Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Come Over to the New Blog!

I've moved my photography blog . . . Please join me for 2012!

The new location is: photography.billandjodi.com

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 51 (December 17th - December 23rd) | Pictures 53 & 54

I got out of the house this past weekend (and spent my first night away from my toddler), to do some shooting with my friends Amy and Melanie. We went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond to see their Gardenfest of Lights. The display itself was nice. Although I have to say if we hadn't been taking pictures, it wouldn't have been nearly as fun. Lights, trees, COLD.

We were those annoying people with tripods, but it was a ton of fun being out with women who share the same hobby. (If my husband had been with me, he would have been bored 15 minutes into our 3 hour stay.)

I got a lot of awesome pictures with my tripod, like this one:

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: 28-75mm f/2.8 (@28mm)
Aperture: f/18
Shutter Speed: 15 seconds
ISO: 400
Flash: Flash: none
Exposure: manual

But my favorite one happened to be one that I shot handheld, before we broke out the tripods:

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: 28-75mm f/2.8 (@28mm)
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/60
ISO: 3200
Flash: Flash: none
Exposure: manual

I really wish that had been a more thought out shot, or I had gone back to revisit it with the tripod, because I've been wanting to play with HDR all year, and thought that would make an excellent HDR image. I went ahead and used that one image to generate two files of differing exposure to do an HDR composite that was not planned ahead, and despite the noise, I think it's pretty cool. Not my normal style at all, but cool.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Week 50 (December 10th - December 16th) | Picture 52

Merry Christmas to me! I got a new lens. A true dream lens. I was back and forth between two lenses on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but ultimately decided to go with the 70-200mm.

There is interesting debate I see a lot about whether or not hobbyists *need* lenses like this. And the unequivocal answer is no. But people don't *need* boats or motorcycles or season tickets to the NFL either. I'm not exactly sure why the assumption is that anyone with a lot of nice gear needs to be a pro photographer to justify their purchases . . . but that is a much more controversial topic than I care to explore here.

Anyway, it's a super clear night here, and I still have my old camera, so I thought it would be fun to go out and shoot the moon with a crop sensor, effectively turning my razor sharp 200mm lens into a 300mm lens. Pretty sweet!

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8 (@200mm)
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/1600
ISO: 200
Flash: Flash: none
Exposure: manual

And woohoo! I actually blogged 52 pictures this year!!! I didn't meet my once a week goal, but for the year I've had, I'm happy with just making it to 52. :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 48 (November 26th - December 2nd) | Picture 51

I know this has turned into a barely once a month blog, but I'm not giving up on it. I will get to 52 pictures this year. I will, I will, I will. I dropped the ball way back in August and to say it's been a crazy 5 months around here is an understatement. Photography has taken a back seat to life, and I'm hoping to get to turned that around in the near future.

Anyway, there is a picture I took back in early November for my small OCF group that I never got a chance to blog.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: 28-75mm f/2.8 (@75mm)
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 200
Flash: Flash: SB-800 off camera, manual, 1/64th power
Exposure: manual

It's not even close to technically perfect, and I'll spare you the details of how I was pressing the shutter button AND dropping the blueberries myself. (Would have been much easier with help.) I would love to do more with liquid and splashes - so maybe if I get ambitious there will be something like that coming up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 42 (October 15th - October 21st) | Picture 50

My poor neglected project 52 blog. I did so well there for so long. At this point if I get 52 pictures this year it will be a success. Oh well, I definitely took a lot more fun pictures this year than I would have without this blog.

I'm on a small private photography forum and I was asked to lead sort of a beginners OCF group. With the photography rut I've been in, I hope I do better at leading the group than I do with keeping up with this blog.

The first week's assignment was really easy. Just take your flash off your camera. Everything else was open to interpretation. My contribution for the assignment:

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: 28-75mm f/2.8 (@75mm)
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 200
Flash: Flash: SB-800 off camera, manual, 1/128th power
Exposure: manual

Very simple and basic setup here.

The subject is the dirt from our Earth ceremony at our wedding in my favorite crystal vase (that needs some serious dusting).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 37 (September 10th - September 16th) | Picture 49

Darn it! So much for my 52 week blog. To those of you who are still around and reading, sorry about the abrupt absence. We had a very sudden death in our family and were out of town for a while. And if I'm being honest, I haven't picked my camera up much since then.

I'm going to try to get back into this. But I'm not feeling nearly as motivated as I should be . . .

Let's talk about Ryan Brenizer. I have a photography crush on him. Aside from the fact that he shoots Nikon AND takes some of the most beautiful wedding pictures I've ever seen, he also developed a method for achieving extraordinarily shallow DOF with a much wider field of view than you could ever get from a wide angle lens. Photography 101 (or cheat with a DOF calculator): longer focal lengths equal shallower DOF.

I happen to love wide angles for the perspective, but also love longer focal lengths for their beautiful compression - and Ryan Brenizer just happens to combine the 2 with the Brenizer Method that he talks about here.

Cool, huh?

Well I don't have any gorgeous couples to photograph, and God only knows my child won't cooperate, but I wanted to play.

We found this little nest on the ground after Hurricane Irene, and I wanted to get an up close shot of all the details, but also some background in the shot for more interesting composition, so I thought the Brenizer Method would be the perfect thing to try.

One shot.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: 105mm f/2.8 macro
Aperture: f/4.0
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 400
Flash: none
Exposure: manual

Combined shots (9 images total - then cropped down significantly):

There is also a calculator that tells you what lens you would need to take the resulting shot. My final image could have been produced with 60mm lens shot at f/2.2. Considering I have the 50mm f/1.4 - it means that I could have produced this shot with that lens fairly easily (with a bit less compression), but it was a cool experiment to play with anyway.

Definitely check out Ryan's website. He does 40+ image composites resulting in amazing combinations of focal length and aperture!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 33 (August 13th - August 19th) | No Picture

My 2011 photography blog is on a bit of a hiatus. I hope to return in a week or two.
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