Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let's give geckos a hand!

Day 31 and man was I just out of luck today. I thought today might break my 365 streak.

Pardon the elaboration of my household melodrama, but my delightful and lovely son is going through sleep training as of last night. 'Sleep training' is a nice way of saying 'cry it out' which is something my wife and I swore we would never do. Having said that, the boy was up an average of 6 times a night for the last two weeks, and at six months old, that's not a good thing. He needs to learn to sleep.

So, I'm exhausted, so is my wife. Family dinner, grumpy older kid, loads of errands, you name it, it was a rough Sunday and I just want to sleep. In my heart, though, I know that 'The Project' must go on!

In this sort of scenario though, I am very lucky. I have a macro lens, a love of macro photography, a good flash, and some amazing critters living in my house. I give you one of natures most fascinating structures, the Gecko's sticky hands!

Give geckos a hand!

These pads are covered with countless little hairs that are so small, they actually form magnetic bonds between the electrons of nearby molecules! They really are nifty, and they have an amusing tendency to want to climb on my wife's face.

Shot at 1/60th, f/8, ISO 200, 580EX II on-camera, angled up 75 degrees, 1/2 power with the Omnibounce. Shot through plate glass, and the Omnibounce seems to really, really help with reflections.

I just noticed that I shot back to back hand pictures...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This post may cause paralysis...

Day 30 of my Project 365 and I was playing with lighting again.

Inspired by the legend of the Hand of Glory, a candle and/or candleholder made the from the hand of a hanged criminal. It was said to immobilize any who saw it lit. You've been warned.

Hand of Glory

If you can still move, please read on.

I shot this a few times and it was pretty frustrating honestly. You have to frame the shot, fix the focus, set up the lighting (or in my case the light blocking sheets of bristol board), turn out the lights and then do a ten second exposure while hoping you don't knock your models hand. This was my sixth or seventh snap and the best by far.

Things that didn't work the way I would have liked: Ideally I would have preferred to have a single, defined flame at each fingertip, but I could only get my wife to hold her hand still for so long, so this all had to be done in the aforementioned ten seconds. I would have preferred not to see the tip of the lighter in the shot, and I'm sure a more competent post processor could have removed them, but all of my attempts looked horrid.

Things that did work: The fingers are crisp and in-focus, and the soft candle-like light gave a bit of an eerie glow to the hand. My wife did a fine job of keeping her hand steady for this shot, and also she agreed to help in the first place!

Once again, a shot I like more than I dislike. I had an idea, and within a half hour or so, I had a shot that looked like I imagined.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I feel the need...

Day 29 of Project 365 and as always I was looking for inspiration.

Sometimes inspiration comes from a ray of light shining through a window, or a simple little object with striking colours. Sometimes, inspiration tries to beat a red light and just about kills you on the way home from work. Want to guess how my drive home was today?

Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly to worlds best driver. I'm not overly defensive, I can have a bit of a quick temper, and I really don't like driving around people who clearly aren't in full, confident control of their vehicle. Having said all that, I have two kids, and my driving habits have seriously mellowed since I started having little people in the back seat routinely.

Still, every now and then, you feel the need. The need for speed!

I Feel the Need....

Taken in my driveway, ISO 200, f/11 at .8 seconds shutter, 25mm focal length. Although I have been using the 60mm Macro almost exclusively, there was no way I could frame the tach in my car from the front seat, so I switched over to the kit lens. Even with IS I had to brace the lens on the steering wheel, and take several shots before I got a nice sharp one. I wanted a larger blur on the needle, but this was the longest I could manage a handheld sharp shot, and I really didn't want to absolutely floor it in neutral.

All in all, I think I nailed this shot pretty well. It was over-exposed a bit, but easily corrected in post.

p.s. Yeah, it was -17 Celsius at 4pm in Winnipeg today. Brr.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Deep Blue

Day 28 of my Project 365.

I *liked* my prior water drop shot, but I wanted to try and nail the focus a bit better. Instead of just doing the same shot, I backed the lens off from the splash, set up both strobes and shot in a clear acrylic container on a royal blue background.

Here is the result:

Deep Blue

I like the structure of the splash, and after a bit of tweaking in PP, the colour has the richness and deepness that I was looking for. The focus is better, but there is still a blur from the limited shutter speed. I can only sync at 1/200th, so that's the best shutter speed I can manage. If I could crank it to 1/400th or so, I suspect it would be like crystal.

I'm going to have to figure out how to manage a faster sync in the future, but I think it's a limitation of the camera body and strobes.

p.s. I noticed a bunch of new followers, thank you all for joining in! If you are doing a Project 365 as well, be sure to drop me a comment with your blog address, so I can return the favour!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yo Dawg, I heard you like strobes...

Day 27 and a new piece of gear arrived on the UPS truck today!

I have that family portrait shoot coming up next week, and I decided I wanted a little more oomph from my fill light than I was getting with the little 32 Ws one, so I ordered a LumoPro LP120 manual flash, which comes highly recommended from Strobist and quite a few other off-camera flash resources.

This is strictly a manual flash, no TTL, no focus assist lamps, nothing fancy, but a decently powerful hotshoe flash that has a variety of ways to trigger it: on-camera, PC cord, optical slave or miniphone jack. Supremely useful little lights to use, especially off-camera.

So, since I had a new toy, I have to shoot it, right? I decided to fool around with a DIY construction paper snoot on my 580EX II to get a spotlight effect, and ended up with this:

Yo Dawg, I heard you like strobes...

One thing to not is that I do not have a seamless black background, and that it really noticeable in this shot. I have also misplaced the flash shoe that came with my 580EX II so in this shot, the flash is precariously balanced on whatever small black things I could find! :D

Not all that happy with this shot, but with the tools I had it at least looks close to what I imagined.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Cage Without Walls

Day 26 was a day of generic drudgery. Cold weather, long meetings, and crabby kids. Today I also knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to devote to a set-up shot like last night for some unknown reason.

So, a shot at work was a requirement for the day, but I had very little time to accomplish this. I barely had time to step out of my cubicle. I made that my challenge for the day, and came up with this:

The Cage Without Walls

ISO 200, f/6 at 1/20th shutter, handheld, natural lighting. I would type more in this post, but I'm out of time for some unknown reason.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Risque photography...

For day 25, I wanted to tell you a story. A story about a nut, who likes to get naked in front of people.

The Exhibitionist

Okay, so it's not exactly NSFW. I felt a bit goofy today, and came up with the idea of a peanut M&M that likes it when you watch. The original plan was to have the second shot with all the shell removed and just the chocolate, but it appears to be impossible to separate the shell from the chocolate, so this had to suffice.

Critical components in this shot: Lightbox, pocket wizards, tripod, shutter release. Without all of that I wouldn't be able to get such clean, identical framing on the little photos. Gear may not make you a good photographer, but it sure helps.

I really like this picture, I hope you do too!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Weekends are somehow even harder to shoot on than weekdays since there is so much to do around the house, and with the kids. Even the evenings are full of laundry and housework. So, it's nice to have the lightbox and a variety of things to shoot for nights like this. Hopefully no-one else is sick of this!

So, day 24 is another lightbox shot. I really liked the high-key effect with the Lily from earlier in the week, so I wanted to reproduce it with another object.

Iron Butterfly

This metal butterfly (okay, I don't actually know if it's an iron butterfly or not) belonged to my wife's grandmother and she inherited it a few years ago. The blue-toned glass is a wonderful azure, and I really, really like it against the solid white background. The only downside is that the light from the flash (fired from above with the pocket wizards) toned the lower right part of the background, but it's not unreasonable.

I played with removing the 'stick' as well, but my wife liked it better as-is, so she won ;)

Flash fired from above at 1/4 power, ISO 100, 1/125th shutter at f/11.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

By any other name...

Day 23 of Project 365.

Every two weeks at the grocery store, my daughter picks new flowers for the kitchen table. Today, she decided that Mommy needed roses, and specifically a magic rose that would never die. As is tradition, she gets what she wants, and she picked 18 stems of pink roses for her Mum.

Death is not a subject that comes up often, but the 'rose that never dies' is in a book she likes and I told her that magic roses don't exist, but in a photograph, a rose would never die, and she could look at it whenever she wanted. So, three were plucked of their petals and leaves, and one more was picked as the finest rose of the bunch for tonight's picture.

By Any Other Name

ISO 100, f/8, 1/160th shutter. Flash on-camera at 1/16th power and diffused with the Omnibounce, shot top-down in the lightbox. The shadows are harsher that I wanted, boo!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A brief post, but some good news!

For day 22, I was a bit rushed with friends on the way over, and no picture taken during the day. So, I grabbed some of my wife's home-made biscotti, threw it in the lightbox and tried to make something pretty.

The United Colours of Biscotti

Kinda meh, but I'm out of time for today. Two bits of good news though! This picture was taken with my new Pocketwizards Plus II Transceivers, which I ordered to replace the iffy Korean knockoffs that I had before. They happened to go on sale the week they arrived too, so my out of pocket was reduced by $100.

The bigger news is that the picture I took for this day is going to be used in an article by American Express Publishing. Just a web article, and it's not exactly paying me anything but I guess this means that one of my pictures is going to be published! Whooo!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The builder and bane of Empires.

For day 21, a simple shot of something with an amazing and complex history.

The builder and bane of Empires

Salt founded kingdoms in Europe, brought Italian city-states to war with one another, was interdicted by the British in the American Revolutionary War, and instigated a march by Gandhi. Salt was used as a weapon against a defeated foe, allowed intercontinental travel and was responsible for huge networks of roads in several ancient Empires. In the Bible, salt was referenced as a form of payment, and it coined the phrase 'salt of the earth'.

The history of humanity is tightly tied to these tasty little crystals.

ISO 100, f/16, 1/160th shutter on a blue background, with both flash and supplementary fill light.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

He'll destroy us all!

Day 20, and another day where my planned shot became something else.

My daughter has a set of colourful wood building blocks, and enjoys building and destroying towers with them. At first, I was just going to shoot a tower or two, and see if I could manage some interesting DOF effects.

The first shots were sort of bland, and I decided to add something else... Behold, Drakezilla!


'Drake' is what my daughter named one of our Crested Geckos, and the other is 'Duck'. Don't ask, I can't explain the three-year-old mind. Duck was featured in an earlier shot.

Got the DOF I wanted, although I brought the lighting down a little bit to avoid hurting Drake's eyes. Final shot settings were ISO 100, 1/200th, f/5.6 with the 580EX II on-camera at 1/16th power, and my little fill light above the lightbox at 36 Ws.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The World in White.

Day 19, and nature provided for today's shots.

Last night we had a lovely blast of warm humid air which became an ice fog and left the entire city coated in hoarfrost this morning. It was a busy day, but I managed to squeeze in some time for a walk around.

I found a good walking area just off of a major road not too far from home. I had taken some other shots in the area around the house, but I wanted shots without buildings everywhere. The area in these shots is actually surrounded by power lines and apartment buildings but I was able to choose my shots and keep the backgrounds mostly clean.

I still need to work on my landscape composition quite a bit, but these shots are decent, I think.

World in White #2
ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/1600th

World in White #1
ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/1250th

World in White #3
ISO 200, f/11, 1/160th

Monday, January 18, 2010

Making a splash!

Day 17 of Project 365.

Today I took inspiration from another local photographer and her shot of a water drop on a CD. My original plan was to try and duplicate it, but with a little variation.

I used a DVD instead of a CD, but my first few shots showed a lack of colour variation in the DVD. Instead of switching to a CD I decided to run with it and tried to catch a splash.

I took a few dozen snaps, wore out a set of batteries in my flash, but I got a decent one:

DVD Splash

I blew the focus on this, if you notice the sharp drops in front of the splash it's obvious. Having said that, the leading edge of the splash is respectably in focus, and the bokeh is not hideous. It was the best splash I captured by far.

ISO 200, f/20 at 1/200th shutter. Manual flash settings at 1/2 power, on-camera.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Let's compare!

Here we are on day 17 of my Project 365, and I thought we would do a quick comparison.

Here is a shot I took on September 3rd of my Jungle Carpet Python, Zoot:

Jungle Carpet Python up close

Looking at this picture now, I decided to try a similar shot, but using the tools and techniques that I've picked up in the four and a half months since I took it. Here is the result from today:

Eye of the Beast

Better white balance and colour, better lighting, and better composition (to my mind). Essentially, I think I've improved on pretty much any point you choose to compare.

I'd also like to add: Zoot is awesome. I luvs her!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's not such a bad rut...

Day 16, and maybe I'm in a rut.

After a long day of dealing with the kids, working, running errands and the like, I often don't find time for 'destination' shooting. By that, I mean that I often have shot nothing and I have no time left to go out and shoot. So, I've been doing a *lot* of shooting in my lightbox. For a little while, I worried about this. Am I really learning and growing as a photographer shooting little objects in a box in the basement?

I looked at yesterdays shots, and realized as I was composing today's shot that I am learning. Case in point, my new wireless triggers are defective, and I wanted to do a top-down shot in the box. I was able to stop and think through how I would light this, and defuse the light well without being able to go off-camera. My guesses about the manual settings were almost dead on both on the camera and the flash, and I managed to get a shot that looked like what I wanted with only four or five clicks of the shutter.

So, maybe my shots are a little same-ish lately, but that's okay. I'm getting better at them, and what I learn here I will take with me the next time I go out to shoot.

Today's subject is sliced and stacked starfruit:

Starfruit Sunburst

There is a little more shadow than I would have liked here, but I didn't notice it in PP until I exported the JPG. I'll watch more closely for it next time. I would have re-shot the Starfruit but I ated it.

Final exposure was ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/100th shutter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One subject, two treatments.

Day 15, and I had a wonderful lily to shoot for my subject. I decided to experiment with lighting, backgrounds and composition, so I have two shots today.

The first was a low-key style, lower flash power, reflective black background and landscape orientation. This shot also went with a rule-of-thirds composition, placing the flower on the left third and 'facing' out into the open space.

Pink Lily - Low Key

For comparison, a portrait orientation, white background, a little more juice on the flash for a high-key treatment.

Pink Lily - High Key

The basic exposure of the flower is roughly the same in both shots, but both work for different reasons. I like the high-key more for the ephemeral quality and the brilliance of the colour, but the contrast in the low-key is pretty striking, and I think I like the composition better.

Two shots, and I like both!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


-5 Celsius or so is incredibly warm for Winnipeg in January, so today was playing in the snow day again! It was fun to get out but tricky to keep my camera dry and snow-free, especially when my daughter decided to 'make snowstorms'. One more reason to invest in L lenses and weather-sealed camera bodies I guess.

It was afternoon though, and the light was failing so I had to keep my aperture wide-open to get anything remotely close to a fast enough shutter speed to freeze any action.

Here is my shot for Day 14:


This shot was at f/2.8, ISO 400 and 1/320th shutter on the 60mm Macro. f/1.8 or faster would have been even nicer, but a little blurring in the mittens is not too shabby.

I cropped this shot a bunch of times, but this is the nicest composition I could manage. A bit of rule-of-thirds with her body placed lower right, and she's looking into space with the flying snow all in-frame. I think I can only take a shot like this so far without quite a bit more post-processing, but I want to learn my camera and establish my shooting first.

Comments form altered...

I received an email from a reader who mentioned that the captcha was not properly appearing for comments, so I've disabled it for now. I doubt this little blog is going to attract a bunch of spammers, but if it's a problem, I'll look at it after.

So, hopefully you can anyone who wants to comment can now do so!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let the games begin!

Day 13 of the year, and I've managed to post every day. I'm kind of surprised and happy to have made it this far without missing a day!

Today's shot was an opportunistic one. My daughter left her mitts in the snow today, and the red on white contrast was really quite nice.

Let the Games Begin

I *like* this picture, but I don't love it. I have no idea how to light snow, so I tried with flash, without flash, different angles, etc, and this was the best of the shots. The settings on this shot were 1/40th shutter, f/5, ISO 100 with the 580EX II firing on E-TTL II.

My first few shots were against unbroken snow, and you couldn't tell that there was a background at all. It might have well been taken in my lightbox. I stomped near the mitts to try and make some texture in the shot and that improved the composition somewhat.

I'll have to read up on exposing for snow, the contrast that I liked so much in the composition made the exposure tricky.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little brown miracles...

The boy. He doesn't sleep. Coffee is all that keeps me going.

Caffeine Sunrise

Thinking of ideas for a shot today and coffee was the only thing on my mind. I'll try harder tomorrow, promise.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My little friends...

Hello and welcome to day 11 of my Project 365.

My wife and I have a six month old boy at home, and he is not what one would call a 'good' sleeper. His best nights, he is still up at least twice. So, every morning I have a visit from my little friends, the coffee beans.

Oh, coffee. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: From lattes to cappuccino, cafe au lait to a good cuppa joe, coffee is my constant companion.

The first cup of coffee in the morning feels like this:

My Happy Place

Thanks to my wife for the toy suggestion, and to my daughter for letting daddy borrow it. Finally, thanks to coffee for being so full of caffeine. I love you caffeine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Playing around on day 10.

Two pics today, the first was just the result of playing around with my wireless triggers.

I set the 580EX II on full power, tossed on an umbrella, grabbed the camera, used the timer and shot a self-portait with the backlight.


Kinda creepy, but hey, I was playing around. I was expecting more of a silhouette effect, but I guess there was a enough power in the flash that there was some reflection for a minor fill light effect. I figure that this is a rough approximation of the last thing you see before you die, are abducted by aliens, or are struck by lightning. Whichever.

My other shot was inspired by my wife's shopping today. She picked up some thread for her sewing machine, and there are always some nice textures in a factory-wound spool of thread. Don't blame me for the colour.

Pink Weave

It's another indoor macro shot, I can't wait for Spring.

I played around with the composition on this a lot, but never found a shot I liked better than this. It might have been better if the whole of both spools were in focus, but it was shot so close that I could get enough DOF. This was shot a f/16 and it still blurs out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not a great day.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing works out like you planned? I had one of those, at least photographically. All in all, it was a good day, but everything I thought might work, everything that I thought might look neat turned out to be crap.

After trying various light diffusers, aperture tricks, textures, watching my remote flash triggers stop working, I gave up and I give you this:


Poor attempt at light painting? Yes. Does it qualify for my day 9 picture? Yes.

Good enough for today.

Friday, January 8, 2010


For day 8, I decided to try a different style of shot, and went artsy.

Looking around for inspiration, I had some red glass tealight holders, and I wanted to play with a red and black colouration. My photobox has a black background, but it's not seamless, so I threw down a black t-shirt for the base.

To continue the setup kludge, I propped up a black binder to give a sloped base, tossed the camera on my GorillaPod and arranged the tealights around a paperweight that my wife and I picked up in Oban, Scotland during our honeymoon.

Here is the result:


Honestly, I have no idea what I've done here, or whether it's in any way, shape or form a good shot, but I like it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More architecture at the office.

I liked yesterday's shot quite a bit, so I started looking around for more sights to see from my office window. There will be no walk-around today, however, given the -35ish wind chill.

Across the street is the old Winnipeg Free Press building, built right before the Great War, and now home to a variety of government offices. As I looked at it, I really liked the light catching some of the stone work around the central windows, and decided to shoot it.

Old Winnipeg Free Press building

It needed some rotation in post processing, and the sharpness from the kit lens leaves something to be desired, but I'm okay with this picture. Yesterday's was better, but I'm not embarrassed by this at all. The sandstone takes on some of the red of the rising sun and it also picks up the colour of the brick quite well.

Shot at f/8, 1/60th shutter, ISO 100.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A lunch time walkaround

Day six allowed me a chance to walk around after lunch, and although it was certainly not the warmest day, it was warmer than the past week had been.

I wasn't sure where I was heading, but looking from my office window, I was staring at a church tower that I always notice, but have never really investigated. I slapped on my kit lens and headed that way.

Knox United Church

This is the Knox United Church, or so Google tells me. It's quite a charming building, although the gray skies today didn't give much contrast to the shot, so I opted for a monochrome treatment. I think it fits an old stone church quite well. I had trouble getting the whole structure in frame without some distractions in the way, so this was lightly edited in GIMP to remove a power line from the upper right corner of the shot.

Picture was taken at f/8, 1/250th shutter, at 20mm.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

She speaks with a forked tongue.

Day 5 of the Prject 365, and here I am again. I hope I can keep this up!

Today's photo plans started with a walk-around at lunch time. That had to be canceled when my workload simply wouldn't allow it. No trouble, plenty of time, right?

Plan two was to camp out at the bird feeder in our backyard after work. Twenty minutes in the snow later, and that plan was scrapped. Not one bird came out, and the shots of the empty feeder were rather lackluster at best. Well, I can always shoot in the house tonight, right?

Plan three, my reef aquarium! Lots of colourful fish, corals, etc... In the midst of adjusting the lighting, I blew the GFCI outlet and spent the rest of my spare moments before putting my daughter in the tub, trying to get the rather critical life support systems in the tank running again.

So, we get another macro shot today. I like shooting the macros, the textures are often interesting, and there are always nice colours, but shooting on the white background does tend to make rather clinical pictures. Having said that, I'll take any shot that I can get today!

She speaks with a forked tongue

This is Rio, my Brazilian Rainbow Boa. She's a beautiful snake and I'm rather proud of getting this shot off at all, as snakes are not fond of sitting on white nylon fabric with two flashes going off and no cover around. Getting the tongue out on the shot is a mini coup also, with a 1/200th second exposure, and the speed with which they flick and retract the tongue, it's pretty lucky. I'm happy with the exposure and depth of field as well.

These shots are also being done in manual mode now as well, with manual settings on the flash. It's one more step in my technical education, juggling the exposure triangle of ISO/aperture/shutter speed along with one variable flash and a fixed supplementary light.

This shot was taken at ISO 200, 1/200th shutter, f/7.1 with the 580EX II on manual at 1/8th power on-camera with the Stofen Omnibounce, and the Cameron 36 W/S optical slave firing opposite and above the camera, using a reflecting umbrella. I can't believe that I know what all that means!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Story time by the tree.

Day four of Project 365, and I'm four for four! Will wonders never cease!

I wanted to get a few portrait attempts in this week, it's something I would like to have some preparation for before attempting to shoot our family friends. I'm sure they have limited expectations, and I appreciate that :)

My original idea for my shot today fell through. Let's just say four-year olds, blowing bubbles and bathtime makes for a very challenging shot! I could never quite get the framing and focus right since I had the camera on the gorillapod and I was firing with my wired remote. This was necessary since I was also blowing the bubbles at the time. Basically, a disaster.

So option two was a quiet shot at story time by the Christmas Tree. This is one of the last chances to shoot it anyhow since it will come down this weekend. It worked out much better.

Goodnight tree

I got the catchlights in her eyes that I was looking at, but her toothy grin isn't ideal. I also noticed after the shot that an ornament with her picture features rather prominently in the background. It's a bit distracting, but all in all, I like the picture.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The colours of imagination

Day three of my Project 365, and I actually have a third picture! Will wonders never cease.

My daughter is working through her new giant box o' crayons from Christmas, and my wife suggested that the big pile of them might be a good photo subject. I was happy to oblige!

The Colours of Imagination

I had to saturate this pretty heavily in post because crayons are honestly not as vibrant as you would think. Naturally, I think you would get better colours from pencil crayons in this kind of shot, but the saturation increase seems to have helped enough.

I'm working on more elaborate lighting, and have a few new toys: a wireless trigger set for my 580EX II, a light stand and umbrella, and second stand and umbrella with a small optically-slaved A/C powered strobe for a fill light. This shot was taken with the flash on-camera and the Sto-Fen diffuser, with the fill light opposite and above the crayons to prevent any excessive shadowing. There is still some shadow cast beneath the topmost crayons, but earlier test shots without the strobe were much harsher.

I'll be giving the new lighting setup a workout in the near future, as I've had some family friends volunteer for some portrait work. I think I'll rent the EF 24-70 f/2.8L for the shoot, and see what I can do with this gear.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sharper than a 135mm f/2...

I had a little bit of time for boxing day shopping this year, and I found myself giggling like a schoolgirl when I noticed that had a 4" Shun Chef's Knife on for 65% off.

I love to cook, so this was a must buy for me. Shun makes some of the best, sharpest knives in the world, and they are HORRIBLY expensive. The little 4" one retails at about $200CDN, and they only go up from there.

One of the defining features of a Shun knife is the multi-layered steel the knives are made of, called multi-clad steel, which emulates the look of Damascus Steel.

I wanted to capture the ripples and patterns in the blade, but the reflection from the lights made this extremely difficult. A polarizer might have helped, but I don't have one yet.

Multi-clad Steel

Not a great picture, but so be it. I love my knife :D

Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 365

I must be insane because I am thinking about doing a Project 365 this year, that is a new picture taken, edited and posted every day. I'm realistic, it's not going to happen, but maybe a Project 238 or something is possible. I'll give it a shot.

The rest of my Xmas haul was turned into a set of wireless flash triggers, an umbrella, and a light stand so I can do some off-camera lighting. I have a little more cash coming in after winning a fantasy football league, so I might pick up a second small light with an optical slave trigger to round out a nice portable lighting setup. All I need now is a nice portrait lens, like a EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM :D My kit lens and 60mm Macro will have to fill in for now.

Oh and since this is the first day of the new year, here is Project 365 picture #1.

Dying Daisy

The coming of a new year and passing of the old one was on my mind when I noticed a wilting daisy in our kitchen bouquet. May we all wilt as beautifully!