Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dance on white wall with butcher paper floor

I help out with the photography club at the high school. We started out with 30+ participants, and we are down to about 4-6 regulars. Which, to be honest, is on par with how most of the clubs at the school work. I dragged three Alienbees (800 x2 and 400) to school, and set them up in the teacher's work room. We laid some white butcher paper on the floor and went to town. 6.5 foot ceilings? Not recommended for shooting dance. Oh well, that is what we had, and it was a good learning experience for all involved. Thanks Sarah and Chris for being our guinea pigs.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday Night HDR Photos

Thanks Ryan for taking us to Knight Transportation. I created a HDR gallery at my smugmug account here. The shots taken at Jesse's Auto Body Shop have been moved to smugmug gallery due to a google snafu with yesterday's post. I like last night's shots.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Childhood Memories

Here is my latest project: I am taking pictures of things associated with my childhood. Occasionally I am going to include some photos not taken by me, but taken when I was a kid. I am inviting my family members to come to the blog and comment on any memories that they may have of the photo, or the object in the photo.

Here is my teddy bear appropriately named "Teddy." He has been around a long time. I literally don't remember not having Teddy. He has one bad eye, and I don't remember very well where he came from.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday night's HDR

I am on spring break. As a result, I actually have stuff to post. After the last couple of nights I am getting the feeling that the better HDR photos have less lights, but more light. For example, all the above shots were made at the same location. However in the shot with the trucks I use the construction machinery to block the actual light bulbs. The light still enters the picture, but I don't get the nasty flaring. Maybe a star filter over the lens wouldn't eliminate the flare, but help control it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I can't solder worth...

My aunt has a Canon Rebel XTi. In an effort to help eliminate camera shake, I decided to try to build her a remote for her camera. Fortunately, the XTi has a pretty simple remote control interface. It is basically a stereo 3/32 (smaller one) headphone jack connected to some buttons. To be honest I wish my Nikon D90's interface was as simple, but I digress.

I searched the web and I found very simple instructions here:

I bought a couple of push buttons at radio shack. I used a Goo Gone bottle as the housing. The wires were left over from other projects, I tried to use a jack from a cell phone headphone/microphone head piece. However the jack was designed to carry 4 signals instead of a regular stereo jack which carries three. As a result, the cell phone jack didn't line up in the body of the XTi as it should. I may have been able to get it to work with a little more effort, but it was more simple to just go find a stereo jack.

Here it is. It works, and isn't flashy but hey. I think it would look cool to put a bunch of L.E.D. lights in there, but...

As an aside: My soldering sucks. You would think that after all the "do it yourself" projects I have tried to do, I would start to get better. But no... I may be worse than when I started.

Nighttime HDR 3 and 4

My aunt and I went out last night to do some HDR shots. Cherry pickers: I like it. Other than importing the images, I ran a noise filter on the final image and set the white balance to auto.

The building under construction wasn't so hot. I think that I was getting too much light from the overhead lights that were over us. Also, there is a light haze over the image. Again, I think it is due to the lights. Too much lens flare. It looks like I am shooting behind a plate of glass. I could do some work on it, but I am trying to do as little Photoshop as possible on these. I may revisit after the kids and I get back from the dentist.

When we first pulled up to check out the building, a security guard noticed us. We didn't like the angle anyway, so we pulled around back, and parked in the parking lot of an adjacent bank. A few minutes after we set up our cameras and began to shoot, a van pulled into the picture (lower left). Then a few moments later a couple of police cars showed up. The police were very courteous (really how scary do we look with our cameras on tripods, and us just chillin' on the curb).  They indicated that the property we were on was private property. The police officer just asked us to speed up the process, and not stay too long. Thanks, officer friendly.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Night time HDR 2

Okay, I just got back from the local fire station. This time I wasn't loosey goosey with my shutter speeds. I took a stop watch, and wrote down ahead of time how long I would keep the shutter open for each image. I planed on doing five images: 1 sec., 4 sec., 15 sec., 60 sec., and 250 sec. In the end I did these, and while there I decided to do a 125 sec.,  1/2 sec. and 1/4 sec. as well. Above is the image of the merged files. Below is the long exposure (4 minute and 15 sec. shot.), notice the lack of detail in the windows of the fire station versus the HDR image. Also, in the HDR version, I removed the moon in light room. 

Nighttime HDR

Just shot loosey goosey with random variable shutter speed (didn't have a watch to time the exposure  in "bulb" mode). Brought the images into photomatix to merge the images. Then I took the resulting image into Lightroom to adjust the white balance, and crop the image. A few notes: the street light was putting out a very orange light. And the house is purple. Here is the non-white balanced shot: