Sunday, August 28, 2011

PAW 34


I watched this scene for several mornings while hoping in vain for a good sky to develop in the background.  Good thing I got this shot as soon as I saw it because the sky just would not cooperate.  Yet another reminder to immediately take the photo if a scene attracts your attention.  After that first shot is in the bag (can? sensor?), you can look for the optimum composition and timing.

Taken with the Canon G12 at ISO 100, 1/400 second, f4.5 through a sixth floor window.  Processed from RAW in ACR, saturation pushed up a bit, cropped.Reflection

Of course, I could “Photoshop” in a few clouds.  I’ve even taken cloud photos for that very purpose.  But that would be wrong.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

PAW 33


I sometimes like to have my morning coffee on the patio but the temperature now is far too hot – even in the mornings. Predictions are that we will not have the “high” temperature below 80 F until late October!

Taken with my G12 using Av mode, ISO 100, –2/3 exposure compensation resulting in f2.8 at 1/250 second.  Processed from RAW in ACR, slightly tweaked and cropped in Photoshop.

(See PAW 2 for a point of reference and “Coffee?” for more info.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PAW 32


Ah, the challenge of trying out for soccer!  The kids don’t really know the difference between a game and a “try out”. (I’m sure everyone who wants to play will be able to play.)  I’m no soccer player but, to me, all were equally skilled. 

For outdoor situations like this, I always choose my Canon 7D and the 70-200mm zoom.  This particular shot was taken at ISO 400, f5.6 and 1/400 second.  The somewhat slower shutter speed than might be expected for a bright mid-morning day was due to using a polarizing filter that was probably not needed.

Shot in RAW mode and processed in Camera Raw, cropped in Photoshop from horizontal format to vertical format using about 1/3 the original frame . 

Saturday, August 13, 2011


NiZnUsing NiZn batteries in my 580EX flash, I can get off a second or third shot very quickly.  Because I don’t normally use machine gun techniques, I don’t worry too much about overheating the 580EX.  Fire one!  OK, fire two!  Wait a minute, what happened!  No flash?

To my chagrin, three of the eight NiZn batteries that I bragged about only a year ago have gone bad.  They will not hold a charge over time and, right out of the charger, output voltage drops from about 1.8 volts to less than 1.2 volts after about ten full power flashes.  Not acceptable.

My first thought was that, perhaps, the charger was recharging batteries in pairs and that the problem was simply a matter of the recharging procedure.  To compensate, I recharged the four battery set then switched the batteries around several times and recharged again.  No difference in performance.  Then (instruction manual) I learned that the NiZn charger will work with 1, 2, 3 or 4 batteries.

At this point, I’m not quite sure what to do.  The second set of NiZn batteries, purchased about six months ago, seem to work fine.  I’ve been using the NiZn batteries in my flashes routinely but that doesn’t equate to heavy usage.  My plan is to continue to use the NiZn batteries but to monitor performance carefully.   

I sure like the fast recycle time but is it worthwhile if the batteries last only six or eight months?

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Epson 3880


My Epson Stylus Photo 2200 printer had been acting up since earlier this year and finally died the death.  The first symptoms were “fixed” with a reset procedure that I found was all too well known on the web.  After a few more months, all the lights began to flash.  I partially disassembled the 2200 and cleaned every surface I could get to; cleaning and another reset gained a few more months but cost lots of ink – especially light cyan.  Last month all the lights began to flash again and it was decision time:  repair or replace? 

3880Although the 2200 had been a good printer for about eight years, I felt that it was not worthwhile to repair and elected to replace it with an Epson Stylus Pro 3880.  The 3880 can print on wider paper and also has larger ink cartridges.  After shopping the web for a while, I decided on a refurbished 3880 from Adorama.  Buying a refurb saved about $350!



Whereas the 2200 used seven inks, the 3880 uses nine!  Plus the 3880 cartridges have an 80ml capacity in comparison to the 11ml capacity of the 2200.  From what I’ve read, the 3880 uses ink much more efficiently than the 2200.  I sure hope so because the cost of a full set of 3880 inks is about $500 compared to $85 (but multiply by about 7 for volume) for the 2200.


My refurb 3880 came in looking good – new as far as I could tell and, so far so good, has delivered good prints.  In all honesty though, I’ve compared a few 3880 prints to some of my better 2200 prints and can hardly tell the difference.  The 3880 is supposed to be significantly better at Black-and-White printing and I’ll be trying BW next.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

PAW 31


Like I said in the previous post, I had every intention of posting some sort of balloon picture this week; however, I didn’t know that my granddaughter would be getting a puppy!

I know I said that I would attempt to minimize posting pictures of my granddaughter but then could not resist the temptation.  Besides, isn’t this a “paw” theme?

Picture made with Canon 7D, 15-85mm lens, 580EX II bounced off wall behind me.  Settings were ISO 800, manual exposure of 1/160 second, f5.6; shot in RAW and processed in ACR; cropped to about half the original frame.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Balloon Festival


I awoke early today to go to the Baton Rouge Balloon Festival with the specific intent to capture my “Picture of the Week”.  Today was a good day for photographing and, apparently, for ballooning as well because many balloons floated right over the field and very close to the target.  I got a number of nice photos although truthfully none is spectacular.

The balloon festival is held every year although I’ve missed the last two or three. Seems like, in my last attempt, I felt zoom challenged with a 70-200 so this time I carried the longer 100-400mm zoom. Because the balloons came in so close, the 70-200 would have been the better choice this time.  I used my 7D at ISO 800 and manual exposure around 1/500 sec and aperture around f8.  All shots were taken using auto focus with the center spot and “AF-ON”. There were probably a hundred or so photographers with good equipment surrounding the balloon target area so I suspect that there are at least a hundred sets of pictures similar to mine from this morning’s event.  Still, these are mine. 

Rather than feature a single photo, I quickly put a slide show together using the wizard from Proshow Gold.  This was my first time to use the Proshow Wizard and also my first attempt to upload to YouTube from Proshow.  The quality from my first attempt was not very good because the defaults are set for YouTube’s “standard” quality.  I changed the quality to be 720p and that video is much better; however, it still is not particularly good.  Now to retrace those steps and find a better workflow …