Deprecated: Required parameter $sql follows optional parameter $object in /home/vr/www/vrillusions.com/html/system/libraries/drivers/Database/Mysqli.php on line 135

Deprecated: Required parameter $sql follows optional parameter $object in /home/vr/www/vrillusions.com/html/system/libraries/drivers/Database/Mysql.php on line 355
blog - vrillusions

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. |

POTW: Turntable Cartridge Macro

November 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

POTW: Turntable Cartridge Macro

Another macro shot. This time of the cartridge used for a turntable. Tried to get a closeup of just the needle but I don't have a good enough magnification with the lens I have. Also getting close to the limit of my tripod/head combo. When I aim for most of these I have to aim a little high since when I lock it the camera tilts down slightly. Stuff like that is why you can spend $400 on just the head (what mounts the camera to the tripod legs). But I won't be able to afford that anytime soon. May resort to using a bean bag which would probably be more stable than a tripod if I can use it. Been meaning to grab one anyway since when I'm outdoors and want to set the camera on a rock or something.

As evident by all these macro pictures I've kinda lost steam on the abandoned building front. Haven't heard of anything worthwhile as of late and want to explore new locations instead of just revisiting old ones.

Also I'm moving to a new server so things may temporarily stop working within the next week or two. This also includes the image galleries and email. Email should still be forwarded to a temporary location until I get things setup again.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: Post Office Macro

November 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm

POTW: Post Office Macro

Another macro shot. This time of an old post office box cover. Bought this at a flea market years ago. All you get is the front door. My father made a box for it and I use it to lock up various keys and stuff. Nothing too secure since you can get into it by just sawing off one of the sides.

I set the focus to the shortest I could and moved the box back and forth until it was in focus, so this is as close up I can get. My lens is rated to 1:1 magnification. Meaning the image the lens projects on to the sensor is the same size of the image. Another way to say that is if you removed the sensor from the camera and put it right against the object, that's the size it would be. You can zoom in real close with some lens extenders I'm thinking of getting at some point.

As I am posting this I'm still contemplating what I'm going to do for next week's picture, so probably going to be another macro of something around the house.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: South Chagrin Metropark

October 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm

POTW: South Chagrin Metropark

More awesome metropark pictures, this time at the south chagrin metropark. Was in the area helping my mother with a craft show which meant I had to get up at 8:00 AM on a Saturday--I'm not a morning person, especially on the weekends--so while I was in the area figured I'd go and take pictures at the nearby park.

Nothing really worth mentioning with this picture. Small waterfall that you can get fairly close to. A group of kids, looked like boy scouts, were able to put their hand in the falling water. Was also amusing they asked if the pictures were for National Geographic. Too bad I didn't get a setup shot for this. The camera was setup on a rock ledge maybe 4" thick and stuck out about 2 feet.

I still haven't gotten around to getting the photos from both of these online but I'll get around to it at some point.

Posted in Photography. |

POTW: Self Portrait

October 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm

POTW: Self Portrait

First POTW that's a self portrait. This was taken at a metropark and there were a few pictures that looked really nice (I'll get an album up eventually). Unfortunately you're stuck with a picture of yours truly.

The reason I went with this is because it's my first official use of off-camera flash outdoors. That came with a few errors. You can see the original here. Some of the stuff was because this is a self portrait. I was holding a remote shutter release and the camera was about 6 feet in front of me. The flash is hanging below the center column of the tripod, resting on top of my backpack which was hooked on to the center column of tripod for stability.

From looking at the original on location and looking at the histogram it looked like I had a properly exposed picture but it came out dark. Fortunately I took the picture in raw so I could easily increase the exposure by a stop and not lose anything. I then gave it a tighter crop and slight tweak of levels. Given the subject I was working with I'm pretty happy with my first use of flashes outside. I came out really sharp and the background has a nice bokeh effect. The black shirt seems to throw things off though and I should have had some color. Also wearing a short sleeve shirt detracts from the image which is why I had to crop out my arms. And yes, at the time I thought I was at least smiling a little bit. This is definitely better than the setup shots though.

Looking at the thumbnail on my desktop I do like it in icon form (the colors of the background with the black of the shirt) so maybe I'll use it for my profile picture in various places. This was all pretty spontaneous so didn't have any planning as far as what to wear or to shave so I'm pretty happy with it.

Posted in Photography. |
Mastodon