Friday, February 29, 2008

A 'Shout out' from the Digital Photography Show

Wow, I got a big surprise today while driving Matthew to school. I was listening to The Digital Photography Show and they commented on my entry in their Photo Contest #7. They talked about it quite a bit and it was a blast to hear my name and work mentioned on such a popular podcast. And while I didn't win the contest due to my interpretation of the theme, they did call me a 'Photoshop Master' :-) The picture that sparked their comments was Giving me a headache which was the subject of TaW 4 & 5 some weeks ago. Sweet!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Turning Gate

The Turning Gate

Found this site when looking into hosting my own web galleries to sell from - basically looking at dumping Expoosuremanager and doing my own printing and shipping to increase the profits on my sports photography site : .

This site has several templates that integrate into Adobe Lightroom's web module to make 'useable' galleries that can be indexed and tied together.

This may be the route to go vs. trying to code something from scratch. I gotta see how well a paypal account can be integrated in.

CSLR Challege 113 - a side less seen

Open Wide, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Keeping with my commitment to continually challenge my photography, I just barely made the cut off date for Challenge 113.
I'm not too proud of my entry - it was soo much better in my mind than when I actually executed it.
I think the light and the perspective mismatch makes it 'not work' for me. I used a small mirror in my mouth to capture my teeth and took a separate pic of the cake and composited the whole thing.
I think the bigger challenge was trying to take a picture through a mirror while sitting in front of the camera without being able to see through the viewfinder!
The pic just made it to 9th place keeping up my record so far at staying in the top ten for all my entries.... so I still getting lucky :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

TaW: #6 Correcting Blooming in CS3

Here's one I learned from Antonie_K on the Canon SLR Group on Flickr.

Here's a shot with the worst case of blooming I've ever taken. Blooming is basically a problem only found in digital photography and occurs when very bright areas are adjacent to dark ones I has to do with the way the image sensor elements get 'overloaded' with too much light and basically 'bleed' onto adjacent elements. If the situation is right it can happen on almost any digital camera. This shot was taken with the Canon 85 1.2L on an MkII so it's definately not a lens quality issue.

Anyway, to rid ourselves of this nasty purple mess - Open the image in CS3 and apply a HSL layer to the image, change its mode from Master to Blue, using the color picker tool select the offending color (magenta in this case) then turn down the saturation to taste (about -80 worked for this image). Thats it! No muss, no fuss. I imagine that if there was a lot of Magenta color in other areas of the image, that this technique could effect them but it would be nothing a little Layer Mask couldn't fix.

Better description of CA and Blooming can be found here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Just a thought: End of the Sports Shooter?

We watched the Superbowl this year in HD and I couldn't help but notice how sharp the freeze frame replays were, I could see blades of grass kicking up off the cleats of the players - It was really that sharp!

This got me thinking, I know HD cameras are only about 2 Megapixels in resolution (for now). But consider the following:
  • Network TV 'blankets the field with cameras (Pop SI had an article on the 2007 Superbowl and they had 48 cameras covering the field) Look at how many different angles they show a replay from.
  • Network TV will aways get the best camera positions - They even have that cool floating camera that can capture overhead shots or the 'Quarterback view' of the field - No Sports shooter could ever get this angle.
  • New stadium lighting is excellent - allowing for the Video Camera's High Speed Shutter modes to capture pure stop action on a single frame - no more motion blur. A friend told me how he saw a game at the new Phoenix Stadium and walked around the entire field and couldn't find a shadow - it was very evenly and brightly lit.
  • Progressive scan tech in HD cameras eliminates the old interlacing issues.
  • Technology is always advancing - CES had some 4 & 8 Megapixel displays - some day this could be the norm. How long before HD video is capturing 4-8Mp images?
  • DSLR sports shooters are almost 'filming' now - The first time I fired off 8.5fps on my mkII, it put a smile on my face. Now we have 10-11fps DSLRs but this still pales in comparison to Video. Video frame rates are almost guaranteed to capture that 'magic' split second.
Media Outlets are getting gobbled up by conglomerates more and more lately - when will they start to exercise their synergies by just grabbing video frames from their TV feeds for their newspapers and magazines? are the days of the sports shooter numbered?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Taw#6: Dynamic Menus in Wordpress

Okay, its not a photographic technique but it is something I learned this week that was used for my photographic website, - dynamic menus. Initially I was going to build a website from scratch, and I started out doing that but then I found out how easy wordpress is to use, and the blog format suited routine updates to the site without any further coding. However, one thing I didn't know how to hack into wordpress was how to highlight the current location the user was at in the navigation menu. In HTML code I just would have the change the appropriate menu item's class when the page loaded. But in wordpress, you don't really work in HTML directly and my menu was in the static header and doesn't change with each new page load. I notice one of my templates using an is_home function and I dug a little deeper and found the is_page function which would let me do exactly what I wanted - here's my code:

if(is_page('products')){echo 'class="here"';}

just place this little bit of php in the opening 'a' tag and if the page your user is on is called 'products' it will insert the 'class="here" into the HTML which will cause the browser to used the css info to highlight the item.
pretty simple once ya get the right function. A more comprehensive explanation is here.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

CSLR Challenge: 10x4

mark, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Had to laugh on this one - I'm forever striving for tack sharp images, pouring money into L glass, high pixel count bodys - so what images am I finding myself liking enough to enter in photo contests? Yea, blurry out of focus ones! Go figure...

Loving this lens

Aly oof, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Just finished my first shoot with a new 85F1.2L and I am in love. I read alot about this lens so I knew what to expect, great bokeh, razor thin dof, yada, yada - but man I was still floored looking at the my shots. Yes, the micro dof is tough to work with - even in a studio setting but the blur of the out of focus areas is just dreamlike. It may be hard to tell on this low rez image but the contrast between the razor sharp strands of hair and the blur of Aly's face which fell out of focus in less than a 1/4" - It used to be standard practice for me to go through all my shots after a session and delete all the out of focus shots, but with this lens I'm finding that hard to do sometimes.
I debated getting the 70-200 2.8L IS instead but now I have no regrets. There is a down side though - I think I'm seriously hooked on primes now...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Be Prepared.

I did it again... all excited about a shot I had seen on the way home, storm clouds forming around a small set of hills south of our neighborhood. I got home, dropped the family off, grabbed my gear bag and sped back down the road to a small hill that would give me a great vantage point. I whipped out the tripod, whipped out the lens of choice and whipped out the camera... Argh! I left the damn battery in the charger back at home! No worries, it's just a 2 min drive, I'll go get it... well, in the few minutes that it took to grab the battery and come back, that majestic storm cloud dropped right down on the mountain and started raining. The scene was gone, nothing left to do but pack up and learn my lesson.