Archive for the ‘18-55mm f/3.5-5.6’ Category

On Set HDR

I’ve been busy, and I will continue to be in the coming weeks, working on several film projects that some of my friends are doing. Although I too frequently have my hands full on set, sometimes I can find the time to get a few brackets in between scenes. As Andrew has said before, it’s fun to take pictures on set. I think so because firstly there is plenty of light around, but secondly and more interestingly, I like seeing how video lighting and photo lighting are different. Maybe its because I’m not taking pictures from the perspective of the camera shooting video (I like the more “behind the scenes” type stuff) but either way I think its cool seeing where all the light comes from and how it strikes things that were not intentionally lit.

This particular location we were shooting at was plain freaking awesome, and you wouldn’t have expected it at all either. The house from the outside looks like a standard 1-floor square house, but once you take a look at the landscape you see that (like most of Atlanta) the house is draped over a steep hill. Thus, to keep the first floor level, the house sits on a tall oddly shaped basement. The dirt floor followed the contour of the hill, sloping upward steeply to the front of the house and giving us a very cool cave-like set for our film. The basement also contained a seemingly random assortment of completely indecipherable items dating from the early 1900s. I also felt like trying out some B&W HDR on this first picture, just to see what it would look like.

 

That mass of dangling arms on the left side of the picture turned out to be a seriously old school hair curler, which we only found out by looking up the patent number on it. If I remember correctly, it was made in 1906!

 

There was also this random pipe outlet in the wall, maybe part of some old ventilation system? Who knows...

 

 

Christmas Eve Fun

There’s a house on our street that does a decent job of lighting up around this time of year and my mom had mentioned several times that we ought to go snag some pictures of it while the lights are on at night. So we went a few hours ago, deciding what better way to spend the early end of a Christmas Eve than taking pictures of holiday lights! I’m still working on a few of the ones we got but it pains me to say that in my vanity I asked to borrow her Rebel XTi and used it to shoot what ended up being my favorite images from the night… of my own camera under some of the lights. Say what you will, we had a fun time trespassing on private property and agitating the neighbors dogs just for kicks. Spending more than 5 seconds looking at this image will reveal something unusual on TAG: Nikon equipment. Gasp. Before I drove home from LA about a week ago, I had a good opportunity to pick up some old Nikon primes for video work on the 7D but I was lazy and waited a long time to order my F to EF mount adapter. That’s a 14mm f/2.8 on there, representing the widest end of our combined lenses… can’t wait to slap it on Tucker’s 5D when he gets back from HI…

Merry Christmas everyone! We're supposed to get a little snow tomorrow so here's hoping we get an excuse to add a "Snow" category on the side... Atlanta, GA

Campo from the West

Although I took all kinds of pictures of and around the Piazza del Campo, the one I always wanted to take would have been impossible to get to: a shot down on the nightlife of the city from on top of the building directly across from the tower, and with a wide enough lens to capture the people and the tower in the shot. Oh I know, I should have just brought Tucker along and had him shoot it with his camera and lens–now I have an excuse to go back and bring him along. While I was there, I couldn’t resist taking the picture that 100s of other tourists did. The large west entrance  has a great view of the whole piazza and the Torre del Mangia, and as you walk down, you can’t help but stop and stare, as I did, even the 100th time I walked through. To take this picture I had to wait a while for exactly that reason; to try to minimize the number of people in the foreground taking pictures and staring at the impressive view of the tower looming over the piazza. Turns out I got pretty lucky.

The iconic view from the west of the Torre del Mangia on the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy

More from Castello Ricasoli

After we toured the vineyard, we rushed through the barrel rooms of the Castello Ricasoli, but even as everyone left, I hung back to get this shot because the room was so epic. I would have posted this earlier, but I had to wait to get back to Atlan

ta to post this one: I needed Tucker’s advice on how to crop… I’ve never been as good as he is at composition, and I think his recommendations push this picture into my favorites list.

Some Classic Chianti ages in the dungeons of Castello Ricasoli

Fresh from Asiago

A couple more from the other night…I think I’m going back tonight. Cloudy day today, could be perfect HDR conditions!

In the background the centerpiece of the fountain is visible...a faun riding a deer, I believe

The Clocktower of Asiago peeks in on the scene

Piazza Giovanni Carli

I’m still in Italy. But now in Asiago, relaxing and doing almost nothing in my last weeks in Italy. I know I shouldn’t complain, but I actually want to get back to Atlanta. While I’m here, though, I figured I may as well take some pictures, so got right on it last night in downtown Asiago (although this town is hardly large enough to even have something that qualifies as a downtown). In the main piazza, there is this wonderful fountain which has several bronze casts of various animals native to the altopiano (plateau) and in the center features a faun riding a deer. I also spotted some spiders making there webs on the bronze animals, which I had to try to capture.

Fountain at the Piazza Giovanni Carli in the centro of Asiago

A spiderweb in the fountain

Venice Beach: Not!

Last week I was in the real Venice, which is a beautiful, but dying, city. I say dying because every time I’ve gone there it has seemed fragile and fake. Although buoyed up by the heavy tourist industry, it lacks the life imparted by a real native p

opulation, and it still is literally sinking (sorry, couldn’t resist the puns…) Venice has many beautiful things (especially St. Mark’s Cathedral) but to see them you have to fight through a crowd of other camera-toting tourists (who sometimes lack picture taking etiquette, in my opinion). Anyways, I had a fun time there and took many pictures, but found little that I thought would make a good HDR. Luckily, I got bored at one point and took this of what I thought would be nothing.

A peek down one of the many beautiful canals of Venice

Although I only shot a few HDR brackets, I took a gondola ride (for the first time!) which was pretty fun and took me near some really pretty back alleys/canals:

Everyone should ride a gondola at least once. Actually, just exactly once, it was really expensive...

Vines & Clouds

So while we were touring the fields I managed to get off some handheld shots, and kept wishing I had the time I wanted to spend in these fields. They were so beautiful, and there was so much to see, but we had to hurry through so we could see everything. Sometime I wish I lived here…who doesn’t, though…

That same week I got some cool skies back in Siena, which got me out and shooting with little delay.

Apparently the farmers use lasers to line up the rows

A turbulent afternoon sky

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The Duomo di Siena

So my adventures on my day of shooting here in Siena inevitably brought me to the beautiful Duomo di Siena, whose dominance of the skyline is only rivaled by the Torre on the Campo (when visible – the streets are so narrow here and the buildings are often tall enough to leave only a sliver of visible sky). The crowded nature of the city left little opportunity for me to get really majestic wide shots of the church, and I honestly did not spend enough time with it that day. I observed the beautifully decorated interior during mass the previous Sunday, but since they do not allow pictures, I can only urge you visit and see it for yourself. Italy is full of these beautiful cathedrals, each one more beautiful than the next, but they mostly remain an eyes-only experience.

The majestic façade of the Duomo di Siena

Dome of the Duomo

Tasty Wine

The reason I’ve been slow to process my Siena pictures has been legitimate, though, I feel: the very next day was a field trip to a vineyard and olive grove for some excellent wine tasting and olive oil tasting (superior, in my opinion. I could drink that stuff any/every day of the week). I got an overview of the whole process of winemaking from growing the vine to decanting fresh bottle, and it was informative and highly enjoyable (and delicious). Anyways, many things have been said already about the beauty of winemaking in the Tuscan countryside but allow me to say them again using HDR:

Where the crushed grapes (aka must) is initially distilled

This is where the magic happens - the cellar where the wine is aged in those barrels

A fine chianti is slowly born

Around an Ancient and Beautiful Siena

Well. Finally got around it and took a day to go and shoot some pictures around this wonderful city of Siena. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I got asked more than a couple times to take pictures by various couples between time spent lying o

n the ground with my little tripod trying to set up some brackets of the many beautiful things around the city. One particular guy who asked me for a picture had a 30D with the 24-70mm f/2.8L on it (which I commented on, leading to an impromptu discussion of the pros and cons of crop factor bodies, and the wonderful 16-35mm f/2.8L, whose awesomeness I know all too well). Anyways, I ended up with some great shots, but have not had nearly enough time to process all of them. Here’s a few.

One of the many vicoli (small tunnel-like roads) in Siena

Speaking of the 16-35mm f/2.8L, I wish I could have used it to get just a little wider for this picture