Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shoot Your Family

I came across this post from another PhotoBlog I watch and it made me think of all the pictures I wish I'd taken. MO and I have been scanning some old family negatives and finding some real gems, but the more I see the more I know is missing.

Lest We Forget

Written by Kenneth Tanaka
This week I lost a member of my family, someone who was part of my daily world for nearly half of my life. It can be all too easy to take someone so close for granted and let them become invisible. To my great dismay, despite owning a small fortune worth of camera equipment, that's what I had done. I could find no photos of him amidst the tens of thousands of images in my library.
Fortunately my wife, the sharper member of our partnership, had not suffered such a lapse and had an excellent series of snapshots from earlier this year. It was wonderful to see them. They'll certainly be treasures for the rest of our lives.
Which leads me to the point of this piece. Lest we forget, the primary reason most of us originally bought cameras was to record our lives. Our families. Our friends. Our travels. The things that give us joy. The things we love and care most for. The pursuit of "art" and self-expression is also a wonderful use of a camera. But it's a terrible mistake to allow such pursuits to distract you from covering all of the personal treasures of your life.
So may I suggest that today would be a good time to take pictures of the important souls in your world if you don't routinely do so. PRINT the pictures, the good and the "bad," and put them in a safe place. I can almost guarantee that one day they will become the most valuable pictures in your collection.
©2013 by Kenneth Tanaka, all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No Apologies

 I'm no great photo editor but I do like to play. When I take the camera out for a spin I shoot a ton of shots trying to find a good balance of light and shadow, color and composition. Generally I don't think "What a great Shot!". I figure with a little digital magic from one of several photo-editing software suites I might come up with something interesting and possibly nice to look at.
    I saw these coneflowers while mowing the "north forty" the other day and figured they might be worth photographing. Mid-morning light with good contrast from daylight to shadow. Good configuration of individual blossoms and nice contrasting blue flowers in the background. I took about a dozen shots as I circled the threesome. I used an old Nikon 70-210 zoom adapted to my Canon. The telephoto opened wide gives a nice blurred background with shallow depth of field. Though the flowers were beyond their peak I figured I could use that to my advantage in editing. A nice enough picture but I wanted something a little more.

I first used the automated fixer in Photoshop elements,saved the new
file and opened it in OnOne PerfectPhoto. This software is the perfect sandbox for me to play in as it provides many one click variables for many different looks. I wanted a kinda old artsy look and fiddled with several options til I was satisfied and here you see the results. Nothing out of this world but I like it and for me thats what counts.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Relative Project

MO and I are digitizing a bunch of old negatives and hope to compile them in some meaningful way. We've come across some with unknown faces. In this photo we can only recognize Artemus Ellsworth Handy(Grandad),far left and Margret Mae 'Clark' Handy(Granny), 2nd from right. Who are those other people?!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hummers Have Arrived

Got buzzed by a couple of males today...here's one of 'em. 500mm lens, f8 @1/125th sec, ISO 800. Overprocessed in Elements to get a little better definition.

 Original photo.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Before and After

 Ok, I guess I'll just post some raw photos taken with old glass mounted on digital slr in before and after modes. I was working in the garden and saw these birds congregating in the trees. I dropped the rake and ran to the house for a camera. I think a 55mm mamiya lens was mounted so that's what I used. Most of the birds were gone by the time I made these but with a little processing I may have something worth printing.
Photo shot with Canon EOS T2i with 55mm? at who knows what apprature, 1/1600 sec, iso 400.processed in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Sheesh, you'd think with the billions of dollars spent on all the high-tech cameras NASA could get a little better composition. The horizon is all crooked, there are distracting shadows in the foreground, no hint of what the subject is and no human element...what's up with that?!

This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left A (FHAZ_LEFT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 157 (2013-01-14 07:23:49 UTC) .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Solstice

Nothing too fancy, but I really enjoyed taking these.  Had a little backyard fire for the Solstice.  Camera, tripod, bulb mode and remote.  No real strategy just snapping intermittently.  The last photo in the batch, if you look closely, captures Kieara's back of head and face at the same time; kinda cool and creepy.

Light Painting titled "Incomplete"

I haven't quite achieved the effect I was looking for, but work has moved in, the holidays have moved on, and night shoots have been buried for the time being.  I was trying to get a nice clean shot of the truck exterior while also capturing what's under the hood, along with some fancy-shmancy light painting.  Obviously I have some work to do, but feel like there is a good start buried in these captures.  These are all single exposures completed under the cloak of darkness with various battery powered lights from around the house (flashlight, fluorescent lantern, laser pointer).