Just One I Like

No You Don't! by you.

Quickly, this is just a shot that I really like.  The water splash, the reflection, the adorable punkin'.  It's all good.

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Product Shot

Product Shot

So this is the box that I work on every day (have been working on it for 11 years).  In preparation for some trade shows I was asked to photograph it for use on banners etc.  This came out well I thought.  There are a few things going on with the lighting here. 

First I used the Canon 540EZ, gelled red, and shot through a craft stencil for the background pattern.  Then I used my Vivitar 285HV with a snoot on it for the main light that falls on a diagonal across the front of the system.  The snoot was really small.  You can see that the light falls off very quickly as you get away from that top right to bottom left diagonal. 

At this point the top of the box was still very dark so I brought in the old Sunpak 411.  With no modifiers, I just used it to add some definition to the top. 

I used my Canon 50mm 1.8 lens.  My favorite.  I brought it back from the dead last week.  It came apart when we went to Harbour Branch.  I did some research on the net and found a few people had posted step-by-step instruction on disassembling it.  So with the help of my friend Phil at work, we found that the metal ring inside the top lip of the barrel had twisted and unlocked.  Clicked that back in place and all was well again.  Thankfully.  Because I want to use that next week at the wedding that I am going to shoot.

Be blessed.

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Bottle

Bottle

Somehow I always end up making these challenges about my kiddos.  They certainly are my favorite subject.  So the theme for today was bottle.  I saw lots of awesome shots of wine bottle and coke bottles.  So after a little thinking I came up with baby bottle.  Our little one is almost done drinking bottles so I thought I better capture this before she gives them up for good.

Simple light here with the Vivitar 285HV at 1/16th power into my shoot-thru umbrella.  I did decide to bring the power down to 1/16th from 1/4 power.  At 1/4, I get f5.6 at about 1 foot from the subject.  I wanted to get less DOF (depth of field) so I brought the power down and opened up the aperture.  Looks like I ended up about f3.2.  Enough for the bottle but her face is nicely out of focus.

Be blessed.


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It's All About The Light

Little Buddies

I have been asked recently about lighting with off camera lighting.  The comments are usually like "Man I wish I could take pictures like that but I don't have any of that gear."  Well, firstly, I don't have a lot of gear.  One strobist kit from Midwest Photo Exchange (http://www.mpex.com) would do anyone just fine.  But more importantly, these days I am learning that it really is all about the light.  There was definitely a time (most of the time) in my life when I was all about having all the gear.  Usually wanting all of the "best" gear.  But now I see that if you have good light, you can capture a great photo with almost any camera available today.  Just search for iPhone pics to see what kind of quality you can get from a cell phone.  The quality from even the most modest cameras these days is more than adequate to get great pictures.

So I have a friend at work who is just getting interested in photography.  He has started turned off the flash on his point-and-shoot and was surprised at how much better some of his photos were.  He was starting to notice how light and shadows give form to a subject.  I gave him a quick portrait tip.  If you want to take a decent portrait of someone, just find a large window that doesn't have direct sunlight coming in.  Put your subject in front of that window.  Let that light hit them from the side.  Move them around until the light looks the best, turn off your flash, and just start shooting. 

The example above is just that.  There is a large window just camera right.  They are just inches away from it.  The light is great.  Give it a try.  Turn off that nasty old on-camera flash.

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Half Self-Portrait

Half Self-Portrait

Interesting topic for the daily challenge at photochallenge.org.  Only half of a portrait.  That's best for everyone here.  So you only are exposed to half of the stomach turning reflex that you experience looking at this photograph. 

Did the clamshell setup here again with the 285HV through the shoot-thru as the top, and the silver autoshade as the bottom of the shell.  Taken with the 50mm 1.8 lens that I have really been hyping these days.  I'm sure that's why the price is going up. 

For post, I modified the aged photograph preset in LR2.  I pulled the exposure back down to recover some details. 

Sorry for the subject.

Be blessed.


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First Day Of Preschool

First Day Of Preschool

OK.  Here's another one.  Our oldest just started Kindergarten and now Eli started preschool today.  He was so excited and happy.  That is evident from the photos. 

All of these we taken with the 50mm 1.8.  If you don't have one, run out and get one before the price goes up again.  It was $80 when I bought mine like a year ago and now it is up to around $120.  Added some high contrast post processing in LR2.



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First Day Of School.

First Day Of School by you.

Wow.  My boy is in Kindergarten.  It is hard to believe.  My wife has been a little weepy for the past week or so (big surprise for those of you who know my sweet wife).  But I have to be honest, when we dropped that young man off at school I had some tears.  Actually having some right now.  Man I love that kid.

So, photographically speaking, this is shot with the "plastic fantastic" 50mm f1.8 lens.  I always put this lens on when low light is a possibility.  Grabbed this shot as he was about to get out of the car.  I really like the lens flare from the sun that is rising right over his head.  It is exaggerated by the high contrast treatment that I gave the image.

Anyway, there he is.  My boy!

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Oh Salad!

Grilled Chicken, Apples, Walnuts, Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Brocolli

Man oh man.  G decided to put all of these great ingredients together for a salad.  We have grilled chicken, walnuts, diced apples, crumpled blue cheese, and top it off with blue cheese dressing.  I'm not a huge salad guy but if there is dead chicken and blue cheese involved, I'm in.  So I get to do the grilling and G puts it all together.  Excellent.  It tastes sooooo good.  I mean it would be awesome if there was taste-o-net so you could taste this.

The photography is almost too easy.  I have read that the default place to start with food photography is a large light source above and slightly behind the subject.  I never got past that step here.  You could bring in a reflector in front for some fill.  So go out and get a strobist kit from southwest photo and take pictures of the stuff you eat. 

I couldn't believe I was photographing this thing instead of devouring it.  Well I did that after the photo shoot.

Grilled Chicken, Apples, Walnuts, Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Brocolli



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Clam Shell

Look Closely

Here's a quick post about trying the clam shell technique.  I think I've seen it done with two soft boxes.  I don't have one so I used the shoot-thru umbrella for the top and a silver autoshade from Wal-Mart for the bottom.  It looks nice to me.  You can see both speculars in his eyes.  The umbrella was directly in front of and above him aiming down.  I was shooting in the small gap between the umbrella and the reflector.  It is a very flat, soft look with a slight shadow below the nose. 

I did a little touch up in Lightroom.  The clarity slider is really cool.  I backed that off just a bit to smooth the face.  Brought up the blacks a bit for some contrast.  Finally, just a bit of overall sharpening. 



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