Archive for February 2008

Photo of the Day: Leora

February 12, 2008

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D100

F-Stop: f/4.5
Focal Length: 24 mm
Exposure Bias: 0
Speed: 1/15
ISO: 400

Leora, Center Stage, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

One of my first photo assignments after I got my D100 was to photograph a party being thrown by the Multicultural Club on Whitman’s campus. While I was there, I decided to try an experiment with my friend Leora: I had her stand near the rotating dance light and not move for about two seconds while I snapped off a couple of low-speed shots.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been particularly fond of this result.

Photo of the Day: Sherman’s Lagoon

February 9, 2008

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80

F-Stop: f/5.6
Focal Length: 18 mm
Exposure Bias: +0.3ev
Speed: 1/30
ISO: 1000

Fillmore, Center Stage, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Last weekend, I was hired to photograph the world premiere of the Bentley School’s latest musical production, Sherman’s Lagoon.  The play is based on the comic of the same, which is written and drawn by Jim Toomey.  It turns out that the play’s director is friends with Toomey, and the cartoonist was heavily involved with the play’s creation.

The play is actually really cute, which was a lot more than I could’ve hoped for from a high school production (seriously, I’ve photographed some other high school stageshows over the years which have been simply dreadful), and I was really impressed by the quality of the songs and the set design.  The girl here plays Fillmore, the knowledgable turtle who generally fixes the titular Sherman’s messes with his common sense.

If you’re interested, tickets to the show can be purchased here.

Photo of the Day: Welcome to the Great Outdoors

February 8, 2008

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80

F-Stop: f/5.6
Focal Length: 57 mm
Exposure Bias: +1.3ev
Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 200

Welcome to the Great Outdoors, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

When we were on the road as part of the sponsored trip by Red Truck Wines, we came across the Craters of the Moon National Monument, which -in all honesty- is one of the dullest things you can hope to visit whilst traveling through Idaho (thus helping the Potato state maintain its reputation for being dull). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a striking visual, mainly because the black volcanic rock strikes a vivid contrast against the rest of the landscape, but there’s nothing to actually do or see past that. We stopped on a portion of road which was freshly paved and painted, and after snapping a couple of photos of the ominous scenery surrounding the freeway, I decided to try this shot out.

It was a harrowing experience, because the only (sporadic) traffic which seemed to come along were RVs and bigrig trucks. As a result, my two tourmates watched for oncoming traffic in both directions while I lay in the middle of the road and snapped away. I must’ve taken about 30 versions of this before I finally wound up with one that I was truly happy with, but I maintain it was totally worth it.

Photo of the Day: Down, Down We Go

February 7, 2008

Down, Down We Go, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80

F-Stop: f/5.6
Focal Length: 168 mm
Exposure Bias: +0.3ev
Speed: 1/800
ISO: 400

While wandering through a children’s festival in State College, PA, I came across an inflatable slide which happened to be about thirty feet tall (I exaggerate not). It was kind of a kick to watch all these little kids plummeting down the plastic, oftentimes they wouldn’t even touch the surface until they were about a third of the way down. What really amazed me was that not one of these little sprites actually managed to look scared on their drop down.

Photo of the Day: Norfolk Sunset (How To Make A Panorama)

February 6, 2008

Norfolk Sunset, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80

F-Stop: f/4.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
Exposure Bias: 0
Speed: 1/125
ISO: 200

Assembled in Photoshop CS3

This is actually 7 photos combined into one panorama. I was on an evening cruise in Norfolk, VA, and liked the contrast of the cranes against the sunset. Up until this point, I really hadn’t been all that impressed with Photoshop’s panorama assembly features, mainly because it did a wonky job of matching the photos together until this latest version. In fact, it was faster for me to simply assemble panoramas by hand and I was generally happier with my efforts than that of the software.

If you’ve never actually built a panorama before and you have a copy of Photoshop, here’s a really quick tutorial:

1. Shoot your photos:

I generally take somewhere between three to eight pictures for a panorama. If it’s a sunny day and there’s not a lot of shadows, I’ll keep my camera in its automatic mode because the light won’t change too much. For things like sunsets or when there is a lot of light variation, I’ll shoot in manual so I can keep the lighting roughly the same between each shot (having photos with vastly different light levels makes Photoshop unhappy later on).

2. Import your photos to your computer, put them together into a folder.

‘Nuff said.

3. Assemble the panorama.

This is a lot less complex than you might think. Simply go to File > Automate > Photomerge.

 

photomerge.jpg

You’ll be presented with a number of options as to how you want the final image to be assembled. I generally use the “Auto” feature, mainly because it makes the final result a lot easier to crop down afterwards. After you’ve made your choice, just sit back and let Photoshop do all the heavy lifting.

4. Crop generated image

5. Bask in the worship of your fans.

Photo of the Day: Rob Lok

February 5, 2008

Rob Lok, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

F-Stop: f/4.8
Focal Length: 52 mm
Exposure Bias: 0 Shutter
Speed: 1/500
ISO: 400

Rob Lok, one of the various performers I was on tour with for a while. This was a promo photo we took for him to use at an upcoming festival in China. It was actually one of the easiest shots I’ve ever done: he sat atop a pile of stacking chairs and we just used the light from the sunset; I didn’t even have to adjust the lighting at all with a flash.

Photo of the Day: Fire and Darkness

February 4, 2008

Fire and Darkness, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D80

F-Stop: f/4.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
Exposure Bias: +1.0ev
Speed: 1/200
ISO: 400

My view of the burner flame in a hot air balloon I rode in one night; this was at a Halloween festival near Peoria, IL.