Earlier this week I asked my son to lay down on the living room floor so I could take a photo of his nose. Why? Because a photo challenge theme was bad habits and my two sons have a bad habit when it comes to noses. While I don’t want to delve too much into the specifics around the habit, I thought it would make for a good photo challenge photo.
After snapping the photo, I opened the RAW image in Photoshop, and decided to desaturate it – thus making it black and white. I was really pleased with the shadows and how the whole look of the photo turned out. I was really glad the photo didn’t show too far up his nose, cause that could have been rather unappealing.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/50 | f/2.8 | ISO 400 | RAW
The reason I brought Ansel Adams into the discussion is because after posting the photo to the group, some commented in jest, “it almost looks like a lost and undiscovered Ansel Adams.” Alas, it is not. But I do like the look of the photo and the black and white on it really helped give it the look I was hoping to achieve.
So, if you know a nose picker, share this photo with them and remind them that even nose pickers can get their noses photographed.
My son was sure to include a Luke Skywalker minifigure to our family trip last weekend and asked me to photograph him from behind. With today being such a special day for all those Star Wars fans, I couldn’t think of a better photo to share. May the Fourth Be With You!
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/250 | f/9.0 | ISO 100 | Canon Speedlite 430 EXII | RAW
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.
What better way to unveil my new logo for Carltonaut Photography than by pairing it with a photo I shot of the moon moments ago.
I have no intention of including my logo on all my photos, because I like photos that can speak for themselves. But for this photo, I made an exception. I’ve spent the past little bit trying out different styles, colors, fonts, etc. to find a logo I felt would be fun and tie into my love of photography and space. As my blog’s tagline states, “Photos of (and out of) this world.”
Hope you enjoy the photo and the new logo, and will follow my Carltonaut blog to see what I capture. I’m always looking to see what others capture (either on WordPress, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.), so maybe I’ll come across your work, too.
Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish crackers have become one of my favorite snacks, especially when riding on an airplane (which I’ve been doing a lot lately). When I purchased the mega-mondo package of Goldfish crackers, I noticed a quote on the side of the box from Brooke, one of the Goldfish – “Swim in your own direction.” This started my wheels a turnin’ and after what seems like weeks of trying to get to it, I was finally able to put crackers to posterboard.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 0″3 | f/5.0 | ISO 100 | RAW | LED Flashmate
After meticulously positioning each of the Goldfish on the blue posterboard, I used my Manfrotto tripod to position the camera above the setup. In manual mode, I picked off a few test shots to get the lighting and focus set, then shot a couple dozen photos with my LED Flashmate video light on various positions to see the affect it had on the shadows. I liked the photos that had a stronger shadow, as I felt it added more contrast to make the Goldfish pop.
I like the quote, because in photography, each photographer needs to swim in their own direction. That doesn’t mean they can’t learn from others, but they need to have their own look and style in their photos to make them really stand out from the crowd.
In life, the advice from this Goldfish cracker stands true. Don’t be afraid to be different. It’s what makes you… you!
And enjoy, “The snack that smiles back.”
Last week I celebrated by 33rd birthday. With graying whiskers and growing forehead, I am on the road to getting old. But I don’t let the upcoming baldness keep me from being young. I took my kids to Holdman Studios at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah to make glass flowers.
I had purchased a Living Social deal to make four glass flowers for $56. I was looking to make it a double date with my wife and another couple, but we weren’t able to get that scheduled and the vouchers were quickly expiring. So we scheduled a session and went down ready to make art.
We picked out our colors, though I think my kids picked out much better colors than me. We sat on the bench and waited for the molten ball of glass clinging to the end of a metal rod to come our way so we could shape the ball into a blooming flower. After all that work and excitement, we had to leave them behind so they could slowly cool, so it wasn’t until a few days later that I was able to get down to Lehi to pick them up.
Once I got the kids to bed tonight, I whipped out my camera stuff to snap a few photos of the flowers with a LED backlight and a Speedlight mounted to the camera to help illuminate the glass. In the end, I really liked how the photos turned out – plus it made my rather poor color choices look much better than it does in person.
Anyway, if you live within driving distance of Thanksgiving Point and are looking for a fun family or youth group activity, check out Holdman Studios and click on Glass Flowers to book a session today.
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
I was trying to come up with a photo challenge for a photo group last Friday and it wasn’t coming very easy. After much thought, and with the idea of the looming President’s Day holiday, I thought it would be fun to go old school. Not quite back to film, because not everyone in the group would have a film camera.
Instead, the challenge was to share a black and white photograph, and capture it with your camera in manual mode. I invite anyone to take on the challenge and share their finished product. But in the meantime, here is my capture to share for the challenge.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/250 | f/22 | ISO 100 | Canon Speedlite 430EX II
Check out some of the other takes on this photo via Flickr.
The biggest challenge in capturing this photo was to keep the light glare off of the glass bulb. It took me a while to get it just right (which is why I was glad I had a digital camera – I would have never known about the glare until I paid to develop the film and I would have had to start again). The final setup was to to hook my Speedlite up to the extender cord and hold it by hand behind the light bulb to illuminate the background – but eliminate the reflections.
I put a photo challenge out to some friends to capture something red. So I took the challenge upon myself and pulled some strawberries out of the fridge. I grabbed one of two goblets my wife and I received more than 11 years ago when we got married. I topped off a pitcher of water and grabbed a few dish towels – I knew this was gonna get pretty messy.
After setting up the goblet and firing off a few test shots, I was ready to begin dropping some strawberries. But so were my kids. I was a little nervous that a slightly misplaced drop could tip the goblet and shatter it on the table. While that would have made for a great stop-motion capture, I didn’t want to try and explain to my wife why I broke one of our wedding gifts for a measly photo.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/250 | f/2.5 | ISO 200 | Canon Speedlite 430 EXII | RAW
I let my six-year-old daughter release the shutter for a few shots, and I let my son drop the strawberry. I am happy to report there were no goblet casualties. We fired off quite a few shots, and were pretty pleased with most of the results. Some were a millisecond too early, while others were a second too late. Lucky for us, we had a few that were spot on.
If anyone is thinking of taking a similar shot, here are a few of the challenges I sought to overcome in the photo.
- Avoiding the reflection of the flash in the goblet was hard. I had to move the off-camera flash pretty high up – probably at a 60-degree angle to the goblet.
- The goblet wanted to distort the background, so when I initially tried to put a black cloth behind it, my cloth wasn’t big enough to capture the entire background. For that reason, I resorted to the shutters to our sliding glass door, and adjusting them to allow just the right amount of light in.
- In many of the photos, there is a dark shadow in the background. That’s because once the strawberry was let go, the hand doing the releasing didn’t get out of the way of the flash fast enough. It was better to drop the berry from a greater height to avoid this dark shadow in the background.
- To help in the targeting process of the drop, wet the strawberry and once you have the drip of the berry landing in the center of the goblet… let go. The berry should drop in the same place as the drop.
- Fill the glass to the brim to increase the amount of splash that exits the goblet. In this case, the more the merrier!
It was a fun photo to shoot, but as you can see, it’s not perfect. I guess this means I will just have to try the photo again… someday.
I bought a 24-pack of Crayola crayons a while back with the intent of taking a photo set up something like the photo below. But life tends to get away from me often and I don’t have time to really setup as many shots as I have planned. So when I saw the Daily Post at WordPress.com’s Weekly Photo Challenge, I figured I could alter my initial idea to make something… unique.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro | 1/40 | f/5.0 | ISO 400 | RAW
I felt that keeping one crayon away from the crowd would be more unique than the uniformity of a circle. But I captured a photo of the circle, too, if you want to check it out.
The colors of Crayola, combined with the colors Canon can capture made for a great photo. Your thoughts?