Today’s Earth Day. It seems like I was an avid landscape photographer before starting my blog and pushing myself to try new things, so I didn’t have any recent nature shots. I decided to go through the archives to see what photo I could find that showed the beauty of the Earth.
Canon Digital Rebel XT
During a family trip to Waterton National Park in Canada a few years ago, my wife and I took a hike into British Columbia. This was part of the trail – a wooden boardwalk placed over a wetland area. I thought it made a great photo, and it reminds me of all the beauty that we saw up there – including the wildlife.
It was a great vacation, and one I would definitley do again.
I lived in downtown Marseille for three months back in 1999. It’s a very old city, founded in 600 BC. I know this because there is a stone etched with that date on the inner-most part of Vieux Port (Old Port), just before heading up the Cannebiere and further in to this massive city.
Still not familiar with Marseille? Have you read The Count of Monte Cristo? The opening scene is Dantes’ boat, the Pharaon, returning to Vieux Port in the shadow of Notre Dame de la Garde, after rounding Chateau D’If, which sits less than 2 miles from the port’s entrance.
I spent a lot of time walking near the port, talking with folks from all walks of life and cultures. So when my wife and I went back to Marseille so I could show her the sights a few years later, I had to show Vieux Port to her. Here is one of the many sights we saw during a late-afternoon stroll along the east side of the port.
I don’t have any details on the camera settings, but still thought it would be a fun travel photo to share. I would love to get back to France as a tourist and take the time to savor not only southern France once again, but do so with my family.
I have enjoyed taking my kids to the Hostler’s Model Railroad show in Ogden, Utah for the past few years. It’s an opportunity to check out some fascinating layouts, all of which I would never be able to do myself.
They have also hosted a photo contest, which I have enjoyed entering, but never really done well. However, I still keep trying and hope for the best.
Here is one photo I took of an old-time HO Scale locomotive at the show one year, and entered it into the photo contest the following year. The tight shot, combined with a narrow depth of field is what I think made the photo.
Maybe I’ll take my two boys to it this year, too. After all, it’s next weekend (March 2-4). If you live near Ogden, Utah and want to check it out, you should.
My wife makes one delicious apple crisp. The recipe is simple, and with a few substitutions, it’s dairy free because my youngest son has a dairy allergy.
I must note that in this photo, the whipped cream is obviously dairy, but if you leave that off, it’s as dairy-free as needed. If you are interested in the recipe and substitutions, let me know and I would be happy to send you more details.
After looking at the photos, I came to realize that depth of field is vital to succesful food photography. Depth of field allows you to focus on one dessert, while the other elements of the photo (in this case other dessert settings and some green apples) go to support the overall image. It’s amazing how a little change in aperture can affect the overall feel of a photo, and enhance the part you want the end-viewer to notice.
The photo was taken back in January 2009 using my Canon Digital Rebel XT. It was part of a photoshoot for an article in Wasatch Woman magazine related to food allergies.
I’ve seen many shots where the moving subject is clear and crisp, and the non-moving objects around it are blurred. Well, this was one of my first attempts to take a photo like that, and I think it turned out better than I thought it would (but it took me a bazillion shots and a lot of time to get this one good shot).
This photo was taken a few years ago on the corner of Main Street and South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City. I decided that a corner would be best, because as the train makes the turn, I could follow it better than if it was passing in front of me on a straight path. I consider it luck that a pedestrian with a backpack happened to be standing between me and the train, because he made a nice feature of the photo.
I’ve been interested in trying this shot again now that I have a Neutral Density filter (ND4) that would allow me to try a longer exposure. This initial shot was taken on a very cloudy day around high noon, but either early in the morning or later in the day (or even a night shot) may lend itself to a new take on this photo. The trick will be finding the time… or maybe it’s more of “making the time!”
When I found out my wife and I were taking an extended family trip to St. Thomas, I really wanted to be able to take underwater photos; but not with those cheap water-proof disposable cameras. I wanted to use my Canon Digital Rebel XT. However, I didn’t have the money to fork out for a case or a new camera, so I got creative and built myself a little water-proof bag: a circular piece of wood with a whole cut out of the center, a skylight filter, clamp, large Ziploc bag, and come caulk. Here is the end result:
My camera fit into it nicely. I had done a test with the bag inflated and put int he bathtub and there was no air leaking. But when it came down to it, I was worried my contraption would fail and I would end up with a soggy camera.
But I did try to take a few shots, simply placing the bag on the surface and looking down into the water. The viewfinder was pointless, so it was a snap and hope for the best. But, I did like the final outcome of these sea urchins (I am not sure why that one is glowing red, but I found it a rather neat visual effect).
With the advances of technology and digital photography, I have been eyeing the GoPro HD Hero2, Surf Edition. My wife and I are planning a trip to Hawaii later (and no, I do not surf, but willing to try) this year and I want to once again have the opportunity to take shots of us snorkeling, as well as any marine life we see during our trip.
My question: Should I attempt to use that jimmy-rigged bag, or invest in the $299 (+tax) HD Hero2 camera for my trip? Help me decide.
I’ve seen a lot of photos of water splashes and thought, “why don’t I try?” So, here is one of the shots I ended up with after about two hours of setup and shooting.
If you’ve ever wanted to try, here is how I set this up and the things I would change if I were to do this again… which I will do… eventually.
I found a clear, glass bowl and filled it with water. I wanted to have something cool appear in the splash, so I made a checkerboard pattern large enough to fill the whole frame using four 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper taped together and matching up with the pattern.
I focused my camera on the center of the bowl, set my aperture to 1.8, using my 50mm lens, and hooked up a shutter release cable to my Canon Digital Rebel (I don’t recall the final shutter-speed or ISO, but I imaging a fast speed and sensitive ISO in order to stop the motion). In order to give myself the best lighting, since I only had an on-camera flash, I did this outside in my backyard.
The challenging part was figuring out timing. I dropped a marble into the water and pushed the shutter-release cable when the marble hit the water. Many were too early, most were too late. But about a dozen came out like that one, with different shapes, lengths, ripples and size.
Once I brought the camera inside to see what I had captured on the larger monitor, I cropped in a little closer on the splashes and got what I deemed a decent finished product. However, I am open to any pointers or best practices on how to capture this better, or create other effects of water splashes for the next time I give this a go.
If you’ve ever been to a Disney theme park, then you may have photos similar to the one I am sharing today. But the look on my son’s face is priceless, even though he was probably too young to realize it. My older son would have been mortified to have a lipstick mark on his face from a Disney princess, but not this guy.
After going with this sister to visit the Disney princesses near Toon Town at the Walt Disney World Resort, I had to wait with him and our stroller while my wife and other kids went on a roller coaster. He sat down near this fence and started eating some potato chips. I whipped out the camera, initially to try and capture my young daughter on her first real roller coaster ride, but while waiting, I turned and snapped this shot of my boy. It ended up being one of my favorites from the entire trip, and I am sure it will end up in his wedding video a couple decades from now.
My kids love having glow sticks with them when we go camping. My guess is that it provides them some comfort while sleeping in a vulnerable tent. For me, I think it makes for some rather interesting lighting situations and photos – like this one:
The florescent green sleeping bag, in the shape of an alligator, helped with the interesting colors of the photo.
I had initially stayed up after he fell asleep to take some night shots and chat with my brothers and dad who were also on the trip. But the cloud cover prevented me from getting star trail shots, so I got ready for bed before seeing this shot.
I set up my Canon Digital Rebel XT, then held the blue glow stick above my son, but out of the frame. I snapped off a few shots of this before calling it a night, but when I looked at the shots once I got back home, I thought this one was a keeper, though my son’s blue complexion looks a little on the creepy side.
It’s amazing how many shots I find myself taking in order to get the one that is just right. Well, the photo of these cookies (which are dairy free, nut free and egg free) is the finished product of what seemed like hours of photographing cookies. The challenge was to not eat them until after I had the shot I wanted.
As a public relations professional, I often work with media outlets to provide story ideas, then help facilitate the story if they like it. This is what led me to photograph cookies. I had pitched a story to a Utah-based magazine, Wasatch Woman, about food allergies. My two sons have allergies, so I became involved with the Utah Food Allergy Network and was looking to bring more awareness to childhood food allergies.
After making the pitch to the editor, I offered to not only place her in contact with some families who are dealing with food allergies, but also provide recipes of treats that were free of certain allergens. She mentioned her photographer was on maternity leave (or something like that) and asked if I could provide some photos. Since they would be printed in a magazine, I felt the pressure of making them worthy of publication.
Cooking them was the fun part. Photographing them was the challenge. I didn’t have any lighting beyond the on-camera flash, so I pulled in a few lamps from around the house to help light the scene. I attached my 50mm, 1:1.8 lens to my Canon Digital Rebel XT, opened up my aperture as wide as it would go and started clicking away.
While I don’t think I’m cut out to be a professional food photographer, it was fun to try something new and see what I could come up with. And it was even cooler to see my photo printed in a publication that was sold in stores across Utah.