Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall is in the air!

Yes, folks, the leaves are starting to turn. As I write this, colours are at about 10% around here (in the Minden/Haliburton area) but I just read that Algonquin Park is around 40-49%, the dominant colour is Yellow/Orange and they're even reporting some leaf falls already. Check out the Ontario Parks Fall Colours Report for more information.

Last week I commented on a Bridge technique if you have multiple monitors. I took a picture of the monitors so you could see what I meant. The large monitor on the left is a synchronized window with everything minimized except the preview frame. So I can navigate on the laptop screen and see the detailed images on the other monitor with no sweat. Here's the picture:

Now some notes about missed shots... I can't show you the pictures, I missed them!

Open your Eyes
I stopped enroute up North the other day, for some pictures of a causeway running along the water's edge. I've often meant to stop there but never did before. Too bad, because I've seen boats navigating the waterway and the juxtaposition of a boat and a car would be interesting.

Anyway, I took some pictures from different vantage points, and shot a couple of pictures from the roadway, including this not-very-interesting shot of some flowers.

Now take a closer look at the top of the hydro pole in the photo. Yes, a large hawk or eagle's nest. I flat out didn't see it. And I was standing about 30' away from it a few minutes later, and never looked up. Open your eyes! (Fortunately, I know exactly where this is. I'll be baaaaak...)

Don't leave home without it!
I was in Toronto, enroute to dinner with my folks, and had left the camera at home. I had an excuse: I was driving a loaner car while mine was in the shop and didn't want to leave the camera with my car so I left it at home. I missed the greatest picture: there's an old graveyard at Bathurst and King Road, and there was some construction so cars and trucks were creating a dust cloud. The setting sun lit the dust in the air so you can imagine the sunbeam effect behind an old graveyard... I missed it.

Up North, I always take the camera. Often, I'll mount the 200mm lens and leave it on the seat beside me in case I have a chance at some wildlife. I had a deer sighting a couple of months ago on the way to my cousin's place in Haliburton, and all I had to shoot with was my Blackberry. Take your camera. You never know...

Speaking of my cousin...
I had an enjoyable dinner and evening at his place in Haliburton this weekend. After dinner, the guitars came out, accompanying his daughter Lindsay (who will be married in a couple of weeks!), who has an awesome singing voice. Another cousin, from the other side of the family, though, is a professional musician: he's a bassist and also a composer and arranger and has some impressive shows under his belt. Anyway, he didn't have an instrument with him... or did he? Yes indeed. An i-Phone. Which he plugged into some speakers. First he played it as a piano keyboard, then he switched to a bass. Fantastic! Here's a shot of them doing their thing, with a couple of insets so you can see Lindsay and the i-Phone.

Steve is in the middle, and Ari, the groom-to-be is on the right. Lighting is with the Gary Fong Diffuser on the flash, f/8 @ 1/60, ISO 400 to capture some of the warm tungsten light from the lamp. But the warmth in that house was not from the fireplace that night, it was the people and the music and... it was a great evening.

Since I can't sing (my voice problems are still plaguing me. So much for my professional singing career), I took pictures. I captured this image of Steve, which I really like:

Interesting, for you Photoshoppers, how I created that. I close-cut Steve out of another image (similar to the one above but zoomed in a bit). Then I opened a shot that I took the next morning, by deliberately moving the camera sideways while the shutter was open, shooting some early fall foliage in the sunlight. I imported Steve on a new layer, then used a graduated screen from black to transparent on the layer mask. I touched up the mask further by erasing it to white over his face. I painted, again on the mask, with a small chalk textured brush around the edges of his hair to blend it in.

One more image to leave you with: I was in "Richard Martin move the camera while the shutter is open" mode. This shot was made by rotating the camera while the shutter was open. Just trying to give you some ideas!

"Tunnel Vision"