Tag Archives: Canon

Using my 50MM and Photoshop for a Different Perspective




Photo inspired by the work of local AZ photographer Jon Matthies. You can see Jon's work here at his website.

In this image I forced myself to shoot with my 50mm on recent trip to San Fran in an effort to try and develop my eye. I have never fallen in love with my 50mm and have used my 60mm far more but most prefere my 28-70mm zoom.



It was good challenge and experience as it did give me some different perspective. I also forced myself to try different camera angles and of course new approaches to post processing.

In this image I processed mostly in LR3, and then brought it into CS5. I applied a levels adjustment but used the lightness bar at the bottom to remove practically all light. I then used a brush at about 10% opacity and just got creative with painting back in the normal image exposure to a degree I liked.

Its a cool technique if your shooting the mundane and want to get some sizzle in your imagery. I then brought it back into LR3 and applied a blur fileter with contrast. Thats it maybe 10min tops in post.

Posted in Lightroom 3, Photographic Artforms, street photography, Texture Explorations | Also tagged , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Spark. Photographing an Igniting Match

Was inspired by an image that a photographer did on Flickr that you can see here at www.flickr.com/photos/erroba/5665587779/in/photostream . So I thought I would try photographing a match lighting and see where that would lead me. I didn’t have a macro lens like Erroba but I used my 60mm which did a pretty decent job.




My Camera Settings:

ISO 100
60mm lens

I was about 2 to 3ft away. I also would focus on the match head, turn off my autofocus, and then reposition the camera for different compositions. Its easiest to use another match to light the match being filmed. I shot in camera raw and had the shutter set to continuos. I also used a remote shutter release. My camera is a Canon T2i, and I’m sure that if you have a higher end Canon or Nikon your shutter speed will be much quicker.

I then brought the image into CS5 for some light sharpening, denoise and a levels adjustment. I then slightly adjusted hue and sat to my liking. From there I brought the imageback into Aperture 3 and applied a desaturated film preset that you can find on ApertureExpert.com. You can see a video I made of the rest of the imagery here:


For some of the images I broke out a 580exII speedlite and did some multi-strobic flash that turned out great and you can see some of that in the above video. A friend suggested it would have been interesting to film the match lighting sequence backward from lit flame to unlit match and I agree. These are great images that you could no doubt use in your own home for a Spark or just at its a core its a fun project to try on your own.

Nuff Said


Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , Leave a comment

Crested Saguaro

I was inspired by Joel Grimes Desert series’.flickr.com/photos/29210138@N04/sets/72157606769087639/ and wanted to try to photograph this awesome crested saguaro with some light play.

First why is a crested saguaro so amazing? The giant Saguaro cactus of Arizona is known for one peculiarity: about 1 in 200,000 cacti is of the “crested” form, rather than the common tall armed form. The crested form usually begins growing like a regular saguaro, but then bulbs and branches in sort of a fan-shaped pattern. These saguaros are valued, and due to their rarity, the question arises of the possible environmental loss if even one of their number is destroyed.

I loaded up camera, lenes, tripod,2 lightstands,2 580exII and placed everyhting on my back as I set out in the hot desert sun to try and find the fabled crested saguaro. I was doing a meet up with some photographers at  a local watering hole and the doorman gave me a tip on the sly as to where this majestic beast lay. Of course that was after a few beers and a few months back.

I hiked about a 1/2 mile in the McDowell Mountain preserve and low and behold I saw a odd looking cactus off in the distance by some rocks. The only issue is I had to bivouac across undisturbed desert to get to it and all I thought about was how many rattle snakes I would meet on the way. Luckily they must have still been coming out of their winter slumber as I didn’t see any.

Crested Saguaro

I reached the cactus and set up my lights. I was shooting in high speed synch. Even though the sun was in the mid to late afternoon it was still bright, and I hadn’t doubled up my speed-lights to try and over power the sun. In that case I really had to shut the sun out as much as possible and that brought me past my normal synch speed of 1/250.

I set my speed lights to camera left and t camera right and triggered them with pocket wizards. So there I was in the middle of the desert with light gear, and then I realized the one thing I forgot to pack-water.

Needless to say it was a long and thirsty walk back, but I got my crested. Nuff Said.

Camera Settings:

Shutter: 1/1600


Iso 200

Lens: 10-22mm


Posted in Desert | Also tagged , , , , , , , , Leave a comment