Technical: Canon G11, 1/80 sec, f4.0, ISO 80, focal length 6.1

For all you bloggers who post every little thing, and you know who you are. Some things are just not that interesting. Think, before you post. Is it gonna be interesting to anyone? I’ve looked at a lot of, well, mediocre posts. Hey, maybe that’s me too. Anyway this photo is a riff on my rant.

There was this fly… I saw him yesterday. It was on the window screen six floors up in the chill night air – about 40 degrees. All night? I glanced as the sun came up this morning and he was still there. Same spot, he never moved. It had to be the same one. I thought he was dead and stuck to the screen.

Well later around 10AM the sun was high enough and had warmed that little bug enough so that he stirred. It was at that moment that these thoughts came to mind. I managed to macro on the G11 and catch this shot. Not too bad for what I wanted – an image to discuss.

I still wonder that this little fly sat out in the cold without mittens or scarf all night in the cold. And he’ll be dead soon. The shot – well, I must say that the Canon came through again. It didn’t know I was shooting through glass and had sun glare. I wanted to focus on an object on the screen. And all I got was one shot before the fly flew (ha ha). It focused pretty decently on the screen. It could have easily focused on the window or the brick wall beyond. The lens flare put some circles that pointed to the fly. A little fill flash and I would have had the fly’s head better exposed. Imagine that, all so that I could post this commentary. When you see David’s fly you will see how pitiful my effort was.

Sunny boy


Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 200, focal length 60mm, fill flash

Good animal portrait. Indoors and fill flash are seen. The background is nicely out of focus and the back light is compensated for by the fill flash, which is not too obvious. The catch light in the parrot’s eye is seen. This is often done in commercial portraits to enhance the eyes. If you look closely or blow up the image you will see the octagonal soft box or whatever light source was used to get the catch lights. The parrot is turned and this makes the image less static. The subject is a bit close to the center of the frame. And the blind splits the image vertically, in way like a mid position horizon. Shifting the camera a bit might have made a better cropping.



Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/4 sec, f10, ISO 800, focal length 126mm, no flash

This is great! ¼ sec and must be that it was with a tripod. The ISO was 800. You could have shot with a faster shutter speed? Or you could use a slower speed and lower ISO. The glass and the reflection selectively focus upon the woman’s head. It’s a great example of selective focus and how to get there tastefully. Here, I might have squared up the composition. But you could easily crop for this. Then again, it really doesn’t need any help. Now that I have looked again, those are pedestrians passing that make the reflection. This was a really neat image capture.

Ducks (pun)


Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/160 sec, f8, ISO 200, focal length 28mm, no flash

Tough exposure. I like the fall color in the upper part of the image. The ducks are underexposed. They are black blobs. The one duck where there is detail is clear. The interest is that all three were ducking (pun) at the same time. Unlike human subjects, ducks do not take directions when you desire a different pose. Good try but there’s not much you can do. Just keep clicking the shutter and hope that there’s a photo there. This one was close, just not quite there. I have plenty of these also. And you can guess that my discards will just sit around on my hard drive but not displayed.

Big Smile, Polaroid slide film


I deeply regret that this was shot on Polaroid slide film. Yes, for a brief period of time Polaroid, of instant pictures, marketed instant slide film. I used it occasionally for down and dirty quick images for medical slide presentations with the old Kodak Carousel projectors. At this point many of you will not remember slide projectors either.

Anyway, I took a flash photography course at the International Center for Photography (ICP). It ran two days and we used Polaroid slide film so that there could be instant feedback and criticism on the technique and use. The lesson here was on using bounce flash. This lesson stands out for me as a sentinel change in the way I approach flash photography.

My regret is that the image and experiment that evening to complete my homework assignment included my son David. This wonderful shot sits framed 8×10 in my living room. The quality of the film was so poor. Otherwise, it’s a great shot. I still had no luck when David and I tried a redo years later. The bounce worked but the shirt was underexposed. It was Kodak slide film but still not satisfactory. The beauty of digital is that you can immediately check and correct as you go. Maybe we would have tried this shot once more, but the kitchen has long since been renovated. And David grew up.

Storage and Index

I am currently storing over 100K of slides in custom-made drawers. Yes, more than one hundred thousand, and I whisper this number because it’s pretty crazy for an amateur. I personally got a table saw and router. And then I built capacity for about another 100k. it was 2004 and a few months before I purchased my first Nikon D70. In June 2004 at my son’s graduation, I started to use the Nikon D70 and shot my last frame of Kodak slide film. My digital library of images is now on multiple hard drives and has way more than 100k images accumulated since 2004. The first 100k slides were taken over about 35 years. Thank goodness for hard drives and memory cards. Space and also cost savings are tremendous. That’s another topic.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gallery follows:

Continue reading



Technical: Nikon D200, 1/250 sec, f8, ISO 100, focal length 150mm

Horizontal portrait. There is a balance with Santa off to the side and a blurred background. I suppose one could crop out the out of frame red suit on the left. Among the many Santas who attended Santacon in early December, this one was about the best representation of what Santa must look like in a traditional sense.



Technical: Nikon D200, 1/80 sec, f5,6, ISO 100, focal length  130mm

There is some distraction of the red color in the left corner. Dead center is a Santa standing somewhat isolated. This breaks the rule of putting your subject dead center. With the crowd, this may be necessary to allow the viewer’s eye to quickly settle. The focus is soft. The shutter speed could have been faster.



Technical: Nikon D200, 1/160 sec, f6.3 , ISO 100, focal length  80mm

The Christmas tree is the focal point that offsets the crowd. The sun playing off the foreground and tree also counterbalance. The tall buildings and the streets full of brightly costumed Santas give some measure to the size of the crowd. It is then not so important to see any individual.



Technical: Nikon D200, 1/160 sec, F6.3 , ISO 100, focal length  150mm

Crowds. I wanted to capture the feeling of the size of the crowd at Santacon. It is also posted in Imaged Event. Most of these shots are not too interesting. The eye wanders looking for something to focus upon. The pattern of light and shadow horizontally layering the crowd helps. There is a vertical element with the steps in the background. And the center of focus is light and mid frame split about right. The foreground Santas are larger but are out of focus and not too distracting.