Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Lately I've seen photo submissions from aspiring photographers who have simply tried to take advantage of improved noise reduction in the current crop of Digital SLR cameras while pushing their camera's ISO into unacceptable realms. I'm afraid 3200 ISO is not going to be acceptable to any photo editor, art director or photo agency unless you've captured something that no one else can duplicate. In short, I am a firm believer of keeping your ISO at your camera's lowest possible setting.
To light indoor zoo and aquarium exhibits use a strobe. Yes, you can use the pop-up strobe built into your camera. In this case I used the Canon 430EX Speedlight, set to TTL, mounted on the camera's hot shoe with a diffuser. In either case I shoot in Manual mode, usually with the shutter speed set at it's maximum synch speed (1/250 sec in this case) to eliminate the unwanted color temperatures of the exhibit's artifical lighting sources. The lens aperture will usually be the smallest f stop (in this case f 13) in can get for the light output with the diffuser on. Your camera's LCD will give you exposure feedback in each situation. If your image is too dark at f16 (underexposed), open up the aperture. If your image is too light (overexposed), close down the aperture. Pretty soon, you'll be getting the repeat experience you need so you can dial in the f stop quickly.
The other trick to avoid reflections is to make sure your lens is touching the exhibit glass. If you have a subject really close to the glass, you still can shoot it if you get your strobe off the camera on a TTL cord to the hot shoe or by using a wireless TTL strobe trigger.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Just downloaded Nik HDR EFX PRO software for a free 15 day trial. This image was from my very first test drive. I'm impressed. You will not believe the amount of control you have over the image output with their "U Point" feature:
with "U Point® technology, you can make precise selections to easily fine-tune and enhance specific areas of your image."
Sunrise through Florida Slash Pines, Pinus elliottii, Everglades National Park, Florida
More of our Everglades images here.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Arriving in dim pre-dawn light, we located the rusting boats and grabbed our camera gear. I opted for the Canon 10-22mm while Therisa took off in the other direction with the Canon 100mm. Soft first light draped the shrimp boats. 30 minutes later the best light was gone but we each had our images. It was fascinating to see our different perspectives on the same subject, proving to us once again the importance of our teamwork.
More of our Florida Keys images here.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Once in awhile it's simply good to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, with the helpful cooperation of two of our beautiful granddaughters.
Camera in an Aquatica aluminum housing (we are dealers for Aquatica underwater camera housings: http://www.tomstackphoto.com), with dual Ikelite underwater strobes, one set at 1/4 power and the other at 1/8 power.
Manual exposure ISO 100, 1/250sec at f 11.
12 year old Maxine from Montana on the top and our 3 year old Florida Keys mermaid Anya on the bottom.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are amazing to observe and photograph. What does it take to get these shots? First and foremost, respect for the wildlife. Never pressure the animal to get the shot. With that in mind it takes a lot of patience while crawling on all fours and laying flat on our tummies looking through a long telephoto lens mounted on a tripod. We learned much from our first attempt and plan to return soon hoping to capture the fledglings emerging from their burrow.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
We are constantly challenged to create unique images.
How can you make your photography stand out in the crowd? A fresh perspective on a common subject sometimes does the trick.
In this case, instead of laying down in the wet low tidal zone, I lowered the camera to the ground and without even looking through the viewfinder shot a series of images with the Canon 10-22 lens at 10mm. hoping to get some relatively straight horizon lines which I could crop straight.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We live on a small island (Plantation Key, Florida) and we keep scouting for new locations.
It's quite a challenge, as most of the waterfront land is privately owned and inaccessible.
We found this site a few weeks ago and thought we would give it a try this morning.
Three shot HDR merged in Photoshop and post processed in Photomatix.
Monday, January 25, 2010
5:00 A.M. alarm clock wakens us to a 65 mile drive south through several rain downpours in the predawn darkness. Thirty minutes before sunrise we arrive at our destination: the bare, weather eroded limestone that is the remnant of a fossilized coral reef. Low tide is on our side, the 20 knot wind is not. We get to work cautiously scouting locations on the slick rock among the tide pools. A wonderful red mangrove will make a fantastic backdrop, but we realize that HDR isn't possible in this wind. We photograph it anyway, knowing we can utilize some digital post processing magic to make the image work. Thirty minutes later, it's over and we've captured nearly 1 GB of camera RAW images. Black coffee tastes really good!