Thursday, June 28, 2012

Out of the office ...

For people actually following these posts (I'm not really sure whether you are out there or not), I am currently in Mallorca, Spain doing some professional development to further my teaching career. Although it isn't photography related I will be attempting to capture some images of the place while I am here.  My time in Mallorca will span the course of a month, from now until July 31st.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to post until the 31st as I do not have a USB cable to transfer my photos but I do promise a comprehensive visual depiction of Mallorca upon my return.  The only thing that might interfere with my plans is this darn PD ... man, it isn't easy.  In any case, stay tuned and see you soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Thirsty Dragon ... and a cat.

After a long day of reading articles on educational law I walked downtown to The Thirsty Dragon, near the center of Sofia.  This visitor was hunting a bird over my head ... or my french fries ... I'm not sure which.  This shot was taken with the 70-200 at f4.0 on Av mode and One Shot focus.  The eyes were pumped a touch in Lightroom.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shhh! I'm hunting flowers ...

On the ride back from school today I stopped in a field of flowers to see if I could snap a few macro shots.  This little guy was pollinating away right under my nose.  The field behind our school is rich with insects and a great place for macro photography ... don't worry, I checked for ticks afterwards!

I used AI Servo mode with the center focus point selected and kept it centered on the little guy's head.  The camera was set to Av mode with an aperture of f2.8 on my 60mm macro lens.  The photo was cropped in Lightroom.  I can't figure out if his whole body is covered in pollen or if that is the colour of his sensilla.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trevi - Attempt 2

So after getting some feedback on the last image I worked on this one ... better?  In this case I used a "natural" setting in Photomatix and then cloned out the hot spots to help draw your attention to the statues at the top of the picture.  I think the image is much more pleasing this way but still room for improvement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Trevi Fountain

I sat down after a long day with the children and started playing around with Photomatix.  This is what I came up with from 3 bracketed photos from our trip to Rome.  I'm not sure if this is one of those "overdone" HDR shots.  I realize it looks "surreal" but I think I like it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Outdoor Portraits

The past weekend was full of adventure.  Not only did I get to bike ride through a beautiful Bulgarian town, I also go the chance to shoot some outdoor photos.  It was once again placed on the steepest slope of the learning curve.

The successes of this experience were the lighting (a two umbrella setup with balanced flat lighting coupled with scrim blocking out the sunlight filtering through the trees) and the posing.  The failures of this shoot included watching my borders and balancing the background and subject exposure.  It was so much more difficult than I ever imagined but I am excited to give it another go.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Biking in Bulgaria

Saturday, after our Spring Fair, a gaggle of teachers strapped our bikes to cars and drove up to a small town just outside Govadartsi, near Borovets for a bike ride.  After about 7km uphill we had the pleasure of bombing down back into the town.  Afterwards, we went to a Mehana on the other side of Govodartsi.  It really was the way that weekends were meant to be spent.

The biking pictures in this post were taken with the 70-200mm lens at f4.0 on Av mode with the focus set to AI servo to help track the riders.  The waterfall shots were taken with my 17-40mm lens at f22.0 and ISO 100 causing very long shutter speeds.  I rested my camera on rocks and bridges to steady the camera to get the effect of solid rocks with soft, flowing water.  I hope to be able to experiment with this technique more!

There were a few interesting people and places that we ran across on our ride up and down.  The old trailer/train car below functioned as the local watering cooler and the decrepit building had an incredibly interested mural on the wall.  Apparently, Bulgaria has many murals like this one.  Any thoughts on what it is all about are welcome.  I've got my own ideas but I'd love to hear a more informed voice.  Enjoy the photos!

Edit: The town we were in was called Beli Iskar


Any thoughts on that mural?


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Anatomy of Nevski

Tried my hand at a Nevski time lapse.  I'll have to give it another go.  I really shouldn't have played with the zoom but I salvaged something at least!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Walkaboot and a Softbox

Vintage Bulgaria

Got up ... wondered what to do ... turned my reflective umbrella into a sofbox, went and bought fabric for a grid, bought two bicycles and took some pictures in the park.  Yep, that about sums it up.

The pictures in this post were taken in the NDK park where children and adults alike were enjoying the fountain action on a hot spring day.  Both photos were taken at f4.0 with the 70-200mm lens and picture of the lady was processed with Silver Efex Pro (Vintage preset with reduced vignetting).