"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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Swirling Greens

Swirling Greens? Sounds like a race track. Earlier this week I took a walk through one of my favorite preserves. This was after the deluge we had...water well welcomed. I've already posted several shots from the walk but today I noticed this one looking at my thumbnails. This particular shot came even before I was into the preserve. I was walking toward the thickets and happend to look down at these plants and saw this swirling motion and just took the shot. It wasn't until I took a second look that I thought it had a pretty cool design going for it.
A little enhancement in P/S and a nice black vignette to finish it off.
Tech specs; Nikon D80 set ISO400, aperture priority, f7.1 camera chose 1/1ooth of a second.
Shot through a Hoya polarizer.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bass Practice

After the last post, "Found Object Photography" I went downstairs and Stefan was practicing on his bass guitar. Outside it was still sopping wet the backyard was pretty muddy. What else can a young boy do but to practice to be in a rock and roll band.

I snagged my Nikon D70 which had the old 50mm f1.4 Nikkor on it. Spun the dial to ISO 400 and grab a few snaps. In P/S I just added a bit of Unsharp Mask, a vignette and hit the Greyscale. Got a nice black and white. I'm pretty sure this is gonna look super on paper.

P/S's pretty cool...but I do miss the smell of the chemistry.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shooting at Sunset

Shooting into the sunset. The trick here is one: lighting the subject, in this case an off camera flash about 10 feet away, two: balancing the ambient light (known as the sunset) with the flash exposure and/or vice versa.
The ISO is set at 400. Using the in camera metering system I found the best setting for the sunset colors with f10 at 1/200th of a second (which is also the max for the flash sync). Then I just dialed in enough power on the flash to make a balanced exposure. In this case the flash was set at half power.
Viola! rock album cover!

Hope everyone is staying cool...104 for the next several days!!! Yikes! Do not leave your camera or any living thing in your car while you shop.

Take care.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Shooting With One Umbrella

Answering a question regarding umbrellas specifically a "shoot-thru" and a "bounce".
The "shoot-thru" is usually made of a white satin material and the flash or strobe is placed in front of the concave area so the light hits the inside of the umbrella spreads and continues on through the material to the subject. The result is a very soft all around light. The top picture in the diagram.

The bounce is when the back of the umbrella is either solid black or is covered with an add-on black cloth to keep the light from shooting through and bounces it back the other way. The inside of the umbrella is still the white satin. In this case you must flip the umbrella 180 degrees. Bottom picture on the diagram. The light here also spreads out and hits the subject with a soft wrap around light as in the bottom photograph. The only difference is the umbrella in this particular shot was positioned on camera left about six feet from my position so the light wouldn't go completely around the face thus providing a bit of contrast.

The shoot thru is a little more directional. By moving the umbrella shaft closer or fartheraway from the flash unit different light patterns can be accomplished.

There's another type of bounce umbrella - the inside of the umbrella has either a very bright silver lining giving the light a sharp pop or a softened silver...still some pop but a little softer.

Sometimes photographers will use two umbrellas, one from either side which delivers light to both sides of the subject thus "flattening" the light. Used quite a lot in conventional portrait studios the kind you see at the mall.

The only thing I would have added in the bottom photograph (shot with one umbrella) is a hair light which would have given the top of the head a sliver of light separating it from the dark background. In this instance I just wanted to show the effect of the one bounce umbrella.

Thanks for stopping by. Ciao and cheers.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Long Hot Summer

I haven't been out shooting in over a week except for a couple of graduation ceremonies last weekend. But those were indoors...read: airconditioning! But I did get some lovely family pictures with my boys.

Therefore, so be it, alas and alack - I gotta get out there and satisfy my itchy shutter finger. I'm thinking in the early morning when it's only in the 80's. Muse...where is you??
In the meantime, I have to placate myself with shooting whatever's around in the house as in this shot of facial tissue. Sitting there sipping an espresso the sunlight backlighting the tissue..grab the camera. Has sort of a Henri Matisse feel...in black and white. Maybe it would sell in New York.

A reminder that my summer photo classes are now in session and there are seats available so please visit: http://activenet.active/cityofcedarpark.

Thanks for stopping by and stay cool.