Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quiet out there...

I read 20 blogs on a regular basis. That is, I subscribe to 20 blogs, via RSS feed on my iPad. Sounds like a lot, right? But not everyone is a "relentless blogger" like me. Sure, there are some but there are at least two of them that haven't been updated in 3 months, and a couple that have dropped from 2 or 3 times a week to weekly, to monthly... it's quiet out there.

For what it's worth, it's an eclectic mix, biased towards outdoor photography of course, but I also read Dilbert every day, and try to take the time to watch the TED talks regularly. I dropped into FaceBook the other day and found a couple of the 'missing in action' types had rekindled their activity there; Google+ has a bunch of people on it, I'm going to have to figure out how to develop a presence there.

The other thing that annoys me is that blogs that used to contain interesting images and great educational resources now are out and out sales blogs. "We have a new book out... if you use this discount code you'll get 20% off but the offer's only good for the next 2 days... this course is free for the next week... but that's not all! If you buy now, you'll also get a set of these fine Ginsu knives!... just pay the postage and you can buy one, get one free...". Does this bug anyone else?

I'm not going to name names, but there's one formerly educational site that now puts up interesting content about once a month and four or five commercial posts in between. Time to unsubscribe...

No Snow!

If you're in this geographical area, you know we had a huge thaw last weekend and there's essentially no snow. Too bad, because the Haliburton Dogsled Derby this weekend won't be happening. Not sure about the ice racing. It was warm for a couple of days but it's cooling down again now.

Picture ice fishing huts out on the lake in +10°C temperatures! Kirk, from the Red Umbrella Inn, told me he pulled the Inn's huts back to shore just in case, but others left them out. Fortunately nothing fell through, but you won't catch me riding out there for a bit longer. Apparently the weekend cost them about 2"of ice but what was left behind was solid black ice. My neighbour Larry told me there's a good 7" of hard water now, and it'll get cold tonight, maybe another two more. Larry was out on his new Polaris ATV:

This is NOT an HDR. The dynamic range of a RAW file is wide enough to draw detail out of all areas of this image. I burned in the sky, dodged the ice and retoned the ATV and Larry, all in Lightroom. Didn't even go into Photoshop. Notice: no snow! Look between the wheels of the ATV. 

OK, ok. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see...

By the way, this was the first time I put the 12-24mm DX lens on the D600. You see a vignetted view through the viewfinder but the camera's smart enough to output a rectangular cropped image. I REALLY love the wide angle view... have to get a 14-24 or 17-35mm FX lens one of these days. My 12-24mm is for sale, I'm asking $1100 and throwing in a Nikon D300 body and all kinds of accessories for free! If you act within the next 2 hours, I'll include a stack of Photoshop User magazines and a variable ND filter! Contact me...

Art Print

While we're talking about selling things, I'm trying a different approach. I've carefully finished one image and prepared it for sale as an art print. This one:

Ice Fishing on 12 Mile Lake

...without the watermark, of course. The finished print is 18" x 12" and is available loose, matted, or mounted in an 18" x24" frame. Contact me for pricing. The print will be exhibited at the Haliburton Home and Cottage Show in a few months.

And finally, the non-commercial part of this blog. There will ALWAYS be one, I promise.

Can you do pictures like this?

Not retouched. Right out of the camera except cropped, a slight adjustment to exposure and clarity in LR. BTW I know it needs some touchup here and there, the scratch on the crystal, the dirt on the bezel, etc.

And can you do it without fancy studio equipment, lighting gear, and so on? Yes you can. All you need is a Light Tent. $35 everywhere. Go read my technical blog to find out how. Lots of other pictures there, go have a look!

Until next time!

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