Got some hardware problems this weekend. Bought a wireless network card for my PC but it kept crashing my computer during the driver install and would stop Windows from starting. Since my PC was getting bloated a bit and I wanted to replace my system disk anyway to increase its size so I can make it a dual boot with Linux, I decided to do a clean install of Windows 7 and see if that would solve the problems with the network card. No such luck, time to get in contact with Intel support to see if this thing can work with my PC at all. Now I am back to the USB wireless doohickey that craps out every so often and have some catching up to do on the daily posts.
Shooting the mother board of the first computer I ever build was an interesting exercise, it’s not just finding the interesting patterns but also lighting them so they don’t fall totally flat. Been playing with one snooted light so far, will try a soft box next.
Today I came across the train set that my uncle Gerrit gave to me on my first birthday. As you can see it has collected some dust over the years. I decided to copy the image on the box without the lettering and the transformer. Learned some interesting things about brushes in PhotoShop and have a lot more to learn but for now I am happy with the result. Below you can see the original.
Besides the hill with the nice view of Park City we also went to a skate board park during the photography work shop from Kimball Art’s Center last Saturday. This was an exercise in shutter speed, i.e. how to freeze the action. I also played with some longer shutter speeds and ended up with this shot, I wish I moved to the other side so I had the kids face. Definitely a nice learning experience.
Okay, I think I am done with these portraits now. I did shoot the flower today though since I could not find a suitable free picture online.
Different combination of the same two photos as yesterday.
I was gonna make something like this, but once I got the two photos in PhotoShop the combination above came out after some hours of fudging around.
I think I saw something like this first from flickr user Rixoon here and he states Erwin Blumenfield as his inspiration.
Today I went to the second part of the Capturing the Beauty Park City workshop of the Kimball Arts Center. The instructor, Steve Joyce, showed us some interesting spots in town and took us to a hill with a nice overlook of the town and the slopes. The weather was not really photogenic but we made due, at least the rain that was predicted earlier did not happen.
Full frame cameras are great for getting that shallow depth of field but when you change your lenses often they can get pretty dusty. Not that you would notice when you are going for that shallow depth of field with a wide open lens because the dust on your sensor shows up most when you are shooting with a small aperture, something to do with the angle the light hits the sensor, which I won’t go into right now. But what I will go into is getting rid of this crud. Continue reading
I am working out some ideas I have for the next Kamerata exhibition in my old home town of Zwolle. The theme is “Kunst als water, water als kunst” (“Art as water, water as art”.) I have some different ideas but am now working on some prints of clouds now. Clouds are like snow flakes as they are all unique, but where the snow flake is too small to see the clouds are there in plain sight. Another difference is the clouds are less static, they not only float by on the wind they also shift shape making them almost hypnotically to look at. I am wondering if I can catch that feeling in a still image.
One problem with self portraits is focus. You are on the other side of the camera so you cannot see through the viewfinder. My solution is this stand in, I used to use a mannequin body but that’s still in storage, so now I use a roll of bubble wrap to get the soccer ball at the correct height. Using some powerful flashes helped in getting the aperture pretty small so the focus was not too critical but this method works fine with wide open lenses as well. Using a laptop and tethered shooting makes it all easier still. With that setup I can take a shot check it on the laptop screen and adjust my position if needed, the success rate compared with what I used before (guesstimate focus, shoot, walk to camera check on camera’s LCD, adjust, repeat) is so much higher.
The result is below but I am also working on another self portrait project.