Sojourns

Reflections on a year in 365 photographs

Posts Tagged ‘40D

365:ONE-HUNDRED-EIGHTEEN

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Late evening sunset at my house.

Late Sunset

Considering the image: This was the backup shot that I took while waiting on the moonrise tonight.  I had in mind to do a shot of the full moon silhouetting a palm tree along the marsh front near my house.  But since I don’t have a grad-ND filter for my EF 80-200mm f/2.8L, that made for technical difficulty in achieving the shot I wanted to take.  I tried taking separate shots and considered compositing in Photoshop, but that was simply going to take more time in processing than I have available for this project.  So here is a late sunset shot.  I like the colors in the sky.

Making the photograph: This shot was straightforward.  Just frame a decent composition with the trees, dial in -2EV to saturate the colors of the sky and ensure the trees are black silhouette and take the shot.  Post processing was curves and sharpening before saving the .jpg.  There was a bit of movement in the trees from the wind that I could have dealt with using a higher ISO, but all-in-all this is a pleasing image.  The exposure turned out as 4″ at f/8.0 and ISO 100.  Focal length was 160mm.

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Written by Brian Fancher

April 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm

365:ONE-HUNDRED-SEVENTEEN

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The light and form of a spiral staircase in the early morning light.

Shapes

Considering the image: As I get further into this project I am finding one of my goals has been at least partially achieved.  I was taking my son to school today he pointed out this spiral stairwell on the back  of a building on Daniel Island, SC.  I immediately saw an image of light and form using the curves of the spirals, the lines of the bricks and banister to play against the highlighted stairs and darker shadows underneath and on the brick wall.  I also decided right there that the image would be square format in order to play against the dynamics of the curves.  Of course black and white was a given because the image is about light and form.  Color simply doesn’t matter here.

Making the photograph: I initially grabbed the EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk I which was mounted on the camera but that proved too tight for this shoot, so I swapped to the EF 24mm f/2.8.  I took a quick test image at 0EV in matrix metering but found the highlights were just a bit blown out.  I ended up backing off to a -1eV which gave me 1/250 at f/8.0 and ISO 100.  I shot 30 different angles  and even climbed to the top of the stairs looking for just the right composition.  Post-processing after picking this image was simple with a black and white conversion, a bit of curves, sharpening, square cropping, and then saving and sharpening the .jpg you see here.  The deep shadows underneath the stairs are blocked just a tiny bit in this .jpg, but they are full-tone in the full-sized image.  I would want them to just touch black in a print, so that may take some playing with the curves to get right in print.  Some of you might also note that I’ve begun adding a black border to images.  Right now I’m experimenting with that by simply clicking “canvas size” in Photoshop and adding ~1% border with black fill.

Another refinement to the project is adding some structure to the entries with these standardized paragraphs.  As I get deeper into the project I am finding that I have to spend less time on “Making the photograph” because I am getting to the intuitive manipulation of the camera equipment and processing software.  That isn’t to say that I don’t still have a lot to learn, but now that the basic and even intermediate skills are becoming second nature, I get to spend more of my limited project time focusing on “Considering the image”, which to me is the real joy of photography.  With digital photography and a bit of technical know-how, if you can imagine an image, you can usually make it happen, even if you have to make do with lesser equipment or borrow from another photographer.  The hard part is in imagining and finding the photograph in the first place.  See the world in different ways.  See it in ways few others will.

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Written by Brian Fancher

April 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

365:ONE-HUNDRED-THIRTEEN

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Our old friend, the moon.

An Old Friend

Shooting the moon is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance.  Simply put your camera in manual mode, select the sharpest aperture for your particular lens, and then dial up the shutter speed until you aren’t blowing it out completely.  If you let your camera decide all of the exposure information it will blow the moon out to pure white and start to expose the rest of the sky.  You have to dial back 4-5 stops from what your camera might guess is “proper” exposure for the information in the frame.  Go manual and check the histogram!

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Written by Brian Fancher

April 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm

365:ONE-HUNDRED

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Deer crossing the marsh in Palmetto Island County Park.

Life

Annual pass to the Charleston County Park system:                                                                   $79.00

Gas to the park and back:                                                                                                            $  1.50

Watching a REAL High Definition episode of life from a bench with my family:                          Priceless!

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Written by Brian Fancher

April 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

365:NINETY-TWO

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First frame from a new lens...my son on his bike.

MotoX Ben

This was the first frame with my new 80-200 f/2.8 L zoom.  I remember now why I love this lens so much.  This is my second copy, which I got for a song on eBay.  I sold the original one I had years ago to help finance a triathlon bike project.  I guess it is fitting that I sacrificed one of my sets of carbon fiber race wheels in order to get another of these lenses.  They call this Canon lens the “Magic Drainpipe” and for good reason.  Images are simply sharp, contrasty, and have a certain pop to them that is hard to find even in the current crop of 70-200 f/2.8 L IS lenses.  You’ll be seeing a lot more of this lens in the coming months.

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Written by Brian Fancher

April 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

365:FIFTY-NINE

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Folly Beach lighthouse from Folly Beach at low tide.

Beacon

Today turned into an adventure day for the family.  First up was frisbee and swinging at James Island County Park.  Next we explored the Angel Oak on John’s Island.  And last we took a walk on the end of Folly Beach where I spent some time photographing the lighthouse, which has been shored up and repaired to keep it standing.  Years ago you could walk to the lighthouse and even walk up inside.  That all changed with hurricanes like Hugo which forever changed the shoreline.  This area is still one of the most picturesque in all of the lowcountry.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm

365:FIFTY-SIX

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An interesting old tree in Hampton Park, downtown Charleston near The Citadel

Gnarled

I saw this old tree in Hampton Park near The Citadel while on my usual Thursday tempo run.  I didn’t have much time after the run to come back and get a photo.  And this was the best that it could be isolated given the lenses available to me.  I used my trusty EF 24mm f2.8 and cropped as much out as I could in the viewfinder while leaving the tree top clear against the sky.  There is a trash can behind the trunk, so this was the only angle that could cut that out.  Not a bad composition given all the variables.

My post processing on subjects like this could use some work.   I wanted to bring out the detail in the trunk a little more, but the light was so bright that it was hard to contain the scene in the first place.  I had to be gentle with the adjustments or I started getting a lot of posterization.  I may come back to this image at some point and try a black and white process.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm