Friday, October 19, 2012

What's goin' on?

Not much, you?

Fall is drawing to a close here, what leaves are still on the trees have faded to dull gold and browns. Although there are still lots of great photos to be had. Here's one I took of my car on a rainy Sunday, driving into Toronto.

I needed a "car" picture taken this week for the monthly Rally on the TIF site. (log in to view. Just keeping the spammers and riff-raff away from our forum). The rain increased the saturation of the colours and gave the car some texture in this HDR shot.
Speaking of "cars", the parking lot at the Foodmart in Minden looks a little different from its counterpart in urban (or even suburban) Toronto.

Don't see too many of these on the street in the city, do you? I chatted with the owner: he's a Torontonian (well, Richmond Hill-ite) up here moose hunting. Sure makes life a lot easier than we had it back in the 'day', carrying 300 pound moose quarters over our shoulders across a 1 mile portage! Uphill both ways, if I recall. Carlo's also a photographer, with a D90. I gave him a card, hope he gets in touch.  

So that's a Polaris 500 ATV. I think it's reasonably new. I'm still waiting for mine: I exchanged my motorcycle for this guy's bigger, older brother, a Polaris Sportsman 700, vintage 2003, with a snow plow. It's just being mechanically tweaked before we actually exchange the hardware. You can drive these things on all the roads around here except the highway that you see in the picture! He came in the back way, through town. Oh by the way, it's a handheld 3-shot HDR (ya think?) bracket. Selective color with a masked Silver Efex Pro layer. Can't wait to get mine. I bought it just to do HDR pictures of it! OK, and clear the snow, and...

Last weekend, George, a friend of mine from Humber College, visited for the day and we went on a mini-tour. The weather wasn't great, we retreated to here at the computer when the rain started coming down (I didn't mind getting my D600 wet, but George is a wimp about his D800. Just kidding... sort of!). Anyway, I took him to the Minden Wildwater Preserve where we were lucky enough to see a couple of brave fall-weather kayakers practicing their flips and skills in Earl's Hole.

Now if I did this right, here's a video clip I recorded with the D600 the week before, same spot, one of the same paddlers My first or second attempt at shooting video. Looks like something it'll be fun to learn to do. (shooting video, not whitewater kayaking! You think I'm nuts?)

On Saturday, George got a better shot than I did (whine). Here's his picture (with permission)

© George Reichert 2012. Shot with his D800 and 70-200 VR lens 

...and here's my shot

D600, same lens, slightly different POV.  
Shooting at the White Water is fun, I do it a lot. As you may have noticed.

You can't take a bad picture of your kids.

Well yeah, you can but you're more likely to get some good ones. There are a few reasons for that, which I discuss in my basic photography courses:

  • You've shot 6000 pictures of your kids and only a few of other peoples' kids
  • You have an emotional connection with your subject
  • They're no longer intimidated by mom or dad or grandpa with the camera pointed at them and are generally ignoring you
  • They're YOUR kids and by definition the most beautiful, smartest, greatest kids in the world.
The lesson is, if you want to take great shots of other peoples' kids, shoot lots, until they ignore you and pretend they're as wonderful as your own kids. If you want to take great shots of other things (like a cow, for instance), you need to get up close and personal and make a sympatico connection with the animal or the rock or tree. Seriously. 

So last week, my son and his family were up from New York, and we all hung out at my daughter's place in Uxbridge. I got a bunch of shots of the kids playing on the trampoline, and if you're willing to wait for those great facial expressions, you'll get great shots too. Of course they won't be as pretty or handsome as mine...

Leah is 3 

Kelly's 9. Hope I'm still around and able to take her high school graduation pictures! 

Ryan just turned 13. He needs a haircut (heard he finally got one this week!). Trampolines are great, this was right up at the peak! 
I'll leave you this week with the texture of the underside of a fall-reddened burning bush leaf at maximum magnification with my bellows.

Nothing done to it. Right out of the camera. Since I don't have Exif data, I'm guessing it was at f/11 or f/16, 1/200 sec at ISO 400, obliquely lit by my flash, off-camera at upper right. 
My D300 and 12-24 wide angle DX lens are still for sale. I'll put them up on eBay next week if there are no takers. It's a great deal...

Update: I just posted this, then went to look at it so I could come back to edit typos, etc and I noticed that someone from Berlin, Germany was already reading this blog post! How cool is that???

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