Archives for the month of: October, 2011
The Stained Glass Trail by Terry Schmidbauer
The Stained Glass Trail, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was taken at Lord Hill Regional Park on Saturday on a partly overcast day. I really liked the stained glass effect created by the framing of the trees so I set up in the middle of the trail to take a shot. I’m really enjoying my time in the viewfinder lately so I took my time and got everything just right. When I was ready I pressed the shutter release nice and slow like a sharp shooter squeezes the trigger on a rifle. I got one shot off and as I was reviewing the image in the viewfinder this person walked into my frame. Because I was already set up I took a couple more captures. When this person realized that he was in my frame he quickly ducked behind a tree but it was too late for him because he was already captured.

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Mud Track by Terry Schmidbauer
Mud Track, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I couldn’t find anyone to take bike photos of so I had to make due with what was available. This was taken at Lord Hill Regional Park today during a hike.

Packing em Down. by Terry Schmidbauer
Packing em Down., a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:

This was taken down in the “U” district last night. I was killing time before a backcountry film opening so I experimented with my camera’s scene settings.

This is a setting called Handheld Twilight. The camera takes 6 really quick shots at higher ISOs and then merges them together to create a shot with less noise. You can do this with faster shutter speeds with no need for a tripod. It’s actually a pretty fun scene setting.

I processed this with a Kodak Tri-X 400 preset in Lightroom and didn’t need to add any noise reduction. Other than that the only processing I had to do was a burn the upper right corner to bring down the highlights.

The GPS data made it really easy to plot on the Flickr map.

 

Dynamic Range in the Marsh by Terry Schmidbauer
Dynamic Range in the Marsh, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I actually posted this as a link to a forum post in dpreview about the dynamic range of the new A77. But I’m glad to see it’s gotten some attention here. This is the default process in Lightroom from a A77 RAW file. There is no noise reduction or enhancements whatsoever done to this image other than how Lightroom normally processes a RAW file.

The DR is quite amazing in the image, IMHO. But what’s truly amazing (for me) about this image was that I was able to get this in one shot. Because of the OLED I was able to look right into the sun and frame my image, dial in the correct exposure in real time and just freeze the image in the viewfinder by pressing the shutter button.

This RAW file is really going to be a joy to work with in Lightroom. I’ve shot similar images in the last couple of weeks with my A500 but it was a struggle to get the image I wanted. With an image like this I can see myself processing it in a number of different ways and the biggest decision is going to be which one is best.

The more I shoot with this camera, the better it gets.

Mini Sparkles by Terry Schmidbauer
Mini Sparkles, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
More sun flairs, I can’t help myself. As I left the building for lunch today I was pleasantly surprised by the clear, sunny weather. It was raining for most of the morning so it must have cleared up just before I left for lunch because everything was still wet, perfect for taking some photos with the A77.

This car was parked a couple of steps from the door and the deep shadow behind the headlight was a perfect backdrop. I looked right into the sparkles, adjusted my exposure to the left and framed the shot. The exposure was perfect with one shot. I seriously love that about this new camera more than anything else. I actually like being in manual mode better that aperture preferred now too.

Sun Flairs are Cool! by Terry Schmidbauer
Sun Flairs are Cool!, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This is one of the first photos from my new Sony A77. This was only the second day of shooting with it but I’m really impressed, I really like this camera!
This is not the most exciting image but there are some things that are noteworthy here. First, I love shooting sun flairs and this camera makes it really easy to do. Because the viewfinder is digital, there’s no danger in going blind from looking right into the sun. This makes it really easy to get the exact shot you want without squinting. Second, also relates to the viewfinder, this camera will change the way I shoot. This is a true WYSIWYG viewfinder. You make all of the exposure decisions with your eye in the viewfinder and when you press the shutter button, the image is captured exactly as you saw it. This allows me to get everything correct in the camera and as an added bonus it allows me to shoot JPEGs. Being able to shoot great quality JPEGs opens up a whole new area of creative camera controls and this camera has a lot of cool ones. Lastly this camera has a built in GPS so you should be able to see where this image was shot. That’s not anything earth shattering but it’s a great way to catalog images and it’s cool.

Day's End, Night's Beginning by Terry Schmidbauer
Day’s End, Night’s Beginning, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was from a photo shoot with Crystaline at Alki Beach in late summer. At first I was disappointed that the horizon was slanted which is probably why I initially discarded it but now I like how it works with the rest of the angles in the composition. It’s also kind of whimsical and adds a little fun to the image.
I’m really starting to enjoy the time I spend reviewing and processing photos taken in the not too distant past. That extended time interval between the capture and the processing forces me to look at the images with a slightly different eye. It releases me from having a preconceived image in my head and having to make a capture fit my mind’s eye image. Having that time in between the shoot and the processing is the luxury of an amateur.

What's a Light String by Terry Schmidbauer
What’s a Light String, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was taken inside of a very dark lodge at the Nature Consortium’s Festival last August. The noise in this shot is just terrible but the gesture and overall composition is so nice I had to show it. I don’t know who this kid is, I was in the lodge photographing the lead singer of POTUSA and saw this image so I took the shot. I pushed my camera beyond what it’s capable of but I really had to capture the image. If you look at the EXIF data you will see a very low brightness value, it’s at -.63. A normal outdoor brightness value is around 6 or 7 while an indoor value is normally around 1. I cleaned it up the best I could in Lightroom but it still has a lot of noise that’s very unpleasant too look at. This image could never pass a stock image check. Hopefully my new Sony A77 will have a better dynamic range especially in the dark tones. It arrives on Saturday, I’m so excited!

Bright Fog in the Marsh by Terry Schmidbauer
Bright Fog in the Marsh, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
As I was leaving the house this morning I noticed that there was some sun between the trees. I turned around and grabbed the camera off my desk and planned to make a quick stop at the marsh to try and capture a foggy morning shot.
A huge reward awaited me. As I pulled into the lot I saw the marsh totally socked in with fog but it was only 30 feet high. That meant bright fog and it was just what I’ve been waiting for.
The sun was burning off fog quickly so I had to work fast. I knew where I wanted to shoot so I made my way to the center of the marsh. I experimented with a couple different vantage points along the way but settled on shooting toward the sun for a cinematic effect.
The cinematic effect works particularly well in this shot. It has a kind of haunting quality to it but is still feels bright and cheery. It’s a nice contrast of moods and one I haven’t worked with before.

Sascha by Terry Schmidbauer
Sascha, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Our new Maltese-Shitzu blend we adopted this weekend. She is 8 months old and was in need of a little attention. She had a bath, is feeling right at home and is playing upstairs with Oliver as I write this.
I shot a large number of photos of her first bath with us and got a couple of great images. Most of them are more like snapshots but this one really stood out as a fine art portrait. It was the last photo I took this afternoon but you can count on plenty more images of this lil girl, she’s very photogenic.