Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snowy scenes

I finally got a little time from crazy busy work to try and engage the shutter on my camera a little, so I hiked in the snow on the Chimney Gulch and Beaver Brook trails from the windy saddle on Lookout mountain in Golden. The snow was dumping down but luckily my camera is well weather sealed. I took a few images of which this is one:

Flickr link.

This is using a long shutter so the snow disappears to the camera and a little contrast to correct for the white blur. Jeffrey Friedl has a nice demonstration of what shutter speed does to falling snow here. I did not turn this into black and white, this is pretty much what the scene looked like. There is some green in the trees if you look careful.This is looking down a rockslide, which might be hard to see in this image as the snow and clouds are hiding what is behind. To see this, here is an older picture at the same spot:

Some more images from this little hike are in the next post.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seoul Korea 2009

I spent some time in Seoul, Korea this winter and shot a few pictures as I had a day off. Below is a simple slideshow with images of the gallery I put up on my photo site. There is a full-screen chronological slideshow in this link.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The focal lengths I use

A long time ago I wrote a small script that spits out a histogram of all the focal lengths you use. This is done by querying spotlight on Mac OS X. The script is as follows:



print "Generating histogram of focal lengths starting at $start, ending at $end, and with stepsize $delta in the directory $onlyin\n";

while ($flength<$end)
print "$flength\t";
$commandstring="mdfind -onlyin $onlyin \"(kMDItemFocalLength>=$flength) && (kMDItemFocalLength < $endbin) && (kMDItemDisplayName = '*.$filetype*'cd) \" | wc -l";


#mdfind "kMDItemFocalLength>=10 && kMDItemFocalLength < 15) " | wc -l

Copy and paste this in a textfile (I named it and save it in your home directory. Now open a terminal and type
perl 0 300 5 "Your directory location here" NEF

Replace the location with the location where you store your images and replace NEF by whatever filetype you use or leave it blank to analyse all filetypes.

The script spits out a simple tab delimited list of focal lengths followed by the number of images it found in the range of the focal-length number+the delta that you chose. You can simply graph this in any graphing program such as Igor Pro, gnuplot, Numbers, IDL, Excel, etc.

Here is the output on about 20k RAW files that are currently on my harddisk. You can see I favor 18, 35, and 50 mm and also the top of my tele range which is 200 mm. This indicates I might like some longer lenses as well as wider lenses to add to my repertoire.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Absolutely gorgeous photos

From India's republic day, when they celebrate independence from the British and the anniversary of their constitution. Check them out. Well worth your while.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Interesting article in OP

There is an interesting article in OP. It describes famous photographer Jack Dykinga's method of using a DSLR with a PC control lens to generate high resolution digital landscape images. It's a very nice article well worth a read. This is basically the method I and many others have been using for years now and it is great to see it used by an icon of landscape photography. I wrote about the method here, here, here, here, and in many other places. Even OP has linked to my writings!. I use a slightly different method as Dykinga because I simply do not have the money to buy a PC lens (they're around $1500 and a >20 MP DSLR (8k$ in the Nikon system that I prefer). So I rotate the camera using a wooden jig I fabricated based on some instructions I found on the web. I can actually do Scheimpflug movements this way shifting the "plane" of focus and the horizon, about which I will write more in the future. That said, doing these high resolution images with a DSLR is nothing new, and even OP has written about it before in several articles. I make fantastically large prints (wall-sized) using this method that are impeccably sharp and you would be hard pressed to distinguish these from larger format film. It is harder to visualize the final image in the field though, but that is something that I have found actually to work in my benefit as it makes me far more deliberate in my shooting. In the end, the only thing that matters is the final image. How you technically got there is quite irrelevant.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Horseshoe park

Horseshoe park is a place in Rocky Mountain National park along the way to the Fall River Road. In the meadow along the road in the park, one can often see hundreds of Elk and Mountain Sheep. A few weeks ago I stopped along the road and shot a few images that at that moment I thought would look great in black and white. Here one is looking along the creek in the direction of the mummy range.

Tight composition:
Flickr link.

Medium wide:
Flickr link.

Flickr link.