Pictures of a hand Made pen.

Happy new year. It has been quite a few months from my last update. One other thing I enjoy doing besides photography  is woodworking and making pens. That is one of the reasons for my absence here. I just finished making a pen that I wanted to make for a while and here are some pictures of it. I hope you enjoy them.

Regards

Alex

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Picture of the day. The new iPad III pictures

For Christmas 2011 My dear wife got me an iPad that I have been enjoying  a lot. Now that her birthday it’s coming, it is time to get even and I got the new iPad for her.

The  original lighting setting for this pictures was done with one Travelite 750 set to 1 o clock with a 11″ reflector and a 30Deg grid. I used a flag beneath the reflector to block the light a bit on the white background behind the box. At 7  o clock I position a white bounce card to open up the shadow on the front left side of the box. After a few shots I decided to add a second light to color the background and that was done with a Canon 580 EXII with two cuts of blue gel. All the lights were triggered with a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5.

The Camera I used is a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 24-70 f2.8 L. White balance I think it was set at 6000K,  iso 100  F14  speed 200th.

Here is the original shot I took

Click on it to enlarge.

I kind of like the first picture but I wanted to incorporate the actual iPad to the image.

 Click on it to enlarge.

Then I decided to be creative and start playing with colors and that is when the Canon 580EXII came in. Also I turned on the iPad so it would look cool with a picture on the screen.

Click on it to enlarge

When saw that third image I did not care for it.  The exposure was not nearly enough to record the screen (IT WAS ON FOR THIS PICTURE)  and I think the crop did not look right at all, it was like a black square in front of the box. Then I recomposed the image and started trying to light the display with a third light in such way that it would show the image. Needless to say it did not matter what I did or where I positioned the light, the darn display was too dark or I ended up reflecting light into it or got a bunch of glare on a black screen. That is when I did something I don’t do often… Think. The answer pop right into my head.

The exposure for everything but the screen was already done with the flash, the camera was steady on a tripod. The flash duration is quite fast, therefore it did not mater the shutter speed being at 200 when nothing is moving. Now are you thinking what I’m thinking? You’re right. Turn of the ambient light and work on total darkness, take a picture for 30″ and see what happens. Bingo, the box and background are exposed by the flash and the screen it exposed using it’s own light. (I had to play with the exposure time to get it right, it ended up being 5″or 10″) and that is it.

Click on it to enlarge.

By the way, the picture on the display is my wife reading my iPad. I took that picture a few months ago and I thought it was going to be cool to use that image for this one.

If you have any comments or thoughts I would certainly appreciate if you leave some feed back.

Regards to all.

PS: If you made it all the way to the end here is a bonus picture of the settings.

Click on it to enlarge.

iPad setting

Ring announcer portraits.

Here are a few portraits I took of my friend Barrie. He’s a ring announcer for boxing and MMA. We did a quick session at a local boxing gym to update his business cars and some other media. The place was challenging due to very limited  space  and unattractive surroundings but it ended up working out.

The equipment used for the shot was a Canon 7D with a Canon EF 24-70 f 2.8L and Canon EF 70-200 f 2.8 is L The lighting was primarely done with 2 Calumet travelite 750, one was fitted with a Photoflex 48×36 soft box and the other one with an 11″ reflector with a 30 deg honeycomb grid. For some other shots I added a third light source, a 24″x24″ Lastolite soft box with a Canon 580 EXII. The lights were controlled by Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5.

Thanks for looking and a special thanks to Barrie.

Click on image to see larger.

Self portrait.

I just got two new color backdrops (bright orange and blue) and wanted to give them a test drive to see what they look like in real life. When I got home the only available live subject that doesn’t mind being photographed for about an hour was me so here it is.

I wanted to darken the bright orange to look deeper. I set the background about 6 feet behind me for the light to fall off quickly.  The main light was a Travelite 750 with a 2×2 Lastolite Easy Box I wanted soft light but not as soft as the 4×6 Photoflex softbox I was thinking of using at first ( the lastolite being a lot smaller and silver inside has a more punchy light) as a secondary light (edge light) I also used a Travelite 750 with an 11″ reflector and a 20Deg  grid for a very harsh and directional light, later on I added a third light for the background and that was a Canon 580EXII that I fit with a small snoot to have a bit of direction.

The main light was on the left side besides me not quite at 90 deg to the camera but way past 45deg  (almost like side lighting) and aiming down at about 45deg. The second light (rim light) was on the far right side behind (make sure when you place this light it does not create glare) I got both lights set to F11 the camera is my Canon 7D with the Canon EF 24-70  2.8 L  ISO 100 and the white balance was set at 5800K.

The one picture I’m pulling my Vampire tooth was shot with a Canon EF-S 10-22 the lighting was the same but the backdrop was a lot closer to me.

PS: for the profile image is best if the subject is not sitting right in line with the center of the light source. Use the edges better. 

Thanks for looking

Alex Elias

Photo of the day. Macro photography flowers part 2

I wrote something about macro and close up photography a while ago here https://alexephotos.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/macro-photo-of-the-day-feathers/  this talks about the set up I used to take pictures of feathers. The ABC’s are the same.

Tripod is almost a must first for the obvious reason of steadiness and second to find the composition that better suits your eye and third so every thing remains the same if you like to play with the lights to get different effects, so a tripod is paramount for this kind of images.

Use the mirror lock up function if your camera has one (it helps reduce or eliminate vibrations created by the mirror when it flips up)  If you don’t know if your camera has that feature or not this would be a good time to get something call owners manual, it’s a little book that came inside the box and most likely was tossed aside 🙂 if the camera does not have a mirror lock up feature use a self timer.

Cable release or wireless trigger also helpful to reduce vibrations.

I used a Macro lens Canon EF 100mm 2.8 but it is not a must if you don’t own one work as close as the lens will let you. There are some accessories one can use as well such as close up filters, or extension tubes to increase the magnification.  Now that we are mentioning the lens it is best to focus manually to get the best possible focus and use a small appeture with ironically is the larger number this images were taken at  f20 although this will add to the Depth of filed it might not be the best f stop due to something call diffraction, f11 to f16 depending on the camera and lens could be safe.

As far as lighting  I used mainly one Canon 580EXII on a stand with a 24″x24″ lastolite soft box. The flash was trigger via  Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 on the camera and a Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 on the flash. The flash was set to manual (find your own exposure and flash distance to subject) and shoot away.

On some of the pictures of the Poppies you’ll noticed I used 2 Flashes, the main one and on the center post of the tripod I attached at second unit (Canon 430EXII) also in manual mode connected with a Pocket Wizard FlexTT5. Since the poppies are rather thin I wanted to see how it would look like with some light coming from behind the petals.

Reflectors could be helpful to fill in shadow areas on the opposite side of the main light, depending on the look that you are after and the lights available to you, a reflector allows you to shoot with only one light. Even if you don’t have any lights available, place your subject next to a window with diffused light coming through and use the reflector on the other side.

I shoot this pictures with a Canon 7D set to manual mode. the speed was set at 50th of a second (although I’d recommend 250th) I guess I was not paying enough attention when I did my set up shame on me 🙂  ISO for most pictures was set between 100 and 200 and for a few where I needed more light instead of cranking up the flash too much I gave the camera a way to go with a 400 ISO (that is one way to conserve a bit of batteries and get faster recycle times) not that is so important for still photography to have a fast recycle time anyway.

Here it are some of the pictures along with pictures of the set up.

Thanks for reading this and don’t hesitate to comment, ask questions of post your own experiences.

Regards,

Alex ELias

Photo of the day. Close up photography of water droplets.

This are some images I took a while ago. I first tried this with milk and the results was not what I was hoping for. Lighting was not the best. The idea on this type of photography, aside of capturing the water droplet properly and sharp, is to have nice reflections and some highlights and shadows created by the ripples, thus enhancing the image by adding some depth.

Front lighting is not the way to approach this topic, unless you are looking for a flat looking image without any sence of relief. The way to do it (one of them at least) is to use one or more lights detached from the camera. In this set up I used one light; if you can imagine a clock I was at 12 the water droplet was the center of the clock and the flash was at 4 pointing at the droplets.

The set up was quite simple. Pirex with water on a low table. The camera was sitting on the tripod in front of the pirex I was using a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro lens set at f8 for good depth of field. Speed was at 200 and ISO at 100. The key to illuminate the water here is the flash, that is what is going to not only light the frame but also freeze the action; therefore I set the Canon 580EXII to manual and lower the power to let say 1/64th  and from there find the right output up or down until you have the right exposure. 

What I used for the droplets was an empty gallon of milk with some water in it, poke the smallest hole you can (I mean this) you just want a constant drip and that is it. Hung it from something above the pirex (about 30 inches) that way you don’t have to be holding the gallon. Doing this will keep the source of water still and the droplet will hit the same place every time. Set your lens to manual and focus the place where the droplet hits, and the rest is fun time.

If you have a cable release it going to be useful. Also, the amount of water on the pirex and the distance of the water gallon to the pirex will determine the shape of the splash.

For more fun. If you change the withe balance to Tungsten the picture will turn out blue. If you put a color source in the back of the pirex and point the flash to it the relection of it will light up the water creating some interesting results.

I’ll upload some more with the different colors if anyone care.

Thanks for looknig.

Alex

PS: If you have any questions or comments free free to post or share your thoughts.