Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Digital and Film

My photography has progressed over the years, with the magic of digital cameras it makes learning and taking more pictures possible. In a year I have take almost four thousand pictures, that would have been over a hundred and fifty rolls of twenty-four exposure film. Just processing would have made that almost impossible for me to afford doing.

Don't get me wrong, I think shooting film is great. With the ability to scan slide or negative film into the computer, shooting film still has a place in my life. But digital makes learning easier. I can see what something is going to look like while the shot is still set up and I don't have to completely set the shot up again a week later when I'm shooting digital. That's pretty cool. I like that.

Wish I had someone to talk with about what i'm doing right and what still needs work in my photography. Looking at my FlickR stream, I see I'm all over the place with my images, there is a lot of different kinds of shots. Which is good I'm versatile. I have posted about 6% of the photographs I have taken. I could use some feedback about how to get better results. Anyone?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Spiny Shell Fish

This was fun to take photo's of this shell fish. Maybe not fun to step on in the wild, but decent enough on my bookshelf. I don't know much about this shell fish, only that I have had it for a long time. I hope the person that gave it to me, didn't think my nature was like this shell.

Maybe this image will peak your curiosity and give you something to think about. Maybe you will click through and take a look at some of my other work. that would be cool. I like this image for it's simplicity and depth, I wonder what kind of creature lived in this shell? Maybe you know something about this kind of shell fish? If you know what this is please leave a comment.

Spiny Shell Fish

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Yellow Rose: Signs of Friendship

The yellow rose is sometimes best used as a symbol of friendship. I think this one makes a nice token to bring a smile to your face and cheer you on. Remember that if you want roses or results, you have to work day to day to get it. Put that extra effort into making that friendship work and see the results!

Yellow Rose

Broken Feather

I used to have a friend that went by lucky feather, I always felt blessed in her presence. But sometimes something broken can be good too. You just have to look for the good in the situation. Some bird lost it's feather, a new one will grow in and be just as good. So our lives sometimes we loose feathers and we have to wait for them to grow back and be better.

If you have friends with broken feathers, don't worry; they will grow back.

Taken with a 100mm macro lens and Rosco LED light panel. 

Broken Feather

My First Dragonfly Photo

I took this photo the day my dog died. I think it was a gift my "Roxy" to help heal the pain of losing her. Some people believe that the Dragonfly is symbolic of changes that things are going to get better after a difficult struggle.

This Dragonfly was perched in the tree in the backyard and didn't fly away, he must have been sleeping. In my grief and pain, I have seen change and this picture reminds me that life has opportunities and possibilities. We just have to look for them.


Color Photographs: Color Temperature

Color Photographs

As you progress in your experience with photography, one of the things you need to think about is color temperature. You have probably seen the setting on your camera that says: "AWB" this stands for Auto White Balance. Which means that the camera will try to set the color temperature for you. This is fine under some circumstances, but not great if your shooting in the shade or with studio lighting, using a flash, or mixed lighting.

In black and white you don't have to worry about the color temperature because it doesn't often make a difference. If your working with color it makes a big difference. If your taking more than just a few photos, having the color balance set correctly will save you a lot of time in Photoshop. One way to get the right color balance is to use a white card in the first image then correct the white balance in photoshop and save the setting. Then apply the setting to the other images that were taken in the same session. I can tell you a way that is better.

Set your camera up, use a white card and expose the first image. Be sure to get the exposure right and just where you want it. Load the first image into Lightroom and choose the develop menu. Select the eye drop tool and set the white balance from the white card in your properly exposed image. You may want to move the color temperature slider around a bit to make it warmer but when you find the right temperature then:  See the color temperature on the right side? Write that number down, then set the white balance in your camera to that same number. Then every image you expose under this condition will be exposed with the right setting without having to correct a lot in photoshop.

When your finished with your photo shoot, be sure to set the white balance in your camera back to "AWB" so it's ready to go for your next shoot.

The color temperature in Lightroom shows that you have blues on the left of the slider and more yellow on the right of the slider. Your job is to find the right color temperature that looks most natural for your image. Too much blue and it looks cold and unwelcome, especially photographs of people need to be warmer in tone unless your trying to make them look like a villain.

Learn how to see the color temperature in Lightroom and Photoshop, this will add to your abilities in color photography and will enhance the look of your photographs.

Shutter Speed, F-Stop, ISO: Measurement of light

Good photography is simply the correct measurement of light. There are three ways light is measured by, the ISO, the f-stop, and the shutter speed. Each of these three pieces must be correctly understood to get the best results.

The first thing to understand is the ISO, this is how we measure the sensitivity to light. Whether it's film or digital the sensitivity to light is measured by a number, these numbers span from 25 to more than 8000. The lower the number the less sensitive to light, the higher numbers are more sensitive to light.

What does this mean? Simply put an ISO of 100 is about normal for daylight photography, while giving good quality images. The higher the ISO the more noise or film grain will be visible. If your working in low light you may need a higher ISO to get the shot. Most digital cameras do not go lower than 100 ISO, but some will go much higher.

Here are the most common film ISO speeds: 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800. These are in one stop increments, notice that the numbers double every stop? That's normal one stop increments. There are also half stop and one third stop increments too, you may see these settings with some digital cameras. Just remember that the higher the number the more sensitive to light and the noise increases too.

The second thing to understand is the f-stop. This controls how much light will be exposed to the film or sensor. Note this only controls how much light will be visible, the shutter speed controls how long the light is seen. The f-stop works in the lens, you can sometimes see it when you look into the lens and press the shutter release button, it opens and closes depending upon what setting you use. Wide open the f-stop may be somewhere as big as f2.8 or as small as f32, it depends upon what your lens can do; you may want to see what settings are available on your camera.

Some common f-stops are as follows going from more light to less light: f2.8, f4.0, f5.6, f8.0, f11, f16, f22, f32. These are full stop increments and there are half stops between each of these numbers. Sometimes half or one third stops are useful to get a more accurate exposure. Remember correct exposure is how accurately we measure the light, more accurate we measure the light the better the quality. The f-stop also controls the depth of field which I will talk about in another post.

The third part of understanding exposure is how long the film or sensor is exposed to light. This is called the shutter speed. Shutter speeds are set by the camera most of the time, values range from a second or more to fractions of a second. Going from slow shutter speeds to fast shutter speeds, common shutter speeds look like this: 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000. Remember there are half stops and one third stops between these numbers to help more accurately measure the light.

Fast shutter speeds stop motion, while slow shutter speeds will cause motion to blur or camera shake that will both cause blurry photographs. If your photographing a fast moving subject you want a shutter speed fast enough to capture the action. For still life you may want a slow shutter speed while the camera is on a tripod, with a small f-stop to get the best depth of field possible.

Measure your light carefully and your results will be best. Understand how your camera measures light and you will be a master in no time.

Monday, August 10, 2015


This photograph of rocks was taken in the early 2000's with a Canon 10D. Rocks are a good subject because they hold still long enough to get their picture. I still have these rocks, somewhere in my collection. Some of these are very old, but most rocks are well worn and tired of being famous.


Reverse Osmosis

This photograph was taken back in the early 90's. It was a slide that was printed on black and white paper and hand colored with Photo oils. I still think this is one of my most creative works that was more original. Speaking of originals, there is only one print of this that is an original in the world. Any other print is likely a copy.

Reverse Osmosis

Clock Time

Here is an old photograph taken with a Maymia camera. This was back in the days of film. I still have the slide from this shot sitting on my bookshelf. Maybe not the most archival way to store it, but I like seeing it from time to time.

Clock Time

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Poem: Defeat

Edgar A. Guest

No one is beat till he quits,
No one is through till he stops,
No matter how hard Failure hits,
No matter how often he drops,
A fellow's not down till he lies
In the dust and refuses to rise.

Fate can slam him and bang him around,
And batter his frame till he's sore,
But she never can say that he's downed
While he bobs up serenely for more.
A fellow's not dead till he dies,
Not beat till no longer he tries.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Poem: Failures

By Edgar A. Guest

'Tis better to have tried in vain,
Sincerely striving for a goal,
Than to have lived upon the plain
an idle and a timid soul.

'Tis better to have fought and spent
your courage, missing all applause,
Than to have lived in smug content
And never ventured for a cause.

For he who tries and fails may be
The founder of a better day;
Though never his the victory,
From him shall others learn the way.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


by Edger A. Guest

This is courage: to remain
Brave and patient under pain;
Cool and Calm and firm to stay
In the presence of dismay;
Not to flinch when foes attack,
Even though you're beaten back;
Still to cling to what is right,
When the wrong possesses might.

This is courage: to be true
To the best men see in you;
To remember, tempest-tossed,
Not to whimper, "All is lost!"
But to battle to the end
While you still have strength to spend;
not to cry all hope is gone
While you have life to carry on.

This is courage: to endure
Hurt and loss you can not cure;
Patiently and undismayed,
Facing life still unafraid;
Glad to live and glad to take
Bravely for your children's sake,
Burdens they would have to bear
if you fled and ceased to care.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

in the spirit of beowulf

From across the oceans upon stormy waters arrived the men of fame. The legendary tronwolf introduced himself saying, "We are geeks, programmers from old, we have come from the grid to rid your land of a monster." the wise king replied, "How can you rid our land of these windows?"

Tronwolf replied, "We shall go through the matrix and fight them at their source." The king thought about these words a long time before saying, "Tis certain doom to enter the matrix from here, even for a hero."

Tronwolf from the fold in his armor brings forth an install disk and says, "We've brought with us the installer for Macintosh OS X, behold!"

The great and mighty king could have cried from joy that a hero has come from the grid to rid his land of the monster windows. "Oh tronwolf, should you purge our lands from this monster, you shall be remembered always as a hero."

Tronwolf replied, "Tis not fame we seek, nor your gold, if we die it shall be for glory."