Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vintage Trailer…

I took this photo of an Airstream trailer last spring. I'd forgotten about my Airstream series of photos until I was sorting through the files on my hard drive today. What caught my eye about this particular Airstream was the bicycle parked behind the trailer. For more about the Airstream photo, expand the post.

Another file I found while sorting was a note to myself about a website I wanted to share with blog readers. Naturally, I wrote it last summer and never got around to sharing it, until now! The website, http://thehomebased.com/?p=63, shows photographers giving their all to get the shot. Enjoy!

The photo of the airstream was taken at Travelers Rest, the RV resort we have been staying in for the past several winters. The resort was originally and Airstream only park, and there are still a fair number of Airstream trailers in the park. They have a unique quality that makes them standout from the typical, run-of-the-mill travel trailer.

I followed my usual Lightroom/Photoshop/Lightroom workflow, with one exception. In Lightroom I changed a few settings to add an aged effect to the photograph.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I usually post photographs that I take, but yesterday's Presidential Inauguration was a momentous occasion, and since I wasn't there I thought I would give you a link to two truely amazing photos. The New York Times published VR (virtual reality) panoramic photos of the inauguration and parade, and the parade photo comes complete with marching band music. With the VR 360° view you can manipulate the ceremony photo to see everything, including the cadre of photographers located behind — actually way behind — the podium. If you choose FULL SCREEN it really makes you feel like you were there. Take a click here to take a look.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sandhill Cranes at Lake Margaret…

Every year Sandhill Cranes make their home at our RV resort in Florida. I captured this family on digital film while they were eating and drinking at Lake Margaret on Saturday afternoon. For more photos of the cranes, expand the post.

All six photos were taken with my Nikon D70 and a Nikon 70–300 VR zoom lens. I followed my usual workflow with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I was disappointed in not being able to use the Nikon D90 I bought at New Years. Unfortunately, after using the camera for a few days it developed a problem with the LCD and I had to send it back to B&H Photo. This photo shows the malfunctioning LCD. Notice the vertical, gray band covering the image along the right side of the screen. With luck I'll get the replacement in about a week and I cannot wait. I really, really like the D90 and am looking forward to learning to use all its new features.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Back to Disney…

Friends from home spent a few days a Disney this week, and I met them for a day at the Animal Kingdom and overnight at Disney's Port Orleans' French Quarter hotel. Unfortunately, the day was rainy, so for the first time I didn't have my camera with me at the park. It was a nice visit, except — and it was a big except — Eddie wasn't feeling well so he didn't come. I can't really enjoy Disney without him!

I took this photo on an early morning walk around the hotel property. Click to link to a few more photos from my walk and our breakfast at the Disney Polynesian Resort.

I'll be out of town for a few days visiting my mother in North Carolina — so not internet connection. I'll try to post some photos late next week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Great Blue Heron…

This bird, a Great Blue Heron, was wading in a shallow water Cypress Grove. I took the photo with my new, Nikon D90 camera. I am working my way through the 278 page manual, but I have to say that I am very happy with the results thus far. More information in the expanded post.

I was happy with the Heron photo as it came out of the camera, and I was happier after some minor tweaking in Lightroom and Photoshop. The photo was shot in RAW, f/4.5 at 1/25 of a second with a 70-300mm VR (vibration reduction) zoom lens. The focal lenght was 292 mm (35mm equivalent). The camera was hand held, but because of the VR lens I was able to get a sharp photo with a relatively slow shutter speed.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Birds 2009…

On Sunday, Eddie and I went Rollerbladding on the Old Fort King Trail in Hillsborough County, just south of where we stay in Florida. The trail begins at J.B. Sargeant Park County Park, located on the Hillsborough River. After rollerbladding, we took a short walk to the river and came upon an amazing scene. The sky above the river was swarming with birds. So were the Cypress trees lining the river banks. The birds are Turkey Vultures and Buzzards, not the most pleasant of birds, but from a distance they are something to behold. Interestingly, these birds did not make any noise, and except for the sound of wind in the trees, or the occasional plop of a fishing lure striking the water, the scene was very peaceful. Expand the post for more photos from the shot.

Keep on taking Polaroids…sort of

My father loved gadgets and technology, and for much of my childhood taking pictures meant the latest Polaroid camera. Take a picture, pull it out of the camera, and watch it develop. If you have the same fond memories of Polaroids that I do, you will have fun with a new, freeware program name, appropriately enough, POLAROID.

Open the program and an image of a Polaroid camera appears on the desktop. Drag and drop a jpeg image over the camera image and the fun begins. There is a short wait while the picture is "taken", and then it is noisily ejected from the camera. A "Polariod" picture appears on the desktop — only it looks just like the photos from the real camera. Over the next few minutes you watch the picture "develop". It really is fun. Download the program from http://www.poladroid.net and give it a try! The program only works with jpegs.

Incidently, the photo is of our son and daughter-in-law.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009…

Wishing everyone a
Healthy & Happy New Year

Before Christmas I posted several photographs of lights taken at Walt Disney World. If you are interested in the settings I used, expand this post.

The night shots from the Fort Wilderness Campground were taken with my Nikon D70 SLR set on full manual, including manual focus. The ISO was set to 200 to avoid noise. Most of the photos were shot at f/8 (for a few displays I used f/5.6) at 1 second. As always, I was shooting RAW. I used a tripod and remote control shutter release to avoid camera shake. My workflow consisted of importing the photos into Adobe Lightroom, making minor adjustments, opening the photos in Adobe Photoshop CS3 for a few more "tweaks", and then back to Lightroom. I print from Lightroom, and for photos posted on the web I output the files in a compressed, jpeg format for easy uploading.

To create the panorama shot, I used the photomerge feature in Photoshop which stitched eight photos together.

While I don't always want to lug around my SLR camera, I almost always carry my Canon Powershot S50 point & shoot, and that is the camera I used for the light display at Disney Hollywood Studios. As a rule I don't bother with manual shooting when I use the point & shoot, and with the lights so bright I was able to shoot in program mode with the flash turned off and the ISO set to 400. I shot RAW and followed the same Lightroom/Photoshop workflow. The camera varied the f-stops from f/2.8 to f/4 and the shutter speed varied from 1/8 to 1/20 of a second.

As I write this I am anxiously awaiting tomorrow and a visit from the UPS truck which will be bring my new camera, a Nikon D90. Since I bought my D70 almost five years ago there have been a lot of advances on the digital single lens reflex front, and I am really excited about having a new camera. The D70 still takes great photos and has served me very well, but it is time to move on! Watch Linda's Lens for more photos taken last December, and new photos from the new camera as soon as I get the hang of it.