Monday, September 27, 2010

Backlighting a subject

I was thinking of new ways to light up my subject today. I didn't really feel doing the usual 3-4 light setup for the studio so I opted for something different.

A one light setup is a good idea. And to make it more interesting, I decided to go with backlighting...with a colored gel.
I wanted to mimic a sunset look so a yellow gel for the light is perfect.

Gels are perfect for coloring backgrounds. They can also be used to cast colors on the subject. It depends on how you want the color to be.

For this shot I used 1 light, gelled with yellow coming from the back of the subject.
Since I am only using 1 light, I can open up my aperture more, f4 to be exact, for a dramatic focus effect.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spade the lovable cat

Today I had nothing to do so I decide to take a picture of our cat Spade.

I was looking for a halloween theme shot and what better subject to take pictures of...a black cat!

So I put out my guitar coffin case opened it up in my studio and waited till Spade came up. He was kinda scared of it first so I decided to sprinkle catnip in it. And of course it works. After making him feel comfortable I took the shot.

I opted for a shallow depth of field so I went for an f6.3 aperture so the background would be out of focus a bit. F6.3 isn't really that shallow of an aperture but it worked for my shot. I used my 50mm 1.8 lens for this.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

BMX and skate competition and the AI servo mode

Today I was at Plymouth Indiana for the blueberry festival. A ton of things were going on in the fairgrounds like arm wrestling, cheer competitions, craft fairs etc. Though the thing that captured my attention was the BMX/skateboarding competitions.

Too bad I cannot actually get inside the ramp area, but I have my trusty 70-200 2.8 IS lens with me! I can stay outside the fence and take shots from there. The 70-200 is perfect for tracking high speed subjects. I set up my speed at 320th/sec and my focus to AI servo. This mode would let the camera track the high speed subject without locking into a particular focus point. This gives you the flexibility to track fast moving subjects without the delay if ever the camera locks on a focus point. Set your camera to burst mode for better results.

Shooting behind the fence isn't bad at all. The wires are so close to the lens that they will almost not appear in the picture because it'll be out of focus. As long as a light source is not hitting the fence, it'll not be so obvious in the shot.

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Friday, September 3, 2010


Today was really stormy out. Good thing about it is the lightning!
I have been wanting to shoot lightning for a long time and nows my chance.

I setup a tripod and my camera in our garage. Popped in my 18-50 lens, and my wireless shutter release.
I set my shutter speed to bulb so I can control how long my exposures would be, and my aperture to f8. Since I can keep my shutter open as long as I can, I put my ISO to 100. That'll keep the image from over exposing when I keep my shutter open for like 4 seconds or more.

Lightning actually leaves an afterimage after it flashes. If you keep you shutter open for a couple of seconds after lightning flashes you would be able to capture it perfectly.

Since you don't know where lightning would strike, I would suggest using a wider lens so you'd have wider coverage for your shot.