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Category Archives: photography
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:
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)
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!
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.
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
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
ISO 100-12,800 (25600 extended)
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)
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. First 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!
“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:
“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 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:
“H” is for HDR! What does HDR mean? The three letters stand for High Dynamic Range. As applies to photography it means that you can see details in the bright highlights as well as in the dark shadows and everything in between. Just like you can with your naked eyes. In some forms of lighting, a camera does not have the dynamic range that your eyes do. In simple terms you make several shots of the same image but with different exposures and then combine the different exposures together so the final image portrays the scene as your eyes saw it.
HDR is not new – far from it! The first recorded photograph that was the result of combining two images to achieve detail in the brightest and darkest parts of an image was created in 1850 by Gustave Le Gray.
HDR can have a stylized “look”, which can be the subject of debate in photography circles. The range can vary widely, it’s all up to the maker. I believe that HDR has a place in your darkroom toolbox.
Each of the below examples was created with some degree of HDR.
Click on image for larger view.