May 2011 Archives
Rainbows in my Path
This morning, the sun rays were scattered by the edge of the mirror in the living room, greeting me with a rainbow. This day will be better because of that.
Saw this family of Canadian Geese on my way home and returned to take their portrait. Initially they were apprehensive when I set up my tripod and camera across the pond -- the goslings hunkered down and the adults stopped eating and held their necks high, but after 10 minutes of moving very slowly they went back to their business and let me approach to 20 feet or so.
Camera Stand-Off in on the Airfield
Last night we held a Twin Cities Photography Group meetup at the "1950 Hangar Dance and Wings Airshow" in Blaine. As I was waiting for the others to arrive, I moved about and spotted this gem: a 1947 Polaroid. The owner was kind enough to let me photograph it:
PS: Photos taken by the group will be posted at http://www.meetup.com/tcphotogroup/photos/1569071/.
After the Rain
Rain came on and off for the past couple of days. I was outside just as the sun was warming up and drying this soaked leaf.
Yesterday evening I was shooting some textures and backgrounds when I spotted this:
A dandelion that would not be crushed by the mass of mulch dumped on its patch but rise above the situation 8^).
Flashing up a Tree
Yesterday I noticed some glorious flowering trees on the side of our office building, so at night I tried to lit them up. I used two flashes perched on top of the light stands and had the camera on a tripod roughly 10 feet away with exposure being f/7.1, 1/200s.
The flashes were on manual, and tried with different powers between 1/2 and 1/64 at various distances and positions.
I would have expected most of the flowers to be in focus, despite the branches going every which way, but some of them were stubbornly blurred. It's hard to chimp high-contrast little white flowers against black sky, even on the 5DmkII's nice screen.
This is not a great shoot, even if it is the best of the lot - it's more of a proof that I shivered at 53'F at 11:30 PM 8^).
Everybody, Everybody, Everybody wants to be a Cat!
After zigging and zagging for a couple of hours through the banquet hall, they discovered the noise machine.
After I attended the "Introduction to Studio Lights" lecture by Flash Bus Tour event in Minneapolis, I got bitten by the off-camera bug.
I perused the strobist web site and tutorials last year, but at the time I was still focused on outdoors and available light photography, and was still acquiring lenses. Now I re-read it, with the experience of the live demos in mind, and also got a electronic copy of Syl Arena's Speedlighter's Handbook (I'll probably get a hard copy of Joe's http://portfolio.joemcnally.com/#mi=1&pt=0&pi=5&p=-1&a=0&at=0.
I got a couple of light stands, and umbrella and a softbox for the speedlite and a set of wireless triggers (Cactus V5). My main flash is a 580exII so it works fine with the wireless triggers, but the second one was an older model (420ex) and did not support manual setting of flash power. So I also got the Strobist recommended LumoPro 160. The guys at Midwest Photo Exchange shipped it quickly and well-packed. The flash seems solid even if not as stylish as the 580. The reviews on the web seem spot-on.
Last night I put the new set-up to test, using a small bouquet of roses as model. My goal was to explore the interplay of the two lights. The main computer was busy so I had to resort to chimping and the histogram for exposure and just sprayed light from a bunch of angles and intensities, to get a feel for it. I'll read a couple more chapters from the books and I'll do more experiments in the upcoming weeks, but this is the first step...