Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What To Do With a Leaky Faucet? Water Drop Shots!

Well, we've had a little drip in the master bathroom sink and I figured that I should really do something about it. There was really only one thing to do…I headed right for my tool belt my camera gear and set up for some water drop photography.

This was my first time shooting water drops and I have to say that I'm pleased with the initial results. However, this was not done without some challenges. I had some difficulty getting and maintaining focus. It’s seemed virtually impossible to use auto-focus as it always seems to go hunting for the most obvious target, and water drops are quite unpredictable and not always so obvious. However, it’s a good test of your ability to focus manually; it certainly was for me.

Another challenge, which wasn’t really so much of challenge as it was a timing issue, was knowing when to fire the shutter. As much as you try, you’ll never get exactly the same shot twice. I really love the randomness of each shot; you never know what you're going to get. Definitely have to try this again to refine the technique.

I wanted to get these up quickly so I’ll describe my set-up and technique in a follow up post.

Hope you enjoy!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ireland - Definitely Worth a Visit!

My wife and I went to Ireland a couple of years ago to attend the wedding of one her colleagues. Schedules were quite busy at that time so we weren't able to see as much of the country as we would have liked. We spent most of our time in and around Galway, where the wedding was being held, and managed to fit in a couple of day trips.

The photo below is of the Cliffs of Moher, which is one truly awesome site. To get some perspective of how high the cliffs are look closely and you will see people walking the trail along the cliffs; they look very, very small. Only then can you get a true sense their scale.  The highest point is over 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, and they stretch for 5 miles.

We also had a brief stop at Dunguaire Castle. As you can see the weather was cooperating quite well as I was given to understand that blue skies and sun can be rare in Ireland.

This last photo is on the island of Inis Mór (the big island), part of the Aran Islands. We took one of the later ferry boats out to the island. The downside of that is we didn’t have as much time as we would have liked before we had to catch the last ferry back. However, we did walk for little while to take in the unique landscape and spectacular views.

If you have never been then put this on your list; Ireland is definitely worth a visit. We were there for only a few days, but and would love to go back and spend some more time touring from county to county.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nobody Said Blogging Would Be Easy

No kidding! Blogging can be downright difficult always trying to come up with stuff. I check in over at Scott Kelby's blog daily and even he sometimes has nothin', like that one time that he "called in lame".

My original intent was to try to blog at least twice a week. I mentioned early on that photography is not my main gig; I have another full-time career. This creates two challenges 1) coming up with ideas for the blog, as sometimes my mind in not always on photography, and 2) actually getting the ideas written and posted.

In addition, the weather is getting much better outside. My wife and I have stepped off of our winter treadmills and are now hitting the road and running outside. What's more, we signed up for our first 5k race in June. We've been training about 3 to 4 times per week in order to get ready and this takes up a fair amount of time, too. But hey, we're healthy and we're actually enjoying running outside (when it's not pouring rain, that is).

Anyway, I'm trying hard not to have this perceived as "calling in lame". I'm working on some blog updates and will have something up shortly.



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Salida Del Sol Sobre San Juan - Sunrise Over San Juan

Hola a todos!

I took this photo on the last day a cruise a few years back. We had just returned to the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, after 7 days in the southern Caribbean. We had a balcony cabin on the port side which faced east once we were docked.

We were leaving that day and my camera bag was already packed. However, I stepped out onto the balcony, saw the sunrise, and went back in to grab my camera with hopes of grabbing a few quick exposures before we left.

I wanted to get as much of the city skyline and the two cruise ships on the right as I could, and then try to silhouette them against the sunrise. That meant my only choice was to place the sun right smack dab in the middle of the frame in the upper third of the image. I was not planning to shoot a sunrise so I didn’t bother trying to get up extra early. As a result I had to work with what was there.

As I mentioned above, this was a few quick snaps in hopes of getting something I liked. Most times if you want to shoot a sunrise or sunset you’ll start by finding a good location, get there early, find your composition, tweak your exposure etc… a lot of pre-planning and set-up. However, photography is not always about planning what you think is the perfect shot. It’s about being able to see what’s around you and having the ability to react quickly to capture the moment. I was hoping to do that here.



Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Eyes Have It... But, Which Eye?

I got seriously into photography almost 5 years ago. My first DSLR at the time was a Canon Rebel XT. It was small, lightweight and felt pretty comfortable in my hands. When I held it up to my eye to look through the viewfinder it seemed a no brainer, I put the camera up to my right eye; it felt natural. I shot like this for almost 4 years.

Last year it was time for an upgrade and I went over to the Nikon D300. Other than being a slightly bigger machine, the D300, like the Canon felt comfortable in my hands. However, a curious thing happened when I put the camera up to my eye — I didn’t put up to my right eye, but to my left; and it felt natural!

Now, I pretty sure my dominant eye is my right one; however, I’m just as comfortable using my left without much difference. I've tried using my right eye again, but it just doesn't feel right anymore.

I’m still not sure why this happened. Well, it might be because I want to be like Joe McNally when I grow up.