Saturday, February 28, 2009

A BLOG Renamed

I started this BLOG to chronicle my foray into the world of digital photography. The original name was "My Journey into Digital Imaging" which was a mouthful so I've decided to shorten it to "Digital Journey" because it's much shorter and I feel it still describes what the pages of this BLOG are meant to represent.

Using Natural and Artificial Light

With all the flowering plants sprouting up outside I decided to do some close-up macro photography using the flowers as my subject. I went outside setup my tripod, attached the camera and mounted my Tamron 17-70mm MACRO lens to the camera.

I then set the aperture to f/25, manually focused on the flower and looked through the view finder to see the flower wiggling back and fourth as it was buffeted by the winds. I popped off a few shots and quickly determined that this wasn't going to work because I couldn't keep the ISO at 100 and get the shutter speed high enough to compensate for the movement caused by the wind. So what to do next? I went in the house to get a pair of scissors and vase. I was going to cut the flower and bring it inside and photograph it there. But what do I see sitting on the kitchen table? A new flowering plant that my wife had just purchased and the flowers where orange, my favorite color. I had a new subject to photograph.

I typically shoot using natural light but I was in an experimental mood so I retrieved my tripod and camera from outside and set it up in the kitchen. I placed the flower pot near a window to provide some back lighting using the soft natural sunlight flowing in from the northern facing windows. Because I was using the natural light as a back light I had to use artificial light to illuminate the front of the flowers to prevent a silhouette effect. I could have used the camera's built-in flash but that would have most likely washed out the color and flattened the image. I set up my portable light stand and umbrella and mounted my Canon 480 EX flash in slave mode and placed it at a 45 degree angle just to the left and above the flowers and bounced the light using the umbrella. I mounted my Canon 580 EX II flash on the camera's hot shoe and pointed it straight up to bound the light off the ceiling and provide fill light. I overexposed by about 1-1/3 stop to blow out the background.

I like the results, what about you?

f/22, ISO100, 4.0 sec, 70mm

This is the same image as above post processing in Lightroom 2.0 to convert it to black and white and overexposed to give it a high key look.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Almost Spring

This morning started out on the cool side with the temperature in the low 40's but as the day progressed the temperature climbed into the 60's. Here in Houston the trees are already starting to bud which is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. I decided to see if I could find any other signs of spring in our back yard and I did.

Strawberry Blossom

Strawberries... Yum!

Rose Bud

Rose Blossom

Purple Queen and Ferns

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.