Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie is a living museum in Fishers, Indiana.  It’s also less than ten minutes from my house.  We paid them a visit on the last day of the season.  The gardens were dying, the air was chilled and the people stuck in the 1800’s tired and ready for a winter’s nap.   But we managed to get a few nice photos.

Another day another $…

If only I could get paid for taking photos of stuff.  What a great life.  A tough life though.  Not a lot of money unless you are really really good and take photos of people.

We went to Cave Hill last week and Crown Hill this week.  Crown Hill has the benefit of being local.  So not such a disappointment when I don’t get any good photos.   Did have a bit of a worry though.  Using my beloved 50mm and it stopped autofocusing, then stopped allowing me to manual focus.   I was taking photos by moving closer to the object and hoping for the best.   Luckily I got home and coaxed it a little (by hitting it a few times) and then pulling th elens as I focused and it was brought back to life.   Can’t live without my nifty-fifty.   AND today, my second monitor broke.  it’s been on the way out for a while and today decided it was done.  Luckily monitors are pretty cheap.   Got a nice 23″ Acer on the way.   Thank goodness for credit.

I’ve had a great week on Instagram.  14 features!  Tons of comments and a load of new followers.



Autumn arrives at Ritchey

Today was stunning.  So we went in search of some colour.  Ritchey Wood Nature Preserve had some.

I didn’t want to lug around too much stuff.  So I just took my camera with my 50mm prime “nifty fifty”, which is my favourite lens.  Most of these were taken at f1.4.  You know, if you have a lens that opens to f1.4, why wouldn’t you use it?   Anyway, that’s why the shallow depth of field.  Even most of the longer shots were at f1.4.  At a distance the DOF is much wider, so the wide aperture just helps speed up the shot.  All were tweaked in Lightroom.  I have a preset called Fall which pumps up the colours.

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.