Entries in photography (10)


El Ten Eleven South by Southwest 2012 

El Ten Eleven South By Southwest


Sample Portraits: Fuji X-Pro1

Shot with the Fuji 35mm f/1.8.  Processed and resized in Lightroom.

I am loving the X-Pro1.  I definitely doesn't handle like a DSLR and the AF is slower than that of my Canon 5D, but this comes as no surprise.  It is still very quick and useable.

For me, the best part about this camera is the size and weight.  I can carry it everywhere easily since the body and lens combined weigh only slightly more than my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens alone (630g vs 505g)!

As they say, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

X-Pro1 PortraitX-Pro1 Portrait TestX-Pro1 Portraits


First Friday Photos @ Jake's Lincoln (10/7/2011)

I'm showing the following photos at Jake's this First Friday.  They'll be presented as framed 18" x 24" prints.  Please come by!

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Missouri River Flooding - Nebraska City, NE



Photos of The Mothball Fleet

Have a look at a fascinating photo documentary of a fleet of mothballed ships afloat near San Francisco.

For decades, dozens of forgotten Navy and merchant ships have been corroding in Suisun Bay, 30 miles northeast of San Francisco. These historic vessels—the Mothball Fleet—served their country in four wars: WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storm. After a decade of impasse, the ghost fleet is slowly dwindling as the ships are towed out one-by-one for scrapping. About 15 retired ships are already gone; by 2017, the entire fleet will be just a memory. -Scott Haefner

Mothball Fleet photo

Photo credit: Scott Haefner


Samsung TL500 / EX1 Test Shots

I recently got a Samsung TL500 and I’m taking it everywhere.  It’s not my 5D, but it’s small, fast, and has the ergonomics of a DSLR.  Here are a few shots from the last week. 

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ABC Fire–Lincoln, Nebraska

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The Basics: A Quick and Dirty Guide to Digital SLR Photography

Kyle Gibson

I wrote this guide to teach my friend some of the basics of working with his new Canon 7D.  While cameras differ, the information and instructions that follow are applicable for most modern cameras, be they Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.


Basically, as you move the dial clockwise, the camera becomes less automatic.

Green box - fully automatic, the camera will do everyting for you just like a point and shoot.

CA - automatic with LCD display showing settings.

P – Program mode where you set the film speed (ISO) and the camera sets the shutter speed and aperture.

Tv – Shutter Priority mode (Tv = Time value) is where you set the shutter speed and ISO and the camera sets the aperture.  This is especially useful for sports when you want to freeze action.  To stop an athlete in motion, you’ll want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/200 of a second.

Av – Aperture priority mode where you set the ISO and aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed.  This mode is very common among pros.  It gives you complete control over the image’s depth of field.  The word “aperture” is synonymous with “hole.”  Bigger holes let in more light, but they result in a shallower depth of field.  Smaller apertures do the opposite.  A lot of professional photos are taken using large apertures which blur the background and isolate the subject.  In the studio, you’ll generally want a deep depth of field because you’re trying to represent the product as faithfully as possible, so use a small aperture.  Counterintuitively, the smaller the aperture value, the bigger the hole, so f/2.8 is a big hole and f/22 is a small one.

M – Manual mode where you set the ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

C1 – C3 – Custom settings - can mix and match all of the camera’s functions with these.



Autofocus priority – This tells the camera to give more or less weight to focusing on different regions of the scene.  Spot focus is the simplest; the camera will only use the focus sensor at the center of the display to gauge autofocus.  You use this center point to make focus, recompose the shot, and then snap the picture.  Full frame autofocus is the most complex; it uses a matrix of 15 or so sensors to determine focus and then guesses what you’re shooting at (and it does so surprisingly well).  Center weighted focusing is sort of a mix of the previous two.

White balance – This sets the white balance to one of ten or so presets.  Since you’re shooting in RAW and know your way around Photoshop, I won’t need to explain this further.

AF – This changes the type of autofocus from AI Single, where the camera locks focus on something once, then lets you snap the picture to AI Servo, where the camera continuously tracks the subject it’s locked onto.  AI Servo mode is hand for sports, racing, animals, kids, and so on.  The AI Focus mode lets the camera chose the best of the preceding settings for you.

DRIVE – This sets the camera to shoot one shot when you hold the shutter release, to keep on shooting many shots continuously, or to snap the shot after a time delay.

ISO – This changes the ISO setting.

Exposure Compensation – This button allows you to quickly compensate for overly bright or dim exposures.  This is especially useful in high contrast scenes.  For example, if you’re shooting a picture of some friends outside on a sunny day, you might find that they’re properly exposed, but the background is overexposed and too bright.  Use the exposure compensation setting to underexpose the picture a little so you see what’s in the background.  You could also do this on your own in manual mode, but exposure compensation works in all shooting modes except for fully automatic and CA.



Getting a good photograph is all about getting the correct exposure.  Hypothetically, say a proper exposure means hitting your camera’s sensor with 100 units of light.  Several things will come into play to influence proper exposure including ISO, the brightness of the scene, shutter speed and aperture.  Aside from using a filter or lighting, you can’t control the brightness of the scene, but you can everything else.

Let’s say you set up the camera and took a picture that lets in only 80 units of light instead of 100, resulting in an underexposed picture.  What can you do? Luckily, a lot.  First, you can increase the ISO of the sensor, making it more sensitive to light.  This is much like turning up the gain on a microphone.  The downside for both is more noise.  Second, you can decrease the shutter speed.  If you’re in a well-lit area, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you slow things down too much, you won’t be able to capture your subject in action or you’ll get blur from camera shake.  Third, you can increase the size of the aperture.  The downside of this is that it decreases depth of field.  Of course, a lot of us like the shallow depth of field look, but as I mentioned above, it’s not always appropriate.  Your job as a photographer is to figure out how to best manipulate these variables to get the proper exposure and the visual characteristics you want.

One last note:  try to get it right in the camera.  Relying on Photoshop is a pain and takes a lot longer than getting the shot in the first place.  Also, even the best Photoshop guru can’t get rid of blur.



Man Ray: Cadeau (Gift)

This is one of my all-time favorite images.


Cityscapes of Staples

I love this.  Here's a link to Peter Root's amazing installations.