Posts tagged 'Photo'

A Different Take On Food Art

Matthew Carden has an awesome set of food macro shots on his site Using small people figurines, Matt creates imaginative scenes out of food items. The scuba diver on the wine glass is one of my favorites.

A scuba diver sits on the edge of a wine glass.

Tiny people on top of broccoli

There are a lot more on his site including the option to buy prints.

(via The Last People)

Turkey Bowl 2008 Pictures

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving the Filipino Cultural Association of College Park takes part in a flag-football tournament with other schools in the area. For the past three years I have been taking pictures at the game while Kristina played. Since Kristina is no longer a student she was there for moral support but I still took pictures. Here are some of the standout photos.

The girls team fared well but ended up losing to rival George Mason in the last game. The boys ended up winning it all but it was so windy and cold Kristina and I decided to take off early. Besides when the sun goes down it’s pretty much useless to take sports photos.

There are two albums on Facebook with even more images.

Canon Strikes Back Against The Nikon D90

Two weeks ago Nikon launched the first DSLR with video capabilities. But today Canon unveiled the 5D Mark II, a worthy competitor. The 21.1 megapixel successor to the 5D includes the ability to shoot 30 progressive frames per second with 1,080 vertical lines per frame. Video nerds call this 1080p30. What this means for the rest of us is the 5D Mark II becomes an effective HD media acquisition tool for both pictures and video.

Canon has a sample gallery with 8 videos resized for the web. Full resolution video clips from the Canon 5D Mark II are also available for download.

The table below outlines the video differences between the two cameras.

  Canon 5D Mark II Nikon D90
Resolution 1920×1080 1280×720
Frame Rate 30p 24p
Video Format MOV(H.264) AVI (MJPEG)
Max Recording at full resolution 12 minutes 5 minutes
Microphone Input 1/8" mono jack None

The biggest thing that makes the 5D Mark II better for video over the D90 is the microphone input. The mic input is big for people that want to record sound from something other than the on board microphone. It might not be an XLR input, which all of the professional gear uses, but it is still nice to have the option.

While most prosumer media gurus will be excited about the 1080p abilities of the Canon 5D Mark II, indy filmmakers like Stu Maschwitz are adamantly upset about the lack of 24p. Shooting video at 24 frames per second produces a look that is more filmic and less harsh compared to the TV standard 30 frames per second as well as making it easier to transfer to film for cinema distribution. I see Canon targeting the 5D Mark II video features at the web video crowd who want to capture the best photos and videos from a single device. This is more like TV news gathering than artsy, indy filmmakers.

But I see no reason why Canon couldn’t introduce a new firmware update that gives a new option for 24p recording since it is certainly feasible technically.

The new camera is set to go on sale at the end of November for $2,700. The Nikon D90 will hit the market at the end of September for less than $1,300. Until then you can read about every single minute detail from DPReview’s hands on preview of both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D90.

Video Recording From A DSLR?

Nikon announced the Nikon D90 digital SLR yesterday. The camera is your run-of-the-mill DSLR with 12.3 megapixels, built-in sensor cleaning, and a bigger screen blah, blah, blah! But the feature that that sets this still camera from the pack is the fact that it does 720p HD video at 24 frames per second.

A digital SLR that records high-definition video? Holy smokes! Point and shoots have been able to record video for quite some time. What seperates the D90 from point and shoots is the larger sensor size and the glass in front of that sensor. HD video is known for lacking depth resulting in a bland, flat image. Several companies like Red Rock Microsystems even make adapters for prosumer cameras that enable the attachment of 35mm lenses to get around the issue.

The sample video clips from the D90 speak for themselves:

It seems natural that video capabilities will become standard affair in DSLRs within the next 2 years. How will Canon respond to Nikon’s volley? Nikon has put Canon in an uncomfortable position. Keep in mind, Nikon doesn’t make video cameras. Canon does.

A Visit To Brookside Gardens

Man do I feel ignorant. I have been living in Glenmont for a year and half and it wasn’t until this past Sunday that I discovered one of the best gardens in Maryland is located right down the street from me. Kristina and I visited Brookside Gardens to scope out a possible wedding location. Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park and a mere mile and a half from my apartment. We spent the afternoon wandering around the mile-long trail and looking at flowers and wildlife.

A group of geese by the pond.

The geese were particularly friendly allowing us to walk right up to them to take pictures. I was worried they would flip out at any second and start chasing Kristina and I but they kept their cool although on high alert when we were around.

Three turtles playing in the water.

The Japanese Tea House provided a great view for a swarm of turtles swimming in the pond. There must have been at least 25 of the shelled- amphibians clustered around.

Two turtles laying on a rock by a pond.

Kristina even got a shot of the turtles soaking up the sun.

Kristina and Russell sitting in a log

Kristina and I also found a great new home. How roomy.

Russell gesturing to a statue of a frog reading on a bench.

Inside the visitor center was this statue of a frog reading. I gave him a few tips.

In the end we found Brookside Gardens didn’t quite meet our needs for a wedding venue but we had a wonderful day anyways. In the future, when the weather get cooler, I hope to take my macro lens out to photograph the bugs and flowers. The pictures in this post were taken by Kristina with her Sony T300.

Assasin Bug And Honey Bee Close Up

I’ve been saving these two dead bugs for a while. I really wanted to take some detailed, close-up macro shots of them when I found the time. Well tonight was that time!

Close up shot of the side of an assassin bug.

I believe the bug above is called an Assassin bug. At least that is how I always refered to it. As you can see this little bugger collected some dust while laying on it’s back.

Assassin bugs get their name because of the speed that they have to grab and poison their prey. They are carnivorous, or meat eaters, and use their powerful, jack-knife forelegs to grab their prey. They have sticky pads on these front legs, made up of thousands of tiny hairs, that stick to their victims and keep them from getting away.source

Close up macro shot of a honey bee on it\'s side.

This looks like a typical honey bee found all over North America. It was hard to find an interesting angle for this guy but I ended up laying him on his side so I could get a glimpse of his underside.

For both of these pictures I used a Tamron 180mm 1:1 macro lens on my Canon 300D. I used an old Sony 200 watt video camera light to keep the shutter speeds high in order to reduce the effects of camera shake. When you are zoomed in as close as I was even the pressure on the shutter button is enough to cause unwanted motion blur on the subject.

I experimented with different apertures mainly around f/5.6, f/8.0, f/11 and f/16 to see which would give me the best focus. f/16 was the one used in both of these photos and proved to be the winner of the night.

Photographing dead, lifeless bugs is good practice but I have no idea how macro photographers capture live, moving bugs with such crispness and clarity. One of these days I will venture outdoors with this macro lens and see for myself how to do it.

Drunk Driver Plows Into Crowd Of Cyclists

This is one of those “in the right place at the right time” kind of photos.

Drunk driver plows cyclists

From the photo caption on Flickr:

Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico(Monday June-2-2008) Seven competitors from yesterday cyclist race were severely injured after being hit by a drunk driver, one of them died and other three were hospitalized. The drunk driver was arrested after the rest of the participants tried to lynch him.

30 year old Alejandro Alvarez, from Brownsville,Texas, was pronounced dead on the scene, while Alejandro Salvador Tamez, 18, Juan Machaita, 38, and Guadalupe Martinez,, 16, were severely injured.

Cyclists were participating in a race from Matamoros to Bagdad Beach, when drunk driver Jesse Campos, a Brownsville, Texas resident, in his Ford Grand Marquis, license 659-FKF from Texas, impacted seven cyclists, even as they were being escorted by Local Transit Officials.

Source: The Daily Telegraph
Picture: Jose Fidelino Vera Hernandez

More Photos From Kristina’s Graduation

On May 23rd, Kristina graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with two B.A. degrees. One was in Communication Studies and the other in Art Studio – Graphic Design. I took a photo and posted it from my mobile phone on that day but here are the rest of the pictures from the day.

Kristina in disbelief that she is finally graduating.
Kristina in disbelief that she is finally graduating.

On stage with diploma in hand.
On stage with diploma in hand.

Walking back to her seat.
Walking back to her seat.

A picture of the happy family.
A picture of the happy family.

My turn in front of the camera.
My turn in front of the camera.

Flowers, diploma, and mortar board! Oh My!
Flowers, diploma, and mortar board! Oh My!

Kristina\'s aunt got her a garland.
Kristina's aunt got her a garland.

Showing off her stoll.
Showing off her stoll.

Posing by the sign to mark graduation day.
Posing by the sign to mark graduation day.

The whole shebang.
The whole shebang.

Now comes the job search. Stay tuned…

A Photoshoot With Kids

Last weekend Kristina and I ventured over to the house of a family friend to take pictures of her kids playing with a toy. Kristina was designing toy packaging and needed shots of a child playing with the toy for the box art.

Graci readies for her shoot.

Scheduling the shoot during the late morning hours wasn’t the most helpful time in terms of lighting. Most of the shots had our subject squinting with dark shadows in her eyes. This could have been fixed by bouncing light onto her face from below using a reflector. Of course this didn’t occur to me until after the fact and I didn’t have a reflector with me. We made do with what we had and brought back some decent results.
Toy Package Design for Berry Buddies

After the official work was done and out of the way the kids wanted to play. I got some interesting shots of child play in action.

Andi gets some height in her midair split.

Graci sure knew how to pose for the camera.

Don\'t let the Graci out!

You can see more pictures in my Picasa web album.

Optimal Aperture For Foreground Sharpness At Infinity

The technical bits of photography can be a bit tricky. Understanding the effects of different aperture settings comes with lots of experimenting. For example, focusing at infinity sounds fairly straight forward. Essentially everything in the background will be in focus. But depending on the aperture you have set, the items in the foreground may be out of focus. Luckily Robert Seber has posted this helpful chart to his Flickr photostream showing the minimum distance you need to be to get everything sharp and in focus.

Optimal Aperture For Foreground Sharpness At Infinity

To quote Robert on how to read this chart:

Suppose you are using a 20mm lens focused at infinity. Something in the foreground is 12ft away. The point at which 12ft and 20mm intersect is closest to the f/13 line, so f/13 is the aperture to use.

Suppose you are using a 50mm lens focused at infinity. Something in the foreground is 6ft away. No line on the graph is close to this. At this point you need to re-think your shot and move further from the foreground, otherwise it will be intolerably soft. 26ft to the foreground will allow you to use an aperture of f/22.

Suppose you are using a 10mm lens focused at infinity. Something in the foreground is 12ft away. You’re above the f/8 line so f/8 will work just fine.

The basic rule to take away from this is the longer the focal length you use the smaller the aperture you will need to use to get the foreground sharp, or the further you need to move back.

You should also check out Robert’s photos. His macros are really top notch.

Aye Aye, Grasshopper