DO I NEED A NEW CAMERA???

•August 16, 2015 • 2 Comments

I was one of those people who believed the camera makes the photographer.  You probably already know that is not the case.  Oh sure, there are certain functions that only exist on certain cameras.  And for the professional, it is very important to get as much camera as you possibly can afford.  But if you cannot afford an expensive camera, do not be discouraged.  You can do quite a bit with very little.

A few weeks ago while visiting my son’s family in Birmingham, Alabama, my wife and I along with my son left for a quick errand.  Since I was sure we wouldn’t be gone long, I saw no need to take my camera.  While driving around, my son decided to swing by the old Sloss Furnaces near downtown Birmingham.  This place was an incredible display of decaying steel and iron architecture.  As it turned out, it was an industrial photo shoot waiting to happen.  But, I didn’t have my camera.  Extremely disappointed but never defeated, I hauled out my IPhone and began to shoot.

After a few editing steps, this was the final result.

SLOSS FURNACES - BIRMINGHAM

Two lessons:

  1. Always take your camera!
  2. Remember, any camera can take a picture…even the one on your phone!

IT WAS A QUICK TRIP – BUT A TRIP NONE THE LESS

•June 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Last week found us in Sedona, Arizona for some much-needed rest and relaxation.  Part of that relaxation process was photography – as well as shopping.  :)

I hope you enjoy my first image.

SEDONA ARIZONA 1 JUNE 2015

FIREWORKS PHOTOGRAPHY – Photography Tip #25

•June 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I thought it might be good to post this tip about photographing fireworks from a few years back.  Good luck!

When it comes to photography, I think everyone who has ever picked up a camera and thought seriously about improving their picture-taking skills has a desire to capture some really nice shots of fireworks.  But if you’re like me, you’re early attempts were disastrous!!  However, with a little pre-shoot preparation you can find yourself capturing some very pleasing images this Independence Day!!

First, you must have a tripod!!  I cannot stress this enough because contrary to popular thinking, your shutter speed is going to be slow – not fast.

Next, you should have a remote shutter release cable.  You can get by without this piece of equipment, but it’s a little more of a hassle.  If you don’t have a shutter release cable, you will need to pre-set your shutter timer for a 2 second delay.  This will allow you to trip the shutter, but delay the action for two seconds – allowing any vibrations to settle before the shutter actually opens.

Of course, you will need a camera that allows for shutter settings, aperture settings, ISO settings, and well…you get the picture, don’t you?  You’ll need an SLR or a DSLR camera.

For this particular shoot, I decided upon my settings prior to my set-up.  This allowed me to prepare my camera before leaving my house.  Here’s what I did:

  • Disengaged the stability feature on my Canon 28-135mm zoom lens – the stability feature can actually cause minor distortion attempting to allow for vibration that won’t be there
  • Disengaged the auto-focus feature on my Canon lens – you don’t want your lens trying to auto-focus in the dark
  • Manually pre-set my focus to infinity
  • Pre-set my camera to manual (M) – you must be in total control
  • Pre-set my aperture to f/11 – you want a nice depth of field in case there are fireworks exploding in the background
  • Set the ISO on my Canon 50D to 100 – a high ISO will only add distracting noise to your image
  • Set the shutter delay for 2 seconds
  • Set the shutter speed for 4 seconds

Following these steps, I snapped a quick hand-held practice shot in my studio.  Yep!  Everything is dark and blurry – perfect!!  It would seem everything was set correctly.

Now I have to say, I have the luxury of seeing fireworks every night of the year!  Because of this, I knew I didn’t want to experiment in the field.  Yes, I was going to succeed or fail with these settings!

So again, my camera specifics are: Canon 50D, 56mm or 75mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100.

75mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

75mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

75mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56 mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

56mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100

Again, I really didn’t want to make any exposure adjustments in the field for this shoot.  And after carefully viewing the first few shots, I knew no adjustments would be necessary.  I did have to re-position my camera slightly when the fireworks began because I was unsure exactly where they would begin their ascent.  Once that was done, I only adjusted my focal length one time to capture some closer shots.

My lesson learned on this shoot: for the finale (you know, when they fire off everything that’s remaining) the 4 second shutter speed washed out the image a bit.  There were just too many explosions.  I will adjust my shutter speed or stop down my lens when the finale begins next time.

I hope this helps anyone out there who will be making their first attempt at shooting fireworks this weekend!

IT’S ALMOST LIKE “WHERE’S WALDO”

•May 22, 2015 • 2 Comments

I was simply walking down the path…taking in all of the beautiful sights…and even though I was keenly aware of my surroundings, I completely missed this amazing example of “Living Garden Art” the first time I passed by.

Is it cool?

Is it creepy?

I’ll let you decide…

GARDEN ART

SOME OF MY FAVORITES

•May 14, 2015 • 2 Comments

As I was organizing some of my images (a task that seems to never end), I thought maybe some of you would like to see a brief glimpse of my journey into photography.

A RED ART_2

A FOGGY PIER 20X24 SCRIPTURE

A SJ MISSION CORRIDOR ART 16X20A

AMORMON3a

A FIRECRACKER 3

AFLOWERSUNBURST1

LB MOONW4

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - HALF DOME WEB

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - COUNTRY CHURCH WEB

SEATTLE CITY LIGHTS - WEB

MULTOMAH FALLS - LOWER WEB

SJ TOPAZ - Version 2

STAR IN PURPLE

COLORBURST A

TAHOE PRO 3-5-7

CROSS 11X14

SJC MISSION 201121204

a-hb-sunset-1-framed2

A 2013 HOMECOMING SENIOR 1SIG

A FIRECRACKER 7

A BIG SUR 25 EDIT 1_3

A LIGHTHOUSE 1A_2

A SURFER a 11x14_2

A SAIL FRAMED_2

DANDELION SIG 5

A HB XMAS 1

A HB SUNSET XMAS

FLOWER AT NIGHT

ECLIPSE I

LIGHTHOUSE 1 WEB

YOSEMITE COLOR 1

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - HALF DOME WEB - Version 2

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - INTO THE FALL 1 WEB_edited-1

BEE 4

A SJC MISSION BELLS LIGHTING

Just a sampling.  It has been an incredible journey!!  And we’re just getting started.

JUST DRIVING DOWN THE STREET…

•May 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Actually, yes!  Take a look at this beauty I spotted while I was leisurely driving through Old Town Orange, California.  I would welcome any help with determining the year and make.

I thought a sepia treatment would be appropriate for this period image.  Proof…it pays to always have your camera!

A CAR ART FRAMED

THE DESCANSO GARDENS’ COLLECTION

•April 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

May I present the final images from beautiful Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, California.  I hope they give you a small sense of the pastoral setting that is found In these quiet gardens nestled in the hills above Pasadena.  Enjoy.

DESCANSO GARDENS III 2015

DESCANSO GARDENS II 2015

DESCANSO GARDENS 5 WEB SIG

DESCANSO GARDENS - IN THE GARDEN WATERMARK

DESCANSO GARDENS 6 WEB SIG

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 772 other followers