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Squirrels in my yard

The thaws and freezes have been tough on the squirrels, which my wife feeds. Normally this time of year they would be in a squirrel equivalent of hibernation tucked into their nests. The sunshine and promise of peanuts has drawn them out. Roughly six squirrels live in the neighborhood. But the peanuts also bring out […]

Why winter photography can suck.

Winter photography can be much less appealing than other times of the year.

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Bleary sky. Dirty snow. So cold I’ve got to be careful taking the DLSR back inside.

I think I’ll just work up my photos from the fall.

Puddle Art II

Inspiration is found in many forms.¬† I’ve found that my attempts to capture this puddle image with my DLSR is just didn’t work well. But my iPod captures it just as I think it should be. Actually, I think the iPod wide angle optics works better in this case than the DLSR, which tends to breath too much depth and distortion into the image.

The puddle is a large 3 inch deep pothole on the side of the alley down the block. It collects water in it and freezes in nice patterns. I suppose its turning into an unintentional photo project.

Puddle shot from my iPod.

Puddle shot from my iPod.

Bathroom Art

Is it me, or do you find the tiger painting over a baby changing station disturbing also?

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How to turn a mediocre scene into a great shot.

Photography always comes down to; did you capture it right?

Blogs, websites, and Twitter are full of helpful hints and guidance on proper use of a DLSR. ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, White Balance, Histogram, Program Controls, Manual Controls are all significant aspects of making an image.

But a good photograph still depends on the underlying foundation of Composition and Perspective.

Last weekend I was walking the dog down by the tracks in town and came upon this scene.

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Panorama of Tracks next to Selinsgrove Inn. Shot on an iPod.

The rail line is a spur connecting the regional line to a few businesses and the local university (Susquehanna University). Trains are uncommon, at perhaps few times a week, and the rail bed is in rough shape. One line is out of commission. The panorama above captures pretty well the location and environment. It is not particularly photogenic as a landscape or an architectural shot. Other than the dog, the only good aspect is the sky.

grass, railroad, rail bed, abandoned

Wide Angle shot of Abandoned track.

But the tuft of grass growing in the rail bed was interesting. However the background, at best, detracts from the shot and had to be removed. The angle from the shot above plows the grass into the tracks and bed. This necessitates it being tighter and lower to the ground.

Cropped and worked up image of abandoned track. f2.0, 1/1500, ISO 250, Nikkor f1.8 35mm DX

Cropped and worked up image of abandoned track. f2.0, 1/1500, ISO 250, Nikkor f1.8 35mm DX

I used a f1.8 35mm DX lens. That’s the rough equivalent of a 50mm lens on a full frame sensor. Fortunately these inexpensive primes are clear from side to side. Additionally, it let me open way up to render a nice soft bokah. Note that the for ground¬† and background are blurred. At f2, only the grass is really in focus, which adds emphasis. My other walk about lens is a 18-105 mm 3.5-5.6. With that lens, I’d be able to shoot at maybe f4.8, which would have brought the ugly houses in the background into significantly sharper focus.

What did I do in Post? Not a whole lot. I’m a journeyman at best in LR and PS. At 35mm, I had to crop out the telephone pole and building on the left. I did have to warm the white balance, which was much to cool for the actual image and brought out the yellows/oranges a bit to make it pop. Finally, because it was a cloudy day, I shot at a half stop over and used the gradient tool to mute the clouds which were too bright. A higher resolution version is found here.

Hope you liked my process on this shot. I’ll be posting as regularly as life and employment allow.

I’ll be happy to field questions if you have any.

Cheers,

CameraChemist

It’s full of stars

Night photography is challenging to do well and there are thousands of fantastic shots.
My half hearted attempt was really just an excuse to try out my new shutter release cable.

Shot at f3.5, 18mm, and 35 second. A little post production to liven it up.
I’ll update with a properly worked up photo later.

Feel free to comment.
Cheers
CameraChemist

Puddle Art

Frozen puddle

Frozen puddle

As a boy, puddles were one of my favorite things. My parents thought otherwise. When winter came, puddles were not as much of an issue. Until we jumped on the frozen puddle, broke through and soaked our boots.

As an adult, the frozen contours fascinated me. And as abstract art, the puddles are quite photogenic.