Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm alive! Woof!

So I took a hiatus, and it was much needed. I felt like taking pictures was becoming a chore rather than a hobby or a passion, and I didn't like the way that was heading.

I took out my camera for the first time in about two weeks on the weekend, and went to visit friends who just brought home their new Sheltie pup, Rascal.


He's a cute little guy and it was fun to get down on the floor and play with him. Not a great picture, but I'm easing my way back int and just shooting what I feel like when I feel like it. It's a lot more natural and a lot less stress.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Project something-something-something...

As should be painfully obvious, I am really not able to keep up the Project 365 pace these days. I enjoy shooting every time I get my camera out, and I'm learning each time, but there are just too many demands on my time right now.

There is just not enough time in the day to allot an hour or more to shooting, editing, and posting a picture with two young kids in the house, a job, and a wife who works from home in the evenings. I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far, but at this point I'm prepared to admit that I can't keep it up for the remaining 180 or so days.

So, my point (finally). I will shoot, edit and post as frequently as time allows and as inspiration permits. I will continue this blog, and I will continue to try and support my business. I will continue to enjoy photography as often as I can, but I am no longer going to frame my goals as a photographer with an arbitrary requirement to shoot daily.

I appreciate everyone who reads this blog, and I'll continue to document my learning journey for as long as anyone cares to follow along.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


Today, I combined my love of flower shots, water shots and inverted trickery. Day 188's shot:


In this shot, a blue background is placed behind my acrylic tank and lit with a speedlite off to the side, and a softbox is overhead of the tank. The flower if held down into the water, and air bubbles are blown up from below it. Invert the shot in post processing, and you get what looks like mercury drops on the flower.

I've seen this technique used before, and my shot is not up to to par of a lot of the other ones I've seen. My bubbles are too big, and I think my setup is a bit amateur compared to the others, but it was a fun shot to do!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I miss Carl Sagan...

Not much to say about day 187, but this is my take on the Pale Blue Dot.

Pale Blue Dot

This is the same paperweight used in this shot but lit more simply, and with (to my eye) a stronger composition. A blue gelled LP160 at 1/2 power through my SB3 softbox is above and to the right of the weight (a little to close thus the strong specular highlight) and a second gelled LP160 is shooting through the left side of the lightbox at 1/16th power, just to fill a bit but not blow out the shadow. Shot at ISO 100, 1/200th shutter, f/5.6.

A simple shot, but crisp, I like the colour and the composition works. I'm glad I got this shot, I was about ready to give up for the day before I reworked the entire light setup and reshot it. Perseverance!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fort Whyte Again!

Okay, okay I know that I've done this before, but my daughter loves Fort Whyte, and it's always a great place to go for a photowalk. So, day 186 is more pictures from Fort Whyte Alive!

The day we went, however, was a scorcher. We saw very few critters, and even the ducks and geese were hanging out in the shade. We saw two mallards actually sheltering under a bench, and they didn't move even with us within three feet away or so.

So here is what I managed to get for keepers. From critters:

Thirteen Striped Ground Squirrel

To birds:

Mallards in the Muck

To blooms:

Summer Thistle


To bugs:

Red Dragonfly #2

Blue Dragonfly

Dragonfly in Flight - Silhouette

I just wished I got that last one when the Dragonfly was heading towards me. The silhouette is nice, and I did get a Dragonfly in flight (which is *NOT EASY*) but it could have been so much better!

All taken at f/4, ISO 100, aperture priority on the 70-200 with the 1.4x extender. That in-flight shot was a nice, crisp 1/2500th shutter speed, the others varied on lighting, from 1/125th to 1/1600th. I find I use aperture priority 90% of the time in natural light now, that might change if I get a chance to shoot some outdoor sports this year, but for now it's the most natural method of exposure for me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One sharp lens...

Day 185's picture was made possible by a mishap with a glass, some hot water, and a cold sink.

First off, here is the picture:

One Sharp Lens

How sharp is my EF-S 60mm Macro? THAT sharp.

The glass, when filled with hot water and placed on the cold sink split nearly perfectly up the middle. It was just too crazy a thing not to use in a shot somehow, and this is what I came up with. I was originally going to mock it up as a fake Canon advert, but I decided that co-opting the Canon logo for this might not exactly endear me to them. As it is I still think it's a fun shot.

In hindsight my lighting could have been a bit harsher on the background and it could have been a bit more even, but for three speedlights and a cardboard box with a sheet of glass from a picture from on it, I'll take it :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rainbow Toes

Day 184 was a day of much happiness around the house. Apparently, my daughter had never really realized that people could paint their finger and toenails. When she figured this out, she *flipped out*.

I promised her a picture so here it is:

Rainbow Toes

Taken on the front lawn at ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/100th shutter. Tough shot since the lawn needs to be mowed, and this was one of those shots where the idea works, but the image isn't what I envisioned. Shooting it again wasn't really an option, I was lucky enough to get her standing still long enough to shoot this one!

I have a lot of shots like this lately, and it is what it is. Inspiration has not come easily as of late.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

More fun guys!

Today I had a chance to shoot the same thing as yesterday, sort of. Day 183 and I'm shooting more fungi:

More Fun Guys!

Now I'm going to be honest here: I had *no idea* what to do with this shot. I mean a pan of sizzling sautéed mushrooms is a fine thing (or so my wife says, I can't stand them) but photographically it's limited. I played with crops, angles, and a few other things, but really there was only so much I could do with it. This is best I managed.

ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/6th of a second shutter handheld. Thank god for IS!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


We've had a lot of rain around here lately, and most yards are mushroom fields. I was keeping my eyes open for pretty toadstools but I found one somewhere unexpected on day 182.


This post is near the parking lot at work, and the combination of textures really appealed to me. I had my macro in the bag, tossed it on the 7D and took a few shots. Somehow or another I blew the focus on this one slightly, but I think that it still works.

The choice to go monochrome came from some advice I read elsewhere. Going mono removes colour from the equation and makes the composition and detail the focal point of the image, in this case (hopefully) enhancing the textures in the shot.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Sorry that my posting has been rather erratic lately, lots going on, life gets busy, etc...

I've pretty much accepted that my Project 365 is going to be 365 pictures in about 450 days, but I am still frustrated on the days I can't shoot. My advice to others starting this sort of project is not to underestimate the amount of time that you will really end up investing in this day after day. I love the hobby but it's a slog to get through it!