Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Butterfly at Neary Lagoon

Saw this pretty butterfly at Neary Lagoon. He was nice enough to hold still awhile while I tried to take a photo with the boardwalk/bridge ptiching underneath me while people kept walking by.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Star weaver

Walked outside last night late and saw this rather large spider on a web a good three feet across. The suspending threads spanned at least twelve feet: from the edge of the porch all the way across our front walk and anchored to the plum tree by a single thread. Amazing. I got out the camera and a couple of flash units.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What does that wedding ring really mean?

Every once on a while I catch a photo which really means a lot to me.

RAW moth

Shot one image above in RAW and saved it in PNG (a no compression format), the other in JPEG at max quality. One image is about twice the file size of the other after processing, downsizing and all. Both are at 1600 iso by porchlight, hand held at about a 60th I think. F2.8 with my 105 macro. Otherwise there are DOF differences because I walked in closer on one than the other etc. Very little light in the room.

The one thing I noticed was how much easier it was to correct the white balance after the fact in RAW, rather than messing around with the red and yellow hue adjustments in photoshop on the JPEG. I haven't goofed around with RAW in years, and have been shooting in Large/fine jpeg for a long time. Near as I can tell, as long as my exposure is within reason, and the white balance too-- I have no reason whatsoever to shoot those RAW images which are three times as large (by file size) and therefore hog space on my flash card, bog down my camera and then do the same to my computer and hard drive. Basically, RAW takes up more time and space every step of the way. This is one of the times when I pretty much agree with Ken Rockwell.

But the circumstance of shooting by lamplight does seem to justify RAW-- the auto WB setting on the camera didn't quite seem to nail it, having a go with a custom WB setting didn't either (but it did come close). To be fair, the porchlight and lamplight both have a yellow cast to the eye, so correcting all the way to white isn't that accurate-- but I like being ABLE to so easily move a single slider and get just the white balance I may creatively want, and to boot I get a read-out which tells me exactly what the color temp is by kelvin, nice ! Now why can't I do that with a JPEG? Anyway, it's good to experiment sometimes. Back in 2002 my camera really couldn't handle RAW files very well at all, and neither could most software. I'd really prefer it if I could dial in the color temp directly on my camera by kelvin, not by silly "shade" or "sun" icons. The less tweaking I have to do in post production, the better. If I could count on my auto-white balance setting on the camera, I'd be a happy camper. Most of the time it's pretty close, but I think Sheryl and I both have cameras that won't go to 2750 kelvin as a standard setting, for example. I think I heard that the newer camera bodies do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bride with baby

I've always liked this one.

Weddings can be fun

Sheryl reminds me that weddings can be a lot of fun-- happy people having a good time, no bridezilla, and that indeed we don't have to take every wedding offered to us. My model above would only agree to wear a traditional wedding gown if she got to choose the shoes and the stockings. Ha. Good one. She's a full time pro wedding photographer and when she asked me to shoot her wedding I really didn't want to do it. We had a good time and she was grateful.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's a future self?

Wouldn't it be great if we could access our best possible future, then send that future self back in time to counsel us how to get there? That would be cool. Lets try that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Go green!

I'm probably as upset about gasoline prices as the next guy, especially in light of the fact that I have yet to hear a plausible explanation for the sharp increase in such a short time. Yeah, it's truly a non-renewable resource and yes we will run out of the stuff, but we didn't suddenly start running out yesterday. Looking on the bright side however-- we probably don't need to drive as much as we do. We probably could grow some of our own food in the back yard. We could likely start investing in solar, starting with our own homes. We could certainly use bicycles and consider a bike trailer to haul the groceries instead of the SUV. That guy who taught people how to make their own backyard still to make alcohol for fuel-- he could come out of the woodwork again, just like he did during the 1970's gas crisis. A lot of cool things could happen. Starts with a change of intention.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New portraits

Vivian modeled for us today. She has a great look, good taste and good instincts for posing. Sheryl took the opportunity to assist and we got a lot of great shots in just one hour. I'm still editing the images but this is one of my favorites. Click the photos to see them slightly larger.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Moody Beach at Marina

Sheryl and I embarked on a jaunty little excursion today. We drove South. Hard to have a really cheerful fourth of July when so much of California is on fire. We know people in some of these areas, including Big Sur, and we feel for them and hope they'll come out of this all right. That's Sheryl on the beach.