Michigan – B&W

Back home!  1000 miles in 4 days.  But well worth it.  And finally a real computer and Lightroom!  How I missed you.  I’ve posted a few photos while on our trip to Michigan, but now I’ve had time to play around in Lightroom.  I will post a colour gallery as well and maybe a few HDR, but here’s an entire gallery of black and whites for your viewing pleasure.

The Farmhouse

It was our anniversary.  11 years.  Gale and I often take little road trips around the back roads of Indiana.  Why take an express way when back roads can get you there in twice the time?  We headed down to Beanblossom in Brown County.  A nothing much town,  but it does have The Farmhouse.  A restaurant and nursery and antique barn.  Ripe for photographing.


I told a friend today to check out my website for some fake tilt-shift photos.  Then realised that was the old website and the new one probably doesn’t have them.  So here they are.  Tilt-Shift is a process of selective blurring that can give a photo the effect of being a miniature.  You can get specific lenses, or you can photoshop it.  I did the latter. Also check out the captions, it make me seem like a jet setter.


If you’re reading this on facebook, you will need to click-through.  Facebook is going to support animated GIF, but not quite yet.

One of my favourite photographers is Jamie Beck.  The reason I first saw her is because she created cinemagraphs.  She took an old, tired image format, GIF and created small moving photographs with them.  Just a little bit of movement in an otherwise totally static photo.

They’re not that hard to make, just a little time-consuming, but you do need a recent version of photoshop that can edit movies.   Which I have!  So I thought I’d try.  The best ones are when there is a repeating movement.  Hair blowing, a fountain, something without a beginning or an end.  As a trial I took a video of me winding my watch.  Worked out OK.   Now I know the process I’m ready to try some more.  Take a look at Jamie’s website AnnStreetStudio for her photos and her cinemagraphs.

You're going to break the spring!

You’re going to break the spring!

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.