Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Friend Mike...and I Broke the Rules!

Canon 30d
18-55 f3.5-5.6 (this is my version of "same old lens" - that's for you B!)
ISO 800
Focal Length 18mm
Canon 580ex Speedlight

This is the first thing I thought of when I saw Brandi's post - my friend Mike. So, I headed over to his house with a couple racks of ribs, corn on the cob, zucchini and squash, and my camera. Ribs are a terrific motivator! When I told him my idea he said absolutely and immediately started adding suggestions. We had great fun with this and I'm sure he will end up on here again in the near future.

Something to notice for you fellow photogs are the catch lights in Mike's eyes. With the reflector extended on my flash and a 45 degree angle, I got a better diffusion of light and a bigger catch light. He's also sitting next to a window with a shear allowing great natural light. It's a little funny talking seriously about this photo but without planning this shot, it would have looked rather flat.

Here's where I broke the rules...

This is a photo I took on my way to my Dad's. It's something I've always curiously observed and wondered if there was a photo to be had. It was dark outside but the sign in the background provided nice back lighting. I messed with using my speed light but ultimately I decided on several exposures to be combined later as a HDR image. HDR means "high dynamic range" and I found a great freeware program called Picurenaut that allows for this technique. Anyway, I used a tripod, remote trigger, and mirror lock up on my camera body to minimize movement as much as possible. The result is the purple tint due to the twilight lighting and the blown out highlights of the backdrop. It's almost an accidental shot! It's not at all what I was going for and I drove away thinking I had nothing. Alas, I'm pretty happy with the results.

I broke the rules simply because I'm supposed to post one photo! I promise this won't happen often but I just couldn't pick between the two.

The connection for this was supposed to be the green background. And I suppose there is green. But I'm amazed at the color you can achieve just through watching the clock and shooting at different times of the day. If you find yourself up at the crack of dawn, wander outside and shoot a few of some flowers. You'll be amazed at the quality of light! The same goes for dusk. It's easily my favorite time to shoot.

So, looks like I made it through one post without breaking the rules. Any bets on the next rule breaker?


Friday, August 6, 2010

Here Are A Few Of My Favorite...


Nikon d40
same old lens (boohiss)
ISO 400
focal length 26mm

So my head us full of ideas of where to go with Sere's powerful picture. Something about that photo really spoke to me. I don't know if it was the lighting, the subject matter or the fact that it was taken somewhere I've always wanted to go. Either way it sent my brain into overdrive.
Having Kate at school today didn't help my ADHD tendencies. She usually slows me down or makes me focus and use my time more wisely. I bounced around town finding all kinds of inspiration.

All day I found myself surrounded by the color green.
It started with the clips I put in Kate's hair, moved with me to the Starbucks for my favorite drink, then in all the fresh summer produce at the farm stand. A box of Mike and Ike's given to me by my mother sat nestled next to a few bucks.
Green, green everywhere.

All green... all happy, spirited, multi tonal, dimensional GREEN.
Putting all of these things against the backdrop of my green dining room seemed like the perfect finishing touch.

A little tweaking in Photoshop Elements 8 (that I'm now thinking I over did) and I was set.

Before this adventure I would have just kept moving through my day without the realization that the color green surrounds me. I'm so grateful to my friends for pushing me to see the things that are right in front of my face.

Whatcha got Scott?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Graveyard Tale

Nikon D2X
Lens 18-70mm 1:3.5-4.5G
ISO 200
Focal Length 70mm
No Flash, Natural Lighting
Alrighty hope this loads okay! Obviously I used the tree from Jay'me's picture as a basis for my picture. I was trying to do an atmospheric shot of life and death, light and dark, while trying to incorporate the live oak and spanish moss that Savannah Georgia is known for. Savannah is also known for ghosts and such, i.e my choice of using a graveyard as well.
I used Adobe Photoshop to bump up the vibrancy a little bit on the green foliage and adjusted the lighting a bit

Brandi busts in again! Dang I'm a total blog stealer. So, I just realized that this post didn't actually post to the blog. I know Sere was having some internet issues while traveling so I'm re-posting it. I'm crossing my fingers that Sere is ok with that because it's 10:17pm and I'm not mean enough to message her to ask permission.
So, if something isn't right it's my fault. I accept full responsibility.
Looking forward to building on this tomorrow. My brain is already in overdrive.
Great job Sere! I would have never thought to take a photo in a graveyard but it makes for a beautiful shot.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Anything for a Friend

Hi All- It's Brandi. Yes I realize it's Jay'me's turn to blog. Jay'me has her hands full this evening and asked me to jump in and blog on her behalf.
You see Jay'me has never blogged before so the idea of coming here to this little box and writing down all her wild thoughts had her feeling a little intimidated. I can't say I blame her, I felt that way once too. I got over it, now I can't get away from the blog world. Without further ramblings I give you Jay'me's magnificent photo and her comments.


Cannon Rebel
18-55 lens
in Auto

There are a couple of trees at a corner I have passed for more than 20 years. I have wanted to photograph the gnarly, exposed, barked roots, well..since I can remember!!
This is related to the first photo (Brandi's) as it's an interesting sign/scene you/I passed many times. And when Scott's photo had a tree in the background it was perfect.
I took these while engulfed in a mosquito cloud. The kids were in the car parked on the side of the street and I was RUSHING!!!
Not so techie but I tried... This tree will be revisited this winter when the contrast of roots and fresh snow will be stunning.


Brandi again. See I told you I just couldn't stay away.
Hopefully, the next to report in will be Sere. I say hopefully because Sere is away with her husband in beautiful (and steamy) Savannah Georgia.

Great job Jay'me. Way to overcome obstacles and still get in the shot (a beautiful shot at that). Let's see where Sere takes us.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Second Comes...Swingers?

Canon 30d
Lens 24-70mm 1:2.8L
ISO - 100
focal length - 24mm
natural light

Yep, swingers alright. Let me start by saying this might be the coolest tire swing ever. It probably covers about 80 feet laterally as it swings wildly like Father Time's pendulum. It's crazy awesome.

The model is the always photogenic Tristan, a friend of mines youngest son. It's funny, Brandi posted her photo and I was a bit stumped initially. But I pulled up to work this morning and there is a tire swing staring at me. It was meant to be. So I got to try my hand at panning, which is setting the shutter speed slow enough to show motion but moving your lens as much in sync with the subject as possible. What usually happens with me is that I get about 50 complete throw aways and occasionally 1 keeper. This time I got 2! WooHoo!!!

I used Digital Photo Professional to sharpen, adjust white balance and exposure, and saturate the color a tick.

I also just wanted to say thanks to Brandi for setting up the blog. It looks fantastic and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. We're going to learn so much and have so much fun.

Lastly...Jay'me, tag, you're it!


Monday, August 2, 2010

First Comes Love

Nikon D40
Lens 18-55 1:3.5-5.6
ISO - 400
focal length - 18mm
no flash

So there it is. The first photo in our photo challenge.
I've walked passed this sign several times out at the airport and always found it interesting.

In deciding what I wanted to shoot I thought it should be something unique that I've wanted to take a photo of forever but just never managed to find the time. After all, isn't that the point to this entire challenge.
I did some post processing in Photoshop Elements (Elements 8 to be exact). I upped the vivids, the luminosity and added some lighting effects. Having taken the photo 9am and in the shadows it was feeling a little drab. I wanted to just make the photo "pop".

I'm so excited to begin this journey with 3 of my best friends. I can't wait to see where this takes us.