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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Think About Buying A Prime Lens

Everyone is buying zoom lenses these days, including me. They are very handy, buy unless you spend some money on them, really slow. Most wide angle zooms are 3.5/4.5 maximum aperture. You can't do a lot of low light shooting with them. For years I carried a big bag of lenses, a 20mm, 24 0r 28mm, 35mm, 85, 105,
180 and a 300. All were f2.8's except the 300. The everyday 300 was a 4.5 , then later an f4. I still have a Nikkor 300f4. It is light, sharp and fast enough for lots of situations. High school football still requires a 300f2.8.

Zoey was with us yesterday, and I spent some time photographing her with the D70 and my Nikkor 28f2.8.
Our living room is really dark. Even with the 2.8 lens, I was shooting 1/20 second at 1000 ISO. If I had used my old favorite 15-30f3.5, I would have had to shoot at a slower shutter speed or gone way up on the ISO. The D70 really doesn't do well above 800. These are really grainy.

Anyway, if you are really interested in expanding your shooting experience and capabilities, consider a prime lens. Prime lenses are lighter, faster, and usually a bit sharper. They are not bad on the pocketbook either. 
Another cool thing about shooting with a prime lens is that they make you think more and work a little harder.
You can't zoom in or out, so you have to get off your butt and move some, keep your eye in the viewfinder and figure out what you want in your image.

So, next time you are thinking about new glass, consider a prime lens.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Football Friday Nights Are Back

High School football is back, which means that Daryl Hawkins, Peach County's Trojan Man is back in business. It's not officially football season until I get a greeting and a handshake from Daryl on the sidelines.
And by the way, I think this is my 41st high school football season.  I must be one of the oldest dudes shooting on Friday nights in Georgia. I am even older than Gary Harmon, he just looks older.

I din't know I had the broken pass play until I was looking at pictures in the computer. I am really trying to cut down on my chimping this year. I captioned it as Peach County's C J Coleman breaks up a pass intended for Warner Robins Jalen Rountree. Actually on closer look it is really offensive pass interference. Rountree is grabbing Coleman's hand to keep him from the ball.

August is way too hot for football, but hey, this is Middle Georgia.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twelve Years With Me????

I am truly blessed. That beautiful woman in the pictures with the toad is my wife, Deborah.
Twelve years today. A patient woman, a loving woman. A woman of faith.
I had no intention of falling in love. Had ended a second marriage and was trying to get on with my life.

Two mutual friends suggested I ask her out. I never thought this tall beauty would go out with a short fat dude.
Don't let the photos fool you. She is 5'10" and I am not quite 5'6".  Anyway, asked her out, she said yes, and we fell in love.

Deborah is my constant in a stormy world. She has always understood me and my photography. 
She realized that sometimes I do have to work at odd hours due to the nature of my profession.
But she also knows that sometimes I will be gone 
 just because there is something
that I just want to photograph. No one else has ever been so understanding about my photography.

She is my heart, my life. I told her today I want it in writing, she will keep me for at least another 25 years.
Love you, Angel.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Hummingbird

Deborah has two hummingbird feeders hanging on our back porch. They have been very popular this summer with the little critters. We have had fun watching their antics. The hummingbirds, not the feeders.
I kept telling myself to get a camera and do some pictures, and finally got around to it this morning.

The only good vantage point is through our living room window. Only way to really get close to them. This has problems, they are backlit, and I am shooting through glass. I shot for a while and got this one that I kinda like. Needed to be a little tighter, but if you get too close to the window, you chase the hummingbirds away.

I still have time to try again. Will see what I can do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bruce's Butterfly

I stopped by to see my friend Bruce today. Even before I stopped the car I saw this butterfly flitting from flower to flower. I grabbed a camera as I got out of the car and started shooting. At first I was afraid I would scare the butterfly away, but is soon ignored me and continued about its business. The top photo was one of the first I shot, the bottom towards the end.
I really like the bottom photo, with the good view of the butterfly's head, but I keep coming back to the top photo. Love the contrasting colors, vibrant pink flower, and the green background. 

And it is so fitting that I found this image in Bruce and Celia's yard. They are truly to beautiful people. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Zoey Being Cool

Well I was rollin' down the road in some cold blue steel,
I had a bluesman in the back, and a beautician at the wheel.We're going downtown in the middle of the nightWe was laughing and I'm jokin' and we feelin' alright.Oh I'm bad, I'm nationwide.Yes I'm bad, I'm nationwide.

ZZ Top

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing in the sprinkler

I love playing in the sprinkler. Would have thought I had outgrown this years ago. Well, now I stay mostly dry.  I had the sprinkler going in the garden this morning, and had to do my annual "Slow Shutter-Streaming Water" shot. 

I noticed light on these leaves and the way the water was high-lighted. I went in the house and got my old D70 and the Nikkor 300/f4 and gave it a shot or two.  I started out is shutter priority and cranked it down to 1/20 second. The leaves were still a bit over exposed, so I went to manual. This was 1/20 second at f32.  The light was pretty well balanced. It was shot as a raw file. 

This old 300/f4 is almost too much for me to handhold at such a slow shutter speed. I had a few that had too much motion in them. It is still one of my favorite lenses, is razor sharp and great contrast. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cheap Gas

I stopped to shoot an old windmill out near Georgia 96 East of Fort Valley today and found this
old gas pump. Really liked the tall grass around it. This composition seemed very logical to me, but I did shoot one a little tighter. Didn't like it as well.  The patterns and textures in both the pump and the grass
really jumped out at me.

The price wasn't too bad either, but the price is wrong. Guess it didn't matter too much on a farm pump.
I had just filled up for $3.20 a gallon, and thought I was getting a great price.
Oh well, it is what it is. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank God For The Beauty

Deborah planted some cone flowers in our garden last year. I had some pretty nice images of them.
They are blooming again, and yesterday after I got our grass cut, I grabbed a camera and wandered out to
see what I could do with them this year. Made some nice images, and then I looked up and beyond the cone flowers and these leaves caught my eye.

I thank God for the beauty He has placed around us. Sure helps offset the some of the ugly, and there is way too much of that.  And don't go blaming all the ugly on Him, cause we create most of it ourselves.

Monday, August 1, 2011

And Now For Something Totally Different......

I guess I have been spending too much time in Photoshop here lately, but I shot a nice tight face shot of our little orange cat last week, and immediately saw possibilities.  I knew I wanted to put human features on her little fuzzy face.  I started thinking about various images I had to be the donor.

I settled on the photo of Kimberly Uso that I had shot a couple of years ago.  She has some awesome eyes
and I remembered the cool makeup. I got the two images as close in size as I could, then grabbed the parts of the face I wanted from Kimberly's photo with the lasso tool, copied and pasted them into the cat photo. 

This created a new layer on the cat photo, so I added a layer mask and blended the human features into the cat's face using the brush tool. 

Now, to do some real work.

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