Thursday, November 26, 2015

The 15 With the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Project

Starting on Thanksgiving Day I'm going to add an image made with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens every day for 15 days. This combination of Canon's third most expensive camera (behind the 1DX and 5DS/5DSR duo), currently $2500, and Canon's least expensive lens, currently $110, should make for an interesting exercise.

In addition to the camera and lens combination I'll use a small Canon 270EXII Speedlite and my old set of Cokin Series A filters which consist of warming, graduated gray and blue, neutral density, circular polarizer and a combination warming and soft effect filter called SunSoft. I'm going to eschew HDR processing and have some fun the old fashioned way. I also will not be cropping for composition.

I'll add each day's photo, which may or may not have been taken that day, at the top of the images on this page and occasionally post a blog entry with some photos and a link to the page.

Here is the first image:


11/26 - Rusting in the Woods - f/2, 1/350 sec., ISO 400

Thursday, November 19, 2015

School Production of The Wiz

Last evening was my annual volunteer shoot for my local school's musical production. This year they are doing The Wiz with a cast of over 70, including elementary children as munchkins.

In addition to shooting the "dress rehearsal" I do somewhat informal head shots just prior to the rehearsal. From start of the shoot to the end of processing and uploading took about eleven hours this year. I had almost 600 images from the rehearsal and almost 80 head shots to process from RAW files.

I feel that shooting in RAW is necessary to be able to adjust highlights and shadows or white balance as needed. I've learned over the years not to worry so much about white balance as the varied color lighting they use makes certain scenes look strange and that's not my issue.

I used a 7D and 24-70mm f.2.8 lens for the head shots so that I could wirelessly control an off camera flash and fill with the built in flash. For the rehearsal I used my 5D Mark III and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. The 5D Mark III has better high ISO performance than bodies I've used in the past so I used ISO 3200 with no trouble. I'd even go higher if necessary to get needed shutter speeds.

Here are a few samples followed by an embedded slide show:









Friday, November 13, 2015

A Nice Compact Backpack Kit

This is my current "only the essentials," take everywhere kit packed into a Think Tank Photo Streetwalker backpack. I'd prefer a shoulder bag but backpacks lay gear out in a single level and that's what I'm used to and prefer.

I never wear any of my photo backpacks like a backpack. I just carry them by the handle and transfer some of the gear to a small shoulder bag if I need to carry equipment covered for any distance.

Here is an iPhone 6 Plus photo of the bag followed by a description of the gear it contains:




Starting at the bottom left and continuing clockwise in the main compartment we have my EOS 5D Mark III with an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens attached.

Next is an EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens with lens shade and a small size rocket blower.

Next is an EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 STM and ProOptic 20mm extension tube attached to an OP/Tech dual end cap and a Canon 270EX II Speedlite with STO-FEN Omni Bounce.

Next is a Canon Remote Switch RS-80N3 and a Canon Anti-Fog Eyepiece in its case.

Next is an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens with lens hood.

Next is a Canon 77mm 500D closeup filter, Hoya PRO1 77mm filters of the UV and CPL variety along with a Tiffen 77mm 3 stop neutral density filter.

Lastly is a spare Canon LP-E6 battery and body cap and lens end cap. Missing from this compartment is a Greenbatteries.com nylon battery wallet and 4 Eneloop AA batteries which are in the charger at the moment.

The zippered sections contain a jar opener for filter use, a swab and cloth which comes with the anti-fog eyepiece, 58mm to 77mm filter adapter, lens wipes and a lens cloth.

The bag's all weather cover is in an outside compartment. I never understood keeping the cover inside the bag so if you need it in the rain you have to open the bag. This leaves some outside pockets empty for whatever.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Autumn Moves Forward on Peebles Island

The scenery has changed since my last last post of Peebles Island scenics on October 19th. There aren't many leaves left on the trees at this point. This time I carried my EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens instead of the 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 lens.

I also processed these images for a more natural look than the ones from October 19th. These are also five file HDR processed images but with different settings. The shot with the tree roots in the foreground is particularly more natural and better, in my opinion. This is s tough scene to capture due to the great contrast in lighting between the sky, forest background and the roots themselves, shadowed on the hillside.








Sunday, November 1, 2015

Water Drops on Fallen Leaves

I was walking around this afternoon and noticed the reflections of water drops on fallen leaves that for various reasons are still lying on what sometimes is a combination of grass and weeds. I grabbed my 5D Mark III and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with 500D closeup lens/filter attached.

I noticed that the water drops only formed on the under side of the leaves. Leaves that had fallen right side up did not have the drops on them.

I came up with two reasons for this. The upside down leaves are concave and the drops stay in their shape while the right side up leaves are convex and the water runs off. Also, it could be that the tops of leaves are designed to absorb water and the bottoms not so much.

This is unfortunate as the underside of the leaves are not nearly as colorful as the top. In any case, here are four shots - no HDR this time.