Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Black and White

After a long day at school I was inspired by a black and white landscape post on a blog that I follow so I created this.  I think I still like the colour version more but it was fun to create.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sometimes you just can't see the mountains for the swans ...

The past week was an adventure.  Work transported me from Sofia to a small town called Vevey just outside of Geneva, Switzerland for the past 9 days.  Although the nature of the work I was doing there required me to put in a few 12 hour days, I managed to sneak out the night before it all started and snap a few of these photos.  I am quite happy with the result.  A few new techniques coupled with the power of Lightroom 4 has really helped improve my landscapes.
The mountain/lake pictures were taken up at the northern end of Lake Geneva.  It was a picturesque area that was dotted with swans and brushed with beautiful sunsets.  I attempted to use my 17-40mm at f8.0 in order to get the maximum depth of field and take full advantage the image quality at that aperture.  Processing in Lightroom helped me boost the clarity and pull out some of the detail.
The pictures of chess and people were taken last weekend, when my work was complete, in Geneva.  Geneva is a calm, tranquil city that invites anyone who visits to pull up a chair, sit on the dock near the lake and read a book.  I visited the flea market, the waterfront and the biggest church in the city.  Huge chess boards exist at the base of the old town and I was lucky enough to run into some people that were more involved in playing chess than watching the nutty foreigner lay on the ground and take pictures.  In these photos, I tried to open up the aperture and play with depth of field.  I was trying to initially draw the eye to the item in focus and then force it to explore the rest of the photo.  The photos of  people were taken at at the flea market in Geneva.  Bargain hunters are always an eclectic and interesting group.
In any case, enjoy the photos and visit Geneva if you get a chance.  It won't disappoint!





Sunday, March 25, 2012

Photos from the bottom of an endless stack of papers ...

I just arrived home this afternoon from one of the most intense experiences ... well ... that I have ever been put through.  I am eternally grateful that I had a day to unwind and take photos in Geneva after that.  Here are a few samples and there are many, many  more to come.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Words of Fire

So, I had nothing better to do than sit around and watch Youtube videos tonight and this is what came of it.  Kinda fun but way too firey.  I think I could refine the edges of the letters a little and fix up the fire but it is too late and I'm going to bed.  Sleep well everyone!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ski Touring Vitosha

After Kalina convinced me to purchase a set a ski touring equipment I have completely fallen in love with the sport.  The hard work of climbing up the mountain is more than rewarded by the beautiful, serene, soft ride down the powdery slope.  Tonight I decided to try and combine my two hobbies by hiking my camera up Vitosha and taking pictures of David and Kalina skiing down.  This was my first attempt and I will definitely do it again.  It was another great day after school and I'm looking forward to our next trip up the hill.  I'm hoping for a little better weather so I can snap a few more images with a touch of color.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Basketball Experiment ... Part II

Please Note:  I have many images from the day.  Only selected images are posted here.  You can see low resolution versions of all of the photos by clicking HERE.  If you would like high resolution images please contact me by email or leave a comment below.  Enjoy the images!

This weekend I spend Friday shooting a regional girls basketball tournament.  It was a great experience and I can feel (if not see) my images improving.  I'm even more excited about the announcement of the Canon 5D III yesterday.  With a price tag of 3500 USD I'm not sure I can afford such an in vestment in a hobby but I'm going to crunch the numbers and see what I come up with.

I made some tweaks with the images that you see in this post.  The tweaks came from a number of sources.  A family member suggested that I try using the center auto focus point to track the players.  I used a "sandwich" lighting setup that was comprised of two 430exIIs (banked on a stand in the back left corner of the gym) and a single 430exII behind the player's bench on the opposite side.  The ambient worked as fill.  I shot all of the photos with my 70-200mm 4.0L and most were taken at f/4.0, around 1000th of second and ISO 800.

What were the lessons learned from this outing I hear you ask?  Well, the lessons that stand out most in my mind are firstly, track with the center point and secondly, use lots of light to eliminate the grain of high ISO.  Underexposed images at high ISO are not recoverable.