A Colourful end to the week.

Odd week, odd week ending. Mojo departed around Wednesday and never re-appeared the dirty stop-out, so finding myself with an hour or so to spare this afternoon was a bit of a problem. Undaunted by the total lack of inspiration I ended up attaching the Kenko tubes to the Nifty Fifty and having a wander around the house.
Macro photography is rather more difficult than you would expect ( especially if you look at some of the excellent collections on www.lightstalking.com) and I had a lot of dull, slightly out of focus shots in the trash to show for my lacklustre clicking.
Colourful

This little fella that we brought back from Mallorca with us last year was quite pleasing to look at though, partly due to the vibrant colours, and partly those sad eyes. Still need a bit more practise with these but I did know before I started that the tripos would be the best approach (was just too lazy to get it out.
Very little post processing applied to this except for a bit of sharpening.

Empty Promises

Something different to end the month with. Different in that it’s kind of a self portrait (well, it’s me in the picture at least). Been reading up on Flash, and after owning the 480EX for over 6 months, I still haven’t fiured out how to use it properly.

So, with a view to practicing, I got hold of some black foamy stuff, and wrapped it round the end of the flash to focus the light in a narrow field rather than having it spill all over the room.
The flash was then attached to the wireless trigger set to 1/16th power and placed on the floor so it pointed upwards to the space where I wanted to be. I took a couple of test shots to make sure my position and the flash position worked OK (f32 was too dark, f8 let too much ambient light in for the exposurte time I wanted).

Once I was happy with the effect, I then stuck the camera on the tripod, locked the focus just in front of a black tv screen and set the timer. I had a few duff attempts where I hadn’t managed to get myself in the shot, but finally got myself in the right place. The Flash was set to first curtain sync, so as soon as it fired, I slipped out of the shot and then used a keyring torch (one of the cheapy single LED ones) to paint in some swirly light.

See this Image on Dave Frost's Flickr Stream
Empty promises

Post processing was just a bit of sharpening and a conversion to black and white.
Aperture – F11
Shutter Speed – 10 Seconds
ISO – 100

Me, Myself and I

It’s been a while since I posted any pictures of me, or indeed pictures with me in them. This is partly because I’m usually the other side of the camera, and partly because I’m such an ugly barsteward. I’ve been thinking about a shot like this for ages, and today, finally got round to having a play. The edit was a quick and dirty one as a proof of concept, but I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out under the circumstances.
Set up wise it’s fairly straightforward all you need really is a tripod, but in this case I also used a Speedlight 430EX.
Settings should be manual, this helps to ensure that the exposure is the same for each shot which in turn makes it easier to blend post production. (fortunately it’s a grey day so didn’t need to worry about changes in ambient light as the sun went in and out).
To take the pictures, I set the camera on timer, pressed the button and adopted my poses. OK, was a bit of running about, but hey, I need the excercise.
Once taken the three pictures were imported into Adobe RAW, and all given the same, desaturated treatment.
Then, I opened them all in photoshop, and copied two as new layers into the third one.
Thereafter, it was simply a matter of using the eraser tool to remove the bits I didn’t want and reveal the “me” underneath.
Job done.
The 3 stages of the Day

Was all good fun, and I managed to convince the kids that my brothers had popped round while they were at school. Confused the hell out of them as they know that I have no brothers.

The Penny Drops

Tried something else this afternoon. Wondered (thanks to an inspired post by someone else earlier on the Talk Photography forums) how difficult it would be to photograph a spinning coin, indoors. The answer was of course bloody difficult. Especially as the lens I was using just wouldn’t, or couldn’t maintain focus on the coin. Ended up focussing manually, in AV mode at a variety of shutter speeds. No flash used in this one, but like the water droplets, am quite keen to try this again with Flash and Without.

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