I was recently reading a book that had to do with getting color right in the digital age and was surprised to find that gray cards come in different 'colors' of gray. The trusty Kodak gray card I'd had since the early nineties turns out to be neutral in terms of exposure, but was never intended to be used for white balancing a digital exposure.
I did some searching and settled on a new 'digital' gray card and did some experiments. When using the new card to create a custom white balance setting on my camera I found the old card had a definite color cast to it. The photo at left illustrates a photo taken using a (new) neutral gray card.
Digital cameras try to automatically or manually compensate for different 'colors' of light. Sometimes you are photographing something that...
Image stabilization in lenses does really work! Sensors in the lens move a set of elements in the lens to compensate for shaking on the photographer's part. If you look through Canon and Nikon's lens lineup, you'll notice that most IS or VR lenses are telephoto. There are some exceptions, notably Canon's 17-55mm f/2.8 EF-S lens, 18-55mm and Nikon's 18-55, but otherwise the telephoto (> 60mm or so) is the typical recipient of a shake reduction module. Of course, other brands include the sensor in the body so you can use it on all focal lengths.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
1. Expense. It just costs more to add this to lenses, so getting minimal benefit out of it isn't worth it for wide angle lenses.
2. Stabilization is said to be more effective...
I passed the 50 upload mark! My acceptance ratio is going up, thanks to the excellent reviews provided by the editors. I'm also getting shots of people flushed out in my portfolio. Some of my favorites:
One of the things I like most about stock photography is that it encourages me to consider any subject that I might not otherwise consider. I had some engine trouble last week, and rather than being worried about the actual problem my first thought was to grab a picture before the engine light turned off!
I was reading a digital photo magazine today and it had a good tip on using a polarizer: bracket. I've used bracketing a lot when I'm unsure on exposure but I've never thought of bracketing the actual polarizer rotation itself. I usually rotate the ring and attempt to gauge the best effect, but I tend to settle on a particular amount and take a single shot.
Taking a few shots with different amounts of polarization is a simple idea that may make a world of difference in the final photo.
This has always been a favorite photo of mine, but probably more because I remember the taking of the photo so vividly. It was taken in Guam, which at the time was very humid (I'm not sure when it isn't!). I was working there for a week and had a view of this beautiful sunset from where I was staying. The first time I saw it I rushed out of my air conditioned hotel to take the photo, only to quickly realize my camera was now completely fogged up. It took a long time to clear up, and the sunset was gone.
Fortunately, sunsets like this are common in the tropics. Clouds always seem to form at the right time for a spectacular sunset. I missed it the first night, but was determined to be prepared the next. I placed my camera into a ziplock bag and left it out on the balcony....
Shown here are the South Falls, Lower South Falls, and the Winter Falls. It is about an hour's drive from Portland. The hike of the 10 falls can be done in under three hours, but if you are taking lots of photos you need to plan for some more time than that.
Today marked another milestone for me as well: 1% portfolio exposure (148 uploads)!
Brad, I live in Portland and shoot at Silver Falls all the time. It is a very difficult area in which to shoot, as any sunlight falling into the canyon creates deep shadows and heavy highlights, and the forest makes it difficult to get clear shots of some of the waterfalls. These factors are precisely what make it fun for me. Nice work!
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