Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Off Topic: Real Estate and TV

My daughter, Laura Buck Smith, will be featured on HGTV’s “Bang for your Buck” on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 1:30pm (Baton Rouge time and COX cable).  Laura and a designer from New York walked through three homes in south Louisiana and discussed the pros and cons of renovations.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PAW 38

Rural Life Harvest DaysI returned to the Rural Life Museum for their Harvest Days festival and quickly visited the old blacksmith’s shop with my fingers crossed that the blacksmith would be there.  Using the Canon 7D with the (inexpensive) 50mm prime at f1.8, ISO 800 and 1/125 second, I got several variations on this theme but liked this one best. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

PAW 37

Rural Life

When I want to try out a new piece of photo equipment or a new technique, I often go to the Rural Life Museum.    I’ve been wanting to re-visit my Canon 50mm f1.8 lens for some time and today seemed a good day for it.  The Canon 50mm is not a great lens but is OK and does offer an out-of-focus background that some like to call “bokeh”.   I walked around for a couple of hours today shooting my 7D only with the Canon 50mm almost always at f1.8.  Of the pictures I took, this is my choice for PAW.  It was taken at ISO 800, f1.8 at 1/30 second in the “schoolhouse” at Rural Life Museum.

Although my first thought was to covert this image to B/W, I prefer this somewhat desaturated version as processed from RAW in ACR because it is more representative of what I was seeing in that dim light.  This version is slightly cropped to 1024x768 screen resolution (as are most of my PAW shots).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

S100 Announced

Today Canon announced the launch of its latest PowerShot camera, the S100.  The S100 appears to be a significant upgrade to last year’s S95 and manages to squeeze quite a lot of features into a small package.  More details from Canon at the S100 page.

CanonRumors first predicted that the S100 would be announced Tuesday and then revised that prediction to be today.

In my own predictions, I was both right and wrong but missed many details.  First of all, my prediction was built around a successor to the G12 – which I called the G14.   However, I acknowledged that the emphasis would be on the successor to the S95 – which I correctly predicted would be called the S100.  (Seems obvious now but many thought that S100 would not be “reused” because of the S100 Digital Elph in 2000.)   I thought that the announcement would come in late August and would include both the G14 and S100.

I got the “Digic V” right (duh) and even the new sensor and 12MP but gave up too soon on Canon using CMOS in that size sensor.  Because I’d given up on CMOS, I did not predict full HD video.  I didn’t think to predict a lens both wider and longer for the S100.  On the other hand, I did predict GPS (for the G14).

In predicting the G14, I once again thought that it would be the last of the G series but now it appears that the G12 is the last G standing.  Or is it?  Canon has not said that the G series has ended.  Canon has simply not announced a new G series camera.  The new CMOS sensor in 1/1.7 inch format is a key consideration.  At this point, the only Canon cameras using the 1/1.7 inch sensor format are/were the S and G series.  If Canon does not continue with a CMOS G14 then the S100 will be their only camera using that sensor.  This makes me think that there will be a CMOS G14 in the near future (well, probably early next year).   Enticingly, that CMOS G14 probably out-specs the S100!

Dpreview has posted their hands-on preview of a pre-production S100.  Very interesting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PAW 36


First official soccer practice!  Soon these five year olds will be playing their very first game – should be a blast!

I like my Canon G12 but for these action shots I very much prefer the 7D; in fact, it is not much of a contest.  For future practices and games, I’ll be using the 7D with 70-200mm zoom as I prowl the sidelines.

Friday, September 9, 2011

TS Lee Damage

TS Lee

Although when posting PAW 35 I thought we had completely escaped Tropical Storm Lee without any damage, the next day I found this tree blown over.  This is the same tree that blew over in Katrina and then in Gustav.  Although it is now upright and braced, I’m pessimistic about its recovery this time.

(I don’t intend to belittle TS Lee because it damaged many homes and lives.  I’m thankful we were spared any real damage.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PAW 35

PAW 35

With Tropical Storm Lee raining down on us for a few days and thankful that I’ve been without resulting photojournalism opportunities, I arranged (that is, walked into the dining room) a High Dynamic Range (HDR) scene.  Even with the overcast sky, outside was much, much brighter than inside.  Checking a few exposures, it seemed that there was about a six stop difference without the overhead light.

With the G12, I took eight shots, one stop apart at ISO 80 and f5.6.  I then turned on the overhead light to illuminate the flowers and got one more shot. The eight bracketed shots were combined in Photomatix to get the 32 bit HDR image and then Tonemapped to a 16 bit TIF.  The lighted flowers were added as a 50% opacity layer in Photoshop and everything masked off except the flowers.  More Photoshopping and then cropped to this oblong aspect ratio to eliminate some background clutter.

This is one of the better HDR images that I’ve made in a while so I’m pleased to call it PAW 35.

Triumph TR6


So what does my long-ago Triumph TR6 have to do with photography?  Well, for one thing, this shot was among my first attempts to learn photography.  The camera was most likely my Konica T2, which I still have – unlike the TR6.  If the Konica, then the lens was certainly the Hexanon 52mm f1.8 because that was the only lens I had for many years.  The film was probably Ektrachrome – I didn’t make note of it when the slide was scanned probably 15 years ago.  Someday that slide will turn up again and I’ll take notes while scanning on a better scanner.