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Archive for November, 2010

Outdoor Portraits~Homemade Diffuser Panel

In the “I don’t have a studio or studio lights” department, this is an example of what you can do with only sunlight and a little experimentation.  I built an approx. 4 foot wide by 6 foot high frame out of PVC piping, using PVC elbow and tee connectors as needed.   I purchased a sheet of white nylon fabric, similar to stuff you see kites made of, and cut it to match the frame.   I then used metal clips from an office store to clip the fabric to the frame.   The frame was set up with the sun shining through from behind, my baby niece was put on a table in front of the panel, resting on white towels in this case.   I thought it looked pretty good, although when I had prints made my lab gave me a hard time about all the background being blown out in such extreme fashion.    Anyhow, its just sunlight coming through the panel from behind and above, bouncing around.  I think I experimented with a tiny bit of on camera fill flash as well during this session, not necessarily on this particular image however.

I did not cement all the frame components together, the pipe simply slips into the fittings so it can be disassemble for transport.   Although I tweaked the specific construction, this basic  idea is one I got from the internet a couple of years ago, I do not claim it as my own.

Light Painted Flower

Penlight Painted Flower

I did a little experimenting with light painting again last night.   A flower closeup, courtesy of my Canon close up lens on my Sigma 70-200mm lens.   Shot at ISO 400 at f/11 for 7.1 seconds.   During that time I was painting the flower with a little weak penlight, including some light from behind.   I thought it turned out fairly interesting, especially the yellow “nucleus”.    For anybody wanting to try something similar, I find that you really do need a weak penlight, one of those more modern LED blazing models is too bright, the exposure will be too short to do anything creative, even at a low ISO.   Of course, your mileage may differ.

Favorite Things~Earthshine



This is by no means a great photograph, but the moon was so attractive this morning I had to give it a quick try.   One of my favorite things to see is earthshine, where sunlight reflects off the earth onto the dark portion of the moon, making it dimly visible.   Hey, I’m a simple guy.


Rough Around The Edges~Fall Creeps Into Kansas

Backlit leaf

Backlit Leaf

If you click on the image, the larger version shows the incredible structure of this leaf quite remarkably.  I don’t own an actual macro lens, however I do have a Canon 500D close up lens, which is basically a high quality magnifier that screws onto the end of your regular lens.  I was outdoors fooling around with it a couple of weeks ago.  I picked up this leaf and held it up so the low sun was shining directly through the back of it.  Aside from adjusting levels and desaturating the background, this is otherwise as-is.   Fall color has been slow coming to Kansas, there is still a lot of green around, however in the last week or so I’m seeing more color.


I Hate Mondays

He hates Mondays too.

Power failure.   Burned out cable modem.  Lingering illness.  Such is the stuff of this Monday.  I finally am back online.   I’d like to tell you that this photo was taken somewhere in east Africa.  I could tell you it was in Africa.  But the fact is it was taken at our local zoo, through glass.   We actually have a very highly regarded zoo, and the gorilla exhibit is well designed.   I need to go back.