Buy Good Glass

There’s a lot of debate about what it takes for a good photo. A good eye, a steady hand and a ton of mega pixels will get you only so far with a cell phone. If you want really good photos then you need a really good camera. I’ve had Gale’s hand me downs for a while and they are all good cameras. Now I have my own Canon 6D and I’m on the same amazing level with an amazing full frame camera.

But the camera is only part of the equation. Canon_8806A002_EF_17_40mm_f_4L_USM_279582You can’t spend that much money on a camera and use a cheap $200 (it’s relative) on a lens. Gale, wonderfully, gave me her “Nifty-Fifty” which I love and use for pretty much everything. But it is still a 50mm lens. We’ve been out and about and I have to stand a mile behind her to get the same shot as her 17mm lens and then she gets wonderful quirky angles and perspective.

So, yes, I just dropped $800 on my own 17-40mm lens. This is actually a really good price for this lens.   Since the new one has come out at $3000 the old one is yesterday’s news.  Of course, being me I ordered it for next day delivery on the day before memorial day weekend and from a company (B&H) that, wonderful as they are, celebrate every single Jewish holiday going and this weekend is Shavuos, which is the anniversary of their acceptance of the Torah at Mount Sinai. So, happy Shavuos!

I guess I’ll wait until Tuesday for my lens.

cropped-IMG_0316_tonemapped1.jpgI’d love to be able to show the difference between my beloved 50mm and a 17mm photo.

This, for example, was taken with Gale’s 17mm from maybe 3 feet away.  It’s so wide that I capture the entire building and get those freaky cool perspective lines.  Not to mention that it’s sharp!

Yes, I’m excited.

Brown County

Happy Easter!   OK, yes, it was a few weeks ago, but that’s retail.  It being my Easter Holiday I find myself with a spare day.   Time for a short road trip.  We had planned on letterboxing, but there are scant boxes in the area we had chosen.  So we embraced, as ever, our taphophile nature.  Brown County is one of the most beautiful places in Indiana.   Just a short drive (one and a half hours) from the North Side of Indy.  We spent time driving the little back roads and stopping at a few half forgotten cemeteries along the way.  These were mostly taken at Beck Cemetery, Freetown, IN.

 

Monochrome CG

I was just browsing through CGSociety and came across a guy who creates monochrome sci-fi images.  Which is not something I really had considered.   Sci-Fi should be bright and colourful.  Or at least dark and colourful.  So I took some of my favourite CG images and ran them through Lightroom.  Not totally unhappy with these, give an alternative feeling to them.   They use the same Lightroom filter that I created to convert photos.

Moravian Cemetery, Hope, Indiana and Flat Rock.

Today, I’m feeling more myself and so we took a quick trip to Hope, Indiana to visit a cemetery Gale had read about.

It was fine and I took a few snaps. On the way home we stopped at a cemetery in Flat Rock. I think it’s Morristown, but Gale would know better. This was actually more conducive to photography and the sun was playing hide and seek behind a cloud.

I took a lot of photos at both places. I wasn’t blown away by any of them at the time, but since I’m still on this split-tone kick, I thought I’d try it on some of them. I’m slightly happier in monochrome.

For the technically minded. Canon 6D with a 17-40mm and 50mm. Postworked in Lightroom 5.6.

Split-Tone

Celtic Cross DuotoneBlack and white photography.  Gotta love it.  With an absence of color the mind can concentrate on shapes, shades and contrast.

But you can do more than just remove color from a photo.   You can tint the monochrome to a slight color, brown to give an aged look, blue to give  a cold look.  Or split-tone.    This is a way of tinting highlights and lowlights to a subtle color.  Back in the olden days of film, it would be accomplished by using different chemical baths that reacted differently depending how exposed the print was. Digitally, it’s much easier and less smelly.  In this case I’ve tinted the highlights to blue and the lowlights to red.
See how the dark clouds around the edge have a slight red tinge and around the cross are more blue?  Neat huh?  It adds more dynamic to an otherwise monochrome image.

Here are two more:Dead Body House Du-Tone Statue