Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shooting Food

"He's in there taking pictures of onions..." I could hear Aly telling her Mom in the other room. Maybe I have lost it - These challenges are harder all the time and I can't seem to take a 'striking' image anymore. I like the image of the onion but it's still just a picutre of an onion. It fits the assignment, Layered composition (ie forground, midground, and background.) but its still just a picture of an onion - I even chose a onion because, just as ogres, onions have layers and I thought it'd be a clever play on the assignment - but in the end, It's still just a picutre of an onion...

body Snatcher

body Snatcher, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

CSLR Challenge #117, "Grounded". Had to try and make a senoran desert mushroom look interesting. Ended up taking this shot at night with 3 strobes to try and encircle the shroom with light. Also used a fish eye to get some interesting perspective. I like the way the mushroom broke through the hard gravel. But in the end I don't think it was enough as It didn't make the top 10 in the challenge....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Going Out

Going Out, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Don't know why but I love this shot. Just a bit of vignette and desaturation of all colors but red. I like the soft focus of the shot as well as the highlights off the silver nail polish. All this from just a shot of Alma getting ready for a night on the town.

Flickr Plugin for Lightroom

While I was researching my flickr problem with lightroom, I ran across Jeffery Fried's Photography Blog where he has several plugin he created for lightroom. I installed his flickr plugin and so far it works great. It offers many more options for posting than the original one included with the SDK. I especially like the naming and description options as well as the 'post to set' option. The only thing I wish would be available is to be able to create a new set during posting. But so far, so good. Thanks Jeffery!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

TAW #9: Studio Lighting

Aly-6, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Got a little more practice in 'the Studio' this month setting up for a Senior Portrait session. It was also the first time using a new grey background I got of Ebay. (I was really getting bored with my typical low key and high key portaits)
This was a 3 light setup, Using my big photogenic studio strobes as the main and hair light. The main light shot through a 24x36" softbox placed about 3 ft from the subject. The hairlight (which is missing her hair and hitting her back in this shot) was about 10' back. for the 3rd and final light, I used my old vivitar 283 flash, put it on a stand with a bout a 6" white snoot to selectively light the background. the white snoot helped soften the edges of the light. While this is a very basic technique, It's my first time trying it and I'm satisfied with the results I got. I think it really adds variety to any background by changing the distance between the flash and the background you can vary the size of the 'halo' also adding gels would add a variety of color to your shots - all with a single background.

The final formula thats been working in my studio is putting background about 12-15' behind the subject to prevent too much light from the main spilling on the background - that way I have control of how the background looks, I'm getting about a 3 stop difference between the background and the subject in this setup which will let me shoot low key or blast it with a big strobe for high key. Another important thing with the distance, is that it lets you throw it out of focus to hide any wrinkles you may have, although with my current 85mm portrait lens this limits me to about F5.6 more than that and I better get the Iron out....

Lightroom 1.4.1 upgrade broke my flickr plugin

Soon after upgrading to Lightroom 1.4.1 I noticed I couldn't export directly to my flickr account anymore. Did lightroom change their plugin structure with 1.4? Well after a little digging on the web I found the problem, seems when I was playing with to original SDK files from Adobe with version 1.3 I put the plugin 'MODULES' directory in \program files\Adobe\Lightroom 1.3 where it was soon abandoned when I upgraded to 1.4 (due to the directory name change)
Moving the directory to \Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\ allowed the new version to find just fine on restart. And now everything is right again in my Lightroom world.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

TAW:#8 - less is more.

Floating in a Sea of bokeh
originally uploaded by photogeek21.

"Floating in a Sea of bokeh" was shot for CSLR challenge 116. My other two entrys were full of colored lighting effects and photoshop work to make them spectacular.But this shot leaped out at me and I entered it just as is -(and it place highest out of all my entries). It was my first entry that didn't make a to photoshop. No cropping, tint, exposure adjustments - nothing. It was liberating - and very satisfying to have a shot like this straight out of the camera. Being a geek with all the computer tricks sometimes makes me forget that I'm supposed to be a photographer. And as such, I should 'TAKE' striking images, not 'MAKE' them....

CSLR Challenge 116: Spring Training

Spring Training, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Keeping the challenges going with this entry of a Angels Spring training edition of a bud light can. Shot in my favorite 'kitchen studio' with 3 strobes, the main from camera right bounced off an umbrella, and the other two behind the subject equal distance apart and at about 20 deg behind the centerline of the subject. This 'wraps light around the ball and bottle to get them to stand out against the black background. And of course I had some fun with the reflection - it was a logo challenge afterall