Birds In Flight

I’m fascinated with the ability of birds being able to fly, and perhaps a bit jealous.  I lov

Photo A Day

Go to the Photo-A-Day page  to see the album in its entirety. Helpful on mobile devices I’m t

 

More Nature shots

May 3, 2012 in animals, Nature, Photography

Flight of the Dove

Flight of the Dove

 

Birds In Flight

May 3, 2012 in animals, Nature, Photography

I’m fascinated with the ability of birds being able to fly, and perhaps a bit jealous.  I love to capture this amazing mode of transportation.  Here are some recent pics.

 

Photo A Day

January 1, 2012 in Photo A Day, Photography

Go to the Photo-A-Day page  to see the album in its entirety. Helpful on mobile devices

SONY DSC

Picture 1 of 361

I’m taking a photo a day for the entire year of 2011. To make this daunting task a bit easier and a lot more fun, I and several other photographers are doing it together. To make PAD (photo a day) even better we added two types of challenges, Weekend Object Challenges and Week long Technical Challenges.  Object Challenges are when we pick an object i.e. “Shadows” or “Light Bulbs” and try to get as creative of a shot as we can. Technical Challenges are we shoot only in Black and White or use Depth of Field etc. for an entire week.

Photo A Day is OVER!!!

January 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yeah!, Photo A Day is over. That was a photo intense year. It was fun and educational, but I’m glad it is done with.

Now I’m on to “Image a week”. This wont be as time consuming as PAD and hopefully will lead to a lot less posting of sub par work, I took a lot of sub par photos last year, LOL.

Follow Image A Week on my Facebook Fan Page GalanBeckDesigns

Army Men in Battle

June 9, 2011 in Black & White, Editorial, Photo Editing, Photo Manipulation, Photography

When as a kid I played with Army Men, and this is what I imagined.  Now as an adult I can use my camera,  photo editing software and toys to capture what I saw in my mind as a child.  I think that’s just so cool.

Army Men in Battle
Army Men in Battle

Army Men in Battle

I wish I had the original army men I played with as a kid. Not these off color cheap pieces of crap.

Below is the unedited color photo
Army Men in Battle Original

Army Men in Battle Original

Abbey Lane

June 9, 2011 in animals, Landscapes, Nature, Photography, Places

Abbey Lane

Abbey Lane

I was at a local park walking along the asphalt path and happened to capture a Goose with her gosling crossing the path ahead of me. Something looked familiar about it to me.   At first I couldn’t place it, then it dawned on me, it looked like the Beatles aalbum cover for Abbey Road.  So after looking at the cover, I flipped the image horizontally and added the crosswalk lines.   I almost added more like the cars etc, but then I might as well just drop the birds in the Abbey Road cover, and that would take away from my capture. I think flipping the photo and adding the lines, while may not be necessary, I think is enough and effective.

Here is the unedited photo

Abbey Lane Original

Abbey Lane Original

How I shot Sisyphus and a brief lesson on Depth of Field.

March 7, 2011 in Editorial, Photo A Day, Photography

Sisyphus
Sisyphus

I had people ask me how I did this shoot. I said to them that if I told them I would have to kill them. Since I’m tired of hiding all of the bodies, I figured it be easier to just tell everyone and be done with it.
First you need a good lens and camera with manual focus. I’m shooting with a Sony Alpha DLSR camera, which used to be Minolta; the lens I used for this shot is a Minolta 35-70 /4 with macro.

The idea behind this shot is what every kid knows, when you hold your fingers close to your eye and look at someone even a few feet a way you can squish their head.
Squish Your Head

Squish Your Head by CherieLeePhoto CherieLee.com

The key to getting this shot to work is a little technical and is called DOF (depth of field), don’t be scared, DOF refers to how much of the picture is in focus. A large depth of field has most of the picture in focus, while a shallow depth of field only has the main subject in focus.

Chinese Knight Shallow DOF

Bridge

Large DOF

The depth of field is controlled by the lens aperture, stay with me now, this is indicated by its f-number or f-stop. Smaller f-numbers mean shallower depths of field; larger f-numbers mean larger depths of field.
The f-number also tells the camera how much light is getting in, smaller f-numbers let in more light, higher f-numbers let in less light.
See, not too confusing, right?

This article is not meant to be an in-depth technical explanation of DOF. To learn more go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

Let’s see this in action

First, this photo will give you an idea of what these objects look like side by side.

mannequin and twine

mannequin and twine

Here is my set up for this shot.

Set up

Set up

As you can see the objects are about two feet apart.
If I was using an f-number of 4.5 and manual focus, I can only get one object in focus at a time. If you focused to the middle distance of the two objects, both would be blurry.

So I changed to an f-number of f22. This will allow me to focus in between or in the middle distance of the two objects and both will be in focus as in the final piece.

 

Keep in mind the larger f-number means that less light will come into the camera and will make for a darker image then the lower f-number. So you need to compensate for this with either a brighter light source(s) or a longer shutter speed. Here is a diagram of my set up.

Light Source
I used three clamp-on reflector lamps with 100w bulbs directed at each object and one accent 60w flood light bulb in another clamp-on reflector lamp. BTW, you can buy these at a home improvement store or hardware store very cheap.   The accent light is to keep the back side of the mannequin and ball of twine from getting too dark and disappearing into the background.

Shutter Speed
If you don’t have enough light use a slower shutter speed (longer exposure time) but you’ll want to reduce blur so mount your camera to a tripod or any flat stable surface. If you’re still getting a dark image try increasing the ISO to a higher number like 400 or 800.

Experiment and have fun.

Weekend Object Challenge “Slinky”

March 4, 2011 in Photo A Day, Photography

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Fans of this site might recognize this shot I called “Spring Water” from my Photo A Day series dated 01-09-11.

SONY DSC

If you’re not familiar with what that is, I’m taking a photo a day for the entire year of 2011. To make this daunting task a bit easier and a lot more fun, I and several other photographers are doing it together. To make PAD (photo a day) even better we added two types of challenges, Weekend Object Challenges and Week long Technical Challenges.  Object Challenges are when we pick an object i.e. “Shadows” or “Light Bulbs” and try to get as creative of a shot as we can. Technical Challenges are we shoot only in Black and White or use Depth of Field etc. for an entire week.

This article is about the weekend challenge: Slinky.

Me and another photog, CherieLee.com had the same mini slinky so the challenge was to be as creative as we could with the same object. The above shot was my choice for the PAD entry. The shots below were my alternatives.

This one is called “Bottled Spring Water”

Spring Water Bottle

Spring Water Bottle

If you look carefully near the top of the bottle at the top most groove you can see where I sliced the bottle about half way around so I could “hinge” the top part and inset the Slinky in. I tied fishing line on the top part of the spring, pull up on the slinky to stretch it out a bit and used clear tape to attaché it to the top hinged part of the bottle. It’s hard to tell but the bottle is about half full of water.

As far as lighting goes I used an off camera wireless flash and I think you can tell from the shadow about where it was placed.

This is called “Spring Loaded”

Spring Loaded

Spring Loaded

Not too much explanation needed for this. Remote wireless flash was used in this shot as well.

I could give more details on these shots, that is if I could remember. This was the last shot of the day and that bottle of rum was full when I started and was definitely not anywhere near full when I finished. Yo ho ho and all of that matey.

Speaking of pirates, Scroll to the bottom of your Facebook page where it says in little blue letters “English (US),” Click on it. When the language box pops up, click on the arrow next to “English (US),” and select “English (Pirate),”  Shiver me timbers, it’s a hoot.

02-21-11Chinese Knight

February 21, 2011 in Photo A Day, Photography

PAD

Chinese Knight

02-21-11Chinese Knight

Birds in My Backyard

August 28, 2010 in animals, Nature, Photography

 

Bird 1