Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hey, Do You Mind!

I'm trying to catch dinner over here.

This is Tenodera aridifolia, the Chinese Mantid.

The Hardest Part

The toughest thing for me to do - artistically (if I dare call it that) - is to open my perspective to find the beauty in the things around me. I don't need to go to the Grand Canyon to find cool, interesting, inventive, and stimulating things to make the subject of my pictures.

This is a picture from a parking garage. Taken at night, when the lights in the garage were doing this funky thing to the atmosphere between the empty parking spaces and the concrete. I'm not sure what it is, but I like the look. The symmetry, the sterility, the color, and the light all add up to something a little more than a boring parking lot.

I'll run this through DxO later, but for now, this is what I've got.

Update: Same picture, slightly different crop, run through DxO's auto-correction.

I also turned the color down a bit, and I've decided I don't like that as much. hmm...I think I'll let DxO do its thing by itself for a while.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Primary Colors

We were invited to a 'Nats game on Sunday, and enjoyed great seats. Of course, I took the camera and had a great day and learned a lot. After utterly frustrating myself at my inability to get a shot in super-crisp focus, I started twiddling with the f-stop and voila! I guess I never realized how important that little number can be.

This was taken with a Tamron 200-400 f5.6 that I moved up to f9 @400mm, ISO 100, 1/320 shutter. This shot is much more crisp than the previous 50+ pictures I snapped. Lesson learned.

Fog on Skyline Drive

Luray Caverns by fisheye

To get the full effect of this picture, you have to click on the picture.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summertime Fun

You know it's summer in Virginia when the fountain on the outdoor mall is full of kids having a blast in the late afternoon sun.

I've written in the past about a photo program called DxO Optics Pro. The program is compatible with the camera and the new lens (Thanks, Dad!), so I've been running every picture through DxO's automatic correction. Normally, the results are fantastic. For this shot, however, DxO is too good. I was aiming for a completely backlit picture of the fountain, which I had before I ran these jpegs through the program. The program corrected for what it perceived as my underexposing the kids. So, rather than backlit images of kids in a golden fountain, you can actually make out colors and skin tone. Not exactly what I intended, but still an interesting shot.

This next shots are a little more of what I was looking for.

Joy and Effort

Ack. I was going to write something. But, I can't seem to find the words.

I love riding a bike. That'll do. Short and honest.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tiger Swallowtail

My wife is pretty handy with the camera as well! Nice shot.

This is a tiger swallowtail, the official state insect of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sparklers on the Beach

The camera is too much fun! This is a 1 second exposure with a slow film speed setting (ISO 100). I would never have even tried this with a film camera, but the result with the digital is really cool.

I didn't do anything with this next shot, except open the shutter. How it came out looking like some surrealist painting, I have no idea.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


North Carolina's barrier islands, August 2008. It's not the West Coast, in terms of waves, but if you're open to new ideas, the beach here is just as excellent you as you could ever want.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Tight and Shallow

How impossibly thin is the focal length on these shots? This tiny, *tiny* fly was no longer than half my pinky fingernail. And, yet, at f 2.8 only half this iridescent little green guy was in focus. I tried a smaller aperture, but the light was so soft, it increased the exposure length too much to hold a steady shot by hand.

This probably the tiniest fly I've ever seen. But in this shot the wing closest to the camera is hopelessly blurred, and his head, less than 3 millimeters away is in focus!

Local Flowers

Nice, creamy green background and decent light and color.

I'll try to post a bunch of macro shots this coming week, with a 100mm fixed focal length lens.