Category Archives: photography

Using Live Comp On EM 10 for Fireworks

We had our Beaumont Daze yesterday and it was an excellent opportunity to try the OMD EM10 live comp function. The live comp function differs from Bulb and Live Time in that it only includes exposures that are brighter than the reference photo; this means that it will not overexpose the background or previous exposures.

To photograph fireworks I:
+ turned Noise Reduction off(note not noise filter; Look under the E menu)
+ Placed the camera on a tripod (on a side note, because the EM10 has a LCD screen that slides out, it did not matter that the travel tripod I chose was shorter than I was. I was comfortable able to view the screen.)
+ Turned the dial to Manual Mode
+ Turned focus to manual and focussed to a distant point
+ selected an aperture f11-f20 (You need a small aperture to handle the bright lights)
+ Turned the Shutter dial until Live Comp came up
+ Hit the menu button and chose the time for each capture
+ since the area I was had enough stray lighting, I chose 1 second
+ Pressed the shutter once to get a reference photo
+ Pressed the shutter a second time to start the Live Comp

The picture develops on the screen. When you like what you see, hit the shutter again to stop taking photos. It is important to have noise reduction (note not noise filter) turned off, otherwise composing the picture can take along time. This was significantly easier than taking long exposures with the Nikon D7000.

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Cheaper Insect Macro Photography

I have been frustrated with lighting for insect macro photography. Placing a flash directly on the camera leads to blown highlights and harsh lighting. Trying to handhold an off camrea flash with one hand and a Nikon D7000 with a 90mm lens in the other hand is impossible.

Setting the camera on a tripod with an off camera flash(with diffusion/bouncing) gave great light but I did not have the portablity I wanted to chase insects.Ring lights and led light were more than I wanted to pay.

My cheap solution was to create a funnel of foil that fitted around the head of the flash. Then I placed a plastic bag over the funnel. The entire setup was attached to the flash with a Honi quick strap, but I think any velcro strap should work.

This very economical flash diffuser created a soft light, that gave me the portability that I wanted at a price I could not beat.

New Blog

I am starting a new blog, about portrait photography.

I have enjoyed taking photos for several years now. But, one thing I would like to improve is my understanding of portrait photography. I am at a complete loss of how to arranged the studio, what to do with flashes, how to pose etc…

I purchased a set of Kenko extension tubes from eBay. I had wanted to do more macro photography work than my tamro 90 mm would allow. It is a great lens, sharp and works as a portrait and macro lens. But, after seeing some superb macro photos, I wanted a little more macro power without the price.

The Kenko were $150 cheaper on eBay versus retail. But, they took a month before they got here from Sigapore.But, how well did they do.

The first picture shows a Kiwi taking with side lighting without the extension tubes.

Kiwi with tamron 90 mm

Kiwi with tamron 90 mm

The second photo is as close as I can get to the Kiwi, while still remaining in focus.

Closest focusing with Tamron 90mm

The third photo, is the closest I can get to the Kiwi with all three extension tubes in place.

Closest focus with Tamron 90 mm and Kenko extension tube

Light was bounced within SB 900. I think with constant lighting in place it would have been easier to focus. All photos were processed in Aperture and Topaz adjust plus topaz detail.

Initially, I was a little disappointed. I thought I would be zooming in closer but, I’m still happy with the results. There is a definite lack of focus with the extension tube in place. But, I think this mostly operator error. I could not see very well while having to manually focus the lens(40 + year old eyes) and with the extension tubes in place there is a significant decrease in brightness.

This was a good first attempt at macro shooting. Now, I’ve got the tools to get more serious.

Testing the Nikon 70-300 mm VR at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

Title: Testing the Nikon 70-300 mm VR at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

Posting has been slow as I am studying for an acupuncture course. Today, I took a break to test out the Nikon 70-300 mm VR zoom. I was interested in getting this lens because it was reputed to be sharp, especially under 200mm. The VR technology was interesting, but I was not hoping for too much.

I visited the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The zoo is very small; it was even smaller today as many exhibits had been closed for the season. Unfortunately the zoo tends to feature exhibits with a lot for wire cages, and sometimes plexiglass in such poor condition that it makes viewing difficult(tiger, arctic fox exhibit). On the plus side, there were so few people at the zoo, that the animals were quite interactive. The Tiger would follow me around from window to window. If you held your hand out at the window, he would then come up to the window for a “rub”. The wolves would rush down to the fence and look at any new combers that would pass by. The Calgary zoo has much better exhibits;they are pleasing to the animal and the photographer. But, I have never seen the animals at the Calgary Zoo at all interested in the viewing public.

Edmonton Valley Zoo 1/5/08 11:33 PM

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