I love to photograph roadside oddities and always break for them!
I suppose this is a modern day version of the “Shoe Tree”
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I suppose this is a modern day version of the “Shoe Tree”
Feel like shopping?
Click on this link please.
Not a pretty picture but it happens to everyone who owns a computer with a hard drive. Sooner or later KEEERASH! I had a growing problem with my hard drive which I chose to ignore for about six months. When the computer finally died, I knew I was in trouble.
So, I got on the Dell website and ordered me another computer, one with two 1TB hard drives. What I got was one computer with one 2 TB hard drive. The guy from Bangladesh had a wee problem with Engrish.
Since I was delighted with the rest of the computer I decided to keep it as it came but ordered another hard drive from Amazon.com to make backup copies.
I do of course make copies of all my images on CD-ROM disks. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years now and as a result, I now have over 15,000 images on CDs. Transferring all those images from CD to computer took a while, but I have the images! Unfortunately I treated those images much like negatives, I did not save the processed images. That’s what I’m doing now. Going back and working all those “negatives”.
Everyone needs a backup plan, so I hope my tale of woe will help a few people. You can see some of the images on my Flickr account.
Canyon de Chelly is entirely privately owned. You will need to hire a native guide to take you into the canyon. I highly recommend you do that. The sights are worth the price.
I get asked a lot about the equipment I use for my picture taking. For the most part I shoot with a Nikon D90, a Nikon D5200 with various lenses ranging from fish-eye to 1000mm.
I will write about those as I post pictures of them in use.
Just to confuse matters, the picture above was taken with a Sony SLT A77, which I really like because the camera is always in “LIVE MODE”. It also has a pull out tilt/swivel view finder that really comes in handy.
I wanted to get to a place to shoot the canyon at sunrise, so that meant driving around in the dark, freezing and finally guessing.
There were some mountain goats on that canyon wall but they vanished before I could set up my tripod.
More on this later, right now I’m just happy to get a post published.
I have largely gotten away from doing HDR images because I found I really did not need to go to the bother.
There are scenes with extreme lighting that call for HDR, but for the most part I don’t need it. Dealing with moving elements in the picture is one of those hassles I don’t need. For today’s entry however, I want to present a beautiful picture of Moulton’s barn in the Grand Teton’s National Park.
I used Photoshop CS5 to render this image into HDR. Yes, I have the customary 3 images, one under exposed by one f stop, one properly exposed and one over exposed by one f stop. You can take these pictures hand held but the failure rate goes way up, so better carry a sturdy tripod.
There is one very important consideration when shooting for HDR. Make sure your camera is set to aperture priority. You don’t want your depth of field changing with each image, and blurring your end result.
The following image is from the identical original file to the one above, but it’s from a single image, instead of three. It’s not HDR. I worked this image using NIK Software.
Click on this image for a larger view
It hardly seems worth the effort to go through all the bother of doing an HDR, when I can get this kind of result with just one jpg. This is why I recently stopped doing HDR images and also stopped using RAW files. They are a waste of time and resources.
More on this later.
Just a short entry today. I’m still suffering from the post traumatic stress from Christmas and I’m still staring New Year in the face. Hahahah! Well, I bet I’m not alone with this.
Most people do their best to leave all vestiges of human existence out of their landscape images. I am of the opposite persuasion. I try to include people in all of my landscape shots. I firmly believe people add interest.
Here is an app that looks interesting. I swear, I’m going to have to get an Iphone!
Jenny is a complete amateur. I had the opportunity to photograph her just before Christmas. As we were getting ready to do the shoot I asked her if she had modeled before. When she answered in the negative, I thought to myself ” oh, swell”. Not that I mind beginners, but working with a model on her first shoot usually means slow going with a lot of coaxing. “Smile”, “look into the lens”, that sort of thing. With Jenny no coaxing was needed. She just naturally gave great poses and wonderful expressions. What a gift!
Click on the image for a better view
I don’t like to use a lot of props in my pinup photography because most of the time props are highly distracting and many times compete for the viewers attention. It’s the same with backgrounds. I almost always use very simple, plain backgrounds in order to focus all the attention on the model.
In this case I used a hat from a gangsta costume and an old chair.
Most of the time I prefer models look straight into the lens to give the impression of looking at the viewer, to make a visual connection. I like this picture, because Jenny appears to be day dreaming of being in Hollywood, or perhaps just waiting for that certain someone.
Jenny has the natural ability to look into your eyes and give you the impression that you are the only person in her life. That’s a killer look.
I try to develop that in all of the models I photograph.
Pinup photography has degenerated ever since the early 1970s, but I like to give the viewer’s mind the opportunity to work on his or her own fantasies. The brain is the most sensitive sex organ.
In my final image I have Jenny draped in a silk veil. Silk veils are much more expensive than veils made of other materials but nothing drapes a body like silk, nothing caresses the models body like silk.
I hope you enjoyed my presentation.
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I decided to present a couple more pictures of Mandy before closing down for Christmas.
Mandy is doing one of my favorite and classic pinup poses.
I like it because of it’s dynamic nature and because it shows the female body in its best light.
I snapped this image with my trusty Nikon D5000 and the Nikkor 18-200mm lens. ISO 200 f/5, 1/60th at 35mm
I use Alien Bee and Savage strobes that work really well for me.
This was my first photo session with Mandy. The shoot was a lot of fun, we got along well and Mandy is a talented and of course beautiful model. I hope to do at least one more photo session with her.
I like lots of color and I also like using a fan. The fan gives a feeling of action to an otherwise static studio scene.
I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!
Sometimes I go over a month without having a pinup shoot, then other times I get flooded with appointments. Right now I’m being flooded. Not that I’m complaining mind you.
I decided to try some new things when I planned for this photo shoot. For starters, I wanted to try out the Topaz and NIK Software plugins to Photoshop, plus I wanted to do some new things with the lighting and background.
For this image I set the camera on ISO 200. I used the Nikon D5000 with the Nikkor 18-200mm lens. I shoot full manual when doing an indoor shoot using strobes. The selected aperture was f/7.1, shutter speed 1/60th with the lens set on 95mm. I set levels to enhance the shadow area.
The important thing about photographing amateur models, just starting out is to make them feel as comfortable as possible, to establish a good rapport and to work on their expressions. I always shoot with my wife present. That helps a lot. Expressions are harder. The model needs to be made to realize that a glamor photo shoot is like Hollywood, that she needs to learn how to act. That’s the hard part.
I did not change any of the settings for this shot but I did use NIK Software Color Efex Pro 4.0. This is the latest version. I used the pastel filter. This filter falls right into my way of photographing women. Soft. I want the light to caress the female body, not smash into it and overpower it.
For this image of Carmen I used Topaz Adjust
The settings were; f/5, 1/60th, ISO 200, 62mm
Carmen knows how to do a nice sultry look. I have worked with her since she was 17 years old. First with fully dressed images, where we concentrated on expressions. After she turned 18 it became second nature for here to play with the lens. Oh yes, I met with and talked with her parents before we did the first shoot.
I have been wanting to do a shoot using mardi gras type masks for some time. I think this prop works great for sheer impact. Of course you lose all facial expressions, so body language is all important. I want the viewer to make up his or her own story when looking at these types of pictures.
This type of imagery is a bit tougher for model and photographer because we don’t do many photo sessions using masks.
I used the same settings for this picture. We really concentrated on bringing a more myserious, perhaps forbidden look to this image. The dark background, high contrast, and low key lighting all added to that effect.
I am going to continue discussing pinup, glamor, boudoir photography in future blog entries
I’m so busy with the babe photography that I only have time for one picture today.
El Paso does not get all that many thunderstorms, so when one does take place I’m out there looking to get some lightning images.
For this image I used the Sony SLT A55 camera, 18-250 lens and a sturdy Manfrotto tripod.
ISO 200, f/5.6 20 seconds 60mm, camera on shutter priority
I set up camera and tripod in a likely location that is both dry and comfortably distant from the lightning storm. I point the camera at a likely location, where several bolts have been seen. Set the camera on 20 to 30 seconds exposure and press the shutter release. This is one of the few instances where shutter priority is better than aperture priority. The lightning bolt is going to register regardless of settings, so the real challenge is to catch the lightning bolt while the shutter is open. On a really good and energetic thunderstorm I don’t have any trouble catching the bolts, but on a weak storm with few lightning bolts I have has many as 10 to 1 failures, where no lightning registers.
Sorry for the short post, but I have to get back to work.