Cafe Sitting

January 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Sunday......walking the streets of Philadelphia around 11am in the Rittenhouse Square section on 18th Street and stumbled upon this nice little shot. My initial thinking was to take a shot of the lady way down there with her two dogs. But it was a 'canned' shot with her posing and lacked the true character of street photography. There was 'no smell' of the street within those photo's.

But here, this lovely couple who were out just to enjoy the slightly sunny day and a bite to eat. The sun around this couple told me that this was a good shot, this had character....one could smell the ham and eggs! I loved the backdrop of the image as it tails off with tables upon tables, all steering away from the couple. And then, slightly unseen is the image of the man eating inside appearing in in back of the coule at the table. 
 
 A nice image, just poking thru. Lovely shot.....great contrast. Yet more importantly as I like to see in many photos, one can 'smell the street'.

 

Paris, Philadelphia StyleParis, Philadelphia StyleEating in an outside Cafe...Paris style....cold morning in Philadelphia.


Wideluxing it

October 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Welcome ....WIdeluxing...what is it? 

WIdelux is a panoramic camera from the 1960's, 70's.... it was built in Japan and had various versions as I have the F6. 

This is new to me, as I have just started and am playing with how to make it work in street photography. Because it has a wide field of view, (120 degrees), it captures quite but it, but....there are some quirks which creates a learning curve.

First...learn how to use the camera. Learn how to position your fingers on the camera so the wide panoramic view does not take into account your fingers. That is number 1. Number 2, learn where to best position the  camera and it is not from the viewfinder as in normal cameras. It works best to have the camera at 'chest height' and use the 'level' on the top of the camera to adjust so you are taking a nice level image of what is in front of you. Remember, it has a wide range, so....find images that demand a wide range.

Third....it has limited functions....it has shutter speeds of 1/15, 1/125 and 1/250 coupled with f-stops of f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8 and f11.... Those are you only options so you might have to have a good idea of what those mean and how they work. From there....just take a shot. Go out and play and see what comes of your film. I have used Kodak 100 and Kodak 400 speed..... both work well. It is better to be overexposed than underexposed when capturing faces as one likes in street photography. 


Snowy Owls Digiscoping March 1, 2012

March 03, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I heard there were snowy owls spending the Winter in a wheat field about 70 miles from where I live so decided to take a look. I debated, scope or camera or both. Well, the first time I just took the camera and regretted not bringing the scope. There were five immature snowy owls lined up in a row like ducks..... but separated by a 100 meters or so.

Next day...yepper...you guessed it. I took my scope and did some digiscoping. This time around the owls were not in the spot they were before and I was initially bummed out as they were 'gone'... That location would have been perfect as I could of scoped from the road and the owls were perhaps 50 meters away. So, I went a looking.... I found em. There were two of them sitting in the wheat fields, one had its back to me but the other was facing me. There were about 100 meters apart still so I focused on the nearest one facing me.

The day was cool and the wind was blowing pretty good, ...cloudy for most part with a bit of sun in between.

I set up my scope outside my car and shot the owl from about 100 meters again. Hmmm...too far I thought, even for a large bird as an owl. So I started creeping in by walking in the wheat field and soon I narrowed the distance to a solid 50 meters....definitely a doable shot given the size of the owl.

Shots were taken at exposure - 2 stops and kept my F stop at 4.5 which gave me good enough shutter speed ...at times over a 1000. Not bad for a stationary owl. The wind was a bother though as even though I have a solid Benro tripod, I was worried that even a bit of wind would upset the shots. But I had little choice...one can't choose the perfect field now, eh?

All told I snapped off 150 shots...with sets of 4 shots on a 3 second timer delay. The shot below is cropped but still a good shot. I love digiscoping for it allows me to get a good shot and get close enough to the subject. With a camera + lens, I would have chased the owl away by attempting to get too close prior to taking the shot...

What did I learn from this little adventure...first, that it I have a steady tripod, a windy day doesn't hurt my digiscoping too much. Also, I continued to strive for my shots by not upping the ISO...The ISO remained 100 or 200 as I will not venture into that territory where shots come out looking soft. I can always compensate for lack of ISO but can never compensate for softness.

Thoughts? jim


Digiscoping Nov 10th, 2011

February 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Well today a goal was to digiscope a Western Grebe and to do so in the right sunlight...

I feel I was successful..see image...

One thing I learned was how to get a fairly clear shot of a Grebe. We all know that the angle of sunlight hitting upon the Grebe is important and especially so with this bird since it has that 'red eye''...I wanted that to show and show clear.

So the first thing I figured out was that the Grebe had to be swimming in one direction...okay, fair enough.

Now...I go back to my 'current' problem as I found on the Oregon Coast...how to digiscope with the bird moving, either by the current or by swimming as was this case. I took my shots of a bird in a man-made lake..as it swam past me. I probably waited in the bushes for an hour before the grebes made there way close to my end of the lake as I waited in anticipation.

I tried several methods...including that of having my left hand on the helical focus of my Swarovski scope while my right hand remained glued to the camera trigger.. the left hand also moved the scope to keep in line with the bird swimming,. This worked well.

While the bird swam and I kept pace with it on the scope...I had my camera swung down all ready to take a shot and my left hand continually focusing the bird on the LCD.... It seemed like a good plan as my camera was on manual mode and I had it magnified in the LCD. I took lots of shots with this method.... no avail..the bird continually was out of focus enough to make the images useless in my opinion...perhaps not to my level of skill and technology of 1995, but surely not digiscoping in 2012.

I reverted back to my old method...a time delay of one second and four continuous shots. this produced the most in focus hits upon the grebe. Although remember, the grebe is moving and I have my hands free of the scope and helical focus..the grebe is swimming. And away it swims,...away and out of view of the camera too!!!..So out of every 4 picture sequence...two were always blank as the grebe swam out of view. Of the other two...I managed to take some some shots of grebes in focus....see my images ...

So...what did I learn?....I can take 'current or swimming shots' but it is difficult. I still need to use the time delay and not the single shot...that proved to again be the trick. At same time...realize there will be lots of useless shots as the bird simply swam out of the camera ....but of the few that remained, I could get some really good shots.

I love the color involved in digiscoping...rich, vivid...and the closeness...I cannot do this with my Canon 7D and 400 L lens....


Digiscoping Nov 8th, 2011

February 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Another sunny day...can't help but go digiscoping.... In my part of the country I always label this as a nuclear dead zone in terms of birds and migration etc... A terrible part of Washington State. But I do have one small water area to take shots of...a local river that has long ago been diverted by the Corps of Engineers into a spillway. At least it is overgrown in and around so various species of waterfoul are present although not overly diverse...the usual herons, mallards, today was a hooded merganser, kingfishers etc...

Usually around here herons are pretty spooky and they are difficult to get a shot of. I noticed today that ducks...seem to have a sense of when 'you have them in their site" ...has anyone else noticed that? Talk about a sixth sense. The minute I get one in focus, it knows it and scoots away too. I really feel birds do have a sense ...they know when we are onto them.

Now for the heron...it is a large bird and I find it hard to really capture the bird digiscoping when upclose, for obvious reasons. But this shot attached was one of it preening itself and the right leg was drawn up. Such awkward looking birds and not overly graceful looking in flight either but the kicker is, they are!

I am getting more comfortable with my new method of digiscoping...+ on the exposure, low ISO....and no more than 20 zoom. I always always always use the timer with a second delay and 4 shots. Even though the focus is preset as I scope in on the bird, the secret I feel is fine tuning focus when you have the camera in place. This is not always easy due to sun light on camera. It works well with my camera and set up. When the sun shines in the NW, in the morning...shots come out well. The long shadows come out during the afternoon making for tough shots, especially in this creek where the sun is perfectly set in the morning.

I also try to get as close to eye level as I can. This is not easy as when doing so, you scare away most birds as you move from above ground thru bush...to get even with the water. My tri-pod doesn't take 'upside down' scoping, so I can get about as low as 1 1/2 feet from ground to scope. Perhaps 2 feet at eyepiece. But usually that is low enough to give the feel of ground level or in this case ---water level.

Scoped a few more waterfoul...wigeons and mergansers and tried to capture a junco but they were in high grass and shade... next time... I have another place in mind not far from here where I can take some shots...I think the next sunny day I will venture out there and see what it is their pond....

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