Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1930 National Style O Guitar (179 of 365)

1930 National Style O (179 of 365)

This was another attempt at doing a multi-picture (stitched together) "bokehrama" (see here for more info: ). It is 6 images stitched together to emphasize the already shallow depth-of-field of the 85mm lens at f/1.4. It's not perfect, but it's my picture for the day.

The guitar is an early (1930) steel-bodied National Style O resonator guitar. Most of these were made of brass, but the first 500 or so were made of steel. A friend had this with him and I had to get a shot of it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reflecting on Childhood (178 of 365)

Reflecting on Childhood (178 of 365)

I don't say it often, but I really like this shot. I was trying to get a nice shot of Ava in her new dress, but she wouldn't stand still. While I was sitting where I had originally intended to take her picture, I followed her around with the camera hoping to snap something and, when I saw this angle through the viewfinder, with its light and reflection, I absolutely loved it.

Nothing special in the setup here, just the 85mm set to f/1.4, a fairly high ISO, and some nice sunlight coming through the windows.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Quiet Place (177 of 365)

A Quiet Place (177 of 365)

Overall, the subject matter of this shot isn't all that exciting. I've been working on a technique for the last few days and this one was mostly a technical exercise. Check this one out in Large Size for the whole effect. What you are looking at is about 15 photos stitched together to form one photo that appears to have a very open aperture. I took the shots with the 85mm lens at f/1.4 and then stitched them together in photoshop. What it does is give it a very high resolution and the look of f/0.5 or something like that -- it almost has a tilt-shift quality to it. I've seen this technique referred to as the Brenizer Method or Bokehrama, but I'm not sure if that's the proper name or not (or if there really is a proper name). Overall, I liked the look, so I figured that I'd experiment with it. The original stitched image was something like 40 megapixels, so you're not really getting the full effect on flickr (I'm not sure where you could actually use all of those pixels -- maybe a billboard or something?).

Here's a tutorial on doing something like this if you're interested. And, here's another tutorial.

I think the coolest part about a technique like this is that it is so "new". It has only been a couple of years now that computers and software were powerful enough to stitch photos like this. Accordingly, we're dealing with a technique that you probably won't find in books and one that hasn't been around for 50 to 100 years like a lot of photography techniques. Pretty cool.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

iPhone 4 : A New Toy (176 of 365)

I lucked out with this one. I was walking through the mall to grab some lunch and I noticed some excitement over at the Apple Store. It turned out that they had just received a new iPhone 4 shipment. So, I walked over, and, after about 10 minutes, I had a new shiny phone/camera/computer/toy. :.) I had refused to go there and wait hours in line on Thursday, so I was pretty happy to find one without a waiting.

I figured that this thing would never be this clean again, so I should take a picture of it tonight. I guess I was right because, before I went to bed, I noticed that the "indestructible gorilla glass" on the back already has a little scratch. Oh well. The scary thing, though, is that the screen is supposed to have the exact same "super" glass -- I hope it's a little bit "superer" on the screen. :.) Oh well, shiny new toys only stay shiny for so long.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sunset on F Street (175 of 365)

I took this during a quick business trip to Washington, DC. I was sitting at a sidewalk restaurant and noticed the evening light setting up nicely, so I got up when I thought that it was just right snapped this with my iPhone. I think it really shows that, while camera and lens are nice, the subject and light are the most important elements of the shot.

That is the Treasury Dept. at the end of F Street. This was taken from the corner of 14th and F Street NW.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ava and Mommy at the Beach

Ava and Mommy at the Beach, originally uploaded by lighthack.

Live.Learn.Laugh.Love.Life (170 of 365)

This piece of art was hanging on the wall at the beach house that we rented for the week on the Isle of Palms, which is near Charleston, SC. I thought that it was pretty cool, so, as we were packing to leave for home, I took a quick picture of it knowing that I wouldn't have much time for picture taking later in the day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beach Bunny (168 of 365)

Beach Bunny (168 of 365)

Ava says that she could get used to this kind of life. I think she's a beach bunny at heart.

Beach Portrait (167 of 365)

Beach Portrait (167 of 365) [Explored]

This is my niece, Summer. She wanted some portrait shots taken, so we went out yesterday when it was cloudy and snapped a few. This is one of my favorites from the session. If you follow my Project 365, you might remember Summer from Day 93 and Day 93 (alt).

This was taken with 100% natural light -- no flashes and no reflectors. The clouds made for a nice, huge, natural soft-box.

Explore June 17, 2010 - highest position 16th
Featured as an Interesting Picture (#1 position) on Flickr's D700 page

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Assistant (161 of 365)

My Assistant (161 of 365)

I was setting up for a high key shot for today's picture and Jasmine was "helping" as usual. Once I got setup, I decided to use her for my test subject to tweak my lights/exposure settings. Well, sure enough, her photo was more fun than the set shots that I took. So Jasmine wins out. I'll save the other idea for another day and re-shoot it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Symbolism (160 of 365)

Symbolism (160 of 365)

A simple clenched hand can invoke so many different feelings. It has been the symbol of so many causes. What do you see? Do you see struggle? Power? Pride? A cause? Fear? A fight? The left? The right?

SB-600 through a gridspot camera right and high, a reflector camera left and low. The light is feathered from above and direct (from the reflector) below.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crime Drama (158 of 365)

Crime Drama (158 of 365)

I was looking to do something completely different with today's shot. I feel like I'm falling into a rut a bit, so I want to shake things up a little bit and try fresh things.

I had two things I wanted to do with the shot -- I wanted a high contrast black and white film noir type look and I wanted to play with specular reflections (i.e., direct reflections). So, I went around the house looking for something to shoot that would lend itself to both. Looking through a box of old stuff, I found this old prop knife and figured that it would let me play with a "crime drama" type look and it would allow me to work with reflections (after a little polishing).

Setup: SB-600 through 24"x24" softbox camera right and high. Distance behind the subject for the black background.

Monday, June 7, 2010

One More Ava Shot

Muted Color Portrait

I took this over the weekend and decided to post it b/c it makes me smile every time I look at it. I like the genuine smile (as opposed to posed smile).

Of Course This is a Chair (157 of 365)

Of Course This is a Chair (157 of 365)

I just had to take a picture when Ava decided that her Legos bucket was the most comfortable seat in the house. After making this miraculous discovery, she refuses to sit any where else.

This picture makes me smile, but makes me a little sad at the same time. While I love the look, the cross-processing that I used to finish off the picture makes her look so grown up. I guess this is the result of being so used to seeing this technique used in fashion photography.

Sunday, June 6, 2010



We had some pretty cool clouds in the sky tonight in Atlanta. I took this from the deck in the backyard.

(156 of 365)

(156 of 365), originally uploaded by lighthack.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Have we really progressed since 1960? (155 of 365)

I saw this 1960 Corvette in the parking lot at a Walgreens today and I couldn't resist taking a snap with my iPhone. Looking at it, it made me wonder: If we've progressed so much, why can't I buy something this cool at a Chevy dealer? I had a C5 Corvette for a few years and, from a coolness point-of-view, it had nothing on the old Corvettes.

By the way, when I was a kid, my parents had a 1962 Corvette (similar to this but Black and without contrasting coves). They sold it to buy a camping trailer so us kids could enjoy camping trips. I never fully understood that sacrifice until my wife and I had to trade-in the sports car we had when Ava was born. It sure stung, but it was well worth it.

Bliss (154 of 365)

Bliss (154 of 365)

Ava decided that Tigger, Eeyore, Ava Bear, Spider, Pup, Violet, Christmas Bear, Blue Bear, Rabbit and Cookie Jar all had to be in one of our pictures.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tomato (153 of 365)

Tomato (153 of 365)

So, what happens to a tomato when you add some water and strategically placed light? Well, it's still a tomato, but it looks much cooler that it did sitting on the kitchen shelf.

No babies or canoes available tonight, so I decided to fire up the old strobes and work with some artificial light. I saw this tomato sitting on the shelf and I really liked the look of the stem, so I figured I would see what I could do with it.

Setup: SB-600 through a 24"x24" softbox camera right, a reflector camera left. SB-600 with three green gels on the floor aimed at a crumpled piece of tinfoil about 6 feet behind the tomato. The tomato is sitting on a piece of glass that is elevated a few feet off the ground. The water is from my orchid mister.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Out in the Canoe (152 of 365)

Out in the Canoe (152 of 365)

Tonight, after getting home from work, eating dinner and putting Ava to bed, I decided to sneak out in my canoe for a few minutes of peacefulness. Although the little lake in the back isn't huge, getting out in the canoe and hearing the sound of the water lapping on the bottom of the canoe while paddling along always reminds me of going camping and canoeing in the Adirondacks with my Dad when I was a kid.

BTW, I didn't feel like lugging along my D700, so my trusty Sony DSC-P150 makes its Project 365 debut tonight.