to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.
Please feel free make comments about any of my photos. I enjoy constructive critiques, learning about locations to shoot or photography techniques. Click on the "Share Article" link to share any of my photos via Digg, Facebook, Myspace, etc.
Want to use one of my images in your own blog? No problem, but please make sure it links back to the original image here and do the right thing and give me credit. Don't crop the image, remove the watermarks or claim my work as your own. This has happened more times than I can count so I've had to report copyright violations to ISP's and regrettably the violators blog is usually taken down.
Can't we all just get along?
Entries in Camera Gear (12)
Last April, Kathy and I spent the weekend in San Diego to attend the annual Chicano Park car show. We got there early and found 50+ cars had already arrived with what seemed like 100 more vying for parking places. After the show we walked past a small market with an interesting and very colorful wall mural. I convinced Kathy to pose for just a few shots. She hates being in front of a camera but as usual, she looked lovely. If you'd like to see Kathy's photography head over to www.tweakedpixels.com
Kathy, her brother Kevin, his son David, and I all met very early on a recent Saturday to attend the 2013 Uptown Whittier Car Show. It was really fun and I'm glad we were out early because by 2:00 PM the show was very crowded and the temperature had exceeded 95 degrees. The scene was quite different at just after 6:00 AM that morning. The show wouldn’t officially open until 9:00 AM so there were only a handful of spectators and the organizers kept all of the cars waiting in three long lines at the far end of Greenleaf Avenue. We were able to take some great pictures of the cars there. This Packard hood ornament was taken later that afternoon with my 100mm macro lens.
Southgate California car show. I love my 100mm Minolta macro lens. Nuff said.
Historic PCC streetcar number 1075 pauses for a portrait in front of San Francisco's equally historic ferry building. This car was built in 1946 and is painted in the colors of the Cleveland Transit System which apparently are similar to the colors used by the Cleveland Browns football team. Kathy had business in San Francisco early in the week and I joined her after her meetings concluded on Friday. We stayed in town until Sunday and had a pretty nice time as we usually do when visiting San Francisco. We both wanted to take more photos of the Market Street Railway streetcars. It's been at least 2 years since I've done so. The challenge is that they don't actually pose for portraits. They have a schedule to keep, so I have to shoot quickly and efficiently if I expect to finish my HDR sequences before they take off for the next stop down the line. Kathy initially didn't take her tripod, preferring the lighter gorilla pod. I brought her carbon fiber tripod to use and she gladly availed herself of it as well.
My Sigma 50mm f1.4 is a good lens but it doesn't hold a candle to Kathy's Minolta/Sony 100mm f2.8 Macro lens in the sharpness and bokeh departments.
After seeing some of her great photos of these amber colored Pontiac hood ornaments, I've been on the lookout for them at every car show I go to. She usually finds them first and lets me know where I can locate them.
In this case, Kathy and I had been at the 2012 Uptown Whittier car show for a while with each of us going our own way to seek out whatever treasures the day might bring. Later when we met up again, she told me about this Pontiac hood ornament she had come across. We walked down the street so I could make a few images of it too.
I've noticed that the older the hood ornament, the more cracks it is likely to have. Here it was possible to orient the camera in such a way to capture the sunlight illuminating it's internal structure which had a lot of character.
Later when I went home and was reviewing my images in Lightroom, I could see that the bokeh in my shots left a lot to be desired. Luckily I own Nik Software's Bokeh 2 plug-in. It works great as long as you have a good selection isolating what you want to be in sharp focus from that which you want to be blurred. In this case I think it improved the existing bokeh nicely.
Kathy took me to this car show at the Fuddruckers in Lakewood. It was right next to the Best Buy where we bought our very first DSLR, the Sony A700. We now own two A700's and a A850 as well along with a pretty nice collection of lenses and tripods. So it was sort of a little homecoming for that first camera which has been to London, Washington DC, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada and all over California. It's been repaired and put back in service after more than 100,000 shutter actuation's. Ah the memories.
Anyway, this was a really cool car. I was shocked the owner hadn't left the hood open like most owners of custom cars tend to do. I almost never make photographs of a car with the hood open. I think it just ruins the lines. I completely understand that car owners are proud of their engines but I'm not really interested in photographing them. Kathy recently posted a very similar shot of this car on her blog. I think her version turned out better. You can see it here: www.tweakedpixels.com/whats-up/2012/6/4/luxe.html
I recently purchased the Sweet 35 optic for my Lensbaby Composer. Rather than using aperture rings like other Lensbaby optics, it has a built-in f-stop adjustment. It's still manual focus as you would expect for a selective focus lens but it can render very sharp images if you accurately focus it on your subject. The depth of field changes depending on the setting used of course. I often will focus with the lens set for F2.6 and then stop it down to gain a larger focus sweet spot. The classic lines of this Mercury 8 seemed to work well with this new lens.
The security at the US Capitol building is pretty tight. While I understand very clearly why it needs to be this way, I also realized that due to the rules, Manny and I woudln't be able to carry our backpacks into the building with us. Hence no extra lenses. I chose to take my 28-135 which is a nice general lens but not wide enough to capture the entired rotunda dome. I do think the off center framing adds interest. Oh well. Maybe next time I'll take my 14mm.