Making the best of an unexpected situation can sometimes be the only way to go. While camping at Jordanelle State Park on Friday night, I was expecting to capture some star trail photos. But knowing that it was a full moon, I had to lower some of my expectation. But when the super moon made its way above the mountain range to the east, I had to turn my camera on it and see what I could capture.
Rather than grabbing just another show of the moon, I was trying to get the silhouette of something else into the photo. Since there were a lot of trees in the distance, I decided to make that my additional subject in the photo and ended up with this capture.
Canon 60D | 55-200mm lens | 1/100 | f/10 | ISO 250 | RAW
While this isn’t the shot of the moon that I have in mind as my dream shot, it’s a move in the right direction. The challenge is finding the right setting, and then playing with how I get the ground as well as the moon to show up in the photo. Maybe some HDR action, or some other capture and editing techniques. So for the time being, hope you enjoy this shot and I’ll hope to capture and share my dream photo.
Utah is known for the Holy War – Red v. Blue. Utes v. Cougars. Right v. Wrong. I stand on the correct side of this epic battle. Originally, I began this photo with a red poster board in the background, and a black foam board for the other half. But the black wasn’t as vibrant as the solid red, so I found the only other piece of poster board I had at home – blue.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 30″ | f/14 | ISO 100 | RAW
The challenge with photographing glass objects is that my lighting source ends up as a flare on the reflective surface. How do you beat that? You place the light source behind the glasses and illuminate the background. It worked with my lightbulb photo I took a while back, so when I set out to take this photo, I used a similar technique.
After filling the glasses up with water, placing them in front of my backdrop and lining up the camera so the forward center glass was positioned precisely in the middle, I adjusted my camera settings and began taking my photos. Since I was in my pitch-black basement with no exterior lighting, I was able to allow for a very long exposure. I set the camera on a two-second delay so that once I triggered the shutter, I could get the LED Flashmate light positioned above and behind the glasses. After holding it for 30 seconds, I would go back to see how the attempt looked. A few minor adjustments and another shot.
In all, I like the look. But if I were to take the shot again, I would run my glasses through the dishwasher and then boil some water before pouring it into the glasses. This would help the glasses look more clear, because as I illuminated the exposure on the RAW photo, it really brought out all the floatings – after all, the goblets were purchases from Deseret Industries (so you don’t know what’s been in them).
One of my favorite traditions is picking out a Lladro each December to present to my lovely wife on our wedding anniversary. One of the sculptures I presented to her a few years ago was known as A Mother’s Embrace. So with today being the day set aside to celebrate motherhood, I put the appropriate Lladro in front of my camera and grabbed a few shots.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | Bulb: 156″ | f/22 | ISO 100 | RAW
When capturing the shot, I decided to go with a longer exposure – roughly 2.5 minutes. Since my lighting was simply the ambient light peaking its way into the basement through the window well, the longer shot allowed the image to be illuminated and give me the shadows I was hoping for.
While reviewing the photos in Photoshop, I desaturated the RAW photos to make the photo a black & white, but I didn’t like how it looked. While it made for a great contrast between the background and Lladro, it didn’t help distinguish features of the mother or baby. So I settled on adding a little more saturation to the photo, increasing the exposure and then adjusting some levels before settling on my final photo (as seen above).
Now, enough talking about the photo mechanics. The purpose of the photo is to celebrate moms, and specifically my wife – who I feel is the best mom to our three wonderful kids. We have great kids, which I know is a reflection of the great mom they have in their lives.
Had a blast with my family and some friends this weekend while iN St. George. Before making the trek north, we stopped at Snow Canyon State Park’s sand dunes to photograph some Lego stuff. Here’s one I wanted to share quickly tonight, but stay tuned for some other ones that I am really looking forward to sharing over the next few days.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/400 | f/5.0 | ISO 100 | RAW
I used a 100 mm macro lens so I could have a narrow depth of field to help highlight the Lego jeep. I had a few shots where I used a flash, but this one worked without a flash.
Both of my sons set up some of the photos I’m planning to share, so stay tuned to see their works of art that I was privileged to capture.
I’ve seen this type of photo circulating online for a while and have always wanted to try and capture it myself. Since I didn’t get a decent macro lens until last December, and at that point all the grass and flowers were covered in snow, I finally got out today to give it a shot. After capturing the dandelion in the water droplet (as seen below), I decided to have a little photography fun. Check out my “Help! I’m trapped in a water droplet” photo on Flickr.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/6 | f/18 | ISO 100 | RAW
Wondering how I took it? Here’s a walk-through of what I did so you can try it on your own.
Beyond the photography equipment, I also needed a squirt bottle and scissors. Oh yeah… and long grass and a few flowers, too!
I found my spot of long grass in my backyard, and after setting up the camera on the Manfrotto tripod really close to the ground, I whipped out the squirt bottle. I began squirting the grass just in front of the camera lens (NOTE: If you do this, put your hand over the end of the lens so you don’t get water droplets on your glass). Once the water started to collect on a blade of grass, I arranged my camera as close as I could while being able to focus.
I then pulled a bright yellow dandelion from my front yard (it was the only “flower” I had on hand) and placed it just behind the droplet. Just be careful and don’t hit the blade of grass that has the droplets on it or you’ll have to re-spray. After snapping off a test shot, I noticed a few blades of grass that I didn’t like. That’s where the scissors came into play. I did a little lawn mowing to eliminate rogue blades.
It took some patients and rearranging to get it just right, but it is doable. The sun was directly behind me and lower in the sky, so it reflected in the droplets. When I tried to stand in the way to block the sun, my silhouette ended up reflected in the photo, which seemed more out of place than the reflecting sun. I also played with quite a few settings on the f/stop for different depth of field looks.
I hope those are enough details, but if you have any other questions, let me know and I’d be happy to share more info if needed.
A while back I captured some photographs of a light bulb. A few days lated, I decided to expand on the photo and use the white space I had placed into the photo to add a quote from the inventor of the lightbulb, Mr. Thomas A. Edison.
I really liked how the finished product came out, and I have since printed it on some canvas and have it hung in my office, as well as in my home. When my brother was over a week or so after I hung it on my wall, I pointed it out to him. I was honored when he said he thought it was something I had picked up at a store.
Since I’ve received some positive feedback from a few people on the setup, I thought I would print an extra canvas print of it and make it available for sale. So if you want to check it out, here it is.
It would not be safe for me to be driving 70 miles per hour down a crowded freeway, and then stick my hand out the window with my expensive DSLR and try to snap some photos. That would be an accident waiting to happen. Lucky for me, I have a GoPro HD Hero2 and a suction cup mount.
The Capturing True Emotion Salt Lake City Facebook group had a photo challenge this week – Low-angle. I originally thought about sticking my GoPro in the toilet and getting a low-angle shot looking out past the bowl – but I opted to go a different route. I recalled a photo I captured while driving up to Haleakala in Hawaii in a rental car.
Before heading off to work this morning, I mounted the suction cup, with the GoPro attached, to the door of my car, as low as I could to the ground. But would it hold while traveling up to 70 mph on the freeway? To give myself peace of mind, I attached not one, but two strings from the camera and tied them to a solid part of the car. That way, if the suction cup failed, it wouldn’t tumble to the asphalt and get run over by a bazillion cars before I could rescue it.
I programmed the camera to take one photo every five seconds. I figured that would give me enough photos to choose from, without giving me a bazillion photos to have to look through. Although I might have been better off to have it take one every one second – but maybe another time.
Here’s how it looked as I headed off to work. —->
Anyone else tried something risky like this with their GoPro? Share a link below.
I got a ping pong table for my birthday on March 16. It wasn’t until a week later that I had some friends help me get the massive table home and into the basement. It was another week before I was able to try putting the table together, but I was only able to get so far until I needed additional manpower to complete the assembly. I can’t lift the tables up onto the folding mechanism by myself, and my 10-year-old son doesn’t have the strength… yet. Now that I’ve voiced my sobbing about my unfinished birthday present, let me get on with the photo.
In my last photo, I shot salt crystals that were falling. In looking at the crystals a little closer, I noticed that when the flash went off at initial trigger, the crystal is bigger, but once the light of the flash ceased and the shutter was still open, the visibility of the falling crystal faded, thus creating a little streaking action. This got me to thinking – could I do something like this with a ping pong ball (especially since I have a dozen ping pong balls and no table to play them on. Here’s what I came up with.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1″ | f/4.5 | ISO 100 | Speedlite 430EX II | LED Flashmate | RAW
One question I want to pose to the reader is – which direction is the ball traveling in the photo – Left to right or right to left? Take a moment to think about it before reading on.
After getting all the lighting, tripod and camera settings ready to go, I stood on the right side of the camera and got the bouncing ping pong ball in motion. As soon as it got in front of the camera lens, I would trigger the shutter and flash. The initial burst of light illuminates the ping pong ball and literally stops it mid-flight. The secondary lighting I had set up would provide less light to the continually moving ball, thus giving it the motion blur as it bounces out of frame. In short, the ball is moving right to left, and the tail of the frozen ball is actually the path it pursued AFTER the shutter was triggered.
I’ll have to play with this a little further in the future, but I thought it created a neat looking photo.
My son is a Lego builder and I am a photographer. So when we mix the two together, we end up with photos like this.
Mom and dad Lego are enjoying some time on the family couch reading Junior a book. I know that for me and my family, we enjoy moments very similar to this and have a bazillion books throughout the house. Family story time is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
There are many people or groups that throw photo challenges out there. I am the leader of one group and try to put out creative photo challenges that will push us to try something different or see something in a new light. The rules of this photo challenge take some explaining, so I figured a blog post about it would work best – then I will share the link with the CTE Salt Lake City Photography Meetup group. Others are welcome, of course, to take on the challenge, too.
This challenge is for Friday morning, March 1. Before you go to bed on Thursday night, place your camera (any camera) next to your alarm clock. When your alarm goes off, hit the snooze button. Your task is to take a photo of something before the snooze timeframe ends and your alarm sounds again. Depending on how you have it set, that will range from 3 to 10 minutes. Either way, act fast.
One additional rule – don’t set up your shot the night before. Maybe you’ll end up capturing the iron sitting on the ironing board. Maybe it’s the wicker hamper full of dirty clothes. Or even an electrical socket. Either way, capture something and try looking at it from a different view point. Be fast – the snooze won’t last all day!
If you’ve opted to take part in this photo challenge, share a link to your photo in the comments below, and provide a little description about it that will lead people into clicking on the link to see your photo. I look forward to seeing what people capture.
If Friday morning just isn’t an option for you, then take advantage of the challenge on a morning that will work for you. But remember, no prepping the shot – only setting the camera in the room so you don’t have to waste precious time grabbing your camera. Good luck.
~ signed, Carltonaut