Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Fun with cameras

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Having bought a nice new camera a month ago, I’ve been taking lots of pics.  This morning I thought I’d try to do some HDR* photography.  Basically, you take several shots with different exposures, then use software (such as the free version of Photomatix, which I just downloaded) to combine them.  You can get some interesting effects.

Our house in the morning

Like this view of our house, looking rather surreal.

Or this more natural-looking one of the Hope farm, seen from our yard:

Another Sunday Morning

In any case you get more detail in a wider range of dark and light areas than you would in a single exposure.   Of course, the full software gives you a lot more control (actually the first pic was done with the trial version of that, and therefore has a Photomatix watermark on it).   But for $99, I’ll wait a bit and mess around with the freeware.

*Link takes you to Wikipedia.  Beware: you can wind up wasting a lot of time.

Where have I been?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Yes, I know, dear readers (all two of you), I haven’t posted lately.  I’ve been wasting all my time on Flickr.   It’s mainly because I got a new camera.  Several years ago I bought a pretty nice film camera, a Pentax Z-30, and two autofocus zoom lenses for it.  Then I got a digital camera, and pretty soon the idea of film seemed pretty pointless.  Just recently I realized that they make Pentax digital SLR bodies that would work with my old lenses, and convinced myself to buy one.  I love it.  So anyway, I’ve been taking lots of pics and posting them to Flickr, and commenting on other people’s pics, and bla bla bla.

Today I was out in the back yard with my 75-300 mm zoom and a close-up ring, looking for bugs on the sedum flowers.  Along came a painted lady butterfly, so I started taking some pictures of it.

Unsuspecting Painted Lady

While I was moving around, I startled the butterfly, and it flew right into a garden spider’s web.  The spider pounced on it and had it all wrapped up in 30 seconds.  Needless to say, I took a bunch of Wild Kingdom shots.

Painted Lady in the web

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.  Oh, and I also have half-time release from teaching for a new job as director of the Center for Writing Excellence at Southeast.  But I’ll talk about that later.