Photo Blog 112

26 09 2010

While it is a subject that has been done to death the Golden Gate bridge is pretty spectacular and I don’t think anyone goes there without taking a photo. We arrived in the early afternoon and there was already the stereotypical fog rolling in off the sea which made it all quite dramatic, if a little cold.

The Bridge (f14 45mm 1/100s)
All I’ve done is convert to Black and White using a blue filter (which makes the bridge’s red closer to black) and I really like the almost antique feel. Maybe I should add some grain or something…


Photo Blog 111

12 09 2010

As mentioned in the last photo blog I’ve been working on some more product photography. The new setup is a bit simpler than before using just one light and the box set up in a way that is a bit easier to manipulate. I also have the props / background that was needed by my Aunt for her shots which meant that the white backdrop wasn’t necessary. This made it heaps easier to set up each individual item and cut the time required down substantially.

The setup:

The Setup

The only real issue was making sure that I was using a custom white balance that matched the lighting as otherwise it would have been a pain in post-processing. In the end the only changes needed in post where a bit of cropping and use of the ‘heal’ brush in Photoshop to remove some artifacts near the edges.

A couple example images:

Example Shot 1 (f16 2.5s 105mm)

Example Shot 2 (f16 2.5s 105mm)

Photo Blog 110

7 09 2010

Recently I got to do a bit of road trippen’ between Las Vegas and San Fransisco and we took the route through Death Valley and Yosemite National Park. There is some stunning scenery through there as well as some rather interesting extremes. In 12 hours we went from -200feet to 10000feet and from 46ºC to 3ºC. Luckily I was traveling with a couple of other photographers so there were plenty of opportunities for stopping and taking photos.

Obviously there are lots of photos from there that I’m proud of but one in particular would have to be a panorama I took while leaving Death Valley. So here it is:

Death Valley Panorama

I really do suggest you click on it to view it at a higher resolution as seeing it in a small frame like above doesn’t do it justice.

Photo Blog 109

5 09 2010

While I was playing around with some more product photography (perhaps the next update will explain) Alyona decided to do some painting. I spun the camera around on the tripod and managed to catch this without her seeing. I like her pose and look of utter concentration. That and our random assortment of stuff around the apartment!

Painting (f8.0 1/10s 47mm)

Photo Blog 108

7 06 2010

Something I have been interested in for a while but never had an impetus to explore is product photography. Recently however someone said they were needing some stuff done and simultaneously a tutorial popped up on one one of the blogs I read ( This was reason enough so I tried it out yesterday and made myself a light tent. It really was quite easy and just consisted of finding some nice diffuser material at the Look Sharp store on Victoria St and one of my storage boxes butchered for the task. The final setup looked like this:

Setup Shot

The two sides and top had been replaced with the semi-transparent material and I had two identical desk lamps shining from the sides. Unfortunately we had no paper big enough to act as the backdrop so used two pieces stuck together. This resulted in a line in the background but it is easy to imagine what it would look like without this…

So now on to the results. I didn’t have much time to play around before we had to head out but here are two examples of what was able to be achieved. It definitely required longer exposures than normal and a tripod to keep things steady. Even on small apertures focus was an issue this close to I had to pull the camera out a bit and then crop the final image.

Jewellery Example 1 (f22 2.5s 105mm)

And a second example:

Jewellery Example 2 (f22 1.3s 105mm)

The effect of having nice diffused lighting is obvious and I’m definitely keen to try some more!

Photo Blog 107

23 05 2010

My Birthday was last weekend and for it I was given a brand new Speedlight for my camera. I’m still very much learning how to use it but took it along to my brother’s 21st last night ( we aren’t really born a week apart but this is when he chose to celebrate it). Played around a bit and got a few OK shots.

The two I decided to post are for rather different reasons; the first was a bit of a test to see what it could *really* do and come out quite artistic. I angled the flash straight up and then shot into a mirror on one side of the bar. The result is a cool reflection of the partygoers with myself in the middle behind the camera.

Reflections (f4.0 1/30s 24mm)

It really is quite amazing that it can produce that much light and get a correct exposure at 1/30s. The camera was otherwise saying it would need 4 seconds! This was setting the flash to Manual at 1/1 power so really is a demonstration of what it can do…

The second photo is more personal and is a scene replayed at every 21st the world over. Stories from Mum & Dad to embarrass the birthday boy :-)

Typical 21st (f4.0 1/30s 45mm)

I still need to learn a lot more, and to start with I think I need to fiddle with the white balance a little and work out how not to get over-saturated pictures ( the above has a slight de-saturation applied in post).

Photo Blog 106

7 05 2010

Another update from the Easter Jazz Train. Nothing really ‘wow’ about this shot but I do like the perspective and natural smiles. Had fun in Photoshop correcting for an off-center perspective but I think it still looks alright.

Train Window (f4.0 1/1000 24mm)