Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back To Water Drops

From my recent entry (Revisiting Water Drops), I have mentioned that I'd do my water drops again with my 50mm prime lens with the 580EX II flash. Tonight is the night that I went back to the water drops. An additional part of the experiment was to use wireless flash triggers. This would be a separate entry but to give you an introduction, in this way, the flash is not mounted on the camera's hot shoe slot but instead is placed somewhere else and triggered by wireless receivers.

So, my first task was to set the aperture and the flash output. At first, I went with a large aperture but I was having getting focused drops due to the thin DOF. I therefore ended up using f/8.0 with ISO 100, 1/200 sec shutter speed.

I'm really impressed how the prime was doing as I have a high success rate of getting whole drops of water. Without further due, here are some of the water drops I was able to get:

I call the first one as the "Magnifying Glass" and the second as the "Orb".

I have the rest of the set in here: Water Drop Project.

Water Drop Project

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Against The Sun

What kind of photos usually appear when you have your subject in front of a light source, for example the sun? More than usual it would be a black subject (silhouette) and a bright background.

Here's a little practical application of working against the sun in order to expose for the subject -- use fill-in flash. Yes, flash in daylight again just like my previous exercise: Cosmos Plants Exercise. In that exercise, the sun was at my back and now it's in front of me.

The little trick here is to know how much fill-in flash to use. It was trial and error for me. Here's the result of this morning's encounter with my cosmos flowers.

One thing to remember though, be careful when working against the sun as this can be harmful to both your eyes and camera's sensor.

This morning's recipe:
  1000D/XS + kit lens at 55mm, f/16, 1/50 secs, ISO 100, FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation): 0

Another note: I just noticed today that the bokeh on the kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) are hexagonal when I thought that they were circular. Time to check the technicals of the kit lens. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Candlelight Experience

I've been trying to get some warm photos of lighted candles and here are the results of my recent attempt:

Some essentials to get things done:

    1. Dark and windless room - important to get the flame from not dancing around and flickering.
    2. Tripod or something stable to put the camera on - this kind of photography will need a little extra time for exposure thus something stable will aid in avoiding camera shake.
    3. Heat tolerance - well it's a windless room and minimal circulating is around.
    4. A couple of candles and matches - obviously needed but do take care in handling these.
    5. Patience - not so long exposure, heat, and multiple trials will surely test your patience.

Some technicals I used:

    1. Wide aperture - not really wide, just enough to get a shallow depth-of-field.
    2. Low ISO - to compensate for the sensitivity of light.
    3. Slow shutter speed - this allowed me to get some blur on the flame.

I've included this with my Pyro At Works album. When I get more candle light photos, I'm sure to move them in a separate album.

Pyro At Works

Monday, May 10, 2010

Revisiting Water Drops

Last February 2010, I once revisited my Water Drop project where I used the nifty fifty prime. Just the other day, I went back again with the Water Drop project but this time back with the kit lens and the 580EX II flash.

The setup was kit lens plus the 580EX II flash on camera. I was able to get some water drop photos but weren't good enough. I was a bit unsatisfied with the results so I guess I have to go back again to the Water Drop project but with the nifty fifty prime plus the 580EX II.

Anyway, here's a few of the best (I think) that turned out different from the other water drops that was formed.

Settings: 55mm, f/22, 1/200 sec, ISO 100, cropped, post processed the "green-ness" and for contrast.

Again, here's the album of my Water Drop project:

Water Drop Project

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cosmos Plants Exercise

A few months ago I planted some cosmos seeds and waited anxiously for them to bloom. For the past few weeks, several buds have been blooming. It's a good time for me to spend more time with the blooms and not in a hurry mode to take photos of them. Since they are mine, I own my time with them. It's also a nice time to practice some techniques in photography. So here are some of the results of my photography exercise:

Cosmos with our dirty,old wall as background:

Cosmos with the shade of the trees as background:

Aren't my cosmos flowers a beauty?

As I said, this was also an exercise. All of these were taken around nine in the morning. So the sun was already high but with some occasional patches of clouds. The first photo shows how bright it can be. How come the last three photos have a background almost black. This was intentional so I can isolate the bloom and color. I wanted the cosmos flowers to be the highlight. I used the shade the trees provided on the background and I  set my camera with a small aperture (large f number), high shutter speed, low ISO. Isn't a small aperture, high shutter speed, and low ISO a recipe for a dark photo. Yes it is! Well that's what I wanted for my background, right?

How about the subject? How was I able to get a nice pink photo of a cosmos flower? Armed with the recipe above, I added some fill-flash. Yes, I used flash in broad daylight. In this exercise, I used my pop-up flash for the fill flash. It was a matter of adjusting how much flash should be used with the recipe of a dark photo. Well, I had some several test shots before I got the result I wanted. Viola!

By the way, the first photo was also produced with fill flash as the cosmos flowers where shaded by a tree behind me but the wall was very well lit by the morning sun.

I also learned here to change my composition and be aware of the background. I would instantly take a photo  of this like the first photo as I did. If you would see, there's a black/dark line running through in the background. So, I forced myself to take another angle/view and that's where I got the dark background and make the cosmos flower pop!

    Aperture (Av): f/11 or f/16
    Shutter Speed (Tv): 1/200 seconds
    ISO: 100
    Flash (Flash exposure compensation): 0