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).
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
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.
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.
More than a year ago I was chatting with a colleague who has taken some amazing landscape photos. He mentioned that rather than using the circular screw on filters, he used the glass plate filters, namely the gradual neutral grey ones. I’ve been debating about picking some up since then, but hadn’t captured many landscape photos and wasn’t sure I would use the filters enough to make it worth my while.
I was wrong.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/320 | f/9 | ISO 100 | Cokin Filter
Living in Utah, we have some gorgeous mountains just to the east of the Salt Lake Valley. One of those mountain tops – Lone Peak – can be seen rather clearly from my neighborhood, making it a perfect subject for some photographs. But I wanted the newer style of filters before I really felt like the photos would be what I was hoping they would be. So once I picked up a Cokin brand Gradual Neutral Grey G2 (ND8) – 0.9 the other day from Pictureline, I had to capture a few test shots.
Both shots seemed to look pretty good on the LCD screen of my Canon 60D, but the ones taken with the filter seemed to have a darker sky – which I really liked. It wasn’t until I brought a filter and non-filter image into photoshop and placed them side-by-side that I realized how much better the one with the filter looked.
The snow in the photo without the filter was almost yellow or orange (which is never a good color for snow). The crisp white color of the snowy mountain was much truer to the actual beauty of the mountain. So I think I am sold on using this type of filter for my landscape shots. Now I just need to get out to the sights of Utah and attempt to capture what the scenery has to offer.
I’ve also been toying with ideas in my head about other ways to experiment with this filter on various settings. So this will not be the last time I use this filter to capture a photo I feel is worth of sharing on my blog. Stay tuned….
Although I have shared various sunset photos in previous posts, I figured I would share this post with a compilation of my favorite sunset photos in conjunction with the Wild Weekly Photo Challenge topic of Sunsets.
Enough said. Let’s get to sharing the photos.
Utah has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the winter, as the sun illuminates the snow-covered mountains. I will have to capture some of those shots this winter, although I am not sure I can do justice to the true beauty of the moment.
How many days do you hop in the car and drive somewhere? Is it to or from work? The grocery store? The gas station? The movie theater? School? Chances are, most people’s lives involve driving, either directly or indirectly.
With those thoughts in mind, I share this photo with you as part of the Daily Post at WordPress.com Weekly Photo Challenge – Everyday Life.
I really don’t have any specs to share on the photo (aperture, shutter speed, focal length, etc.) because I simply opened up my sun roof, held my GoPro above the car and let it snap a few dozen photos. Yes, I was driving on a one-way street in downtown Salt Lake City at the time and was convinced that drivers around me were giving me weird looks. But I promise I stayed in my lane, used my blinkers as needed, and made it safely to my destination. Oh, I hope I didn’t jinx myself for my next drive in the car!
Since January I have been sharing photos on my blog. Ones that I found interesting, or ones that I was particularly proud of for one reason or another. So as the Salt Lake County Fair photography contest approaches (this Saturday), I thought I would reach out to my readers to see which three photos I should submit and why.
Here are nine photos I am debating between, but if there are others that I shared on my blog that you like, let me know and I will see which ones I end up submitting. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and critiques.
Let me know which of these nine you like best and why. It’ll help me decide which ones to enter into the Salt Lake County Fair.
I am breaking out of the ordinary photography post to share a video I did on the top 10 reasons to buy my home in Layton, Utah. It’s a great home, and since social media is such a big part of life now, I thought a short video on some key points of the home would be helpful to those looking to buy.
I hope that after watching the video, you will share it with your family, friends or a Realtor, and if they are looking for real estate or a home in Layton, Utah, they should give it a look.
Thanks for your help, and hopefully it will sell so we can close on the new home we are purchasing in Sandy, Utah – closer to work EQUALS shorter commute and more time with the family.