Monday, March 26, 2012

Project 50 - Week 15 - The New Toy!

Project 50 - Week 15
Title: The New Toy!

Well, I've finally done it - I've been saving every penny and nickle I could get a hold of - and I finally purchased a professional-grade, full-frame digital SLR.  Now, don't get me wrong, I loved my 40D, it's been used (and slightly abused) for years and never once complained.  I've gotten some great photos out of it, and it will still be with me in my bag whenever I go out shooting (true, as my backup camera, but still in there!), but I realized I really needed a higher-end camera and since Canon just released their newest uber-camera, the 5D Mark III (yeah, I know they released the 1D-X as well, but that's like $11k) and I bit the bullet and got it.

This project is about my first impressions with my new toy and my first "real" photo I took with it.  Once I ripped open the package and threw the battery in I was amp'ed to get shooting - but that's when I remembered that the batteries are always shipped uncharged.  So, 2.5 hours later - I was amp'ed to get shooting!  I took hundreds of just "play" shots around the house; books, the wall, legos, my ironing, a wife who was amused at first but then gave me the look of "I'm going to put that camera someplace very uncomfortable if you don't get out of my office", and just about everything else that I could. 

After completing my "shoot everything insanity", I decided that I needed to actually take a picture of something "artsy" and on purpose.  Unfortunately, it was nearly dark, cold, windy and raining outside - not what you would call "prime" shooting environment.  I decided, hey, this is a 5D - it's the Mr. T of cameras - I pity da foo' who uses a Nikon! (I'm kidding!  Nikon people don't get all crazy!)  I poked my head out the front door and I saw nothing that was very interesting until I looked up and spied a ton of birds just hanging out on the power lines.  They were just all standing around chirping at each other, and every once and a while, one would "quawrk" loudly and chase one off the wire (who would just fly/hop down the line a bit to continue his conversation with another, hopefully less angry companion).  I wasn't particularly looking to get a specific shot of two birds having an argument, but I think I got quite lucky with this photo.

I'm going to show this photo in a few different ways to show what the Canon 5D Mk 3 can do.  Again, one of the amazing aspects of this photo is the environment it was shot in - it was raining quite hard, it was nearly dark (it was taken at 7:11pm), it was very windy, and these birds were quite far away. I shot handheld with my longest telephoto lens (70-300mm at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/320th, ISO 2500).  So, lets take a look at some birds!

Note: on all of these photos, to really see the detail you need to click on them to enlarge.

Full size version (reduced by 75% from original size)

Cropped version (for ascetics, size reduced by ~60% from original size)

Now the amazing part, close-up of Angry Bird Quawrking (this is approximately 13% of the full image).  Notice you can even see his little claw/toes holding onto the wire and separation of his tail feathers!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Project 50 - Week 14 - Cookie Time!

Project 50 - Week 14
Title: Cookie Time!

Well, I finally had a free Saturday and I decided that one of things I needed to do today was take some pictures!  Course, the problem was, since it was a "free" Saturday, I decided I needed to create a giant list of things that I needed to do (of which, I've gotten nearly nothing done so far, except "Create 'Free Saturday To-Do' List".  Doh.)  One of the items on the list, that was critical to do (mostly because my wife comes home tomorrow and if isn't done, I'm going to be sleeping outside on the lawn) is wash all of the dishes.  Now clearly, when I say "wash all the dishes", the first step is of course, getting them all dirty by making cookies.  Which I did.  A lot.

As soon as I started getting my "Mize En Place" (that's French for: Soon your kitchen will be a total disaster and you will wonder why you didn't just go to the store and by a box of Pop-Tarts - the French language is strange), I realized it might be kinda fun to take some macro shots of the cookie-making process!  Mostly I thought this because I needed a better justification for making the kitchen a mess making cookies than: I wanted to get every dish dirty before having to wash anything.  And a photo project is always a good reason!

These aren't exactly the best shots, mostly because I didn't really do any setup specifically for taking the pictures (lights, reflectors, etc).  Strangely our kitchen isn't setup with high-powered photography lights (lame!), but I think some of them came out interestingly.  The flour shots were, to put it plainly, very boring.  I mean, it's white dust!  Not very photogenic.  So, I played around with them a bit in photoshop to make them "pop" a bit more.

Enjoy!  And please don't lick your monitor.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Project 50 - Week 13 - The Rise of Fruithulhu!

Project 50 - Week 13
Title: The Rise of Fruithulhu!

Yeah, I know its been a bit since last post - but I've been hidden in a dark, mysterious laboratory studying the dark arts of Fruithulhu!  I'm sure you've all heard of the Great Old One, Cthulhu - but did you know he had an equally evil Fruit Bowl!  It is this Fruit Bowl of Evilosity that I've been exploring.  After month of laborious work and consumption of many (delicious) fruity minions, Fruithulhu has finally risen! 

His tartness knows no bounds!  His citrusiness will blind the whole world!