Category Archives: photography

What is Time Lapse Photography?

Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (aka the frame rate) is much lower that that which will be used to play the sequence back.  When you replay this sequence at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and lapsing.

Put simply: We are manipulating time. Objects and events that would normally take minutes, days, hours, or months can be viewed to completion in seconds having been speeded up by factors of tens to millions.

Where did time-lapse photography originate?

Eadweard Muybridge (yes the spelling is correct, see below), a nineteenth-century photographer is often quoted as originating the technique.  Cathy Curtis point out that he is famous for three things:

1.    his own bizarre spelling of his name
2.    his sensational acquittal for the murder of his wife’s lover
3.    and his blurry but indisputable photographic proof that Occident, former California Gov. Leland Stanford’s racehorse, galloped by lifting all four feet off the ground.

One of the first uses of time-lapse photography in a feature film was done by Arnold Fanck in his series of work called Bergfilms, including this 1926 film The Holy Mountain.

Probably the most important person to popularize the art wasn’t a photographer at all, at least not at first. In the evenings, after work as a banker John Ott would come home and build and experiment with time-lapse equipment and the growth of plants.

We have come a long way since Occident’s hooves left the ground. Today time-lapse photography has gotten a lot simpler but it certainly is not easy.

I finally delved into this mystifying realm. Just the other day I created my own Time Lapse. I set my camera to take one shot every 5 seconds and let it do so for about 25 minutes. I ended up with 290 images which at 24 frames per second rendered a 12 second video. Check it it out below. I hope you enjoy it!

Neighborhood from Bill Barber on Vimeo.

Birds in Flight

I often admire beautiful shots others take of birds in flight. To me, an image of a bird flying is much more interesting than a bird standing around in muck. However, photographing birds in flight takes a lot of skill developed from a lot of practice. I need a lot of practice. My skills at catching birds in flight suck.

This evening I ventured over to Huntington Beach State Park. At the time I was there, there was not a lot of bird activity, but I was able to practice some Bird in Flight shots. Below are a few that didn’t turn out too poorly, but as you can see I still need a LOT of practice with this genre.

Click on each image for larger view:

Bird-in-Flight-web Egret-on-Patrol-web Heron-in-Flight-web Wood-Stork-in-Flight2-web Wood-Stork-in-Flight-webIbis-in-flight-web

Grand Canyon

Back in 2009, my youngest daughter was living in New Mexico. We went to visit her and along the way made a side stop at the Grand Canyon. Neither my wife nor I had ever been there before. We viewed it from the South Rim, and every viewpoint was simply “WOW”.

Here is one example of what we were able to see: (Click on image for larger view)


How to Make a Pinhole Camera from a Pringles Can

This adorable young photographer’s name is Fresley, and for a recent science experiment she decided to show YouTube how to turn a Pringles can into a pinhole camera in just over 8 minutes.

All you need in way of materials is an empty Pringles can, an X-Acto knife, some opaque tape, wax paper, a pair of scissors, a ruler, a pen, a pencil and a pin. Once you’ve collected your supplies, just watch the video above for a step-by-step breakdown of how to go from Pringles can to Pinhole Camera.

This is a wonderfully quick and easy DIY project that is especially great if you’ve never tried out pinhole photography before or you want to introduce your kids to photography in a cool, crafty sort of way. Plus, if you stick around to the very end you’ll get a short lesson on aperture so… you know… win win.

Check out the video to see how it’s done, and if you do try this at home, drop me a line in the comments and let me know how it went!

Canon 7D Mk II — Coming Soon!

New rumors suggest that the announcement of a replacement for the Canon 7D may come on Friday, September 5, 2014, which is a week and a half before Photokina 2014 kicks off. I continue to see steep discounts on the original 7D.
Canon 7D Mark II Rumors
There are still several spec rumors floating around for the 7D Mark II (or whatever it will be called) and nothing is really getting trimmed down yet. One solid spec seems to be the EOS 1D X-styled top plate with no Mode dial. Resolution has been rumored between 20-24MP and “advanced” video features have been consistently rumored as well.

If you have any details about the upcoming camera, let me know.

See the below lists of previously rumored specs.
Canon 7D Mark II Rumored Spec Set #1

    24.1mp APS-C Sensor
    Dual DIGIC V
    Dual Memory Card Slots (Unknown configuration)
    61 AF Points
    3.2″ LCD
    Build quality like 5D3
    GPS & Wifi
    $2199 ($500 more than the 7D at launch)
    ISO Performance to get close to the 5D3
    “Lots of video features”
    More recent specs suggest the following as more accurate.

Canon 7D Mark II Rumored Spec Set #2

    20MP sensor
    ISO 100-12,800 (25600 extended)
    1/8000 shutter
    Quiet shutter mode
    Phase detect AF, 19 area
    8fps continuous shooting
    Buffer size – 15 raw, 126 JPEG
    3.0″ 1040k dot LCD (touch screen) – not articulated
    Weather sealed (as original 7D)
    910g weight


How to turn day into night

Have you ever created an image during the day and were curious how it would have looked at night? Maybe it’s a shot from a trip, so you can’t just go back and shoot after sunset. Just today I was looking through some older images and came across one that I would like to have shot at night. Problem is that this photo was shot at Hobcaw Barony and they are closed at night. Gee, what’s a photog to do? Well, here is what I did to kinda make it look like it was taken at night.

This is the image I started with. blog-articleFirst I created a new Solid Color fill layer by clicking the black and white circle in the layer panel. This will open a new window to select a color for the fill. Select the blue as close to black as possible.

Your image should be completely covered by the fill layer now. (It’ll just be a blue rectangle) To create the night effect and let us see our original image, you have to change the opacity of the fill. Change the top menu selection to “Multiply” and slide down the opacity to around 80%.(Make sure the Color Fill Layer is selected)


We have darkened the image but you can see from the shadows that there is a light source that would be shining on the front of each building. Maybe it’s a bright moon or maybe it is a street lamp, it doesn’t matter, but there is a light source and we need to account for it. So, I selected a round soft brush with a low opacity. I selected something like 30% opacity. Then I lightly brushed the front of each building so it would look like light was hitting them. Then, since it is supposed to be night, I selected a small star brush and inserted some stars in the sky. That’s all I did to this image. Others might required more or less work depending on what you start with.

Here is what I ended up with.  Clickon the image for a larger view.  Give it a try sometime!

blog article 3


“Q” is for

QUAINT!  A definition of Quaint says —  Something is quaint when it has a certain old-fashioned charm, or if it is interesting in a nice way but a little strange too.

So, with that in mind —  is this quaint? Seems to fit the definition!

Click on image for larger view:


“P” is for

“P” is for Panorama!

Panoramic Photography is capturing images on a wider format, so as to include much more than what eyes can see naturally from a point. To capture a panoramic image, one needs a wider aspect ratio so that there is a view which is unobstructed of a vaster area.

Back in the days of film cameras, creating a panoramic photograph meant either buying a particular, expensive camera or hours in the darkroom stitching images together by overlapping exposures onto the finished photo paper.

Panoramic photos were the realm of the professional with the time and funds to create gorgeous super wide angle shots.

But now, in the digital age, it’s not only simple to create panoramic images on your home computer, it’s become increasingly easier thanks to advances in software.  There are still some general guidelines to follow to help you increase your odds of producing great photos because remember, you can’t fix everything in a computer after the fact.  I’ve made a number of mistakes over the years in learning about panoramas and it’s my hope that these guidelines will help shorten your learning curve and give you a head start in creating stunning panoramic images.

Below are a few panoramas I have created. As always, click on image for larger view:

Sea-Oats-HBSP-bookmark-websunset24x48-webFacebook Cover

“N” is for

“N” is for Night Heron! Specifically Black-crowned Night Heron.

Breeding on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, the Black-crowned Night-Heron is the second most widespread heron in North America. A medium-sized, stocky, rather short-necked heron with black crown and back, gray wings, and white underparts. Bill short and black, legs pinkish or yellowish. In breeding season it has 2 or more long white plumes on back of head. Young birds are dull gray-brown lightly spotted with white. Young Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are grayer, with stouter bills and longer legs.

As its name implies, this noisy bird is largely nocturnal, beginning to forage at dusk, when other herons are on their way to roosts. Night-herons are less likely to nest in mixed colonies than other herons; when they do, they often keep to themselves in a separate corner. These birds are sluggish hunters, standing quietly for long periods of time waiting for a frog or fish to pass by. They also plunder the nests of other herons and make regular nighttime visits to colonies of terns or Franklin’s Gulls, where they sometimes take large numbers of chicks.

Below is an image of a Night Heron I captured recently on a trip to Brookgreen Gardens.

Click on image for larger view:


“M” is for

“M” is for Middleton Place!

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. The Garden Club of America has called the 65 acres “the most important and most interesting garden in America”.  Centuries-old camellias bloom in the winter months and azaleas blaze on the hillside above the Rice Mill Pond in the spring. In summer, kalmia, magnolias, crepe myrtles and roses accent a landscape magnificent throughout the year. The Gardens have been planned so that there is something blooming at Middleton Place year-round.

Below is an image I captured, and applied a painterly effect to, during my last visit to Middleton Place.

Click on image for larger view: