Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nope, I Don't Want to Share

Hello it's Sere here, stepping in for poor Scott. His family had some car troubles on the road to Denver, all is okay, but you get me today instead of him. Hopefully he will be able to show us something beautiful soon. First though some other 3C1D business to attend to.

I have overridden Brandi's executive decision from yesterday, see how all this equality works, all of us are executives around here. Since I am posting today I will be announcing our Wordless Wednesday winner today. Drumroll please for our winner for this week..... Congratulations Rachel, you are the lucky winner! Please email for further instructions and let us know a date that works for you. We can't wait to see your photo!

Okay we have some more cuteness going on today so looker beware.

Nikon D2X
Lens 18-70mm at 56mm
Aperture F/4.5
Shutter Speed 1/500
Natural Lighting on Shutter Priority

My connections to Brandi's post, besides the cuteness factor was the wood in Nanook's mouth, like the wooden block little Ryan was holding.

This was not the picture I had planned on posting today. I had another one that was probably better technically, but I just thought this was such a fun picture. I guess I could have the connection of playing as well. I wish Nanook had maybe turned his head some my direction so I could have gotten more of his face, but he was more interested in running around. My son had let him out to play. I have no idea where he found the stick, but he was so cute playing with it, that I had to get my camera out to get some shots of it. I was on shutter priority so that I could get the action as much as possible, since huskies as a rule don't sit still for very long.

Have a great day tomorrow and we'll see who ends up being next.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Squishy Face Friday - reader beware

This is your caution, the below picture is so ridiculously cute you will find yourself wanting a baby. While I want everyone to look at every picture posted here if you cannot handle a severe case of the "I wanna baby"ies please do not move forward. I'll give you a moment to decide if you can handle it.

Here is another warning. I'll keep talking to you for a few moments to allow you to make a good decision. Oh, I should mention this is Brandi. Scott and his wife and two young boys are traveling by car from the Chicago area to Denver to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family. Don't worry Scott will be posting tomorrow once they are settled in Denver. Your prayers for Scott and his wife are appreciated. Can't imagine traveling that far with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, even though both his boys are terrific.

Have I given you enough time yet? Have you made the right choice?

Here goes... last chance....

Nikon D40 kit lens
Shutter speed 1/400sec
ISO 800
natural light

This is Ryan. He's a dear friends youngest boy. They came over for a play date today and Ryan was my perfect model. Well, as perfect as a one year old, that just learned to walk and is a crazy crawler can be.
His happy little face is simply contagious.

I wish I could have closed up my aperture (higher f stop number) so I could have gotten a little better focus on his eyes as well as the block. Unfortunately, I had to keep my shutter speed high to keep up with his fast movement which meant moving up (lower number fstop) to keep proper exposure.
As I've lamented before my camera does horrible with high ISO. Normally with a camera that can handle higher ISO, you could have bumped that up (maybe to 1200ish) to allow the shutter speed and aperture to be more to my liking. Alas, I didn't get that option.
I'm still really happy with this photo. He's a beautiful little boy and I really feel his contagious smile through the picture.
My tie in to Jay'me's wooden spindles is the wood block that Ryan is holding. Weak, I know, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

One more day to try to get in on this weeks Wordless Wednesday. Scratch that I'm making an executive decision, two more days. Sere will post the winner with her post on Sunday.
We're still looking for Kevin McQuire. Paging, Kevin McQuire. Kevin McQuire please check in at You won, now you just have to claim your prize.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Scott will be here tomorrow with something fantastic from Denver!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh My Spindles

no flash
no tripod
no fun - okay a little
f 2.8
ISO 80

By George I've got it... All of us iphone photo enthusiasts really need iphone tripods. They will look like your iphone shell meets business card holder with legs. I don't think $ millions are in my future with that one.
About the picture: This is the back of an Amish made cherry chair. I really had to be steady, keep adjusting the dimmer switch in my kitchen, and move most of my clutter around so I could have a clean backdrop in a decent light source. yep a real TECHNICAL process!
The colors in the final product were pretty distracting. The background color came off as dirty salmon pick with my iphone. I'm starting to feel as though I'm reliving my high school photo class. All my pictures have been black and white lately. Back then all we wanted was to break into color. There's something to say about the simplicity and raw artistry involved in black and white. Composition becomes my major focal point. I think this should always be a the major component of every photographers thought process as they click away.
I'm glad I'm not in the dark room. However, it was fun and I'm glad to be reminded of it.

Please revisit yesterdays Wordless Wednesday with Sere and take a crack at solving her mystery of the connection to Tuesdays post.
My connection to Sere's post is the vertical composition. I purposely moved away from iron and went to wood. Keeping it fresh, you know?
I would love to team up with my fellow 2 chicks and pachyderm and work in my forge while they shoot hot steel and sparks. (Hint, Hint)
No matter what - Keep on clicking on...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday with Sere

Yep I am up again for another Wordless Wednesday. You all are soooo lucky haha! But first some quick business to take care of. I believe that we are still looking for Kevin McQuire to contact regarding last week's Wordless Wednesday. Please, please contact us, we would really love to see your work! Alright, onward ho...

The poster must post only (1) one photo with settings. No additional verbiage (other then the rules is allowed).

Comment's (that's you) must comment and guess how the photo associates with the previous (Tuesday's) photo. We will take a look at every commenter's comments and randomly select a winner on the following Saturday. The winner will get to be our guest poster on the following Tuesday. If you can't make Tuesday, we will pick another day that works for you. We aren't too picky. So if you think you have an answer (or even if you don't) leave a comment, you might just win!

No previous photography experience required. In fact, wannabe's like us, are encouraged. The only criteria; you must be able to take a photo (any camera will do), email said photo, allow 3C1D to publish the photo and follow the rules....

Only one (1) guess per person. All rules strictly enforced with a paddle (Brandi style)!

Ready, Set, Go....

Nikon D90
Lens Nifty Fifty 50mm fixed lens
Aperture f/3.5
Shutter 1/500 sec.
Natural Lighting, Manual Settings

HINT, HINT, HINT..... It is not the fact that both are in black and white! Look deeper my friends!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The ties that bind

The last few days we've seen lots of details. Scott's tiny marble with all of it's nicks and chips. A photo full of circles and light flair. Amanda's glass ball with all the bubbles, spots of color and blurs of background. All beautiful, remarkable details.
I've got details of a different type. The details that make something possible.

I spent some time playing on the tracks yesterday (Monday). I started off taking some photos of the abandoned train cars on the tracks but got bored. I need more, I needed to see what kept everything together. I needed details.
Anyone can see the cars but nobody can see the bolts and ties that keep everything together. Without these nifty little plates and bolts the entire system would fall apart and the train would derail. How can you not obsess over that?

I took the picture using the more vivid setting in my camera. I did this knowing that particular setting really brings out the rust spotting on metal. I knew I wanted to make this photo my "almost black and white". In Photoshop Elements 8 I upped the contrast, brightened a smidge, converted it to black and white and then added a warm filter with an adjusted opacity of almost 50%.
In the end I spent a quick 5 minutes on the computer because I knew the finished look I was going for when I shot the photo. Not bad, not bad at all.

Sere has another Wordless Wednesday tomorrow. I'm thinking we need to move things around a bit next week. Poor Scott and Sere have gotten all the Wordless Wednesdays of late.

Be Well!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Amanda, how much do we love ya?

We are so lucky to have our first repeat guest photographer.
We were first introduced to her here and then she won again last week

In Amanda's words:
I thought I would give a little more detail this time. As you know my name is Amanda and I love photography! I have considered myself a photographer for about 10 years though I have taken breaks. I recently started to edit using Photoshop CS5. My main subject these days is my son, but I am in love with taking landscapes and macros. Ialso crochet and sew when I have the time. I am currently working on newborn props for myself and my aunt who is a great photographer.
Sorry if that rambled... :-)

Didn't ramble at all Amanda. It's so great to get to know you even better. To see more of Amanda you can pop on over to her blog Go on over and follow her, I do. Oh and this is Brandi in case you didn't know.

Now on to the photo. Here's the story behind the picture:
When I looked at Scott's photo I instantaneously knew what my subject would be. I took a similar photo in high school, though it wasn't as cool as Scot ts, of a glass ball that had a little world with butterflies and green in it. I love that photo, but I didn't want to recreate what I or Scott had done, just use the inspiration. So I got my glass ball that has orange and air bubbles inside it and found some natural light with some cool background to reflect inside the ball and voila! I got what you see here (with a little editing thrown in)!

Thanks again! I really do enjoy your challenge and I find it is very cool that you give your readers a chance to have a go at it.

Canon Powershot A495
Exposure 1/1250
ISO 800

Excellent job Amanda! Gorgeous as always.
I'm already getting excited about how to follow it up.

Scott awarded last Wednesdays wordless winner already. Kevin McQuire you need to give us a shout at so we can make proper arrangements. As Amanda would tell you, it's an easy process. We like to share our sandbox so we always play nice.

Thanks again Amanda!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Spin Me Round Round

Let's all give a round of applause to Jay'me and her efforts to soldier on in the absence of a camera (sorry iphone users - it's not really a camera in my eyes). Were it I, I'd probably have a brand new credit card bill and a camera worth drooling over. It's fortunate not everyone is as impulsive as I. So Jay'me , well done! You did a great job capturing a photo despite your limitations! I'm proud to call you a co-conspirator.

Moving on, what I noticed immediately with Jay'me's post were the arcs. There are at least 3 circles implied and I would probably say there are actually 5. I don't think it was Jay'me's intent but it was a study in circles. Because of that I immediately thought of marbles (maybe it's because I've lost mine!). My son has a gallon bag of hundreds of marbles. I had a great time trying different things...with one exception. My tripod is dead. It will be buried alongside Jay'me's corpse of a camera and I will move on after sharing a few kind words for my 3-legged friend. I will miss her. And my mourning started tonight.

I really needed to brace my camera and because of the death in my camera family, I had to get a little resourceful. So I stacked 7 bean bags atop a box of business cards and a DVD case and nestled my camera among it all. Meanwhile, I piled up 3 more bean bags on top of an overturned Tupperware container so the lens would rest on something. Then, after selecting the marble, I placed it on a sheet of white paper and used my sons new "Buzz Lightyear" flashlight to provide harsh side-lighting. Firing off 3 bracketed shots I set about editing. Here is the result:

Canon 30D
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Mode Aperture Priority
Shutter Speed 1/4, 1", and 2.5"
Aperture f/14.0
ISO 100
Buzz Lightyear Flashlight

It's worth mentioning that I always shoot in RAW. Actually, I always shoot in RAW+sJPEG. What this means is that my camera simultaneously records the image in RAW format and small JPEG format. The purpose is to give me a file size that's easy to preview (sJPEG) and the loss-less format to actually edit and use (RAW). Additionally, it means more time in front of the computer, something I feel is reality in this day and age.

Photographers of old spent loads of time in the darkroom. Today's photographers are often faced with similar demands. In the case of this photo, I had to combine 3 images using Photomatix, process the results, save as a 16-bit TIFF, then proceed to edit the TIFF in Digital Photo Professional (my editor of choice currently), and finally save as a JPEG for the final edit and post. The entire process took about 10 minutes, which I feel is reasonable. But one can imagine the demands of editing wedding photos! Work flow is important!

So I've managed to completely wander away from this post but darn it, it's what I'm feeling right now!

I did my best to capture the circles given me by this marble. It was more challenging than I thought it would be (when is it ever easier!). I shot with HDR in mind because of something I read recently. The poster mentioned that in addition to dealing with dynamic range, HDR can really bring out detail in a setting that you might not normally think of as "perfect for HDR." In this case, I'm not sure I achieved better detail. What I certainly did after much trial and error is better saturation on the blue halo. I couldn't duplicate it with a single exposure. I tried several techniques and just couldn't do it. So once again, HDR was what I needed.

Okay, I've had enough for tonight. I think tomorrow we're inline for a guest photographer. WooHoo!!! We love our guests (no its not because we get out of posting!). It's such fun seeing the work of other people.

I'll leave you with a joke that I'm thinking of as I ramble aimlessly through this post. Here ya go:

How many AD/HD kids does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Wanna ride bikes?