Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Speedlite

The 580EX II is great. I still have so much to learn but I am excited to give it a try. A buddy and I tried our hand at using two flashes as master and slave and light painting in a dark park. It was a blast. The results were not spectacular but it was fun to try and see what happened. We now know more about the flashes, camera and flash setup and slaving flashes. These are a couple of the pictures we took.

The jungle gym pictures were taken by setting the camera shutter speed to 20-30 seconds in the dark are and using the flash to illuminate small areas of the picture. In the future we will try some flash lights and other setups.

We also tried some dramatic lighting with our faces. The coolest thing with the cigar picture could be that it was taken in a garage with lights. It was pure luck that we were able to overwhelm the natural light because we were just messing around but the effect is quite cool.

The pictures posted are a conversion from RAW to JPEG and I am amazed to see some of the differences just in the decisions that the camera or another program makes automatically. The last picture in the series has the face blown out whereas the RAW file has lots of detail in the face. Yet another reason for shooting RAW.

There are a couple more pictures from that night on my flickr site.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lots more to learn

This past weekend was very busy. My wife is sick with mono, my parents had a basement flood with sewage, a hot water heater break and a computer crash, I went to Manitou Springs to watch the coffin races with my wife and her sister and we went to a concert Saturday night. Last but not least I took in my laptop to have a couple things done. It was starting slow, not running video correctly and would only burn DVD's 1/3 of the time.

I don't usually purchase the extended warranties for anything but for some reason I did on this laptop and it is a good thing. I was told by the woman when I brought it in that she has seen many of the same laptop come back through her store. Good thing I have three years to work out all the bugs.

Now the exciting things. I have a big boy flash coming in the mail today. I am shooting about 200 kids in a Christmas setting in November and I want to be ready. I will have some time to learn how the light and new flash is going to work before I have to get it right. Canon is offering $50 off the 580EX II right now as well.

I have also purchased a color calibrator for my monitors. Yep both monitors. I recently purchased a 24" Dell UltraSharp monitor to use for photo editing. It will be very nice to use once I get the laptop back from HP.

I will post a couple pictures of the new setup when I get home.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lesson 1 - All 7-Points

The first lesson took me about 45 minutes to complete. I learned that I need to calibrate my new monitor because my pictures color looks nothing like the one in the book, this book is going to be very useful, I need practice at Photoshop, and so much more.

As I stated in an earlier post these pictures are following a lesson plan. I did not take them or come up with the editing technique. I am amazed to see the difference that a couple changes can make to a photo.

Making the Perfect Photo

In an effort to broaden my Phoroshop skills I am following a book by Scott Kelby. It is called the 7-Point System. I am following the lesions so I will be recreating the same pictures that he did. This will help me to learn more about why Photoshop Professionals make the choices they do. I will also be learning the ins and outs of CS3. It is outdated already with CS4 but I am not upgrading because I don’t even know how to use CS3 yet. Stay tuned for the before and afters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eleven Mile Panorama

Eleven Mile

A friend took the picture. I just added a little green to the grass and minor sharpening.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008