Archive for April, 2010

Video: in the field with the pros

Posted in Nature and wildlife, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 30, 2010 by bayouphoto

I found this on Darwin Wigget’s blog

Windsor ruins

Posted in Photo Friday, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by bayouphoto

This is another great adventure and quite close to the town of Rodney and the Natchez trace. Located not far north of Natchez is the Windsor ruins

If you are looking for it be sure to take the road slow as there is not much of a sign and quite easy to miss.

if coming from the south you turn right just before entering Alcorn University and it will be on the right.

There really is not a lot left to see but it is another small piece of the puzzle that was the antebellum south.

Orioles

Posted in Nature and wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2010 by bayouphoto

Baltimore Orioles have to be one of my most frustrating birds to photograph. They only show up when the leaves are full and then feed way up in the top branches. I have tried the putting out of oranges and other fruit in a futile attempt to lure them down. We have three pair of them and one pair of Orchard Orioles. I love to hear them call and can see them but photos are few and far between.The oriole is easily the most colorful bird we have here. the bright orange of the male is brilliant in the afternoon sun. These are the best I have so far this year. Maybe it will get better.

Rant of the week: Art is subjective

Posted in Rants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 26, 2010 by bayouphoto

I used to post a lot of my outdoor photos of a certain outdoor photography forum. when I first joined it, the site was mostly like family. we all were just starting to delve into digital photography and post processing. We learned from each other and shared our knowledge. Not in a critique style but just helpful hints when asked.

I go by the ” If I can’t say something nice, I will not say anything” unless I am asked for help or what could be done to correct something.

I have been using and teaching photoshop since version 6. I may not know all the way cool digital effects but I know how to properly process a photo and even what can be done to salvage one.

This brings me to the rant. Art is subjective to the vision of the creator. No one can say what is right or wrong. If it pleases the creator then all is well. It will not make everyone happy and some may even find it unappealing. However this does not mean I want to know how YOU would have done it.

There are now to many so called EXPERTS that want to dispense their assumed knowledge to anyone whether asked or not. You know the kind that are never happy with anything but their own work, which is usually crap.

I don’t mind if you don’t like my photo and I don’t even care if you tell me so. I didn’t take or create it for you. Sorry not trying to be mean but you just don’t matter that much. Why do I care for the opinion of someone I have never met and with dubious credentials besides. Now if you were Rick Sammon I would sit up and take notice.

What I am talking about is the guy or girl who always says “BUT” as in its nice BUT… Then proceeds to tell you in great detail how you should process your photo and even shows you an example of what he did with your photo. Oh and how much better it would be if you simply had as much knowledge as he obviously does. I know I am a mere mortal so please oh great one enlighten me.

I don’t care how you would have done it unless I ask. But then this is the guy that continues to do it even after you repeatedly ask him not to. With the internet and the anonymity it brings it is easy to make yourself into anything you want to be. I guess it is like the artist that is thought to be great if they are a pompous A$$.

Please don’t get me started on the ones that tell you that you should have changed the angle or the light or the pose of a wild animal. This is not the Brooklyn bridge we are shooting. The next time a cheetah will not cooperate I will call you to come and hands on pose him.

I don’t shoot for scientific sterile correct “head angle” photos but to record Gods beautiful creatures I see and to share them with others that appreciate the beauty of nature.

So I hope all those know it all blow hards read this. I am getting off the soap box now.

Here is a quote I like:

I recently posted an HDR image on a forum and received this response: Nice shot, but it just looks like an over-sharpened photographed.

Hey! Photography is very subjective, and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.  – Rick Sammon

Photo of the week: Michelle

Posted in photo of the week, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2010 by bayouphoto

Shot at the waterfall on the Bayou Macon.

Photo Friday:Michelle

Posted in Photo Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2010 by bayouphoto

I had a swimsuit shoot with Miss Michelle. I took her to the park at Delhi and shot in the late afternoon sun.

Click the photo for a larger version.

Tip Thursday: indoor flash

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2010 by bayouphoto

Ok, so you have been asked to do some indoor portraits or you want some better photos of the family than the normal snap shot. But you don’t have fancy studio lighting. No problem.

First you can use soft natural light from either a window or open door way. The best light comes from a north facing opening but any will do. If the light is harsh it can be diffused with a gauze type of window curtain or even blinds.

Click photos for larger view

This self-portrait was done next to a west-facing doorway. A black blanket for a background, and a white sheet to camera right to reflect some light back on my face. I also wore a black t-shirt to enhance the effect.

Next we have the case of using one on camera flash. I am not talking about the built-in flash but one that allows it to swivel and pivot. By bouncing off the ceiling or the walls we get room filling light that does not make the subject look spotlighted or the background dark.This photo is with just bounce flash off the low ceiling. Notice that it is nice room filling light. If you have a dedicated flash it will automatically determine the exposure or you can do it manually and adjust by the histogram.

This photo was done with natural light to camera left and the flash bounced to the right to fill in the shadows.

Now we come to more fun. You can simulate a studio set up if you have more than one flash. I use a Sigma 500 super dedicated flash as my main but I bought some used manual flashes to supplement. The only requirement is that they allow manual power adjustment such as 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 etc.

I bought a couple of used Sunpak flashes and a used Vivitar 5000. The Vivitar is a powerful flash i use for my main light. For diffusers I use small ebay softboxes designed for small hotshoe flashes.

This photo uses a combination of bounce to fill the shop area and direct to light the subject.You can use PC cords to set off the flashes or optical slaves but I use a set of Chinese radio triggers called Cactus triggers. You can find them on Ebay. You can see that by using bounce and direct I have nice even light, no shadows in the eyes and soft shadows.

I can also set them up as studio style lighting. Using a softbox and a beauty dish combo. One to either side of the model.This young lady wanted photos for her boyfriend that is a huge New Orleans saints fan. She lives in a small apartment and I had to go to her place to shoot. I didn’t lug big lights. Just the three flashes one was used to light the background one in the beauty dish and one in a diffuser. The background is just two white sheets sewn together. One does not need fancy equipment just a desire to elevate your photos above snap shot status. I have a set of sheets in red and one in black.

One of the best sites for DIY photography stuff is here and you can learn a lot about off camera flash here

I hope this inspires you to try for indoor photos that look more professional.