Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 31, 365 Day Project.

Well tonight is the end of he first month and I thought it was just right for a fun famliy image. Cool was being so kind and sharing his Nintendo DSI Lite with his brother Luke since Christmas. Unfortunatly Luke has taken a liking to the system and monoplolizes it. So today I felt that since he has been such a patient and good brother, I would get Cool the special edition Nintendo DSI XL. Like many of the new things today there is a bulit in camera in the unit. Of course Cool likes this and all you can do with it. He was doing some fun self portraits when I decided to grab a shot of him working on it. I thought this was pretty neat. Shot with the Canon 7D at 12,800 iso (I actually love the grain feel of the image), 24-70 f2.8 lens @ f4.5 1/60th of a second.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 30, 365 Day Project

With this being January and there being a number of cold days I find that I am doing more of my images in the studio. In one way I have rediscovered the joys of table top shooting. Today I took our souvenir from the Taj Mahal where we visited in 2005 and placed it on a piece of black plexi. I then took a small strip of mirror and placed it underneath the model. I light a painted background with one of my Balcars and then use a 3 degree grid spot on the other Balcar to just skim the top of the Taj model. I used only the modeling lights and set for the tungsten setting on my Canon 7D. I shot for 1/15th sec and @ f2.8 on the 24-70 f2.8 lens as I wanted shallow depth of field. The above is the result. The bottom image is the set-up as taken by me iPod touch camera so one can get an idea of the set up and the small space I am working.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 29, 365 Day Project.

Well it was a snowy, cold day here in Calgary and I had a shoot scheduled for my Wedding Photography class. A number of subject's were lined up but the miserable weather and bad driving conditions kept all of them away except for this lovely couple and my son. We went over to Heritage Hall and discovered that most of the building was being set up for a graduation banquet. I approached one of the people who seemed to be in charge and explained what our class was. Since we would be finished before the guests arrived she said it was OK to work around their set-up. We found a nice spot close to the big windows at the back and I confirmed with a second person that it was OK to work there for a half hour or so and then we would move to the upper levels. She also said it was fine. So we got started and within 10 minutes another woman came by and told us we could not shoot here saying the event planner did not want anyone taking photo's in the area. I explained that I had got the OK from two other people (who had SAIT credentials like I had) and then said we would move to the upper level. On our way up we passed another photographer who I think was hired by the planner and she sheepishly apologized as she did not realize it was a SAIT class. I think she was the one who went to the planner and mentioned something probably worried that we were taking her job. Any way we found some more places to work.

The light was not to intense today in the Heritage Hall due to the overcast skies so I decided to work at some high ISO's again. The image above was shoot at 12,800 ISO @ 1/50th sec, f6.3 on the Canon 7D and 24-70 f2.8 lens. The image below was shot using a table lamp as the light source and was at 1600 ISO for 1/50 sec @ f4.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 28, 365 Day Project.

We have this clear Corning Wear pots that I like to use to make pasta for the boys (tortellini is their favorite). I've always been intrigued watching the water as it is boiling and thought tonight would be a good night to try and capture it. Again I used the Canon 24-70 f2.8 and I realize I must get a macro lens as I seem to be doing a lot of close up images so far with this project. Canon 7D @6400 ISO1/80th sec at f2.8.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 27, 365 Day Project

I was sitting on the couch reading to Luke when I looked over my shoulder and saw the sun shinning through the flowers in the bay window behind me. I quickly ran and grabbed my camera and got off a few shots before the sun dipped behind the trees. I love the rim light on the flower and the way it made the rest of the flower glow. I am not sure what type of plant this is (anyone knows you can tell me), but one of the things I don't like is that the blooms always look waxy and fake. If I did not see it grow I would think the thing was made of plastic. This image makes it more attractive to me.
Shoot with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f8.0, 1/200th sec at 100 ISO.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 26, 365 Day Project.

Since I purcahsed the 7D in September I have grown to love high ISO photography. Till this point I have not tried the High setting (12,800 ISO) so I thought I would tonight. I had finished my class at SAIT and slipped the camera on to "H" and headed into the hallway. Seeing the water fountain I moved in close and shot the above image. The shutter speed is 1/80th sec @ f7.1 with the 24-70 f2.8 lens. I am totally impressed at the noise level in these images and can see me shooting much more at 12,800 ISO.

I then drove over to Crescent Heights hill and photographed the next three images.

This image was shot at 1/15th sec @ f 5.6 handheld.

This image was at 1/125th sec @ f5.6 handheld.

Finally I saw this reflection in the window and mirror on the driver side as I was about to drive away. This is at 1/20th sec @ f2.8.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 25, 365 Day Project

An absolutely gorgeous day here in Calgary which afforded me a chance to take a nice long walk in Nose Hill Park near my home. I started out shooting the trees, but as I trudged through the snow I started to become fascinated by the shadows being cast by the blades of grass breaking through the snow. I did this for close to two hours and in doing so was able to accomplish one of my other goals for the New Year, that of doing at least an hour of exercise a day. Walking through the deep snow and going up and down the ravines got my heart rate going and I worked up a good sweat. In all a very good day.

All images shot with the Canon 7D and the 24-70 f2.8 lens. Trees shot at 100 ISO at 1/200 sec and f8.0 and 1/100 sec @ f10 for the grass and shadows images.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 24, 365 Day Project

We picked up this small fountain a couple of years ago on a trip to Phoenix, AZ. When thinking about what I would like to do for today's image I felt that it would make an interesting subject. So down to the studio I took it, set it on a pedestal and put one Balcar light with the extra small Chimera softbox to the right hand side slightly behind the fountain. For the top exposure I was at at f16 for an 8 second exposure using the modeling light only from Balcar.

I got what I wanted in just two takes and was about to break down when I notice a nice silhouette if I moved my camera position to have the softbox directly across from the camera. I cropped in to what I thought was an interesting angle and shot the bottom image at f22 for 13 seconds having turned the power all the way down on the modeling light. I then used a small flash light to add some detail back into the one basin just near the bottom as it was to dark on my initial test.

Both images were shot with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 lens at 100ISO.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23, 365 Day Project.

Photographed one of my favorite pieces of the past today. This old gas pump is in the town of Bragg Creek just west of Calgary. I have taken many images of this pump over the years and I never get tired of it. Today I wanted to experiment with the different App's I have on my iPod touch so I shot it with both the Hipstamatic app and all the looks the free version offers, and then with the touch's camera and used the instagram app to create this image. The filtre used is called "Hefe" and I felt it worked well to give it a look that has an old style feel.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22, 365 Day Project.

Today I taught my wedding photography class at SAIT. For the third class I usually do a simple studio set-up and try to bring in a bride and groom or have the student's bring someone. Today was a little different as we had no subject's and had to use student's to volunteer. Cooper and Kathleen steped up and did a great job for the class. Here are a couple of individual portraits I did of each of them. Lighting was an Alien Bee 1600ws with a 4 x 6 Larson Softbox on the left @ f8 as the main light and an Alien Bee 800ws with an umbrella @ F4 5/10 behind camera slightly to the right. Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f8, 1/125 sec at 100 iso.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 21, 365 Day Project.

Plus 2 today and the children from Luke's Playschool were taking advantage of the warm weather to do some sledding. As one of the class photographers I try to document as many activities as I can. I captured a number of great images of the children having fun and liked this one a lot. The emotion on their faces shows the excitment of the day. The angle was perfect, so much so that I had to jump out of the way at the last second or they would have taken me out. I would have loved to have had one similar of Luke but He only did one run right at the end and as you can see was very cautious (images below).

Technical info: Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f5.6, 1/500th sec at 400 ISO. Metered off the snow and opened up 1 2/3 stops.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 20, 365 Day Project.

I spent the afternoon doing a private consultation for one of my students for a shoot she was doing for her swim club. She had a concept and an idea for how to do it but needed help in executing it. I thought the idea was pretty good so I shot two images of the set-up to share as my image for today.
The idea involved a head and shoulder portrait of each swimmer (we did 75+ in 2 hours) with the team logo projected behind them. A Larson 48 x 18 inch soft box on my Balcar head was used to light the subject's and feathered across to keep spill from falling on the background. A reflector was added to the opposite side for fill. A second Balcar with a 20 degree grid was used to light the cookie which was cut out with the team logo and a blue gel was place over the head. The Balcar Mini Z's I have are capable of zooming the tube thus allowing to focus the light on the background. The first image shows the set up and what the athlete's saw (we had to dim the modeling light on the background as it was to hot with the grid overtop). The second shows what the result looks like with the logo. I am not showing a finished result as these were her clients and it is not appropriate for me to do so. However the set up was one I wanted to share.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19, 365 Day Project.

Photographed the lovely Breanna at the end of my Basic Lighting class this evening. Today was Low Key lighting and we were working with a more dramatic light on this set up. I really loved the loop lighting created here.
Technical details: 2 Alien Bee lights, Main light 800 ws with a 30 degree grid spot, Hair light 1600 ws with a 20 degree spot and set one stop higher then main. Shooting aperture @ f5.6, 1/125 sec., 100 ISO. Slight fill from reflector on right hand side. Canon 7D with the 24-70 f2.8 lens.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18, 365 Day Project.

Well the cold weather finally broke and it is a sunny day and -5C outside this afternoon. While waiting for the father of one of Cool's classmates to arrive so we could walk over to pick the boy's up I saw some lovely light on the neighbours garage. Balancing Luke on my shoulder's I stepped into the snow drift and pulled out my handy, dandy iPod Touch, switched to camera mode and shot a few images. Once we returned home from the 2km round trip walk I went in to the Instagram app, selected this image ands choose the X-Pro II filter and made the conversion. I felt this kept a fairly true rendition of the color of the bricks while giving it an extra bump.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 17, 365 Day Project.

As I was getting ready to do my daily walk on the treadmill today I noticed the late afternoon sun coming through the basement window and light the leaves of the ivy plant that my wife has downstairs. So to the office I dashed and grabbed the trusty Canon 40D and started shooting. I loved the backlight and the way the leaves were illuminated. I choose the top image as today's selection as I also like the patterns of the shadows that were being cast by other leaves.

Technical data: Canon 40D, 24-70 f2.8 lens @ f5.6 at 70 mm and manual focus as the scene through the window gave the auto a bit of trouble. I loved the shallow depth of field here. Shutter speed of 1/200 sec at 100ISO.

On a side note I received a call from the Camera Store and my 7D is back from Canon after some warranty repair. Only took 2 weeks. I’m very happy with the turnaround time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16, 365 Day Project

Looking to try something a little different and decided to try some abstract images using the camera in the iPod touch. While the boy's were playing with the bubbles in the bath tub I asked them to try some motion to see what I could capture. This was my favorite as there was some sense of flow as the hands pushed back and forth through the water. The light was just a standard wall mount bath room fixture and thus it was fairly dark. The camera is OK in low light but the noise is very pronounced. I don't mind it much as it adds to the abstract quality of the image. Did some color correction in photoshop but again did not want to do to much in keeping with the theme.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15, 365 Day Project

So one of my followers commented that I should get out of the house a little bit more after viewing my earlier posts. I responded that I would when it was no loner -stupid degrees out with wind-chill of crazy. However today I had my wedding photography class at SAIT and on my way home I saw this nice sunset by Confederation Park. Since I had my camera with me I parked the car and jumped out for a bit of a walk till I found something interesting. I liked the silhouette of the trees against the sky and shot this image with the Canon 40D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f16, 1/125 sec at 800 ISO.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 14, 365 Day Project

My wife saw these gold flowers and leaves at Canadian tire and thought they loked good. Then she found the vase at Winners and thus we have a decoration for our house. I decided to use them for today's image. Shot with the Canon 40D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f14, shutter speed is 1 second at 100 ISO. Light source was a Balcar with extra small Chimera soft box 1 ft away from the right as the stobe and the modeling light from the other Balcar through the Chimera small strip soft box on to the background to give it a warm tone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13, 365 day project

Today I did thought I would do some self-portraits with a little more dramatic lighting. Half way through my shooting, Luke came down stairs to the studio and wanted to sit in my lap. The above shot, today's entry to the project, was one of the results and my favorite of the two of us.

The technical on this image is one Balcar with an extra small Chimera soft box to the right and slightly behind. Another Balcar with a small Chimera strip soft box is to the back feathered across to light the background and give some separation. In order to do the self-portrait I am using the OnOne Remote DSLR app on my iPod touch and tethered in to my laptop running the OnOne server program. Used the live view function to position myself, but discovered it would not trigger the strobes in live view so had to switch it off. Once again with the Canon 40D, 24 - 70 f2.8 @ f14, 1/125 sec, 100 ISO at 65mm.

Below are two more images from the session. Another with Luke and then a profile of myself that I really liked. I did some minor retouching as I discovered I am getting some strands of grey and they looked really out of place and were distracting against the darker hair.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12, 365 day project

Today's image was taken during my Basic Lighting class at SAIT. I've been teaching this particular course for 9 years now and I never tire of it. The student's are always good and I get to work with a variety of subject's. This shot of Amber was one I like and so is today's entry for my 365 day project. I normally only shot a few images in the class (a couple at the begining and a few at the end if there is time) as I want the student's to have as much shooting time as I can give them. High key was tonight's theme and the above image was shot at 1/125 sec, f9.0 at 100 iso. The ratio between the main and the fill was 3:1 and the background lights were set two stops higher at 16 1/2.

This image of Cool was also shot tonight as he and his brother came with me. I can bring them on shooting nights as they can play on their computers or iPods and then will sit in as subjects if needed. In this set up Cool is close to the background and two lights into umbrellas creating a wall of light at f5.0 across the entire area. Shot at 1/125 sec at 100 iso. Both images with the Canon 40D and the 24 - 70 f2.8 lens.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11, 365 day project

With the miserable cold weather here in Calgary I have pretty well been at home since Sunday morning. Tonight was Cool's choir practice night and we made the trek across town to the Haddon Road School. I have made the commitment to keep my camera with me every where I go to be ready for possibilities in image making. I think a few of the parents where wondering why I was taking pictures of the fire hose. However I was attracted by the reflection of the fluorescent lights in the chrome and the texture of the hose. Shot with the 40D and 24-70 f2.8 @ f4, 1/60th sec at 1600 ISO.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10, 365 day project.

Well I'm sure this will be the first of a number of images of my family that will show up here. Cool just returned home from school and was cuddling with Lysa on the couch. I like the light from the window and grabed my iPod touch and snapped a close up image. Cool is always smiling and I just love the face he was making. Processed using Instagram and the "earlybird" filter.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9, 365 day project.

Working with naked models is always interesting but these three kept their labels on. I guess I am a little punchy today being cooped up in the house due to the miserable weather outdoors. Makes this project a challenge. So while searching for things to photograph I came across these three items in a drawer in my office. They have been around since my ACAD days so that bottle of beer in the centre is some 20 years old. Decided to try my hand at some table top work so pulled them out as well as a piece of black plexi that I had lying around. Shot with the Canon 40D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f11, 1/125th sec. Lighting is a Chimera small strip soft box on my Balcar lights about 10 inches from the bottles and a white reflector on the opposite side.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8, 365 day project

So far there seems to be a theme of flowers runing through this project. It might be that being at home, indoors during these cold days of winter make me look for something accesible around the house. Now my wife has a lot of plants and a few of them seem to have flowers year round. Lysa is a minamalist when it comes to her plants, that means she waters them but leaves them to their own cycle of life. So as I was looking for something that interested me this dead flower that was amongst the new ones growing caught my eye. So I plucked it out and took it downstairs to my studio to shoot it. I decided for some side light to help bring out the texture and this time decided to use the 70 - 200 mm f2.8 lens as I wanted some drop off in the depth of field and knew that it was capable of focusing fairly close. Shot again with the Canon 40D @ f5.0 for 1/125 sec. @ 200 mm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7, 365 day project

Today was my turn to help in Luke's playschool classroom. My boys (Cool also attended the same playschool) always love when I help in class because that meant they are the "Special Helper". One of the duties of the special helper is to feed the fish. So after Luke did this little chore I went and created today's image. One of the things I am trying to do with this project is to be experimental and so this gave me an opportunity to work with the camera in my iPod Touch. Was surprised by how close I was able to get to the fish tank and fill the frame and keep a relatively good focus. After taking the photo I brought the image into the "Instagram" app and cropped it and then applied a filter named "Lord Kelvin". THis is the result. I like the effect and look forward to playing with the iPod Camera and both the "Instagram" and "Hipstamatic" apps I have loaded.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6, 365 day project

Playing with shadows. That's what today's post is about. I woke up this morning and when I was on my way to the stairs saw these patterns on the wall being created by the light from the window next to our front door. Knowing it was fleeting I quickly grabbed my camera and banged off a couple of shots before the light disapeared. I really liked the abstract feel and thus choose not to include the plant that was casting the shadow. The above is the image I choose as the one for the 365 day project, but I also like the image below.

Shot with the Canon 40D, 24 - 70 f2.8 @ f5.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 100.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5, 365 day project

One of the things I intend to do in order to complete this challenge is to keep my camera with me when I leave the house. Today I was running some erands for my brother and found myself in an Industrial area of Calgary to which I have never been before. I could see it from Deerfoot Trail but since this is a major roadway in the city never thought to try and figure out how to get to it. Any way, I found myself surrounded by these industrial structures and had to get out for a few shots. Did not have a lot of times and most of it is fenced off so I guess I would need to get permission to come back and shoot there. But I did manage to get a couple images I liked and this was the one I settled on for today. I liked the way the tubing twisted and turned giving some graphic structure. Shot with the Canon 40D 24 - 70 f2.8 @ f6.3 for 1/100th sec at 100 ISO.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day4, 365 day project.

Well just made it on time with this one, although the post is at midnight. Shot 20 minutes ago with the Canon 40D, 24 - 70 f2.8 @ f11, 1/125 sec. Small soft box aprox. 4 inches from the flower on the left side. Love the softness and texture of the light.