Ohayocon 2011

February 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Ohayocon 2011

Finally got around to going through pictures from Ohayocon. Unfortunately--I think due in part to their policy on not letting photographers offer photo shoots in forums--don't have any photo shoots.

My other goal was to do more close up pictures. Which I also wasn't too successful with. A couple of the pictures would have looked nice if I did a close up but for whatever reason I didn't.

The Columbus convention center is nice and all but it's such a pain to get white balance correct. You have some areas where it's daylight, other areas are florescent, and then others are incandescent. Also for whatever reason all the pictures came out dark, requiring an increase in exposure of around .8 stops, which isn't an issue since I take pictures in raw. The only one that didn't need any modifications was the one above. Yet it was still partially a mistake. I knew that where I'd be the shutter speed would be slow but this picture was taken at 1/4 second. I was using fill flash which is what froze the people I was taking a picture (plus they were standing still) and the people behind were blurry.

I still want to do more close ups. If I get into portraits I'll definitely get something to fill the current gap I have from 55mm to 100mm. Been looking at the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 although not sure if that still may be too close since I have a 1.6x crop sensor. Really want to get one of the 70-200mm models but they're still way out of my budget.

Not sure what the next place I'm going to take pictures is. Anime Punch is happening in April I'm thinking of going to. Maybe once it gets warm again I'll start looking for abandoned places to check out again.

Rest of the pictures can be found here

Posted in Photography. |

Will be at Ohayocon Next Week

January 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Once again I'm going to be at Ohayocon next weekend and I'll be doing photo shoots. Interesting to think how much I've improved over a single year, got a lens I'm more happy with, and like to think I've improved in general.

Normally I would just post on their forums that I'm interested, maybe mention it on twitter or something and be done with it. Unfortunately it seems this year they're not letting people post on there. Their reasoning is they think of it as advertising for a service although I'm still doing this for free. But I could see it being an issue. Ohayocon is the largest anime convention in ohio and some people have posted on there offering "professional photography services" and then become vague when it comes to prices and other shady type things. Probably a few of those ruined it for everyone.

Well I posted on the forums and noticed the next day it was locked. Asked why and not only did I find out why (see above) but then they deleted the post completely. Did get a couple messages before it was removed but I can still do a couple more. I know I have a few people on twitter and the like that follow me and go to conventions--think mainly people I already did a photo shoot--so I'm posting on here. if you're looking for another photo shoot or know anyone else I still have a couple spots open. Can contact me however you saw this post (twitter, facebook, etc) or use the contact form here.

I'll update here if I'm not taking any more requests.

Posted in Anime, Photography. |

POTW: Best Of Runner Up

January 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

POTW: Best Of Runner up

This was quite harder to decide. But while looking through I found one from when I went to Wilson Middle School in April. This is a shot that was "left on the cutting room floor" if you will. Had no intentions of publishing this photo but looking at it now I like it. I like the paint in the background. Maybe if I had a closer shot of that it would have been better.

Chances are this will be the last regularly scheduled post. I enjoyed doing the picture of the week thing but there are times where it felt more like a job then a hobby. I still plan on taking pictures but I'm not going to go out of my way to make sure I do something that week.

My only promise I'll make is as at least one post a month but I'll try to post more often. It also may not be about photography. Unfortunately I never got around to creating separate rss feeds for photography category so everything is still going to be lumped to together. The benefit of this is I'm no longer constrained to photos taken a certain week. I have years of photos I can pull from now. I'm going to try and do more photo shoots, and also try to do some new urban exploring. Until then be sure to keep checking back every once and a while.

Posted in Photography. |

May Skip a Photo Challenge for Next Year

December 31, 2010 at 4:49 am

I am looking for some feedback on this blog. As obvious by the last several pictures I've gone into a rut of sorts. But for the most part I've held to my goal of posting a picture a week. These last few weeks have felt more like work than something I enjoy doing. Frantically looking around the last day of the week to find something, anything to take a picture of.

So I'm thinking of skipping a photo a week thing for next year. The biggest downside to this will be no longer having a consistent photo a week. Somehow I had this plan of "if I post they will come" mentality. From what I can tell there's only an average of 5 subscribers. I can't tell who they are or how many are just friends and family or my own services that check and autopost to twitter and such.

This doesn't mean I'm dumping photography. I still enjoy it but this deadline of posting something a week felt too much like having a deadline to get ANYTHING out the door even if I'm not too thrilled about it. What I really want to do is more modelling photos. This area of photography is the most unexperienced to me and probably the most nerve racking--I'm not that much of a social person. The few times I did do photo shoots at anime conventions I was so nervous. Until the photo shoot started and I just kinda clicked with the model(s) and was able to provide a few good pictures even though I'd only be doing these photo shoots for maybe 15-20 minutes (for a lot of photographers they're just getting warmed up in that time). So that is something I want to get better at. Now if I was actually outgoing I could just go to cleveland and ask random people on the street for a quick 5 minute photo session, or even just take a single picture and pick one. But I'm not that outgoing. Not even close.

Another more technical issue with doing these photos of the week is I'm hitting my 200 photo limit at flickr (after which older photos are hidden unless I go pro). Granted I could solve that by hosting them on the server, would also help in making this website fully ssl encrypted.

So my question to you, the readers, what would you like to see here? If you want to see more people photos I'm open to suggestions and I'll give it some thought. Do you enjoy the photo a week format, even the weeks I just pick something? If I lift the weight of needing to make it something important I'll just walk around, look for something interesting anywhere during the day, taking the picture with my iphone if necessary. I still don't want to do a photo a day since that creates too much noise. One of the things I learned from this photo a week is how to eliminate a lot of the fluff so instead of keeping 100 photos I only find that 15-30 are worth posting online.

Looking forward to responses and wishing you all a happy new year.

Posted in Website, Photography. |

POTW: Best Of

December 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm

POTW: Best Of

First of possibly two best of photos. The rules for this was quite simply any photo taken in 2010 and not already posted as one of the featured photos is up for grabs.

First some stats. As of posting I've taken a total of 3080 photos (going by the incrementing file names). Of those I've kept 1761 photos. Of those I've made about 600 photos public (going by the photos I starred in picasa but I didn't start starring public photos till around march or so). There are also some photos that I still plan on making public but never got around to it.

When it came time to decide what would be my number one favorite picture of the year, this is it. Taken from a photo shoot at anime punch (an anime convention) in April, the event was featured already. The picture I used was a "throwaway" picture that I liked for it's creativity but not much else.

This was also one of the first times with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens that I've grown to love. It's what made this picture possible. I noticed when composing this that you could see a car parked on the street. To solve this I opened the aperture all the way knowing that would throw it out of focus. And then I think by accident I focused exactly on the eye which is in the center of the frame and that's usually what you want to be in focus. If I actually had a portfolio, this would go in it.

The only technical issue I could see someone pointing out is that her eyes are centered in the photo. Technically, it may have looked better if she was further to the right of the frame so she looked towards the center. Her left eye is the exact center of the photo. It still creates the illusion that she's off center because of the extra space you see on the left. This could be solved easily by cropping things but for being straight out of the camera I'm pretty impressed.

All three anime conventions I went to--(links go to their POTW article) Ohayocon, Anime Punch, and Colossalcon--were probably both the most nerve-racking and educational photo shoots I did, which is evident by all the articles being fairly long. Working with people has always been the thing that both interests me and scares the crap out of me. Even after doing a few of these it feels like I get good pictures on accident. I plan on going to some more conventions next year and plan on doing some more photo shoots since it's become one of the many things I enjoy about conventions.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: Christmas Tree Lights

December 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm

POTW: Christmas Tree Lights

Time for my take on christmas tree lights. Of course this means using a macro lens to make some more abstract looking pictures. This is of a plastic star that you put a standard christmas light inside so it glows. I like this one because of the "sun" in the background. In reality it's just another christmas light but because of the shallow depth of field made it appear like a large dot.

Next week I planned on taking pictures of christmas lights but weather wasn't being very permitting, but in the wrong way. While we have some snow on the ground I wanted more and also have to try and get the picture during the "blue hour" which happens while I'm still at work. So next week and possibly the week after of that are going to be special "best of the year" photos where I look through all the photos I took this year, find one that wasn't posted before and use that. May supersede if I find something, but that's the plan I'm seeing at the moment.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: Granby Phonograph Player

December 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm

POTW: Granby Phonograph Player

Another break from macro photography but not from finding stuff around the house to take pictures of. This is a phonograph player. From around the 1920's I believe. Was found in someone's basement who passed away. Had a ton of dust caked on to it. Cleaned that up but have yet to refurbish the actual player. The diaphragm that vibrates to create the sound should be replaced. Also the lubrication for the spring consisted of petroleum jelly and graphite. Needless to say that should be cleaned up and replaced as well. Don't plan on restoring it completely, just maintenance. For example I'm not going to refinish the top or re-paint the tonearm since I think it adds character to it. Just want to get it into top working condition.

This is using a couple flashes. All light is coming from the flashes, no ambient light. Key light is in a shoot through above the camera. Wanted to make it off axis but was getting shadows on the wall. Other flash is inside the horn in the middle of cabinet. One thing I wish I could have done was a third flash through a gridspot to light up the granby logo that's on the underside of the lid. But I still don't have a gridspot.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: CFL Macro

December 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm

POTW: CFL Macro

I've been on a macro binge for a while now, although mainly because not feeling motivated to go out anywhere, especially now that it's getting cold. This time it's of a CFL light bulb.

Anyone that uses CFL bulbs know they have a warm up time where it's not producing the full amount of light. I wanted to make just the top part of the bulb in focus, which meant I would need a large aperture. That means I will be letting in a lot of light. To combat that I made my ISO as low as it could and the shutter speed was getting really close to 1/8000, which is the max. Once I turned the light on I only had a few minutes to get a good picture before it would be too bright. After taking several this one had the best color balance to it. Post production was just bringing the black end of levels up to make sure the background was completely black, which it almost was already.

A tip I learned from this. If you are cleaning the eyepiece and want to see the dust and dirt shine a really bright light--like a light bulb--into the camera and the dirt showed right up and made it easy to clean.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: Brandywine Falls

November 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm

POTW: Brandywine Falls

Went to Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In my ongoing effort to try and get a picture that you don't see too often I decided on this one. I've also discovered that it's quite difficult to get the colors right when you take pictures at twilight. Nothing really looked right, even when I was messing with the color temperature manually. Live and learn I guess.

Only thing really noteworthy for this picture is I didn't use a tripod for this long exposure. Instead I just held it against the hand rail to keep it steady.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: Ruler Macro

November 22, 2010 at 1:01 am

POTW: Ruler Macro

I found myself last week trying to explain what a 1:1 macro lens meant. Figured it would be easier to just take a picture of a ruler.

Looking at this ruler and you can see the image is about 21.6mm wide (those are half mm marks under 4 and 5). The sensor size on a 40D is 22.2mm. But, if I have a 1:1 macro lens shouldn't the ruler measure 22.2mm as well? It should, but I'm thinking I took the picture just before the minimum focus distance. Another picture I took everything was blurry so I may have just refocused instead of moving the ruler closer. I hope to get the extension tubes at some point. Would turn this lens into a low powered microscope.

Apologies on the late update, memory card reader was giving issues. Also I braved the scary world outside and have something other than close up shots of random stuff in my house. And I moved everything over to the new server last week so hopefully you notice things being a little more zippier. Let me know if you notice anything not working as I still have some minor stuff to setup.

Posted in Photography. |