Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One for the water theme. Taken in the cold of Pittsburgh.

1/200th F6.3

Next Assignement - LETTERS

Hi All,

Time, or nearly time, for the next subject.

Steven has come up with 3.1547 and the Halcrow costing random number spreadsheet has given us the topic LETTERS.

Due as always end of next month, 30th April.

Get snapping and have fun.

Richard B.

And for those that don’t believe me :-


Hi All,

Firstly nearly end of the month so come and get your butt into gear for those who haven't posted any water yet.
Remember tenuous is allowed. We've had from airport showers and dirty dishes to actual water drops this month so get snapping.

Otherwise time for some abuse,, opps sorry mean motivation ;-)
- Can YOU be ar5ed ?
Well can you ? Some of you have Author privileges and not posting and we only have a limited number of allowed Authors so if you want to read but not post please also let us know.
Also if your not interested at all and feel we are filling your in boxes with spam please shout and will remove you.

- Next Topic
Before picking another topic for next month if anybody has any suggestions to add to the list please shout now and I'll update the random list.
Current potential topics are :-
F5.6 1/1000 what can you do with it?
Car (Singular)
Up the creek
Standing still - theme to shoot your feet in interesting locations.
Paradise by the dashboard light
Self portrait
Shooting from the hip.
Camera Phone
Slow Down
Toys at work
Burj, Al Arab or Kalifa (or opera house for the Aussies)
Side light

Richard B.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Water - Richards Effort

Hi All,

Wanted to do these for ages and have tried before with no luck, however think I have nailed it this time.

First in honor Paul's fantastic wording :-

"Pendulous Precipitation"

However this was not the effect I was after, this was shot into a shallow (1 inch) Pyrex dish and this is the water drop bouncing back, what I wanted was the classic crown :-

Settings :-
Manual Mode
Shutter 200 sec fastest standard sync, the motion is stopped by flash.
Aperture f5.6 (to give some DOF over crown and variations in impact point.
Lens 100mm Macro, manual focus.
Camera on tripod, motor drive and cable release.
One flash camera left, another one camera right on eTTL metering. Controlled by STE-2 controller on camera. Red gel on left strobe and blue gel on right and color bias controlled via ratio function on controller.
A bit (but not much) of PP saturation and sharpen tweak.

Overall I shot 633 images, got 20 okay results and these are the best.

If your interested I've posted some more shots as well as some set up shots on my own blog.

Richard B.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Distortion, Pincushion and Barrel = Nerdy post


Following up on a comment by Paul / Nick on distortion I wanted to add some photos but can't in the comments so hence fresh post.

Both pincushion and barrel distortion are caused by non liner magnification across the image. They are in the same effect but opposite.

Barrel is when the edge of the lens is weaker than the middle. This is the most common and normally seen on wide angle lenses. You often see the tops tall buildings leaning inwards and not vertical with the frame edge, this is barrel distortion.

Pincushion (all one word) is when the edge of the lens is stronger than the middle. this is normally from low end telephoto lenses and not as common these days.

What can you do about it ?
- Keep the image plane (film or sensor) parallel with the subject, however this is difficult if shooting "up" at a building. This evens the effect out rather than correct the problem is though. Paul did a good job this way in Doha.
- Tilt and shift lens, VERY expensive but these you can tilt the lens off the parallel so takes care of the above issue. Both effect are lesser with expensive lenses but not gone.
- Photoshop. You can correct both effect in photoshop but the part of the image is cropped off.

(Images are of Google, same image in multiple sites but think it's thanks to Wiki originally.)

p.s. Sorry for the nerdy post !

Richard B.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reflections on Water

Well, here come my offerings for this month. As Richard so astutely pointed out, with clouds hanging low and pendulous with precipitation, there was going to be no shortage of the wet stuff lying around waiting to be photographed. I tried to avoid the obvious 'taxi plunging through puddle', because there's plenty of those circulating on the interwebs.

Nikon D70s
Sigma 50mm
F/2.8 1/45s

Tried to get some symmetry here, with the gate lights and their reflections in the puddle. The hosepipe also counts as 'water', partly because I liked the splash of contrasting colour and also because I wasn't about to clone it out. That treatment was reserved for the obtrusive red 'No Parking' sign on the wall opposite the gate.

Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 @ 112mm
F/16 1/60s

Having retrieved my camera from the car, I was heading back into the office with intent to take a particular shot that I had in mind. Whilst that shot never happened, I saw the minaret reflected in a puddle and liked the texture. I simply inverted the image.

Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 @ 170mm
F/5.6 1/250s

Dubai Boat Show offered plenty of opportunities for 'Water' as the subject matter. I tweaked up the red gelcoat using a mask so that the red would 'pop' without the water developing a reddish colour cast.

Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 @ 29mm
F/4.2 1/20s
Auto ISO

More Boat Show. It got dark, and I knew from experience that tripods on floating boats and pontoons is a recipe for camera shake, even if some oaf doesn't kick it all into the oggin. So I used the trick of setting the film speed (on a DSLR - Hahaha!) to Auto so that I could hand-hold the camera. There's a little bit of cropping and cloning to get rid of distracting bright lights. Look at the symmetry of the boat in the water, and also note the metalwork at the waterline that just hints of Poseidon's trident.

Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 @ 38mm
F/4.8 1/10s
Auto ISO

Again, hand-held in the dark (don't you just love vibration-reduction lenses?) at the Boat Show. The whole frame is of a sexily lit speedboat, but I thought the coloured reflections were more interesting. The graininess is caused by the high 'film speed' and also the cropping.

I should also note that I wanted to freeze the ripples in the water, so long shutter speeds that would allow blurring were something I actively sought to avoid.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Water - Steven's efforts

I have a couple other ideas but just in case I don't get around to it here are a couple of water shots to keep you all going:

Lighthouse on the Rocks
f4.5 1/2000 ISO200

Washdown Area
(f8, HDR, ISO 200)

I know these two are fairly spurious links to water but what can I say, if it was straight forward it wouldn't be nearly as......as........shutterbug now would it.

The first is the lighthouse at Kiama and has water in the bottom corner.  The second is the showers on site at Sydney Airport in the "Aircraft Dump Bay" which is the lovely area where the airplane toilets are discharged into.  Imagine a GIANT public toilet and proportionally smelly.  This is one place you DON'T want to have a reason to use the emergency shower!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Nick's weird take on water

I actually have another idea I want to try out for this month's homework, which I figure is actually the point of the whole exercise. However, I found myself shooting these the other day. The first is my vaguely customary B+W:
"what the hell is this?"
f2.8; 1/100; ISO1600; 24mm

Then I thought it looked better in colour, in a modern art kind of way. And less slimy, too:
"No seriously, what the hell is that?"
f3.2; 1/125; ISO1600; -1 step exposure; 40mm

The reflection of the light is intentionally placed where it is to contrast with the dark colours, but I feel it's a bit too bright. And the dark colours are not as dark on my laptop as on the back of my camera in bad light. I could gimp it, but I can't be bothered. Anyway, for all those who want to say I should lose the spot altogether, I couldn't get rid of it and still have the water showing up so clearly. So to speak :) And for the techies, the spot is a ceiling mounted 50W halogen.

Now, I also have a cool back-catalogue water photo which is on the other computer, so you'll have to wait for that, along with my intended homework exercise, until my next posting.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Minature / Small World - Richards Effort

Hi All,

Better late than never, so here is my attempt at last months "Miniature / Small world". Following Paul's non photoshop with water I thought I'd be brave and bare all! These are all straight out of camera, not even a watermark !

"Out the toy box"
16mm, 1/13sec, F5.6, Av
Manual Focus (measured)
Tripod (yes inside the box)
Off camera flash top right.

16mm, 1/5sec, F5.6, Av
Off camera flash top center, to help texture.

50mm, f5.6, 2/5sec, Av
Total -2/3 ev.
Flash low left.

"Back Step"
50mm, f5.6, 2/5sec, Av
Total -1/3 ev.
Flash high right -1ev.

"Long grass"
100mm Macro, f2.8, 2.5 sec, Av
Flash top right

50mm, f5.6, 25sec, Av, ISO 200.
(it was dark hence 25s & ISO200).
Flash low right.

As always, comments, abuse and questions welcome.

Richard B.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

WATER: Paul's first pass

I'll post more later this month, but here's a small taster from my back catalogue. No PhotoShopTM.


Nikon F80
Nikkor 28-200
Scanned from a negative, so no EXIF data

Spring is here. This springtime shot of a Canada goose and her brood of goslings was taken in May 2001. Say, "Aaah." Located at Crofton Pumping Station, near the summit pound of the Kennet and Avon canal, I remember being distinctly cold and damp. The overcast skies are why the water is that foreboding gumetal grey. There was no heating in the boat, nor running water.

Reflections of Doha

Nikon F80
Nikkor 28-200
Scanned from a negative, so no EXIF data

At the time, 2001, this was called the Doha Marriott Gulf Hotel. It's now simply the Marriott. I was on the roof of one building, and happened to spot the reflection of the rig support vessels moored nearby.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March - WATER

Hi All,

OOPS, poor form this month, myself included ! promise to try harder.

Anyway just clicked the button for this month and used the same as last time 4 and came up with WATER.
No shortage of that here at the moment so get snapping.

Richard B.