Paris

Technical: Ektachrome slide no data

Paris in the ‘80’s. Slide film. One ISO. The only variables were the shutter speed and f-stop. There are so many errors present in this shot that I made. Cropping is interesting as the trees lead to the Arc de Triomphe. After that, it’s downhill. My eye was curious to see the foreground people. There is too much sky. The horizon should move upward. More people (remember National Geographic) but then you have to decide if the foreground is focused or the monument is the key element.

You could go HDR nowadays. Lately, I have done this on occasion, taking several shots and planning to stack them in Photoshop. I just keep forgetting to Photoshop post processing. I can imagine a vertical panorama shot to emphasize the long Parisian boulevard.

There is telephoto compression and the long Champs Elysees is foreshortened. The color balance is off and needs correction. The Arc de Triomphe is not in focus. This may be partly due to weather, heat, and haze. On a warm summer day these effects will blur objects far away. The photographer and lens may not be at fault. The only way to reduce this problem is to move closer. But then you lose the telephoto effect. I would do this over, if I were there again.

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New York Harbor

Technical: iPhone 4

Apple says that this is a better camera. I guess that it can be. But everything has a purpose and the primary function of an iPhone is to be a phone. The image capture here is also subject to the limitation of the camera and technology. The brightness of the sun exceeds the capacity of the dynamic range to expose the scene properly. So you end up with a bright spot and underexposure of the rest of the scene. Detail is lost. The human eye is able to compensate so that the buildings are not so underexposed in real life. And … one should never look directly into the sun. The lens of the eye is like a magnifying lens which focuses the sun beam on the retina and will burn it. Jennifer did get a nice shot especially since the iPhone is her primary camera. The sun is not centered but the horizon is almost midline.

Little Red Lighthouse

The Little Red Lighthouse at the base of the George Washington Bridge. Amy’s first bike ride of the season – she didn’t invite me. iPhone shots are great to share. The hard lesson is to make do with that little lens and ask the phone to be a camera. Amy has a Nikon D300S, but sometimes you don’t have that available when a gorgeous day presents a great shot.

Santa Cruz 3

Technical: Canon EOS 7D 1/200 sec, f16, ISO 200, focal length 18mm

Santa Cruz. Another ocean shot, it’s so hard to get the right exposure. The sky is blown out. So crop it. No clouds… really no interest. The surfers balance the coastal outcropping. Make this into a panoramic image. Silhouetting works too. The dynamic range is too much for the image sensor. Hence the lack of detail in the ocean foam and on the sand.

Santa Cruz 2

Technical: Canon EOS 7D 1/200 sec, f16, ISO 200, focal length 10mm

Santa Cruz. This is a wide angle shot. Cousin David has much better composition here. The highlights lead the eye to the rocks. The rocks are off center near to one of the intersections of the ‘rule of thirds.’ The rocks are still underexposed. What I will say (and I am definitely guilty as well) is that this is a lazy man’s photo. There is potential. So I would have taken the same picture and then never looked at it again. Instead, if you think there is real potential, go down (if possible) to the shore, and with a tripod get a long exposure at the rocks, with the water in that smooth silky texture. That would be something to keep. And, get it at sunset with the ‘golden light.’ As I say… but I don’t have the inclination nor the patience to hang all day.

Santa Cruz

Technical: Canon EOS 7D 1/250 sec, f5.0, ISO 200, focal length 44mm

Cousin David shot this in Santa Cruz. Ocean shots are much like snow. There is too much dynamic range, bright to dark. That makes exposure tricky. Also there is little contrast between elements. This means that the details are going to blend and interest is going to be hard to find. There are some nice pastels which might make for an interesting long exposure. The birds are too small to be seen in detail. The rocks are underexposed as well. The upper sky is blown out. HDR might be of some help except if there is no detail in the sky. Here, you would expose the rock shadows and then blend with a properly exposed ocean to get an evenly exposed image. It would look processed but that is the point of HDR.

Dock

Technical: Nikon D90, shutter 1/400, f10, focal length 32

Good shot here Susan. Lose the shrink wrap on the left. The focus is on Kevin. The buoys or the kids make a perfect frame. Crop in closer and maybe get more of Kevin. With digital, it’s easy enough to crop and zoom after you have your wide angle shot. Don’t hesitate to fire off a few shots. Shoot first and worry about deleting later. Don’t check the LCD screen every second. Get the shot first.

Playground Slide

Technical: Nikon D90, shutter 1/200, f5.6, focal length 20

Susan emailed the other day offering to help and contribute. Thanks. This is a downhill slide. You have wide angle distortion going. Susan commented that the eyes are closed, but the expressions ‘priceless.’ Definitely! So what’s my opinion? It looks like the kids are actually going uphill. It’s the wide angle distortion that raised Matilda up and makes her look larger than her older sibling and cousins. Here’s a thought. Try tilting the camera. This will bring Ryan’s head up and make it seem more like the kids are coming down. But, they are all cute.

You know, on second look, I think that this break in the rules works. I do in fact like the kids seeming to go uphill. I never did like rules. But try to tilt the camera the next time.

You have got to be kidding

The following spam, junk, con, sucker… email was sent to my inbox. Yeah, shame on me for being cynical. But really??? If you have never seen/received this before… beware!
To: undisclosed recipients@null, null@null
Subject: Compliments of the day to you
Date: Mar 21, 2012 4:40 PM

Compliments of the day to you.
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My condition here is terrible; it’s just like one staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace i will come out here soon. i don’t have any relatives now whom i can go to all our relatives ran away in the middle of the war the only person i have now is (Rev. father Joseph). who is in-charge of the church Orphanage, he has been very nice to me since i came here but i am not living with him rather i’m leaving in the Females hostel in the orphanage because here they have two hostels one for the males the other for females.

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In the light of the above, I want you to send to me your complete name and your contact address either office or home address; including your direct telephone number.
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Miss Amanda