105@85; F10, EV 0.0, 1/40, ISO 200

Back lit this photo to make the eyes glow.  I thought it was rather cool :)

D90, 18-105@85; F10, EV -1.3, 1/40, ISO 200


Watch was you leave lying around.


Jack is quick, but I was able to make him sit and take this photo.  The baby got a new paci afterwards.  :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vignette added.

Here's the same photo as below.  I added the vignette.  Part of my reason for reposting is to view on my wife's Ipad.  My monitor doesn't show a good range of contrast.  I lose quite a bit on the white end, so want to view things a bit better.
stats: same as below :)

ID-10-T Error.

Tip #1 - Make sure your settings are what you want them to be prior to taking photos.

I had the auto focus set on automatic and lost some really good portraits of Aly do to softness.  Focus falls on her hair, not on her eyes. Small the image looks fine, but enlarge and it really bothers me.  Doh!

D90, 18-105; ISO400, 1/125, f5.6


Next scrummed through a few, this next one is under-exposed but yea for RAW! was able to pull it back quite a bit.  Still a little dark along the one cheek for my liking, but the best of the collection. This was the first of the series taken.  White balance was on Auto, the previous posted photo I switched the WB to cloudy.  I added a vignette to this one in PSE7, but do miss that function in Lr3.  Can't wait til I pick Lr back up. 

Stats:D90; 18-105; ISO 400, -1EV, 1/400th, f5.6

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas Puppies are the best!

Meet Jack.  He's the best breed of dog ever, mutt.  Does look to have a heavy dose of Australian Shepherd though.  We see his one brown eye here, the other is a creepy sky blue.  I say creepy because when he wants in he sits with only the blue eye revealed in the patio doors, and stares at me.  I was attempting to practice a few shots and get a couple of dirty faces but the natives were being restless.  Jack here was quite worn out and was happy to pose for a few photos as long as I didn't bother him too much.  I desaturated the image, even though it was primarily black and white to begin with.  I was getting different tones in the white depending on what was reflecting.  The white of the rump was a warm tone and the fluff of hair above the neck had a nice blue tint to it.  Oh, Jack was newly bathed, so his hair was a bit everywhere. 

D90, 18-105mm, f5.6, 1/30th, Exposure -0.3, 105 mm, desaturated with elements 7

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dirty Face #33

Nothing like a little nacho cheese to set the mood.  unfortunately he did manage to swip some of  his face clean prior to a couple of shots being taken. 

Shot D90 - 18-105mm, small jpg file, F5.6, 1/60th, ISO 640, -0.7 EV (I'm using EV now, thanks Joe Nally!), 105mm

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hoosier National

I figure I live in the middle of the only National Forest in Indiana, so why not take pictures of it.  I'm going to let this new page of my blog to focus on the reason I got into photography in the first place, nature.  So in the months to come, I'll be posting photos I take of the surrounding Hoosier National Forest and its inhabitants.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brennan #2

This is one taken of Brennan as the sun was going down. Switched back to my d50 for this one.  Warmed it up some in ACR, PSE 7.
ISO 400, 1/2000, 1.8 (50 mm 1.8 lens)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On being turned away...

Had another cousin volunteer this past week helping me work on some shots and new tricks on lighting I was taught. The plan was starting at West Baden Hotel and trying to get some natural light portraits.  I did not bring any flash and didn't bring my reflector.  I wanted a reflector, but since I didn't have an extra hand to help aim it I figured it was pointless.

Our Day started with a trip inside the big dome (here) I asked the attendant at the desk if it was OK to shoot some photos.  She asked a few basic questions, plan to use a tripod? Are you a pro, because if you are you need a permit? no and no.  Done deal.  So Brennan and I began to walk around to find some nice big windows.  I know I looked a little suspicious having two bodies attached to my  hip, a D50 and D90.  We moved into the "Library" which consisted of a big room and one bookshelf, and moved a chair over for a prop for a window shot.  The attendant then came in and told me I need a permit.  I reminded her that I was not a pro (even though, i'm slightly flattered, i'm mostly annoyed.)  She replies, well if you're shooting Senior photos, I need a permit.  I nicely told her, I am not a pro, I am not shooting Sr. Pictures.  She continued to stare at me, so we just left.  We walked across the grounds and took some decent shots.  I was not comfortable at all shooting at the hotel and I think that came across in the photos.  They were stale. 

So we left. 

We trekked around town and found some great old trains, trucks, and tracks. Most of the photos at this point was either in shade, of in front of a not-quite setting sun.  Shadows are pretty harsh, but I do like some of the results.  This photo was taken as Brennan was heading out along the tracks.  Ended up being my favorite of the group.  The lens flare is caused by shooting in the sun, it also caused some muddiness in the color.

In PS i brushed over a train car reflecting behind his head.  These photos helped me further realize, that my monitor is not up to par.  The colors would not come out right and brennan looked plum rosey.  But, I stuck with the adjustments I made based of some previous prints and uploaded the photos to FB.  After getting the Ipad out, I saw the skin tones worked out and my guesswork was pretty good. 

All in all, a good day out.  Glad to have some practice with taking some guy photos.


D90, F5.6, ISO-800, 1/400th, @92mm,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Henry's Rock'n Do

Henry's Rockin out in the Bumbo with some wild hair.  Experimenting with window light.  He's a good subject because he can't move.  f5.6, 1/40th (VR), 90 mm, 18-105 lens.  Taken with a Nikon, believe it or not.  I'm in my d90 phase now,  Really loving it.  New pictures to come very soon.  Will have to get a new SD card because the larger 12 mp files really eat up a 1 gig card.  I'm down to 36 raw images per card.  I would like to get an Eye-fi card, but my funds are being eaten by other endeavors. 

These window, natural light photos are coming after a visit with Kip ( he was very helpful and I very much appreciated the tidbits of wisdom he bestowed upon me.