Friday, October 12, 2012

Tres Chicas

"If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." - Robert Capa

Chica 1:  Wow, is that a Fujifilm Finepix X100 equipped with a Fujinon 27mm lens that can take super sharp images even at f2.8?  The tonal range that camera produces is to die for.  I need to get my hands on that one.  Daddy'O....

Chica 2:  No, I think it's even better.  Looks like a Leica M3 equipped with a Sumicron lens -- similar to what Henri Cartier-Bresson and the rest of the Magnum Photographers have used in the past.  That just got to be a vintage camera.  You can't get it anywhere.  It's priceless.

Chica 3:  I don't trust this photographer.

Have a good weekend. - R

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hoy Americanos

While Bob hangs out with the boys, Mary watches the kids.  At times, they just looked everywhere - trying to find something.  Where have all the cowboys gone?

Photo tip of the Day:  It pays to know your camera and lens well.  On this one, I knew f5.6 was the sweet spot on the lens mounted to the camera that I was using.  At that aperture, I know I can get reasonably sharp focus on the subject - in this case, the mom and the children next to her - and still get a nice bokeh on the background.  (Actually, the focus was locked at the kid wearing the baseball cap.)  Any aperture higher would result in a sharper background, which is not a bad thing - but I wanted to project some depth in the picture.  I wanted to distance the children from behind.  I think a slightly blurry background worked well on this one because it fools the eyes in to thinking the picture was 3D.  This is the way we normally see.  Sometimes a totally blurred background works better if one wants to isolate the subject.  It gets tricky at wider aperture as the focus on the subject has to be dead on.  Missed it by a few inches and the focus will be somewhere else.  Hate when that happens.

Assignment:  Shoot at different apertures of the same subject and notice how the background changes.  Make mental notes of the results.  Next time you take a picture, recall which aperture you think is appropriate for the shot.  YMMB.

Hope your day goes well. - R

We finally sold the Chevy
When we had another baby
And you took the job in Tennessee
You made friends at the farm
And you joined them at the bar
Almost every single day of the week
I will wash the dishes while you go have a beer

[Paula Cole, Where Have All The Cowboys Gone]

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Waiting for the Rain

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:2)

Hope you are keeping cool.

The dried up Rose is anxiously waiting for the weather to cool down. I think it wants it to rain.

Don't know what it is about dried up flowers. I always end up taking pictures of them. Yesterday morning I set out to test my 70-200mm zoom lens. I'm really not a big fan of zoom because I'd rather just use my legs to get close to the subject. After much wavering, I took the leap and bought one as I thought it might be a good addition to my street photography. (I always use a wide angle for street shots.) Anyway, at first I thought I'd shoot some hummingbirds but as soon as I got out with my big lens all birds flew away. The ones I could spot were farther away. I realized I need a longer lens. I also realized that I have no patience taking pictures of birds. They are elusive. I decided I would take pictures of dead flowers. They don't complain much. They really can't because their dead.

I've stray away from taking this kind of photography but it felt good to go back. I like the black and white treatment. It seems to take me to another time. I think I'll be a black and white photographer. That could mean losing half my viewers. Some people don't like black and white. It's one of the hardest to get good result. One has to think about the forms all the time. The Dutch Masters painted in monochromatic tone and yet were able to bring out a lot of details in their painting. In fact, some of them thought that colors were distractions and used by lesser artists as crutch for getting the details out.

I like black and white. Hope you like it too.