All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘VIP’
On Sunday, I traveled to Daisy, Georgia to capture some fast-moving action shots of motorbikes as they raced at the Live Oak Motorpark. Armed with my Canon 7d and my 70-200L lens, this gave me a perfect opportunity to figure out how to properly use the “AI Servo” method of focusing. This is a method of focusing in which you can lock focus on a moving subject and the camera will automatically track the subject and adjust focus as needed. Think of it as being similar to a fighter pilot locking a missile on an enemy plane. If you’re not familiar with what AI Servo is, and are somewhat into photography, I highly recommend you study up on it and begin using it.
When I first began getting shots this day,
If you visit my blog often, you might think this is the 2nd time you’ve seen this image but it’s actually a brand new image which I finished post processing last evening. It’s very similar to a previous photo I posted, which was a view of the same Glaciers, but from a much closer distance. (See my previous Sawyer Glacier photo.)
I took this photo during a 7-day cruise that my family and I took last May. As we cruised through the Tracy Arm Fjord, in the near distance we began to spot this magnificent glacier glowing a bright blue color. As we got closer and closer, the fjord got narrower and narrower until finally we were within 100 feet.
It was an incredible sight to
A couple of weeks ago I headed down to Cocoa Beach, Florida to snap some photos of space shuttle Endeavour blasting off. My friend and mentor, Trey Ratcliff, had been given special permission to take some close-up shots of the launch pad and called me 10 days prior to the launch and asked if I’d help him out by being his assistant. Trey had previously arranged to rent several gigantic lenses from BorrowLenses.com and was going to need someone to help carry them around for him. Trey owns 2 high-end Nikon DSLR’s and also needed someone to “work” his 2nd camera during the actual liftoff. Being the great friend that I am, I immediately agreed to help him. (Trey had already known how jealous I was about his upcoming shuttle launch adventure. I believe the actual amount of time that I had to think about helping him out was less than one second.)
Unfortunately, the shuttle launch was scrubbed 4 hours prior to the scheduled launch due to a malfunction in a heater assembly unit thingy. Since Trey and I had these incredibly awesome lenses at our disposal, we decided to make the most of them and headed to the beach to get some “action shots”.
After attaching the “ridonkulously” huge lenses to our cameras, Trey and I left our hotel and began the fortunately short walk to the beach. (The made-up word “Ridonkulous” is the exact word that Trey used when describing these lenses in an upcoming video I’ll be publishing on this site.)
As we arrived on the beach, we began setting up our tripods and attaching our cameras. It was amazing how much attention we were getting. I imagine most people thought we were with the paparazzi because once they spotted us, they quickly began looking in the direction our camera’s were pointing to see what/who we were snapping photos of.
We had about 5-6 people come up to us during our photo shoot. Most were just curious what we were doing and were very friendly. One person came up who had recently started his photography hobby. He mostly just drooled over our gear and asked us a bunch of questions. I’m not even sure if the answers we provided were correct or not, but because we had these huge lenses, he probably just assumed we knew what we were talking about.
We ended up staying on the beach for about 1 1/2 hours. We snapped photos of kite surfers, volleyball players, kids building sand castles, distant cruise ships, and women in bikinis. (How could we not get pictures of women in bikinis with these lenses at our disposal?)
As we were getting ready to pack up our gear and return back to our hotel room, an incredibly beautiful woman crossed my line of sight. I pointed her out to Trey and we both just starred in her direction, hoping she’d soon be venturing into the water. As luck would have it, that’s exactly what she did. She was with two of her friends and they all darted down towards the water.
The lenses that Trey and I were using were really fast. They allowed us to take photos with very fast shutter speeds which would freeze the action. Because of this, we both had our cameras set to rapid-shot mode. What was so funny is that as soon as I would begin taking rapid-shots, Trey would also take rapid shots at the exact same time. It was as though each of our cameras were synced together. For the next 5 minutes, we continued taking shots of this woman and couldn’t help but laugh a couple of times as our shutters continued with their synchronous shutter demonstration.
We took a lot of pictures of this young woman. We couldn’t help it… She was very beautiful and almost all of the pictures we took of her made her appear as though she was at a swimsuit model photo shoot. What made these photos even that much better was the fact that she didn’t even know she was having her picture taken. Even though our lenses were huge, she never spotted us because we were so far away.
Bummer… You’re either not currently a “VIP Member” of this site, or you’re not logged in. If you were, you’d be able to watch a 30 minute video tutorial I made which shows you how I post-processed this photo in order to remove the 2 additional people who were in the original image. You’d also be able to see some of the additional pictures I took at the beach during this photo venture at the beach. Worry-not, however, for becoming a VIP Member is FREE and just a click away. Click here to learn more and signup.
My oldest daughter had a gymnastics tournament in Gatlinburg, Tennessee a couple of months ago. About 3 hours into the drive, as we were approaching the city of Landrum, SC, I began to notice it was going to be a beautiful sunset. Unfortunately, the road we were driving on was very boring and offered nothing of interest to use within the foreground of a sunset shot.
With about 20 minutes left before the sunset was complete, I decided to turn off of the highway we were on so I could try to find a location that would make for a great photo opportunity. I remember making a left turn, then a right turn, then another right turn, and then a left turn, and then maybe even another left or right turn. Now lost, we were pleasantly surprised when I passed by the small farm pictured in this post.
As my wife, 3 daughters, and 2 of my daughter’s friends sat patiently in our mini-van, I stepped outside and fired several shots from various different perspectives. I wasn’t too happy with what I had captured initially, but after spending quite a bit of time post-processing this shot, I was satisfied overall with the final result.
And luckily, we ended up finding our way back to the main road without any problem and continued our journey to Gatlinburg. This just goes to show you what benefits come out getting off the beaten path. I’ve now got another photo I can add to my collection and may even choose to order up a print of this photo in the future for my home.
Sorry… You’re either not currently a “VIP Member” of this site, or you’re not logged in. If you were, you’d be able to see what the unedited version of this shot looked like. It’s a very blah looking photo and further shows the magic and power of post-processing. Worry-not, however, for becoming a VIP Member is FREE and just a click away. Click here to learn more and signup.
As I drove my daughters home from church last night, I noticed the Moon was unusually large and bright. Remembering that I had read earlier on someone’s Facebook wall that the Space Station was going to be visible this evening, I decided I’d get out my camera and take some shots. With the full Moon brightly shining, I was hoping to capture a shot of the Moon with the Space Station flying right in “front” of it. It was 8:35pm when I made this decision and the Space Station was due to zoom by between 8:50-8:55pm.
When I got home, I quickly got my camera, attached my 70-200mm lens, and fastened it to my tripod. I then bolted outside and quickly walked to my dad’s backyard, where there is a much less obstructed view of the moon. I set my camera to Aperture Priority mode and set my f-stop to 3.5. With only 2-3 minutes to spare before the Space Shuttle was due to begin flying across the horizon, I fired off some shots of the Moon. As I reviewed the shots I had just taken through the monitor on my camera, I was disappointed in how they appeared. They all looked like I had taken a picture of a large white ball, with a soft glowing halo surrounding it.
I then realized why the Moon looked so blown out. As I would focus on the Moon, my camera’s metering system would do its best to set my shutter speed to properly expose the Moon. What it wasn’t able to measure properly for though, were the craters on the Moon. So, I dialed down my exposure compensation to around -5 and took some more shots. The result of dialing down my exposure is the picture you see in this post. Unfortunately, the Space Station did not pass in front of the Moon and the shots I did capture of the Space Station didn’t turn out good at all.
One of the benefits of learning HDR Photography, is that it forces you to learn a lot about how your camera works and what all the buttons on your camera are actually there for. If you’ve spent $500 or more on a digital SLR and all you know how to do is shoot pictures in automatic mode, you doing yourself an injustice. Seriously, your camera is a very powerful device and you paid a premium to get something that you’re not even taking advantage of.
Sorry… You’re either not currently a “VIP Member” of this site, or you’re not logged in. If you were, you’d be able to see what one of the Moon photos I took that was “glowing” looked like. You’d also be able to view a picture of the Space Station I captured. Worry-not, however, for becoming a VIP Member is FREE and just a click away. Click here to learn more and signup.