Friday, July 27, 2012

Musings from the Highlands

Just some goings-on up here in God's Country. It's been hot (for the benefit of my readers in other parts of the world. Of course if you live in the area, you already knew that. How hot was it?

The bottom numbers are the outside temp/humidity. Muggy when I took this.

In addition to the new BBQ Gazebo...

An HDR shot of the new gazebo on the deck. Designed to keep the rain and snow at bay. I barbecue year-round and this is going to help a lot!
... I bought an interesting new product that I first saw at my friend Lori's place in the city. It replaces my sliding screen door — it's two panels held together by a set of magnets (that's the black vertical line in the middle) and it snaps together nicely after you walk through it. I walked through my screen one too many times!

"As seen on TV". Magic Mesh, I think it's called. $25 at Canadian Tire. I did have to roll up the bottom a bit because it won't close if it's dragging on the ground..
It's perfect. It keeps the bugs out, you can just walk right through it with both hands full, it snaps closed right away. OK, well ALMOST perfect. There's someone else who can just walk right through it without any difficulty:

With the nice weather, we've been spending a lot of time outdoors, walking, swimming, and working very hard ...

Hard at work! 
Guest Photo

During my last DSLR class, Val, one of the students, went out on assignment to shoot some pictures and came back with this one:

So I spent the afternoon after class looking for this guy again, without success! I haven't seen him since. Val is a really good photographer and I hope I was able to take her up a step or two.
A few more of my shots

A couple of people asked me about the range of my bellows attachment. I shot a couple of sample pictures to demonstrate that.

This is about the minimum magnification with the bellows completely retracted. That said, zooming the lens changes the magnification and I don't know where it was set.

And this is at the other extreme,  Both of these shots are right out of the camera, as you can see, holding exposure is not easy — also depth of field at these extreme magnifications is almost non-existent. 
Whitewater shots

I dropped by the whitewater preserve on Sunday and took a few shots. I was on the bike and only had my 24-120 lens with me: it was dwarfed by the lenses that the 3 or 4 other photographers there had! Interestingly, they were all Nikons, ranging from a lowly D300 (like mine) to a D7000 to a new D800! Nicest lens I saw was a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8. Can you say envious?

In my humble opinion, there are two different ways to shoot action: slow, and fast. This first shot is at 1/1000 second, so the water is frozen.

This is a tone-mapped image — not exactly an HDR because it was made from one photo. I treated it that way because I wanted to emphasize the muscle tone and detail. What attracts me to this shot is the facial expression: I call it "focused" but someone else said, "he's obviously 'in the moment'" which I thought is a good way about saying it.

But I think you get a more dramatic and dynamic image at a slow shutter speed, like the 1/30 second used for this shot. Which one do you like best? 
I'm dong another basic DSLR class this weekend: it's light because of a cancellation so if anyone wants to come up at the last second, give me a call (416 630 5921) or email me, there's room. Saturday and Sunday, 11-4.


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