This shot was inspired by an awesome self-portrait that Geoff took a few weeks ago.
March 28, 2010
Photo of the week #21: My birthday was this weekend and Geoff was kind enough to make me a rainbow cake for the second year running:
March 20, 2010
Photo of the week #20: An ultra-wide shot of Quidi Vidi Gut that I took using my new Sigma 10-20 mm lens. I have to admit that I'm not completely satisfied with this photo. But, since one of the goals of my potw challenge is to try to be less nit-picky about my photography, I've decided to post it anyways:
My main concerns with this photo are technical rather than compositional. When I first purchased my camera, Geoff encouraged me to develop a routine whereby each time I pick up my camera I check my settings to make sure that they have all been reset to my personal defaults. This has been particularly important lately since I often take my macro shots using Manual mode but do most of my regular shooting in Aperture Priority mode. Unfortunately, I was so excited about being outside in the sunshine yesterday that I didn't really take the time to flip though my camera settings before we started walking. When I shot the above photo, my camera was set to ISO 800, which added noise to the shot. That alone probably wouldn't have been a big deal except that I also accidentally underexposed the photo, which meant that I had to bring the exposure up a fair bit in Lightroom. Then, to top it all off, I had to crop the photo to get the composition that I wanted. Overall, I still like the photo but I think that all the work that I had to do in Lightroom has left the photo feeling very over-processed.
All that aside, the photo definitely helps to show what an awesome job this lens does with landscapes - the sky always looks fantastic when shot ultra-wide. So far, I'm very pleased with this lens purchase. The photos are definitely sharp and the distortion is comparable to what can be expected from any ultra-wide lens. The lens seems to be holding up very well to Geoff's Canon 10-22 mm for a significantly lower price (especially since I purchased the lens used). The real test of this lens will come once the weather starts to improve a bit more though, when we start to do more landscape photography.
For fun, I'm also including this photo that I shot last weekend at Bowring Park. Besides landscapes, another neat thing you can do with an ultra-wide lens is to intentionally cause some features of the photo to become very exaggerated and distorted (for example those bobble-headed dog and cat photos that you see on greeting cards). This photo was taken while I was standing very close to a swan - so close in fact that he actually bit my boot soon after the shot was taken:
And finally, here's the same swan from a more normal angle:
March 13, 2010
Photo of the week #19: A macro shot of Cadbury Mini Eggs. The neat reflects are due to the fact that the eggs are sitting on top of a polished granite tile in front of a black background. The inspiration for the shot came from an instructional book on macro photography that I received for Christmas. The book is called Macro Photography Workshop and is particularly interesting because each chapter is presented as a lesson, which also includes an assignment. I was feeling a bit uninspired this week and decided that I would give the book a try. For the first assignment, I was to take a 'high-impact, colorful photo using Skittles, M&Ms, or a similar multicolored candy'. This was my take on the assignment:
March 4, 2010
Photo of the week #18: A self-portrait that I shot this week for a Camera35 competition. The photo was taken in our office using a white bed sheet draped over the window for a background. The shot was lit using one flash pointed at the background to turn it completely white and another flash pointed through a white shoot-through umbrella to light up my face:
This photo was a previous attempt at the shot, which got slightly sidetracked by Geoff being a sweetheart:
Geoff also had some great entries for the competition, which you can find on his blog!
March 3, 2010
A bonus post! Last Sunday, Geoff and I headed to the Waterford River waterfall to try out my new ND110 filter. An ND filter works like a dark pair of sunglasses in that it reduces the amount of light that passes though the camera's lens. In order to get enough light for a properly exposed photo, the shutter must be left open for a longer period of time than what would be necessary when no filter is being used. This means that any moving elements (in this case water) will become blurry, while the rest of the photo stays properly exposed.