Monday, August 27, 2007

Yes, The Judo Photos Are Coming!

I finally had some time (or made some) to start working on the photos from the early July USJA Junior Nationals in Indianapolis. Like with most indoor fast-paced sports photography, I'm spending most of my time trying to get the color at least in the realm of reality and doing a little noise reduction. You'd think the white gi would make it easy, but the weird light temperature is compounded by the blue and red mats which reflect the color up. I try to at least get decent skin tones, but there isn't always a lot of skin showing....this isn't beach volley ball! Cropping for sports comes fairly easy to me, I generally know how I'm going to crop the instant I see the photo (and sometimes even as I take it).

I made it about half the way through tonight, and hopefully I'll finish tomorrow evening. I might have finished tonight, but Ryan called from boot camp (he sounded great!) and after talking to him, we had to spread the news to grandparents and such. So all our College Park Judo friends you only have to hang in there a few more days and I should have them done. Here's one of Shelby and Gabby in the stands that first day.

Shelby and Gabby, USJA Junior Nationals - July 2007, Indianapolis Indiana

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Slot Canyons

This is a photo I took over at year ago during the Santa Fe Workshop I attended. It was taken at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument I was going though some old photos, sort of wondering what is going to happen to them all and I picked this one out to birth into a cyber-life. I started thinking about the fact that if my computer and all my drives are destroyed, the photos are gone too...except for the ones I've put out on the web or in emails. Also, if I get hit by a bus, who wants to wander through all my photo files? It is not quite the same as digging through a dusty old box of fading family photos great-granddad Jeff took back in the early 2000's when digital cameras were first invented.

With the advent of google, cached internet pages, links and copies etc. pretty much anything published on the internet is likely to stick around a long time. I guess more so if a site is particularly popular (which mine is not). Sudden fame could come along I suppose. Because I Said So recently found this out, and now her prose is probably immortalized at least until Internet v87.02 comes along sometime in the next century. If sudden fame were to fall upon me, it would be great, as long as I didn't say, or photograph something I'll regret 100yrs later :) I may have blogged a few stupid things, and some of my photos I won't like all that much at some point down the road, but in the meantime, at least some of them are out there. And now this one is out there, lost among the "about 42,200" google image results for "slot canyon"

Slot Canyon - Tent Rocks, New Mexico


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Grand Vistas

I took this a little over a year ago after my week of photography and learning about Photoshop at the Santa Fe Workshops. I stopped at the White Rock Overlook on my way from Santa Fe to Albuquerque via Bandelier National least that was the plan. Some of those clouds turned into nasty thunderstorms and on the Albuquerque side of Bandelier a few things happened....the light got really good after the storm (photographically)...but the road got washed out on the outskirts of a town I was heading into for gas...and I was running on fumes. The nearest gas station was 30 or 40 miles away, back toward Santa Fe. My focus switched to a desperate search for gas, I got very few photos, and I ended up buying an emergency 2 gallons or so from a corner store in the middle of nowhere for what I figured later was $10/gallon. The guy felt guilty selling it to me and tried very hard to talk me out of it, but it's not like I was going to walk...

Although I took this photo with my favorite lens, a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS, it sort of illustrates a problem more common to wide angle lenses and grand do you "get it all in there" and keep the photo interesting at the same time? I like the clouds and the different colors across the landscape. The distance is implied with the haze and the rock formations. The only thing I feel this particular photo could use is some interesting subject matter in the foreground (harder to do with a telephoto). The photos I took there with a wide angle, with trees or rocks in the foreground, I don't really like. Anyway, some of you may find it boring (at least click on it and look at the larger version before reaching a verdict), but I kind of like it, especially because I know what happened next :)

Open Space - White Rock, New Mexico

Friday, August 17, 2007

Need to Get Some "DAM" Organization

Digital Asset Management that is. I've read THE book and thought a lot about it, but I still haven't organized my photos very well. I've done some key wording; deleted a relative few total waste of bits; backed up everything at least once...but when it comes to going back and finding things, my filing and naming system is pretty weak. And I have no internal rating system at all.

Tonight I just went wandering through photos taken after the first of the year looking for photos I liked but haven't worked on yet (there's where a rating system could help). I came across this one from our trip to Dubrovnik during Ryan's visit.

Facing the Light - Dubrovnik, Croatia

Friday, August 10, 2007

Indianapolis Redux

(spelled correctly this time, I might add :)

My terabyte ethernet disk is here and I have it on the network...for a mere $300 it seems like a deal so far. So once I get a little break from work, I'll move some files around and start working on photos a bit more.

We were in Indianapolis so Shelby and Carl could compete in the USJA (United States Judo Association) Junior Nationals July 7 & 8. Here is a reflection I caught one evening along the canal walk.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

What a Difference a Few Steps Make

I guess this could be an allegory for life in general, how life's journeys look different as you move along and your point of view changes due to time, distance maturity or whatever.... but I'll stick to photography for now.

These photos are of the same tree and same rocks, taken with basically the same camera settings a mere 3 minutes apart. Now I won't claim that either is a great shot (although I sort of like the first, reminds me of a group portrait of a rather diverse group or extended family) but the photos are a good illustration of how different you can make the scene look by moving to look at it from a different angle. This difference in fact, is the only reason I took the second photo.

Most people see something they want to photograph, and the only framing choice they will make is whether to zoom in or zoom out. Occasionally they may "zoom with their feet" getting a little closer or further away (which gives a different perspective between near and far objects than zooming with a lens does). Some things that are relatively easy but rarely tried are:

  • Turn the camera 90 degrees and take a shot in "portrait" orientation
    (I read once that something like 90% of all amateur photographs are shot in "landscape" orientation)
  • Crouch down and take the shot from a lower perspective
    (kids see a whole different world than us big people)
  • Look for a higher vantage point and take the shot from up high
  • Move to a better or more unique vantage point altogether
    (look for something a little different from the scenic lookout view a million others have photographed)

    Along Green Visions Umoljani 7 Watermills Hike near Bjelašnica

  • Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Shades of Green, Krohn Conservatory

    We missed the butterfly exhibit by a week or so, but a visit to the Krohn Conservatory is always fun, and Jenise having an interest was excuse enough...

    I missed putting a photo up yesterday, so here are two, different green, different texture but sharp all the same :)

    Cactus - Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park, Cincinnati

    Cactus #2 - Krohn Conservatory

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Ryan Accessorizes...

    If all went according to plan, Ryan should be at Navy boot camp by now.
    Which means the earring, the "goatee" and even the python should all be but memories by now.


    Ryan and Python - Cincinnati Zoo


    This guy crossed my path in the Patuxent Wildlife Refugee. Looking at the turtle's shell while previewing in Adobe Bridge, I decided I must not have had my polarizer filter on, or maybe it was oriented incorrectly. Anyway, to "correct" my mistake, I ended up processing the RAW image twice, once for the top of the turtle's shell and once for the rest of the turtle and the environment. Then combining the two. Here is the resulting photo. The first is full frame, and the second is just a crop of the first. I can't decide which way I like it best. Feel free to vote :)

    Turtle - Patuxent Wildlife Research Center/Refugee

    Crop of above