Posts Tagged ‘Photo’

Walking on Esplanade

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

I took a walk around the neighborhood (Esplanade Ave) while I was waiting for my friends to arrive and I found some neat things to take some shots of. A cemetery, statues, some neat shadows, a park and a particularly entertaining pelican.  Have a

Esplanade

Esplanade

Light and Shadow

Light and Shadow

Characteristically Sunny

Characteristically Sunny

Padre

Padre

Eruption

Eruption

Pelican

Pelican

Zoning In

Zoning In

Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing

Cruisin'

Cruisin'

Who's Next

Who's Next

White Knuckle Ranch – 2 Nov 2011 – Part 1

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Chris Shaw at White Knuckle Ranch

Chris Shaw at White Knuckle Ranch

Brittany Rucker

Brittany Rucker

White Knuckle

White Knuckle

Chris Torres

Chris Torres

Chris Torres

Chris Torres

Motocross

Motocross

Brittany Rucker

Brittany Rucker

Motocross

Motocross

Motocross

Motocross

Brittany Rucker

Brittany Rucker

Sundown On Another Day

Sundown On Another Day

Biff Buzby’s Friday Night Cruise

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

I went out to Biff Buzby’s Friday Night Cruise in North San Antonio tonight.  It’s basically a bunch of folks with really cool vehicles who show up at this great burger joint and hang out for awhile.  So what better time to grab the camera and take some shots?  I must admit, I’m not really all that pleased with the shots I got.  It got dark much quicker than I thought and I didn’t take a flash.  Next time, I’ll try to remember.

There was an Elvis impersonator there (See bottom picture).  Now I grew up outside Memphis and lived in Vegas so I take my Elvis impersonator’s very seriously and this guy was pretty good!  The whole outing was a complete blast.

Now before we get to the pictures, I just have to put a plug out there for Biff Buzby’s Burgers.  The service was great and the food was outstanding!  Best turkey sandwich ever!  Go check them out at 12702 Toepperwien in San Antonio.

Well, on with the pictures.

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

Biff Buzby's Friday Night Cruise

I found Elvis!!

I found Elvis!!

Shoot The Moon

Friday, October 14th, 2011
Shoot The Moon

Shoot The Moon

There was a gorgeous moon out last night so I drove to the front of the ranch with camera to get a shot. I’ve enjoyed shooting the moon for a couple of years now, but had great trouble capturing it early on. The problem stems from I (and my camera) tried to approach this as if I was shooting in the dark, but from an exposure point of view, I’m not. This shot was taken at f14, 1/320th ISO 800 with the white balance set for daylight. I used a cheap Sigma 70-300 lens that I normally use to shoot motocross. I had the camera on a tripod, but I have gotten decent ones hand held. I took some that I still have to process at f32 which I am hoping will be sharper.

It took some research and experimentation to figure out that even though it’s dark outside, when you photograph a nice moon, you are capturing bright, reflected sunlight, and there is a surprisingly large amount. The problem is the camera meter sees a WHOLE LOT of dark around this one bright spot. Consequently, you HAVE to shoot it fully manual, including focus. It’s impossible for the focusing system to gather enough data to do it’s job, so you have to do it for it.

I think I might time out a future moon night and rent a 500mm L glass and see if I can really do it justice.

Scott Kelby Photowalk 2011

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

It’s that time of year again, and thank God they moved that time of year!  I did the first and second Scott Kelby Photowalks when they were held in mid July but in San Antonio, it’s so hot, I skipped out on the next one.  Now they have moved it to October and I was ecstatic.  I decided to challenge myself and only take my 85mm prime and see what I could come up with.  We met up in front of the Alamo (which seems to be where we always meet) and walked around downtown San Antonio.  I enjoyed it, but really didn’t like the results.  That being said, I usually put up some photos here whether I like them or not, so here’s a few examples of what I got.  Point and laugh at will…

 

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

Snoozin'

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

1991

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

Rivercenter

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

Deep In The Heart Of Texas

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

Climbing

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

Play that thang!

Scott Kelby Photowalk - San Antonio, TX 2011

You Rang

Photographing Incense Smoke Tutorial – Part 3 – Rainbow Smoke

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Here is the final installment of the ‘Photographing Incense Smoke’ tutorial series.  To see how to actually photograph the smoke, see Part 1 or if you want to see the single color post processing technique, see Part 2. This one is just a slight departure from Part 2, where we post processed the smoke to give it some great color.  Well, in this one, we’re going to make the smoke multi-colored.

First, load up your smoke picture into photoshop and adjust the brightness, if you need to, as described in Part 2.

Load up your photo

Load up your photo

Simply select Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient.

New Gradient Fill Layer

New Gradient Fill Layer

In the New Layer dialog, in the mode drop down, select Color and click Ok.

Color Mode

Color Mode

In the Gradient Editor dialog, select the Gradient Preset that you like and click Ok.

Select the Gradient Pattern

Select the Gradient Pattern

That’s it!  There’s nothing to it.  Enjoy!

There ya go!

There ya go!

The Final Product

The Final Product

Photographing Incense Smoke Tutorial – Part 2 – Post Processing

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

This is part 2 of the tutorial on photographing incense smoke.  Part 1 covered photographing the smoke. (Here is part 1)  In this portion of the tutorial, we will start the topic of post processing.  For almost all my photography, I post process in Adobe Lightroom, however, incense smoke is an exception.  For smoke, I use Photoshop.  The example screens shown here are from Photoshop CS5.5, although it should work at least back to CS4.  (For those of you who are using Photoshop Elements, I haven’t tried it, but I think it can be done.  In the next couple of weeks, I’ll attempt it and post a tutorial for that if it can be done.)

To start, open your smoke photo in photoshop.

Open in Photoshop

Open in Photoshop

After opening your smoke picture in Photoshop, the first thing to do is to duplicate the background layer.  This basically just gives you and easy place to come back to in case something goes haywire.

Duplicate Background Layer

Duplicate Background Layer

Next, we want to adjust the brightness of the smoke to make it pop out from the background a bit more.  I do this with Levels.  Create a new adjustments layer  by selecting Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels.

Adjust the levels

Adjust the levels

Drag the white arrow directly under the histogram to the left to brighten the image.  Be careful not to drag it too far as you want the background to remain solid black.

Adjust the levels

Adjust the levels

For the next step, you need to decide what kind of smoke picture you want, black background or white background.  If you want a black back ground, congratulations!  You’re there, you can skip this step.  If you want a white background, select Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Invert.  This will invert the color palete and your black background will turn white.  Your smoke will also change color, but don’t worry, we’re going to set the color up in the next step.

Invert

Invert

(I wanted to work on a black background so I didn’t invert, but here is what it would look like if I had.)

To change the smoke color, select Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation.

New Adjusment Layer - Hue/Saturation

New Adjusment Layer - Hue/Saturation

(Note that the screen shot above has the Adjustment Layer selected.  This is an error.  You need to select the background copy layer underneath it, as in the next screen shot.)

Click the Colorize box in the lower right.  Now, adjust the sliders to get a color and saturation level that you like.

Change the Smoke Color

Change the Smoke Color

And here’s what you end up with.

Incense Smoke

Incense Smoke

Well that’s it!  It’s really a pretty simple process in Photoshop.  Next time, I’ll show you how to make the smoke multiple colors instead of a single one.

Rainbow Smoke

Rainbow Smoke

Enjoy!!

Photographing Incense Smoke Tutorial – Part 1 – Capture

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Incense smoke can be one of the neatest subjects to photograph, especially when you toss in a little ‘photoshop magic’ to liven it up.  In this little tutorial, I’ll show you the approach I used (there are others) to shooting incense as well as finishing it up in photoshop.
The most important thing to understand about photographing smoke is proper lighting.  I have talked to numerous people who try and fail at photographing incense because they try to use the on camera flash, but you can’t get these shots with light from the front.  The light MUST come in from the side!  I use a desk lamp on one side and a flash on the other.  (see picture).  Now you might think that this is all for lighting the smoke, but NO!  Only the flash is for the smoke.  The lamp simply lights the smoke enough to allow your camera’s autofocus function to focus on the smoke.
The Setup

The Setup

I set the flash on about half power (simply to decrease recycle time) and zoom it in as far as it will go.  Remember, you are just trying to light the incense, not a whole scene.  I also think it’s a good idea to put a snoot on the flash to really pinpoint the light.

You can improvise a gobo or a snoot with a rubber band and either two small black cards or a large sheet of black construction paper.  With the cards, simply place a piece on each side of the flash (front to eliminate lens flare, on the back to keep the background dark) and attach them to the flash with the rubber band.  With the paper, simply roll it around the flash and attach with a rubber band for the same effect.  For this shoot, I didn’t even use black cards.  I had to laminate passes laying around that worked great.

Improvised Snoot

Improvised Snoot

 

Now, make sure you have some sort of dark background.  I use a black poster fold out.  They are cheap and readily available at hobby stores and probably wal-mart.  It’s like what a kid would use for a science fair display.  You could also use a piece of black cloth.  Position your incense at least a foot and a half in front of your black background.  If you place it to close, you will end up lighting it and the effect of the smoke won’t be as nice.

I use very cheap wireless flash triggers for my flash, but you can use a cable to.  I set the shutter speed to  just under the flash sync speed of the camera.  The reason I go just under is that every once and a while the wireless takes a split second longer to cause the flash to fire, so the lower speed is just insurance.  I usually shoot these at ISO 200 anywhere from f8 – f11.

Ok…incense.  You want a good quality incense.  Not because it’s going to make a difference in the photograph, but you have to smell this stuff up close, so find something you like.  Light the incense and turn the room light off.  Also, no fans, and you may need to turn off the A/C , depending on the vent location.

With the desk lamp on, you should be able to hand hold and autofocus.  (I used to use a tripod, but found it a bit limiting.)  Use the single autofocus point in the center.  If you have problems getting the autofocus to work, you can cheat a little and focus on the tip of the incense then recompose on the incense.

Now just watch for neat patterns to pop up in the incense.  If there is no air movement, the patterns will be straight and boring.  Simply lightly wave your hand or gently blow in the direction of the incense and you should get something interesting.  Take tons of shots and don’t be disappointed if they aren’t all in perfect focus.  Focusing on smoke is a tricky process.

You will end up with something like this:

 

Smoke picture before post processing

Smoke picture before post processing

That’s it for capturing the shot.  Next we have to run it through some post processing which I’ll cover next time.  Enjoy!

Testing out the new T2i

Monday, July 11th, 2011

All of these were shot with the T2i at ISO 3200 with a Canon 85mm lens.  Black and Whites were processed in SilverEFX Pro 2

 

Unicorn in Blue

Unicorn in Blue

Woody the Wonder Akita

Woody the Wonder Akita

Acoustic Dreams

Acoustic Dreams

Memorial Day Motocross at White Knuckle Ranch

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Had a blast today at White Knuckle Ranch!  You can see the full set on my flickr page.

Brittany jump in black and white

Brittany jump in black and white

 

Brittany crash in black and white

Brittany crash in black and white

 

Ouch!

Ouch!

 

Chris

Chris

 

The Race Begins

The Race Begins

 

Brittany

Brittany

Ryan

Ryan

 

Brittany

Brittany

 

Chris in Black and White

Chris in Black and White

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