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Posts tagged ‘70-200 f/4’

Nobody ever discovered ugliness through photography

EOS 3, Tri-X, N-1, 70-200 f/4 L

“Nobody ever discovered ugliness through photographs. But many, through photographs, have discovered beauty. . . . what moves people to take photographs is finding something beautiful. Nobody exclaims ‘Isn’t that ugly; I must take a photograph of it.’ Even if someone did say that, all it would mean is ‘I find that ugly thing . . . beautiful.”

– Susan Sontag On Photography

26 Nov 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! New Images!

EOS 3, 70-200 f/4 L, Pulled Tri-X in D-76

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers, where-ever in the world you might be! I developed a few rolls of Tri-X pulled one stop to see the difference between that and Plus-X (as I search for an eventual replacement). There’s an overall softer quality to the Tri-X, which, while I like it, is not quite the same.

These images aren’t bad at all, just not the same look.


I had started off that day with a client’s portrait session, and while I did most of those images on my 5D, I captured about a half-roll of Tri-X in between setups. Many of my friends had sung the praises of pulled Tri-X for portraits, and a number of them came out quite lovely.

25 Nov 2011

April Golden Light

Fuji 160 preset in Color Efex

What I meant in the last post about using a DSLR in this shoot was: Exposures of images such as this were always problematic for me because the highlights in the yellow could easily blow out. The other issue with this image was the wind was blowing the bloom all over the place. So, using my 5D’s histogram, I did a couple of test shots where I could establish an EV adjustment that kept the yellow under control. Then, using the auto focus, I exposed about three dozen images as the wind blew, and only about three images had the right parts in focus. There’s no way I could’ve gotten it on film, both the exposure and the focus.

The use of Color Efex gave me a little grain and a very pleasing saturation.

11 Apr 2010

Last Rays of Sun

Processing in Capture 1

Yesterday I was outside walking Omega and I saw the last rays of the setting sun shoot through the trees and bushes around out house. After I brought Omega in I grabbed the 5D and borrowed my wife’s 70-200 zoom to grabs some images. The lighting was dramatic and I followed my latest workflow idea of doing the RAW conversion in Capture 1 before I loaded the TIFFs into Lightroom. I do think Capture 1 does a better job of the conversion, but it is an extra step that sometimes I forget or plain just don’t have time for. There’s so much about the digital workflow that I fumble with (‘how much to sharpen?’ ‘which software to process the RAW file?’ ‘b&w in Silver Efex or not?’). I really think I should set up some experiments, do some A/B comparison, and be done.

One thing I can say: this shoot was one I could never have done with a film camera and prime lens. This shoot used digital and modern lenses all the way.

11 Apr 2010

Winter’s Night

5D Silver Efex

I have mixed feelings about this image, but I wanted to post it anyway, because it shows so much of what I like about the 5D. Mixed feelings because I think, as I look at it, that I should’ve moved the tripod a few feet to my right so as to move the birch more towards the window in the composition. But I may be quibbling.

Winter continues to linger on here. However, I just received word that I’ll be traveling to Brazil for work in a few weeks. Never been to South America, and I would imagine there might be a picture opportunity or two there for me. I’ll tell you one thing, I’m going to be packing light. Probably just the 5D, one lens and the Bessa with the 35mm Biogon. Street shooting in Rio, anyone?

25 Feb 2010

Random Excellence

Hunting late in the day

Hunting late in the day

One of the blogs I read every day is The Online Photographer. It is sort of a famous photo blog, and I assume that everyone who comes here probably goes there. Anyhow, for a while now I’ve been a fan of Cheryl Nicolai’s work, recently Mike highlighted her in a post he does once in a while called ‘Random Excellence.’ He linked to a blog entry she had made on her blog, and I just wanted anyone who comes here and hasn’t been there to go visit this entry for yourself.

Check Cheryl’s blog entry giving advice to photographers here. Or you can go visit Mike’s site and read it there.

A word about the image: Peg and I wandered over to the lake near our house the other day because they are draining the lake in preparation for dredging it. Peg got come great shots of the exposed lake bottom before she spotted this Falcon perched on the top of what I assume is the pump house. I borrowed the 40D from her to grab a couple images of the beautiful bird before I handed it back to her.

21 Oct 2009

A Walk in the Park

Captured by Peg with her new tripod

Captured by Peg with her new tripod

The above image was captured by my wife Peg as we walked around a state park in PA near the West Virginia border on Saturday. The previous weekend we had gone to a camera store and purchased new tripods, both to replace my older tripod that had collapsed, damaging my Mamiya 645e and also to give Peg her own tripod, as she really enjoys macro work (something I’ve never really dug deep into). Now Peg has a tripod and so do I, so when we wander around a beautiful location, we both can just capture what we want instead of swapping.

Peg used her 40D (a wonderful camera) and I used my Canon FTb loaded with Ilford Pan F, which I intend to develop with Rodinal in honor of my friend Paul Lester who swears by that combination. The image above was also put through Nik Silver Efex, and I thought the look was very nice. One obvious advantage of digital is that we can enjoy this image she captured now, while my images from that walk are still in the camera, undeveloped.

I’ve always enjoyed using a tripod. While yes, you do have to lug it around a bit, these new tripods (Manfrotto 055XPros) were a joy to work with and were tall enough for both of us. My old Gitzo, while light and it certainly gave me years of great service, never got very high and I was always bending over. The image above was on a small rise above the trail we were walking, and it was such a joy to just aim the camera up and stand at our full height to futz with the shot. Some people would never want to carry around a tripod; I can certainly understand why. But there’s a thought process and a rhythm you get into with a tripod that works for me, especially when we’re walking through woods like this. For me, it’s very meditative.

Tomorrow it will be September 21st, and fall is most assuredly in the air here in Pittsburgh. It’s not especially cool yet, but the angle of the sun and the lack of rainfall really combine to spell out ‘fall.’ I have an order prepped to send off to Freestyle to get some Velvia for capturing the fall colors. In a couple weeks that season will begin and I’m sure that Peg and I will be out trying to capture the changing of the leaves.

Speaking of Sept. 21st, it’s been a full month since I sent back the Mamiya 645e that I bought used from Adorama. I don’t mean to call them out here in this blog, but, honestly, how long does it take for them to fix the thing they shipped to me broken in the first place?

Every day that passes I miss my Nikon scanner. I reached the point of impatience on Saturday when I sent off seven undeveloped rolls of b&w to North Coast to develop and scan. At least that way I can look at this work and share the best (or maybe the worst) with you when I get it back from them.

Here’s another image from the group Peg captured yesterday:

Also tweaked in Nik

Also tweaked in Nik

20 Sep 2009

Getting my Public Face On

The Matriarch

The Matriarch

I’ve been working lately getting my ‘official’ web site ready for public consumption. I had started hosting my web site (and, indeed this blog) on Apple’s “Mobile Me” hosting service about a year ago. I kinda lurked there as I practiced my photography, practiced my web design, practiced this blog, etc. Then, in January, I moved the blog here (hosted on GoDaddy) and went public with it. In the last two weeks I’ve been getting the web site ready, and it’s slowly making progress and almost there. I also worked on my business cards. Why this flurry of activity?

Honestly. SoFoBoMo. I figured that at some point while I’m out with the camera, I’m gonna be poking around (remember, part of the challenge for me IS to poke around) someone is gonna challenge me. Or, I might want to get permission to shoot something, say, and I want to be upfront and say “I’m a photographer, working on a book project. Here is my card, check me out.” Sort of telling the world “I’m serious about this.” Not only, see, serious to whoever it is that’s asking, but, honestly, serious to myself as well.

The image above was taken at the Phoenix Zoo last January when my wife and I went there. I came across it when I was assembling images for the galleries on my site. Yeah, it’s the zoo, not Africa on the plains, and yeah, they’re behind cages and all. But they are just so beautiful. The animals, I mean. I’ve always had a thing for creatures. “Babies,” as my wife calls all of them.

One of my readers lives on a horse farm. When I found out, I was like a little kid. “Ooh, a horse farm, wow, can I go see?” The closest I’ve ever gotten to a horse was the summer of ’78, when I was working in upstate NY for a summer stock theater. We used to go to this small local ice cream place (soft-serve vanilla and chocolate) on breaks, and occasionally a horse would hang out at a fence hat abutted the ice cream place’s property. I would guess that occasionally people would give him some of their treats. And so he would wait.

I was in awe of that horse. One time I worked up my nerve and went over and just stroked his nose. No big deal for people who had experience with horses, I know, but for me, child of suburbia in New Jersey, it was an amazing experience.

I hadn’t thought of it in years until I wrote this post tonight. I can feel that hores, smell him, see him clearly in my mind’s eye.

BTW, I’ve just been falling in love with Nik Silver Efex Pro. It is by far my favorite photo editing tool. It’s like painting with light. I know that PS experts can probably ‘clone’ and ‘layer’ rings around me, but for me this tool is just wonderful. Using it brought the image above to a new level, I think. I’m going to write a whole blog entry about sometime soon, it has so revolutionized my b&w workflow.

4 May 2009

Homage To Mark K

North Park, April 2009

North Park, April 2009

Mark of the JerseyStyle Photography blog posted a lovely image of a flower in a field yesterday, and he inspired me to go into my library and rescue one that, which not as nice as Mark’s at least is in the same flavor.

Quite a change of pace from the street work, but that’s the way it goes here sometimes.

Have a good day.

21 Apr 2009