Sunday, October 30, 2011

PAW 43

Butterfly Weed

With my granddaughter playing soccer, I’m spending more time with my 7D than with my G12.  Today, in my attempt to recover from watching the Saints football game, I grabbed the 7D and walked around in our garden looking for close-ups.  Normally I prefer to use the G12 for “macro” photography but it seemed natural to use the 7D today.  At first, I tried the Canon 85mm prime lens but it really doesn’t focus close enough so I switched to the 15-85mm zoom because it has  “macro” focusing. 

I planted “Butterfly Weed” last year in hopes of getting many easy photos of butterflies.  Maybe next year.  Meanwhile, the butterfly weed is very colorful and does attract various critters.  This shot was taken at ISO 400, f11, 1/250 second from about a foot away (not the minimum focus distance) and is cropped to perhaps one third of the original.

There’s no need to discuss how many attempts it took to get this shot! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

PAW 42

PAW 42

It’s that time of year when I begin my annual search for hay bales to photograph.  This one, not too far from my house, was taken in mid-morning with my Canon 7D.  This is another HDR composited image and made from five shots:  -2, –1, 0, +1, +2 EV exposures.  Looking at the above HDR image as I write, it appears to show some haloing; however, the full screen version and the print version do not show this effect. 

HDR processing was done in Photomatix from .tif files processed from RAW in ACR.  Although I often use the “compressor” mode in Photomatix, this one was processed with “details enhancer”.  The tonemapped version was then opened in Photoshop for final processing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

PAW 41

Ski Side

Still trying for my pier-in-fog picture, I captured this early morning scene with my G12 at ISO 800, f3.2, 1/100 in manual exposure mode.  The shot was taken in RAW and converted in ACR to color, then converted in Topaz B/W to the final version.  The B/W conversion used one of the Topaz presets that is supposed to produce low contrast with vignette and simulate Tri-X film.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ultra-Micro Camera-Like Device


LightDescription is pleased to announce the development of a new photographic capture tool: the Ultra-Micro Camera-Like Device (UMCLD). The UMCLD represents the ultimate miniaturization of digital cameras. Key to the commercialization of the UMCLD is the continued development of the tri-layer Sensor/Processor/Display Unit (SPDU).

I can already hear the detractors: “Hey, wait a minute! That’s just a lens cap with a piece of duck tape on it!” OK, so it’s a mockup of the concept. The mockup clearly illustrates not only the current direction of digital camera development but also the problems of optics and physical size.

UMCLDIt seems that we (well, not me personally) know how to continually reduce the size and simultaneously increase the performance of electronic devices such as computers and cameras – yes, the “camera” is now an electronic device. In fact, the modern “camera” could easily be lumped into the category of “computer”. While the “camera” is ever being reduced in size, lenses are a different matter. Apparently the laws of optics are strongly enforced and continue to impose restrictions on the physical size of lenses.

One has only to glance at recent camera announcements to realize that, instead of attaching the lens to the camera, the camera is actually attached to the lens. The UMCLD is a logical extension of this trend.

True, the UMCLD will be highly menu driven and operated but that trend is also well underway. Perhaps some controls could be moved to the “lens” (even though a true photo enthusiast will want an adaptor for attaching the UMCLD to his existing lens collection).

UMCLDThinking of adaptors for the UMCLD, the iUMCLD Adaptor is a natural!

… and the UMCLD is pocketable*!


* pocketability varies with pocket size and style as well as personal preferences such as fit of the garment. Lens not included.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

PAW 40

Soccer Game 2

Not much time for photography this week – unless you count the thousand plus shots I took at two soccer games for five year olds.  Of those shots, I like this one best even though it is not of my granddaughter. 

Taken with the Canon 7D, 85mm lens at f1.8, 1/640 second, ISO 400.  Processed from RAW in ACR, slightly cropped.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs R.I.P.

I just learned of the death of Steve Jobs.  It is said that Steve Wozniak invented the Apple computer but Steve Jobs invented the Apple company.  Although I did not know Steve Jobs personally, I came to respect him greatly as a visionary.  He made his mark and the world, especially the world of technology, will miss him greatly.

In the ‘80s, I bought an Apple IIc “for my son”.  It was interesting but not quite what I needed or imagined.  Later I considered an original Mac but could not see how it could be programmed for engineering use.  I was correct in both cases but still missed the Apple/Mac experience.

I now have an iPhone and iPad.  The Mac looks ever more interesting, especially for photography.

Thanks, Steve.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Visual Science Lab–Gone?

Kirk Tuck of the Visual Science Lab Blog has signed off or, perhaps better said, blogged off.  He gives his reasons in a final post but I suspect he is simply burned out.  Kirk is a very prolific writer and it seemed that he posted a new entry every day – sometimes more than one.  I usually checked Visual Science Lab every day and included it in my list here of “Blogs I Like”. 

Then again, perhaps Kirk will not be gone very long.  Already he has been invited to be an occasional author for The Online Photographer and readily accepted the offer.  I hope so.

In the meantime, I’ll leave the link to Visual Science Lab here as a blog that I like.  Apparently it will remain online for some time and contains much good information and food for thought. 

Best wishes to Kirk Tuck (and hurry up with the next book!).

Popular Pics

PAW 35

Based on views at SmugMug, PAW 35 is the most popular of my PAW photos during the last month.  PAW 25, also an HDR rendering, is second most popular.

Looking at the year-to-date (not entirely fair to the more recent PAW), PAW 6 (below) is by far the most popular picture.  PAW 3 is a distant second for the year.


My own favorite, so far, is also PAW 6 although I’m not sure it will be moved into my Top Ten gallery.  For my Top Ten, based on SmugMug statistics for the year, the most popular picture is “Plantation Bedroom”.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

PAW 39

HGTV Party

As mentioned previously, my daughter was featured on HGTV’s “Bang for your Buck” yesterday.  Last night we had a little party to celebrate. 

HGTV Party

Yes, these are simple family snapshots and not at all what I intended to use for my Picture a Week series.  On the other hand, they are decent snapsnots and, in all honesty, the best shots from last week.  Taken with Canon 7D, 580EXII with Stofen diffuser, 1/2 CTO gel, ISO 1600, 1/100 sec at f5.6.  Processed from RAW in CS5.  Noise reduction using Noiseware Pro.