Monthly Archives: April 2012

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Why would you put a very cute baby in a mailbox?



Well the answer is, you wouldn’t of course. This is a composite, of a baby in a mailbox. Why composite them you ask? Because this is my cheeky version of an Anne Geddes image. So sue me, its not quite as cute, or heartwarming, or just so precious you want to immediately run out and buy a child sized egg to stick you newborn in. My version is non of those things. Its quite amusing, a little chilly, and a little cute.

If i was better at this sort of thing the baby would have been sleeping, just as cute as can be, probably sticking out of a perfectly wrapped present, bound for Christmas cheer, recently delivered my a happy postal worker.

However i am not so good at unbearably cute. So you get a baby, on a cold winter evening, looking a little apprehensive because someone just put her in the mailbox.

Maybe this will only be amusing to me, and actualy i am fine with that, but i think there may be some othere folks out there who are not all that in love with babies in vegetable pods or giant uninhabited egg shells.

Its a light one this week, but i hope you enjoyed the image and the ramblings. I just got off a 15 hour flight from Dubai, so forgive me if this weeks discussion is a little short and a little loopy. oh, and i have nothing against Anne Geddes, she is a fantastic photographer. Thanks and i’ll see you next week.

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NYC on a gray day in the winter…



I recently found myself in NYC wondering around with a couple friends. I, as I so often do, had my trusty Canon 5dmk2 with me and was casualy taking some pictures. I am fascinated by linear perspective(mostly because I was always terrible at drawing it) and there are few places that offer a better study in perspective than the tall buildings covered in glass and scafolding and the dead straight crosstown Aves of Manhattan. There is also a visual and spiratual hustle and bustle about NYC that is palpable, but not easy to capture in a single frame.

Capturing the tall building and their colors and textures was a job best done using the HDR (hi dynamic range) technique. I think buildings are very good candidates for the detail rich and cartoony look of a heavly processed HDR image. However, as i have probably mentioned before in this blog, i am not a huge fan of simple HDR captures of scenes. There are very good ones out there, but it is just not for me. Still, they are a great tool to keep in my digital tool bag, and truth be told if I am shooting any type of scene who’s subject is not directly a person, I generally try and capture multiple exposures to be used in an HDR if I need to later.

So, for this image I combined 3 exposures to produce the HDR. I then took the orignional image and combined it wtih the HDR. The road and all the vehicles are from a single exposure. I did this partly in order to freeze the motion of the traveling cars, but mostly because in HDR they looked so artificial that I just could not take the image seriously(whatever that means).

I spent a long time making the transition areas from normal exposure to HDR. These hours are impossible to see in this format, but I am hoping that when its printed large format, you will be able to hunt for along time before finding those areas.

New York City is probably one of the most photographed places on Earth, so creating a new and interesting image of this ultimate metropolis seems an impossible task. For me this simply means ignoring the fact that I am climbing an olympic mountain of prior artistic offerings, and focusing on creating something that satisfies my artistic sensibilities. The idea of trying to avoid completely any similarities with previous artistic works can be a paralyzing and devastating undertaking for any artist. Especially when referencing subject like love, evil, the human spirit, pain, happiness, exultation, piety, or any small island where 8 million individuals make their home.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again next week.

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When all you have is a camera


, no diffusers or reflectors, the photographers worst nightmare is the cloudless sunny day. This photo was taken in MD in the dead of summer, and there was not a cloud anywhere in the sky.

After taking several test shots I knew this was a tough situation. Thanks to modern technology though, it was not the end of the world. I have mentioned HDR as an artistic choice before in the blog, but not as a survival technique. For the this shoot it was difinetly the later. There was no way I was going to capture the whole tonal range of the scene with on exposure. Lucky my canon 5D can be setup to shoot 3 different exposures in one second. It was a life saver.

I shot lots of photos of horses and their riders jumping, trotting, and just generally what they do at these events. I chose this image for two reasons. First the cloud of dust at the horses feet. It was super, super hot and dry. There was dust everywhere, but I was having trouble capturing in actually around the feet of the horse. The second thing is the perspective. You may not have noticed, but the trained eye will be able to see that the camera is positions at about the same elevation as the horses feet. If I were shooting a wide angle lens this would produce a severely dramatic image and a towering horse. I was however shooing on a 200mm telephoto lens and because of the spacial compression it causes the low perspective is much more subtle.

I was able to achieve this perspective because of the terrain around the jumping course. Near the exit of the ring there was a rather steep embankment. It was far enough away from the course that I still needed that telephoto lens to get the right frame size. I discovered that if I stood at the bottom of the embankment my camera was comfortably at ground level of the exit. The horses and riders turned directly towards me for just a couple feet while exiting and if I was quick I could snap 3 quick exposures before they turned away.

Combining 3 exposures of a moving subject is harder, but not at all impossible especially if you also incorporate a little PS compositing as well.

I think this is a very cool image and I think it captures an interesting perspective, optically speaking, that you don’t see that often.

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