"For the artist communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human, himself nature, part of nature within natural space." Paul Klee

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cloudy Morning Walk About

It was very cloudy this morning with an even fine misty drizzle. I like walking around when the sky is nothing but a huge soft box lighting everything without shadows.
I drove over to this street which was one of those locations that was in the back of my mind. One of those..."some day I'll get over there" type streets.
Rows of old buildings "renovated" to ..I guess attract attention...mostly tire shops, questionable hair salons, and an occassionally CPA. (also most questionable)
With such a cloudy day, set my camera to Cloudy White Balance with ISO 400 and +1 exposure compensation. The shots top to bottom specs read: 1. 1/40th @ f9, 2. 125th @ f6.3, 3. 1/125th @ f5.6, and finally bottom shot...1/125th @ 5.

It was about 9 in the morning and many locales weren't even open...so there wasn't much traffic...pedestrian or otherwise.
I did use the sun shade on the lens mainly to keep off the light rain.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Older Lenses

This photo was taken with another older Nikkor lens, a 50mm f1.4 to be exact. Nikon makes most of their newer cameras backward compatible with older lens mounts. I have two older Nikkor lenses, this 50 and a 135mm, which I used on a couple of posts ago.
I like the way the glass delivers the light to the sensor, it has a different look than either the digital kit lens or other digital compatible lenses.
The only issue is that since they are not digital type lenses they do not "talk" to the camera body, in fact, the digital readout shows that there is no lens on the camera because it doesn't "see" it. So you have to set the camera in total manual mode. It also helps to use a separate
hand held light meter in order to get an exposure reading.
I don't think that all camera manufacturers made their newer models backwards compatible...if you have older lenses laying around you may want to check out the manufacturer's web site to see if any other lenses would work. What you don't want to do is force an older type lens mount on the newer models.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Color To Black and White

Today I was playing around with some of my images and converting them to black and white.
Of course, black and white suits some images better than others. I looked over some of my selects and thought "Would I have shot this in black and white in my earlier years?" and if the answer was yes then that image was a candidate for a trip over to P/S.
The detail in the leaves and bark made this one prime. There are several paths you can take to convert...I ended up using the lab channels one. It gave me what I wanted without too much
fuss. This image was shot with a 50mm prime lens and is super sharp which doesn't translate well here however on paper it should look very nice...now I just need to decide which paper has the right patina to do it justice.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Colorful Spring Visitor

Following my earlier post of eliciting an invitation to spring, I'm posting another springy summery shot so I can get in the mood and hold the cold in sway, which is about to visit us once again. Alas, April is only 9 weeks away...yeah!

I snapped this Swallowtail with a 30 year old Nikkor 135mm prime lens, opened all the way to f3.5, which rendered some nice bokeh, handheld at 1/200th at ISO 200. I really had to creep up on the fellow so he wouldn't take flight.


With last week's deep freeze in mind and the news that another one is about to hit this Wednesday, I just had to remind myself of spring and warm spring colors. Something akin to a mental or perhaps a visual cup of hot cocoa.

This was shot last April so not too far off...but as you can see I tried to include to include the entire ROYGBIV spectrum...heavy on the G side with a healthy smattering of ROY and a sprig of V. Set @ ISO 400 at 1/500th @ f5.6.

Be warm.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Back at the Mack

I have shot this Mack truck in bright sun, on cold cloudy days, in the rain, after the rain, at night with strobes. I guess I'm documenting it's slow demise. The house and shed in the back are both abandoned. A year and a half ago Mack was all in one piece. The only shot I don't have is Mack covered in snow. Well, it snowed last night...all of about one inch...thought maybe it would be covered somewhat...but alas no Mack in snow. Just a little bit around the edges. This is a shot I took as I approached and ...so this is my Mack in Snow shot. Maybe next time.
In manual mode, ISO 200, f7.1 at 1/200th. Run thru' highpass filter in P/S for contrast.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shoot Through Umbrella Day

This bloggette is mostly for my students. Today I wanted to play around with my photo umbrella and use it with my Nikon Speedlite. I'm talking about the flash that you can slip onto your hotshoe on top of the camera. The best way to use these lights is "off the camera!". Of course there are times when it is the most convenvient way...for quick flash photos at receptions, etc. But flash heads shooting through some kind of diffusion like in a soft box or using a shoot thru umbrella really gives you a soft beautiful wrap around light that enchances your subject.
The soft boxes are rather expensive if you're on a budget but umbrellas are fairly inexpensive...from 10/15 to 45/60 dollars range. The umbrellas I use run about 30 dollars.
All you need is the following; a shoot thru umbrella (generally white), a light stand, a flash/umbrella adapter and a cable to connect your camera to the flash. Shopping around you can find these items for around 75.00-85.00 dollars total. They make wireless devices that will fire your flash remotely but you'll need to shell out way more crispies.
So there I was practicing after lunch, camera on a tripod, setting the timer, and then running around and getting into position. That got old fast. Plus I don't want to see pictures of me. The son comes home from school, sits down to do his homework...hold on please...look up...move umbrella...look here...click. The wife comes home from work...Honey, could you please sit here for a sec??
I get the "I just came home from work and the boss was..." Pretty please?? OK,but be quick. Great, sit here,...move umbrella...click...adjust umbrella on shaft...click...move umbrella back...click...took all of 30 seconds. By moving the umbrella's distance on the shaft, placing the umbrella closer or further back you can dial in just the amount of light you need. It makes pretty nice pictures for the effort.
Weather note; tomorrow it's supposed to be in the teens!! maybe even some snow flurries...I will be out tracking down the illusive icicle shots...cold pictures will be posted.
If anyone wants more information on shoot through umbrellas; where to purchase, placement, etc...pls email. Thx. Keep warm, ya'all.

Blustery Revisited

Been a busy week. Finally got to revisit my outdoor
(cold and windy) shoot with Lisa.
Here is a shot without the flash just using the fill provided by a large white wall to camera left. The sun was noon high upper right hitting the wall with enough fill to give me an f16 @ 1/60th using ISO 320.

A diffusion filter completes the lovely soft effect.

Thanks for stopping by.