My photo
... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photo Mechanic, A Very Handy Program

I shot the above photo last Friday night at the Warner Robins-Houston County game. It was the 37,274th photograph I have shot with my D90. AS of today, I have shot 16,724 frames with my D70 and 46,241 frames with the D200.  And how do I know these numbers?  Discovering your camea actuations is just one for the many things you can do with Photo Mechanic, a software program from Camera Bits.

It is not an editing program as much as an editing aid and archiving tool.  It is a great program for looking through the ton of images you download from your camera. It is much easier to use than Windows Picture Viewer, or the varoius viewers provided with digital cameras. I use it to ingest images from my card into the computer. 
You get a contact sheet of photos, and with a click, get a larger view of a particular image. You can select as many as you want to isolate and view, then open them in Photoshop or another editing program.

 It lets you fill out file information such as photographer's name, copyright info, location ,a nd as much caption information as you choose to be added to each image when you download it to the computer. One of the bits of info you can ad to each image is the number of accuations by the camera.
You also get shutter speed, aperture, ISO, lens focal length, camera type, and a pile f other stuff. You can get really geeky with this.
You can also use it to burn discs, and to upload photos to an FTP site.

If you work with lots of images, it is a very handy tool.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tattoos and Umbrellas

I have been shooting direct flash when shooting outside, not using any kind of light modifier.
I really like using my flashes with outdoor portraiture, the extra light highlites the eyes, gives separation, and
just gives an extra umph to the photos. The direct flash makes a bit edgier photo, due to the harshness of the light.
We were shooting under a canopy on a walkway in downtown Macon. The harshness of the light added to the ambiance, with the strong shadows. I thought about using an umbrella for this and stuck tot he direct flash.
We moved down tot he River Walk, and shot with  different outfit. This photo really had to have some fill to keep the detail. I opted for my umbrella on this one. The softer, more even light really worked well. The umbrella spreads the light across the models whole face, and is really easier to place than direct flash.
In the photo below, the shadows on her face are almost too much, in the wrong place.
The direct flash does work in this one because I didn't want the light to spread beyond my subject.
The walk area stays fairly dark.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Visit To Back To Henderson Stadium

I shot Rutland and Westside at Henderson Stadium in Macon last night. That was a trip to the past.My first high school football game was shot in Henderson, Central against someone I can't remember.
It is a tight stadium to shoot in, not like what has become my usual Friday night homes in the fall, McConnell Talbert, Perry and Peach County. They all have a bit more space between the field and the stands.
As a photographer you have less room to move, but the light is different. The backgrounds stay lighter when shooting from the sidelines. The home sideline at Henderson is a bit elevated as well.

Henderson's home sidelines used to be like a swamp, always wet. The water is gone, but the mosquitos are stiil there. So was Robert Davis last night. Had not seen him in a while. It was good to shake his hand. He had to be wondering "What happened to my team?" Westside was not playing like a Robert Davis team. Things change.
LIke the size of the crowd. Back in the day, high school football filled Henderson's stands. Last night two Macon teams were playing, and the parking lot was not even half full

Another memory was shooting football alongside a Macon Photographic legend, Bill Meriweather, Sr. Bill was an the commercial photographer in Macon, who contracted with several local school and shot sports as

part of the deal. He trudged the sidelines with lugging a hasselblad that was worth more than my car.
He was always a joy to be around. Merry Christmas, Bill.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't Forget About Prime Lenses

Deborah took Garrett out to the front porch swing this morning. I was right behind them with a camera.
I shot some with the 70-200, but wanted to get a little closer. I do need my wideangle fix every day.
I didn't want the 15mm, and I really get tired of zooms, especially clunkers like the 15-30. It is a great lens, but it is heavy and a bit slow, like most of the day's wide zooms.
I came out of the house with two prime lenses(that means they don't zoom.) My 20mm and my 28. Both have been around, and are still good glass. Both are fast little f2.8's. They are small enough that the one that wasn't on the camera was in my pocket.
These little lenses are great for candids because they are small, light, and fast.  Put one on the D70 or D90 and you are carrying no weight at all. Another thing, floks don't pay as much attention to them as a bigger lens. They pay less attention to you when you are using the camera.
And you can pick 'em up pretty cheap, cause most folks don't want them anymore.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Two More Reasons To Keep A Camera Handy

I go very few places any more without a camera, and I find myself a lot more likely to shoot whatever catches my eye. Here are two such images. By no means earthshaking photos, but I like them both.
The top photo is our cat Milo. He is a very laid back individual. I walked out the front door yesterday, and saw him laying upsidedown in the swing.  I had to take the shot, and just as I did, he broke into this huge yawn. If I had not has a camera in my hand, I would have missed it.

Walking from the car to the house today I noticed these leaves. First really pretty ones I have seen this year, and it is a bit early. I liked the light, and took the shot. Doubt I would have gone and grabbed a camera and come back to shoot them.
You never know what you might miss.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Just Out Of Reach

I was back at McConnell Talbert Stadium in Warner Robins last night covering the Warner Robins Douglas County game. I guess I have shot more football in McConnell Talbert than any of the other stadiums ariound Middle Georgia. Henderson Stadium in Macon will be second.

McConnellTalbert has always been a good palce to shoot. Back in the day of Tri-X pushed in Accufine developer, it had the best light in Middle Georgia, making it a great place to shoot. The football has always been great as well, following Northside and Warner Robins.

The above photo was my favorite of the game, one of those "almost" moments, with the ball literally on the fingertips of Warner Robins receiver Akeem Taylor. He was wide open and had he caught the pass, and
an easy touchdown

But it was not to be. So far it has been that kind of season for Warner Robins, almost, but just out of reach.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shooting Squirrels

We have lots of activity in our back yard garden. We have quite a few bird feeders, a fountain, and several big trees. Wildlife abounds.

I have been trying to get decent hummingbird photos this summer, but so far have not been real happy with the results. I have kept a camera and 300mm handy, just in case.

Last week Deborah called me to the back door to see the antics of the squirrel shown above. He was covered by the leaves of our dogwood, but would rush to the end of the branch, poke his head through, and grab some berries. I scared him away trying to open the back door.

Monday he was back. We saw the commotion in the leaves, so I was ready for him.This time he performed a new trick. Eating berries while hanging upside down from the limb.

You don't have to go far, or have really expensive gear to get some cool animal photos. Do some research, watch your local critters to learn their habits, and find a location to shoot from. You want to be unobtrusive, but have a good view. Try not to shoot through window screens, glass you can live with.
So, go forth an capture some wildlife.

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