There are a lot of reasons why this is one of my favorite pictures. I've always been inspired by a lot of beautiful pictures I've seen of the milky way and wanted to capture it myself. "Galaxy Road" was taken in August when I made my first trip out to truly dark skies to observe and photograph the stars. This state park took about 3 hours to drive to from the Chicago area. The drive was well worth it as I could see thousands of stars, dark clouds and nebula in the milky way, and a couple dozen meteors. The beautiful night sky is always up there, I just think it's a shame that the light pollution from cities blocks out so much of it.
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I picked this photo for both personal and artistic reasons. These are the hands of my 92 year old grandmother in January 2011. I had just received my first DSLR for Christmas and this is the first image I took with it that I felt was a "keeper." My grandmother was very worried at the time as my grandfather was in the hospital, and I think/hope my artistic rendering of the original did justice to those emotions.
I would like to share this photo of the Budapest Chain Bridge with you all. There are two main reasons why I really love this picture. First, I love Budapest, always have, and I have always had a soft spot for this gorgeous structure. The second reason is, simply, because this was the first image that came out exactly as I had imagined it in my head before the shoot, and is also the first image to have gotten serious praise even from pro photographers. So without further ado, the image:
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Back in 1986, back when we used film and called it ASA not ISO, I volunteered at a small, rural preschool in St. Vincent, in the Caribbean. I was 21, and I lived in a small cement brick house with a corrugated tin roof, the tropical rain a cacophony with strangely comforting rhythms. With me was the classic, obligatory Pentax K1000, and a Pentax K 55 1.8 lens. I had some lens cleaning tissue, but that was it. I was young, I had very little money - my camera was a cherised possession that often didn't seem that inanimate.
It was a poor community, and my Pentax and the 5 rolls of tri-X I had with me stayed in an old pot in a cupboard. The lid came off towards the end of my 8-month posting. Like on this day back in ‘86, at the pre-school. The young girl’s name was Kenisha, caught here in the cement-reflected light of the tiny school.
I took the shot with the 55mm lens, the only one I had with me. It was 400 ASA Kodak tri-x that I developed myself when I got back to Canada. It was all natural light, and in fact the preschool didn’t have electricity.
Of the handful of images I have submitted to various Pentax Forums monthly contests this one has been my favorite. The photograph was made specifically for Contest #69: Night Scene, and the image was composed with an idea I had based on the location and social nature of the scene.
- Camera: Pentax K-5 DSLR
- Lens: Pentax DA* 50-135mm 2.8
- Accessories: Manfrotto 055XB Tripod with Kirk BH-3 Ballhead
- Exposure: 30 seconds
- Aperture: F/16
- Focal Length: 85mm
- ISO: 80
- Shooting Mode: Manual
- White Balance Setting: Fluorescent (Warm)
- File Format: RAW
The purpose of these images was to make an otherwise common boring everyday item somewhat beautiful and appealing. The set up was mostly simple, (just resolving around one light source) and the procedure became more about selecting shape and shadow from the overall image. The overall colours the camera saw were far behind what I imagined and made great results.
What is HDR? High Dynamic Range, first thing we heard about HDR photos is picture that always connected with bright and dramatic scene. Even though some scenes simply contain a greater brightness range than can be captured by current digital cameras — of any type but a single image can't capture all parts of the scene in a proper exposure, High dynamic range imaging utilizes this characteristic by creating images composed of multiple exposures.
Generating an image series for HDR works better if you have a tripod since you'll want avoid the slightest shake or variation between shots. It also works better if you have more than 3 shots to combine, perhaps as many as 5 or 7 shots. This picture below is example of a simple HDR. I try to make black and white HDR despite to dramatize the pattern of the sky, even though in order to get that i have to lower down my tripod very low so i can get a unique low angle because sometimes 16 mm is not wide enough in APS-C sensor to make a good composition.