Archive for the ‘50mm f/1.8’ Category

The Quarry at Halibut Point

Ever since I saw the way this shot came out, I’ve decided I want to get into panoramas more and more. This past summer when I visited the Northeast with Tucker and Andrew, I had a few opportunities to put my tripod down and do some work, and so far I’m liking what I’ve been able to put together. This one comes from Halibut Point, a really nice little state park I visited with a friend in Rockport, Mass. I started the shot with what I thought was plenty of time but it turns out that the sun was just on the cusp of setting as I started. However, I was pleased with the result, as the changing light ended up creating a slow changing gradient from orange to blue. Anyways, enough with the words. Take a look for yourself:

I started shooting just as the sun began to set, on the left side of the image, so by the time I got all the way over to the right side (probably only 5 minutes later) everything was blue. Also I’m still conflicted about the two people who made it into the image near the bunker. My friend insists they may in fact be the ‘punctum’ of the image, and therefore absolutely completely critical.

One Shotting: Karl at Kodak Event

Owing largely to the baller nature of Photomatix 4, I have a sudden desire to go back and process single-shot images that I had always told myself “Hmm, I might come back to this eventually,” but never did. Recently I accidentally happened across this shot from an event Kodak held on campus WAY back in January… Thinking back now, it was a really cool thing of them to do and I’m really glad Karl and I RSVP’d quickly for it since there were only about 15 people who got to do it. Two guys from Kodak brought in some pretty hardcore equipment so we could go hands-on with it… just for kicks. We split into two groups, each with a camera and either a monstrous zoom lens or a fast 35mm prime and then proceeded to shoot a small scene anywhere we wanted on campus. It was pretty much an exercise in seeing first hand what legitimate 35mm motion picture cameras can do with no graded or time pressure. Unfortunately, I had to leave before it was over so I couldn’t give my contact info (they processed the film that each group shot and mailed a DVD of it later) so I hope Karl kept the DVD because I’d really like to see it at some point. Regardless, it was a pretty cool way to spend an afternoon

I like how the color of his shirt came out… but  on the whole like the B&W more. Fortunately, “both” was my third option…

Karl scopes things out at the Kodak event. I hope they come back sometime, it was pretty legit... Los Angeles CA

Something about this kind of image in B&W just makes it better... I really can't decide though: Los Angeles CA

Around Siena Again

My window looks out over a valley in the middle of Siena which gives me a good view of the Duomo over those roofs.The other night I looked out my window at the Duomo and saw the moon rising silently beside it. The moon was so beautiful right next to the belltower, and the sky was so clear, I got excited and forgot all my HDR scene guidelines and just shot. I shot so many different brackets I told myself I would be able to make something work from them, and the results pleased me. Although I was sure my pictures were fast, I was amazed at how quickly the moon rises even between 30 seconds of picture taking. I understand now why Tucker (grumbling) waits for moonset before even thinking about shooting stars in the night sky.

Di raggio in raggio, io vorrei salire, e con te venire, a rischiarare il ciel...

And to round things out, here’s a (slightly smaller) church ;). The clouds were too good, I couldn’t resist…

This church is the religious center of the Selva contrada (Forest district)

Venice Beach: Performers

While we were at Venice we happened across a group of street performers that was performing all manner of acrobatics. I’ve been lucky with the 7D: I’ve noticed that a very small percentage of my favorite HDR’s have come from tripod shots owing mostl

y to the fact that I rarely have a tripod on hand when I find something I want to shoot. The 7D’s rate of fire has been extremely helpful in minimizing the time needed to take three individual exposures — the slightest difference between shots can really mess up a potentially fantastic HDR. However, for action shots like the one below, not even the 7D could squeeze out 3 quick ones before the subjects would have moved. This is a tribute to the RAW format, to allow me to choose a single shot from the dozen or so I snapped off while they were in this position. Making two copies, sending one down two stops and another up two stops, and treating them as three separate images allows you to HDR action scenes. It’s not the best way to make an HDR, but if you’re looking for a way to experiment with HDRs of action, the RAW format is your best friend 🙂

These guys were awesome, not bad for free entertainment.

Malibu #2

This was from the same day in January, but when we were there last night the sun set behind the hillside approximately in the middle of the frame. Kind of a weird realization but I guess that’s how seasons work. As I write this I am realizing that I did not yet own a 16-35 f/2.8L back in January. A return trip is in order…

Few places have more picturesque coastlines than this. And to think I haven't yet been there with the 16-35...gasp! Malibu CA

Embarrassment/Malibu #1

So I went to Disneyland on Sunday in high hopes of getting plenty of stuff to keep me busy for weeks to come. I got to the front gate with camera in hand and noticed it felt a little light. The battery was of course still charging on the wall at home… What did I learn? Move “batteries” farther up the list of things to do. In the meantime, I will be retouching some old favorites that haven’t yet made it to the site yet. This is Malibu #1, taken in mid-January earlier this year. We had dinner at Gladstone’s last night, an excellent restaurant right up the beach from here, so I figured I should retouch this one and get it on the site. One interesting thing that I guess I knew but never took the time to think about was how the sun changes position in the sky depending on what season it is. Back in January the sun set well out into the ocean but last night it set well behind the land that makes up the unique coastline. More on that in Malibu #2.

In all honesty, it really can't get too much better than this: Malibu CA

New Blood on the Hill

One day while wandering around Rome I found myself on top of the Palatine Hill. The weather was rainy, the air was hazy, and I thought I’d go home with no good pictures. While resting my feet at a bench, my eyeline wandered and rested on this burst

of color hidden in the undergrowth. The flower was behind some other grass and I was surprised at the way the lens seemed to bend the light around the obstacles, and leaving what looked like shadows over the picture. I liked the effect.

Life and death in the undergrowth

Roman Construction

This shot from in front of the Trinità dei Monti looks down the Via Sistina. As one of my first 5-shot brackets, I seem to have gotten really lucky with this shot as well. Despite the time spent switching the bracketing settings (during which people moved a lot!) Photomatix seems to have sorted this movement out extremely well (I didn’t even see ghosting or anything). I had my tripod set up on top of a trash can pointed down those streets, looking for any scenes to bracket since this was one of the few moments when I could set down my tripod and shoot. After so much shooting at Freedom Parkway, I felt like I might be able to work the crane into the shot the same way that Tucker and I use the radio tower. Although I’ve left Rome, I still have many HDRs from there to put up and my limited internet access here prevents me from posting new images as much as I’d like to….But anyways. Take a look.

A crane towers over the Via Gregoriana

Pictures on Piazza

I rarely had opportunities to really set down my tripod and get some brackets in Rome, but the other day I was at the Piazza di Spagna and finally had some time to get out my tripod and shoot some solid brackets. I did some 5 step brackets then (including the unsuccessful set of the clouds from the other day) and in processing these and others I was amazed at how spectacularly marble glows. The picture of the sun was not a 5 step bracket, and although the church is, I am unsure how much the extra stops helped. The sky turned out poorly as usual which forced me to spend hours in Photoshop bringing it back. The sun over the apartments was truly spectacular and I was glad that these brackets helped capture what I saw.

The sun peeks over some apartments at Piazza di Spagna

Trinità dei Monti at the top of the Spanish steps above the Piazza di Spagna

A Storm Brews in the Heavens

It sometimes seems that despite all the careful planning in the world, bad luck can destroy a good picture. However, in the same way, good luck can unexpectedly give you the opportunity to make some amazing photographs. HDR for me seems to especially highlight this problem, since I personally have even less chance than usual of knowing whether one of my HDR brackets will make a good picture. Sometimes, though, I just get really lucky. I was attempting a 5-stop bracket with -2, -1, 0, 1, and 2 EV (manually-Canon cameras have a lot of good features but in the bracketing realm Nikon has them beat) on the sky with the sun in frame, and during processing found that there was too much movement between setting up each set of brackets. Exasperated after an hour of work, I just decided to reprocess just the 3 stops in the middle and immediately saw how spectacular this scene had come out. This HDR is definitely one of the less subtly processed; the sky looked nothing like this when I was looking out over Rome.

A mass of clouds gather in the Roman twilight

The Manhattan Project: Angle 2

So a few weeks ago my roommates and I moseyed on down to Manhattan Beach to relax for a day and procrastinate from school work for a bit. We had dinner plans at Mucho just down the road (excellent, would definitely go back) but left to go in just before the sun really started to set. I told them to go ahead and they held down a table for an extra half hour while I played around with the sunset…

The Manhattan Beach Pier, one of my all time favorite places to go shooting: Manhattan Beach CA

The Manhattan Project: Angle 1

Manhattan Beach is probably one of my favorite places to go in the LA area. With its relaxing atmosphere, generally uncrowded beaches, and Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, it’s basically impossible to not enjoy Manhattan. Conveniently, they have this gorgeous pier that just begs to be photographed from time to time. Every time I go back I try a slightly different spot so by now I have quite a collection. This is entry #1 in what I expect/hope to be my favorite series of HDR pictures.

Handheld from the parking lot, I love this view complete with cooperative birds: Manhattan Beach, CA

Iron Man Balcony (Disney Concert Hall)

So remember that part in Iron Man when he dances with Pepper at the dinner party and they go out for some air on a balcony? Last February when I stopped by the Disney Concert Hall we were just wandering around when we realized that this was the balcony they used! Didn’t have the 16-35 yet but I imagine I would have seen quite a bit more here… Also, why did the AT&T sign have to be busted?

Iron Man Balcony at Disney Concert Hall: Los Angeles, CA

Stairs at the Disney Concert Hall

One of my first shots from downtown LA, I took this before getting my 16-35mm f/2.8L. The 50mm is a great little guy but made it a bit difficult to squeeze very much building into the frame. But the sign is pretty cool too. I think I’ll head back ov

er at some point this week to do the whole building.

Evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall: Los Angeles, CA