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.
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.
While sitting at home with my kids this afternoon, I thought it would be cool to take an impromptu trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats to take a photo of me wearing my new Carltonaut Photography T-shirt for my About Carltonaut page. So we grabbed a few snacks, some props and my camera gear and headed out the door. I guess I didn’t realize it was roughly two hours of drive time, but a little KungFu Panda 2 helped to pass the time.
When we pulled over on the side of the road, we hopped out with all our stuff and started with my son snapping some photos of me in the new short, then we turned the lens to our props. The kids set up many of the shots, and this is the one that I thought was the funniest (courtesy of my daughter).
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/250 | f/18 | ISO 100 | RAW
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
If you’re new to my blog, you probably think all my photos are Lego related. I’ll admit that I have a few photos featuring Legos, but the past few days I’ve been sharing multiple photos of Legos from a trip to southern Utah. Since I’ve mentioned the trip a few times, I’ll just stick to sharing the photo in this blog post.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/200 | f/9.0 | ISO 100 | Canon Speedlite 430EXII | RAW
I can’t forget to mention that even this photo was the brain child of my 10-year-old son. Gotta give credit where credit is due.
I can only claim credit for taking the photo. My son was the creative director. He came up with the idea, built the Lego tree and book, selected the character and packed them up for our weekend trip to St. George, Utah. Upon arrival at Snow Canyon State Park, he reassembled the tree (the trip had not been friendly to the fragile display) and set the photo up in the sand dunes. He even titled this blog post – Lost in an amazing book.
The sun was high in the sky and casting very harsh shadows on the world below. Since I didn’t have one of the portable light reflectors (or blockers), my creative director ran to the van to grab his brother’s pillow and held it strategically over the area so I could get the shot. I think we were both pleased with the final outcome, though a little shadow from the tree would have helped the photo (I think).
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/320 | f/6.3 | ISO 800 | RAW
I don’t recall why I had the camera set to ISO 800. It definitely was bright enough. I think it was because I was using the flash on occasion to help light things up and reduce shadows, but when I found the shade (i.e., my son’s pillow), I forgot to bring the ISO back to 100. In Photoshop I made a few adjustments to exposure, blacks, saturation and levels, in an effort to bring the guy under the tree out more.
Anyway, I am very proud of my son for serving as my creative director, and I hope you’ll look forward to a few more of the Lego shots he arranged during our trip and asked me to photograph.
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.
Yesterday I shared the flower photo I shot in my backyard using a macro lens. I also provided a link to a photo on my Flickr page that used a similar concept. But I thought the photo was so funny that I just had to share it as its own blog post.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/20 | f/25 | ISO 400 | RAW
Hope you get a laugh out of this photo, too.
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.