Week 8 of 52 Theme: “Motion” Roll the Dice…

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This weeks theme of Motion had my wheels spinning as I envisioned a dusk time shot of trains and cars downtown, maybe with some panning thrown in for good measure. Apparently life didn’t like that idea so I was stuck at home wondering what to do, when I remembered a shot of rolling dice I had seen on flickr over a year ago, and I decided to try it out for myself.

Dice-board-dog1The lighting was a two light set up with a LED flashlight on a tripod at camera left to illuminate the “roll” and at camera right a bare YN-560 at 1/16 power and zoomed in to 70mm to freeze the dice. Freezing the action after the roll meant using rear curtain sync so that the dice would motion blur before the flash fired.

The lens was a 50mm f/1.8 at f/13.

I shot a few without the game board, but ultimately thought it told a better story with the game in the background. You can see a few of the other shots below:

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Week 7 of 52 Theme: “Valentine’s Day” Let your “Heart Light” shine.

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Valentine’s Day, what can I say about it other than I’m glad it’s over!

I’ve seen custom “bokeh” shots before and thought them fun, silly, and a bit cliche, but I’m hardly one to back away from doing something because the “cool people” whoever “they” are say I should. So I took some black construction paper and cut out several heart shapes, I eventually ended up using an empty cereal box for its sturdier cardboard and cleaner edges and found that a heart between 1/2″-3/4″ tall worked great in front of my 85mm f/1.8 lens with a 20mm extension tube attached. I placed the rose about 3 feet in front of the string of Christmas lights that I dug out from under the stairs (of course they were in the very back)

I shot a number of frames varying my composition and liked this one the best, ambient light was provided by a north facing window and of course the Christmas lights themselves. I shot 6 brackets (for the rose) and tonemapped them in Photomatix 5.

Rose_Hearts-wide

Here are a few other shots of the rose alone that I liked, for these I used a YN-560 in a small softbox as the back light/background and a piece of white paper as a reflector for some very subtle fill.Single Rose1_High Key Background Single Rose2_High Key BackgroundThanks for swinging by today I hope these images brought back pleasant memories of Valentine’s Day. If you have a loved one nearby give them a hug and kiss and let them know you love them, and if they’re too far away for that give them a call or message and let them know just the same.

Happy Shooting!

Howard

Week 6 of 52 Theme: “Below” About To Surface!

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If you’ve visited here more than once you’ve probably heard me mention that my Son was on his High School Swim Team this year, and being the proud papa that I am I made sure to take tons of pictures of him and his team mates during the meets I was able to attend.

I don’t know if you’ve ever shot swimming before, but for me it’s got to be one of the toughest things I’ve ever attempted to photograph. A short list of obstacles to shooting it are: dim lighting, weird white balance, fast paced action, mostly submerged subjects, tough focusing conditions, water, water, and more water most of it splashing, spraying and trying it’s best to hit your camera and lens that split second before you get the only decent shot of a race.

With that in mind I wanted to get a shot of my son just as he emerged from the water in the middle of a race, the problem is he doesn’t swim a stroke that makes that easy… so instead for this weeks theme of “Below” I shot his team mate just as he was rising from a flip turn in the 100m backstroke. The good thing about shooting High School Swimming is that I could walk right up to the edge of the pool while shooting so I was able to get some good close ups, the price? Water spots on my lens and wet knees…

Backstroke-breakthru-webI’ve always been fascinated with the way water behaves, its fluidity and ability to “stretch” is mesmerizing, Here’s an example of Hydrogen bonding at its best.

I couldn’t include swim shots without a few of my son so click through to see some of him.

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Week 5 of 52 Theme: “Above” Hard to walk a mile in these…

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Two questions always come to mind whenever I see a pair of shoes on some telephone lines… 1-Why? 2-How?

Why would someone do this? Is it some kind of prank thought of by a fuzzy drunken mind? Or is there a deep cultural history behind it that I’ve missed? And more puzzling is how do you let someone take your shoes to do this? Again I must admit my suspicion lies with the involvement of alcohol. If you know the answer to either of these questions please let me know.

I would see these while picking my son up from swim practice, so I instantly thought of them for this theme. I had hoped for a colorful sunset instead of an approaching snow storm, so out with color and in with monochrome and backlighting it is…

Shoes-SunburstA closer view

Cons-closeupAnd finally I saw these on another road while driving home from the first pair, by now it was actually starting to snow so I had to shoot quick, taking refuge under a tree helped in more ways than one.

Cons-closeup through treeThanks for stopping by, if you’ve got any shots of “canvas birds” on a wire I’d love to see them.

Happy Shooting!

Howard

 

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