Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I revisited some portraits I shot this past year. I worked some HDR magic and then some and here is what I came up with.
This is also a familiar portrait from a few posts back. Applied HDR and a few other processes and came up with this.
A woman sitting on a bench in Provincetown.
A free man sitting on the corner of Freeman Street playing his guitar. Provincetown, MA
Portrait of a man on the corner of a street. Ran this through photomatix as a rest-run and chose to leave the “photomatix” words on it.
A landscape photograph of Cape Cod at sunset.
8:35 pm and I am standing in a field. The lights from the car barely draw enough light on the foreground to see the three trees. I mount my camera to my tripod. Open the shutter up, holding the flash in my other hand. I pop the flash repeatedly, like a god throwing lighting down from the heavens. Behind me, cars passing slow to watch as the middle of the field is lighting up with dozens of flashes. After a few moments I shut the shutter and the flashing comes to a stop. What I am left with is a photograph of three trees that I frequently drive by. Each season brings a beautiful composition that these three trees are a part of.
The eve before Christmas Eve I had a few hours to spare. So, like most days I have free time, I packed up my gear and headed to Northampton. There is this coffee shop on Pleasant St that always peeks my interest. The window fogs up and makes a very interesting composition. I parked my car. Walked to the coffee shop. By the time I got there the SUV that was in front of the shop was now gone. I was thrilled! I finally had a great angle to shoot from and a plenty of space to work. Not being cramped between the bumpers of two cars made me happy. Just as I set my tripod up another SUV pulls up. I was standing in a parking space. Tripod all set up. Camera in my hand. Facing the store front and side walk. Could it have been more obvious what I was trying to accomplish. The owner of the SUV stepped on his gas pedal, the tires spun in the slush as he moved forward about a foot in a half. Ignoring his pathetic attempts to move me I placed my camera on the tripod. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him slowly creeping forward. Growing increasingly irritated the closer he came. I grabbed my tripod and bag and moved forward onto the sidewalk. I turned, gestured for him to move forward while saying, “by all means take the damn spot, I’m not working on something here.” I placed my bag and tripod down and stood there waiting for him to get out of his SUV and walk away. I was waiting for him to leave so I could get between his space-hogging SUV and the other massive SUV in front of him. But, this man never got out his SUV, he sat there for less than a minute before he tore out of there in a blaze of idiocy. So, happy once again. I set my tripod up, aligned the shot, pressed the shutter, and fired away. After a few minutes, a few shots, some adjustments, I set the exposure needed to do a set of HDR shots. Here is the Coffee shop as I saw it on the Eve of Christmas Eve.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday just after the snow began I took a quick drive down Jarvis Ave and parked at Heritage State Park. It was cold and wet and I didn’t have long to photograph the snowfall before my camera would start to freeze up.
This canal system provided power to numerous factories that once used to thrive here in Holyoke. Now the canal system sits dormant waiting for the chance to once again to be utilized for its ability to generate energy. I, as well as many other photographers and artists find tremendous compositions lining the canal system.
This photograph has a good deal distortion in its composition. But, I think it a certain visual element that would other wise seem relatively plain and boring if it wasn’t apparent.
A silhouetted tree on High St.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday I took a quick stroll through part of Holyoke. I started at Heritage State Park and went up towards City Hall and made my way back. It was cold, wet, snowy, and made for some good photos. Here are two that I shot. I will have more to come later in the day.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Here are a few light meters that I suggest you have space for in your camera bag, box, or storage space.
Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate - Analog Incident and Reflected Light Meter $99.95
Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III - Analog Incident and Reflected Light Meter $179.95
A light meter is a good accessory to have in your bag. They are a necessity to evaluate the light in your subject to make the best possible exposure. A tool every photographer should be using unless you have the ability to evaluate light on your own and make the correct exposure.
Back in April I was shooting with a group of friends in Province Town, MA. One of the photographers I was with had this very interesting camera strap with him. It went over his should and clipped around his waist. I thought that a strap like that could be very useful when you’re moving fast and still trying to shoot. After some research I have found a company that makes them.
The RS-1 strap $44.00 by Blackrapid.com
The only difference between the person I knew who had one and this one is that there is no waist strap for a more secure locking system around your body. The benefit of a strap like this is that it wont put pressure on your neck, it goes over your shoulder and stays close to your hand for easy grabbing, as opposed to being directly in-front of you, and that in case your bumped of stumble while you are shooting and it slips out of your hand, your camera will fall gracefully to your side and not hit the ground in a devastating and tear-jerkingly-painful moment. Add this to your list of products that I recommend.
I have been searching for the right bag to fight my camera, extra battery, possibly an extra lens, and a card reader for when I am out shooting on day trips. Also I am searching for a bag that can hold one pro model D-SLR as well as my D-SLR and a few lenses. I have have a bag now that I have used for a number of years but have recently out grown with all the equipment I am starting to carry. I have found a very nice bag that can be slug over your shoulder, can hold a D-SLR as well as two lenses, a flash and has a little wiggle room for a few extras like a spare battery and a card reader. For those of you are unfamiliar with Tamrac, here is the bag I am considering.
This bag fits comfortably on your back and over your shoulder. The impression I get when I see it on someone’s back ( like in this picture) is that if you needed to run, jog, or sprint with this bag on your back, that it wouldn’t bounce or move around so much.
Here is the link to this specific bag.
I do not have nearly enough equipment yet, for a bag that is this large.
However I would recommend it to someone who is traveling and has enough equipment that a bag like this is a necessity. Personally I would get a hard case that is similar in design but is more rugged and could with stand a few hits or bumps, so I wouldn’t have to worry about any damage to my cameras and lenses.
Ideally a bag like this would be good. The draw back though, personally I wouldn’t want to be meeting with a client that I am about to shoot with or a working on a shoot and be seen carrying a back pack. However, a back like this would be great for traveling, day trips, walks/hikes in the woods and transporting your camera, lenses, laptop, and other equipment in your car or truck. A bag like this can also hold your tripod and or monopod on the back of it.
Link to this bag.
Tamrac is just one of many photography, video, laptop bag companies that are around and have a product that can meet the needs of photographers of all sorts, from amateur all the way up to professional, Tamrac has a product that will meet your needs.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Windows Live Writer:
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This story shares both sides of the some times very hurtful position that photographers and people can be put into while shooting certain situations. I like to make photographs that capture human emotions. But, at what cost does making a photograph come, when it is documenting someone at their worst moments in their life? This is a question I have face a few times in my career. Never the less, the story above gives a great point of view from the other side of the camera. A story that I am very thankful for having read.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Last week I made a post with these two photographs. Post can be seen below. While I was walking through Northampton last week on my way to meet some friends for dinner, I noticed the bike rack was empty. Since I had made this post, the bicycle that was chained to the bike rack had since been removed. I would say this concludes my "study of a bicycle."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Nikon CoolPix S550. In-stores it goes for$199.99. I have seen the price drop to $149.00 with a 4gb memory card. This would make a great gift for someone who want a digital camera for the every day pictures and memories. Home to 10 Mega pixels.
Nikon S60 would make the perfect gift for that special person that loves the latest technology. The S60 features a touch screen and a moderate 10 mega pixels. Priced at $349.95
Nikon D40 the first in the D-SLR series. This great little camera is the best gift to give to the amature photographer you love and care about. This camera is home to 6 mega pixels. Priced at $499.95 this camera comes equipped with all the right spec for the learning photographer to further seek out their abilities and learn all the basics of what D-SLR's have to offer.
Nikon D60. Finally we come to the last of the recommended cameras for Christmas. The D60 has 10.2 mega pixels and rings in at $649.99 This camera is for a more serious photographer. It is perfect for an upgrade of the D40, if that photographer in your family or heart is ready for something more serious. Anything above the D60 would be a Christmas gift, birthday present, and an anniversary gift, and second Christmas gift.
Other last minute gift ideas that are great are, Tripods, flashes, external hard drives, memory cards make great stocking stuffers (High speed 2 gb or 4gb are pefect).
Tripods to give,
Slik makes a few good tripods that I recommend. Priced at $100.00
Nikon SB400 Perfect flash to go with the Nikon D40 or D60. Priced at $99.99
Give the gift of Nikon this Christmas. You will surly make someone happy, which will in-turn make you happy.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Here are two websites that feature the new product. The first one is where you can find all the information needed to purchase it. The second one is from a blog that I follow.
Annie Leibovitz's Biography.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Ebay site: http://cgi.ebay.com/Laptop-Computer-NB-GPS-Car-Auto-Stand-Mount-Holder-Desk_
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Nikon AS-15 http://www.bizrate.com/cameraaccessories/nikon-as-15-hotshoe-adapter--pid8775826/
Nikon PC Sync Cord
Last week while I was photographing an even with a friend of mine, an active Nikon user like myself. We had the chance to watch a fellow photographer shoot with a Nikon D3. The camera and photographs he captured were simply amazing. Sitting next to me now on the front page of a local paper are the photographs that were shot with the Nikon D3. Having been blown away with the Nikon D3. I was even more blown away with the New Nikon D3X.
This camera is one of the best Nikon D-SLR models that have ever been released.
This camera packs a massive 24.5 mega pixels. The highest of any Nikon to date. A full list of specs and features can be found at
The price tag for this super model of Nikons is set at $7999.95. Every penny spent on this camera is well worth it with the quality that it will deliver. Not for an armature, this camera is meant to deliver top of the line professional images.
Unlike most photographers using pricey D-SLR cameras, Greg is out there shooting with a Canon PowerShot A530. This camera is only putting out 5 mega pixels. Another outstanding method he is chosen to do, something most HDR photographers wouldn't be found doing, is, he does not use a tripod to produce his photographs. Greg shoots "3-6 separate exposures" with out a tripod. He shot each of these with the assistance of the ground (the pigeon), fences (the shot of memorial bridge) or walls (the chain-link fence, Court Square) Greg's creative methods separate him from other photographers doing similar work. In order for him to produce each photograph he has to first be able to stabilize his camera without a the assistance of a tripod by finding a means to keep his camera steady in order to make the desired amount of bracket exposures. He believes that"A tripod obviously gives you way more flexibility (and stability) in framing a shot; but, when I'm shooting informally, I kind of like relying on luck. It makes the shots that really work seem that much more satisfying." I agree with him on this.
As far as software the software he uses, he gets very creative using photomatix and photoshop to produce the final image. "For editing software, I first merge the exposures using Photomatix. Then, a lot of tweaking. Photomatix is great, but it has some quirks. I've found that, in some cases, it'll add a lot of noise to neutral colors -- especially water and sky (and especially if you've radically under-exposed any of the shots). The strength, light smoothing, micro-smoothing and luminosity controls are a very delicate balance here. Another quirk: I've had almost no luck getting good shots that involve vivid sunsets. Everything I've tried ends up looking like a pile of melted crayons."
"Once I've got the Photomatix adjustments where I want them, I save the photo and re-open it in Photoshop. Another Photomatix quirk: the light smoothing and micro-smoothing process seems to add a pretty significant blur. Sometimes it's ethereal and pretty; other times, it just looks out-of-focus and bad. Running the unsharp mask filter in Photoshop usually takes care of that. For this shot of Memorial Bridge, I also sharpened using the high-pass filter, just to see what would happen. One last trick: in the Court Square shot, I tried to deal with the noise that had crept into the sky by 1) creating a duplicate layer; 2) hitting that layer with the dust / scratches filter to blur it; 3) masking that layer and 4) using the eraser to reveal the blurred (and much less noisy) sky. I think it worked OK as a quick fix."
I admire Greg's photographs and find his creative methods to be very inspiring. Greg has fully embraced his ability to create HDR photographs and has been able to find the best possible compositions in which to apply his processes. I hope you look forward to seeing more photographs from Greg, as we are always happy to have him as contributor here on Lenshare.
Words by Jeffrey Byrnes and Greg Saulmon. Photographs by Greg Saulmon, photographed during his "break-time walks around Springfield"