Home Again


Flare. There’s something causing it. I can’t quite see what’s giving the circular defects. Julia’s new place again. The thing is that I recognize her stuff. It’s a memory thing. You wouldn’t know. But I do. If you know Proust and his writing of the Madeleine cookie, you will understand. Not an image of any particular merit, but it says a lot to me. Thanks Julia. Some images are about sharing personal memories.


Technical: Canon EOS &D, 1/800 sec, f1.4, focal length 50

David used a 50mm focal length and f1.4 to get shallow depth of focus. I like the image composition. I’m unsure about the focus. Perhaps more depth of field would be in order here. It’s really a graphical image with angles and curves. Except for the stool, which is also graphically placed, the image almost looks like it was masked. I think that HDR processing might be an interesting thing to try here. For me, I wouldn’t have the patience to set up the tripod and so forth. So it’s just a thought on my part. And again, I appreciate David’s continuing contributions. He’s got some pretty sweet images.


Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/80 sec, f8, focal length 21

This looks like Chicago to me. Cousin David has it labeled as KC wedding. Kansas City? What a nice exposure! There is enough detail in the buildings to avoid underexposure. Some photographers might resort to HDR. That might work but it will give a distinct look from the manipulation. I like this more natural image capture. The sun glare and reflection on the windows of the buildings is the essential element in this image. And the boat in the foreground with the water reflection balances the image. By ‘rule of thirds’ the eye sees the boat first and then the sun glare. Very nice indeed.


Technical: Kodak Ektachrome slide

Here’s a trick that I promised to post for Donna. Ordinarily I discard my imperfect shots. I have too many that are good. Here, my daughter wouldn’t have appreciated being cast aside. So to salvage the image, I used a trick that I read somewhere and managed to remember because it’s short and sweet. It will help. It won’t necessarily save you. But it will salvage an otherwise lost image. It really works when you least expect to get anything back. So to my wife who would have discarded this image in an instant, here’s why I save everything. (She’s probably right to some degree, but she won’t be reading this post.)


The original is degraded by flare. It may have been inadvertent exposure of the film as the camera back was opened. I’m using Photoshop. Select all. Copy all. Go and make a new layer. Then choose the layer mode as multiply. Paste. The new layer will effect the picture as in multiply. You can repeat. You can tone down by lowering the opacity.

Level adjust, color balance

I used levels and did some color correction. Then I multiplied again. For the purposes of the exercise, I did not make any adjustment to opacity. Last, I used the levels to adjust color once more. It’s quick and dirty. You could spend a lot more time and get things better. The multiply layers is a good standby to help salvage a mistake in exposure.

Second multiply

Level adjust, color balance

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.

Reflection II

Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/4 sec, f110, ISO 800, focal length 126mm, no flash

Another long exposure and a wonderful image capture. David hasn’t filled me in, but I think that the reflection is a woman’s face. I hesitate because I don’t want him to be in trouble over a relative’s portrait. The rest of the image is framed well and supports the main subject. Well done. This shot is a little tricky because it combines still life, the glass and background, with a subject that is standing still but is moving a bit, however imperceptibly. This is not easy. I would shoot multiples of this in order to have one shot that is ideal. I presume that a tripod was used. It makes things a bit easier. (See comment from David)

Fill Flash

6898 Technical: Nikon D200, 1/160 sec, f6.3, ISO 100, focal length 20mm

6899 Technical: Nikon D200, 1/250 sec, f5, ISO 100, focal length 20mm


Here’s an example of fill flash that you can compare. The image without fill flash is underexposed because the camera meter is reading the bright background and averaging for the scene. You could probably pull the dark forground out by post processing. You could mask and get better foreground exposure without blowing out the background. Fill flash will expose the foreground enough to bring out the details without affecting the background. There is a little glare from the flash seen on the statue. You could also post process this small flaw. Susan uses fill flash frequently with her portraits and it is not too noticeable. This example with and without shows you examples so that you may choose.



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.

Downsized flags via email

Technical: Smartphone

Yes, this was taken with a smartphone from a car window and processed by Microsoft imaging software. At the time the shot was made, Ginny had no idea that the sun flare would complete the image.

On her way to a wedding on Long Island, my friend Ginny called to her cousin to stop the car. She rolled down the window to get this image of flags on Veteran’s Day. When she reviewed the image her friend shouted out commenting on the sunbeams. I have always called this ‘angel light.’ What wonderful serendipity! For what it is, the shot is perfect. A cellphone image is better than none. But here…wow!