Camera Phones

Smile, you are on camera

 

 

Everybody has one. Photos taken with a cell phone is becoming common place. People are snapping, posting and snapping again. There are apps that allow you to post your photos to your favorite site whether its Photobucket, Instagram, Flickr or somewhere else almost as fast as you can say cheese.

The first thing I did after receiving my new phone was to check out the camera. I recommend using the largest resolution that your camera can achieve.  Go to your camera settings > aspect ratio/resolution and choose the highest setting available. The file size of your pictures will be large but most cell phones these days can handle large amounts of data. If you have a SD card installed in your phone, saving your photo’s to that will save memory in your phone.

The best way to learn your new camera phone is to go out and play with it… snap, snap and then snap again!

 

The Office Is Closed

Spiderless

Spiral

Waters Edge

Imagine

Welcome To The Machine

I’m Back

Well its been awhile, about 5 months. Haven’t done very much but itching to get back into it!

Last month I was invited to cover a corporate event for the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s, ‘A Taste That Matters’. The Food Bank does great things, you should check them out.

It was an interesting shoot, inside a large, dimly lit banquet room without a flash!

 

Pete Schaefer, President/CEO NIFB

Pete Schaefer, President/CEO NIFB

 

Pete Schaefer and Doug Cygan, VP Merchandising, Jewel/Osco

Pete Schaefer and Doug Cygan, VP Merchandising, Jewel/Osco

 

 

Auctioneer helper for silent cell phone auction

Auctioneer helper for silent cell phone auction

 

I’ve been invited to shoot for them again in July!

 

 

Chicago Warehouse Fire

There has been a lot of fires in Chicago this week. As the weather turns cold, people start using small electric space heaters, homeless start setting small fires inside abandoned buildings to stay warm. If extreme caution is not used, this practice can turn deadly. The following photo’s are of a large warhouse fire that started on Chicago’s south side in the Bridgeport area on South Ashland Ave. The fire started on Tuesday night (1-22-13), these shots were taken the next day nearly 18 hours after the fire started. I’m happy to report that only one fire fighter suffered very minor injuries, could have been much worse. Nearly 200 fire fighters responed to this 5 alarm fire. These guys are simply amazing!

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

Warehouse Fire

More photo’s in a set here

Winter Photography

Well we haven’t gotten any snow here in the Chicagoland area so far this year. I believe less than two inches to date and its already the middle of January. So, I’ve dug into previous years photo’s to come up with some winter scenes.

McDowell Grove

Snow Scene

Japanese Garden b/w

Lake Falls

 

HDR

High Dynamic Range or HDR is a process where you take three or more photo’s of the same scene at different exposures and merge them together to create one high dynamic range photograph. There are several stand alone or plug in programs that will help you do this. Photomatix is a stand alone that is very good, Photoshop has a merge to HDR within the program and there are several free-ware options you can try. You can even create a HDR image from one image although those usually dont come out as well as merging three or more photo’s, but it can be done. I personally dont care for the over done or over cooked HDR’s, they can look fake or cartoonish. The purpose that I use HDR is to bring out all the colors and tonal range and try to represent what I actually saw when I took the photograph.

West Branch Sunset

West Branch Sunset

West Branch Sunset

Japanese Gardens Fabyan

Windmill

Forest Preserve Path

Heron Rookery

Buffalo And Coyote

Ok, so I decided to go out to Fermilab today to see what the buffalo were up to. I already have 100’s of photo’s of them but its always cool to see. The one shot I just couldn’t seem to get was of the coyotes. Guess what? I got him!

Coyote

Coyote

Certainly not the best shots but at least I got him!

And oh yea, the latest buffalo shot… I think he was making fun of me…

Buffalo

Black and White Gallery

Just Do It!

Take your camera with you everywhere. Take that shot, snap that photo, capture that scene! Who cares? Do it for yourself! The more you use your camera, the better you get! Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I want to photograph, I get that photographers ‘block’ but I know that I want to photograph something. Grab the cam and go… just do it!

That’s just what I did over the past weekend. Didn’t know what I was going to photograph but I knew that I would find something. After you take that first shot, you’ll find that it starts flowing. You’ll start looking around… hmm, what else is here, what else can I shoot?

 

Black and White

hmm, this looks interesting, play on shadows. Convert to black and white because, well, its about the shadows, right? Think I’ll leave the excavating machine slightly out of the picture, focusing on the shadow but I’ll make sure that I leave the word excavating that’s on the building in the shot. Yeah, that works for me, might not work for you but you know what? I learned a little bit more by taking this shot. Just do it!

Trash

Lets see whats in this dumpster. Hey it’s a couple of discarded political signs that’s kinda colorful with the red, white and blue but wait, look at that soda bottle with the same wavy red, white and blue colors. ‘snap’

Valve

Whats this, a  faucet with a garden hose? Naw too plain to waste a picture on… but the paint on the wall is kinda faded, there’s some chipping/peeling paint going on too. Hey the hose is leaking water, if I could just get those water droplets with their little droplet shadows, might be interesting. Let me make sure my shutter speed is fast enough to capture them.

Gas Pumps

Ok, so its dark out, I’m getting gas, I have my camera but I forgot my tripod. As I look down between the pumps and poles I see a symmetry that’s kinda cool. The area is lit but I want to make sure that I get a fast enough shutter speed to get a sharp picture. Time to play with the ISO settings. I’ll start with an ISO of I don’t know, 1600? Ok, that gives me a shutter speed of 1/100, yeah I can hand hold that to get the shot.

Get out there with your camera and shoot! Shoot anything, who cares? Start looking and you’ll start seeing! Just do it!

The Bean

A time to reflect

Having Fun In The Fog

Knowing your camera’s settings can help in getting the shot. Shooting in the fog is really not any different than any other other shooting conditions, if you know how to set it up. This on the right, was shot early in the morning and very foggy. Don’t be afraid of your kit lens, it can produce some very good results! This was shot with my 18-55 at 40mm. I almost always shoot aperture priority, in this case I set it at f/5.6, bumped the ISO to 200 to get a shutter speed of 1/200.

This shot on the left, was taken about an hour after the above shot. The sun was trying to break up the fog.I switched to my 50mm prime because its much faster than the kit lens. I figured being in the woods, in the fog, I might need a faster shutter to get a sharp picture. As it turned out, I probably really didn’t need it but I do love the nifty fifty.Camera settings for this was 50mm, f/2.2, ISO 100, giving me a shutter speed of 1/800.

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