Sunday, October 30, 2011

Strobe Photography - More Fun with Camera

As I was surfing YouTube I came across interesting movie about photographing water droplets. Since I had everything needed for this specialised form of photography, generally called “strobing”, I just had to try it. I needed solid tripod, flash, radio strobe trigger set and lots of time on hand. The fact that I also have a light tent for close-ups was big advantage. Here are the results. Watch the video on YouTube to see how the set-up and focusing works.

In this shot I used Cloudy White Balance setting. Rest of the photographs were taken with Tungsten White Balance.

Canon Rebel T1i, Manual mode, 1/60 shutter, Macro lens 50mm 1:3.5 set at f/16 and 1:3 magnification, ISO 400, Yongnuo Digital flash YN468 at 1/16 power, Jianisi PT-04TM radio trigger, Cullmann 2904 tripod and head.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It is Nice to Have Indoor Hobbies

Today was a typical rainy, cold and windy day. No outdoor activities for me, no sir. Since I hardly watch any TV at all and I didn’t feel like reading even though I have 2 books and 2 magazines started, it left cooking and taking some indoor pictures. As far as cooking goes I made a load of pot-stickers for tonight’s meal and for freezer. That took over 3 hours and then it was camera’s turn. I love close-up and macro photography and I have all the equipment to do it so it was just a question of a subject. Close-ups of sandy or pebble beaches are always interesting and I do have a tiny pebble beach in our Japanese Garden but there was no way that I will crawl on wet ground and in the rain. There was only one solution: beach has to come inside. Piece of cake! Styrofoam plate used for packaged meat was base for my “beach”, spray water bottle provided the “rain” and my light-box finished the set-up. Yup, it is nice to have multiple hobbies! J

"Pebble Beach on Rainy Day."

Or, is it?

And here is the set-up. 2 fluorescent fill lights and 1 off camera TTL flash bouncing light from reflective top of the light box. f/22, 1/8 second, ISO 400, 55mm lens

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fun with Camera – October

I know that lots of people like Fall but for me it is not a favorite part of the year. I know that for few weeks it is very colorful time of the year, especially here in Ontario, and that it offers tons of picture taking opportunities, but for me it is a sad season. Everything around me in nature is dying or coming to rest and I just don’t see beauty in that. I love Spring when everything is fresh and growing and everywhere you look there is new life. I guess I have to wait 6 months for that so meanwhile, as far as picture taking opportunities go, I’ll shoot some leaves and the usual fall pictures.
Last month I bought variable neutral density filter (ND) for my 18 – 55mm and 70 – 300mm zoom lenses. What an incredible piece of equipment! It lets me stretch the shutter speed and gives the picture very interesting quality. You see pictures of waterfalls, rivers, lakes etc. in magazines and calendars but most people don’t know how that blurry, sort of dreamy look was achieved. Last few weeks I around with this ND filter and here are some examples.

Ornamental grasses on a windy day.
f/11, 1.3 second, ND filter, ISO 100, Aperture Priority. Thanks to longer exposure made possible by use of ND filter you can see the movement of the grasses.

Lake Lisgar, Tillsonburg.
f/16, 15 seconds, ND filter, ISO 100, Aperture Priority. With ND filter set about 3/4 maximum the lake looks flat, not even a ripple. Anytime I use the ND filter I rely on my super heavy Manfrotto tripod.

Lake Lisgar, Tillsonburg.
f/20, .5 second, ND filter, ISO 100, Aperture Priority.

Otter Creek, Tillsonburg.
f/5, 1/20 seconds, +1ND filter, ISO 100, Aperture Priority
In regular shot the rapids look fast and choppy.

Otter Creek, Tillsonburg.
f/11, 1.6 seconds, ND filter, ISO 100, Aperture Priority. With longer exposure the rapids appear slow and smooth.

Port Bruce, Lake Erie.
f/10, 1/8 second, ND filter, ISO 400, Aperture Priority. Here the ND filter acts as a regular polarizer filter, which it basically is, and darkens the sky.

Black Walnut, Sparta, Ontario.
f/7, 1/200 second, ND filter, ISO 400, -1 Exposure compensation, off camera flash with E-TTL on. Since I was shooting straight against the sun the flash was a must.