Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Sunset Across Browns Bay

June 15, 2013
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Shutter: 1/1,250; Aperture: f/8; ISO: 4,000; Focal Length: 80mm. Click on the image once to enlarge … twice to enlarge even more.

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This view is across the northern part of Browns Bay, part of Iowa’s West Lake Okoboji. A map of the bay in relation to the entire lake is here. The wind turbines are actually on the west side of Emersons Bay, also shown on the map.

Yessssssss, this photo is edited, but just a little. The original and another version are below.

For anyone who cares about camera settings, I don’t know what possessed me to use an ISO of 4,000 combined with such a fast shutter speed for this photo. If I had it to do again, I’d use a much lower ISO and much slower shutter speed (and maybe a smaller aperture), and hope that I like the results just as much. I don’t know, though … I sort of like that the clouds and water are a bit fuzzy or grainy, contrasted with the sharper silhouettes of the wind turbines.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to enlarge them and see them in slide show view. To enlarge them more, click on “View full size” at the lower right of the slide show screen.

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Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.

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Icicle/Water Droplet = Inverted Image (but not spring weather in Iowa … yet!)

March 25, 2013

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Icicle Dripping. March 14, 2013

Icicle Dripping. March 14, 2013. Clicking on this photo will magnify the inverted image in the water droplet. (Click on image to magnify the droplet where you’ll see an inverted view of our backyard.)

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I took these photos eleven days ago on March 14. When looking at this image (above) on my computer, I was excited to see the inverted sky/treeline/snow scene in the dangling water droplet. The image was our backyard, but upside down.

This principle is explained and further illustrated (via a beautiful photograph) at this link. http://epod.usra.edu/blog/2011/12/water-drops-and-inverted-images.html

Within an hour of taking the photos, the entire icicle melted. I was excited that spring weather was just around the corner. Silly me!

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This photo was taken eight minutes prior to the photo at the top of this post. If you click on this image to magnify it, you’ll see the spiral above the water droplet as the droplet starts to separate from the icicle. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Top photo: Shutter: 1/4000 sec.; f/4.5; ISO 800; Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Bottom photo: Shutter: 1/1000 sec.; f/7.1; ISO 400; same lens

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Choosing a Camera Lens: How to Read an MTF Chart

April 12, 2012

Trying to figure out which camera lens to purchase (or, if really expensive, put on a hope-for-someday wish list) poses confusion for me.

I know MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) charts are important to consider, but I wasn’t completely understanding what all the lines in them meant. This YouTube video (below) helped me out today. I’m still a little confused, but not as much as before I watched the video.

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At  Canon’s site there is an MTF chart for each Canon lens listed, or at least for most of them. (Canon’s listing of lenses is here.) To navigate to the chart for the lens of interest: 1) get to the Canon page for the particular lens you want to investigate, 2) click on the “Overview” link and 3) scroll down a little ways. There you’ll see the MTF chart for that particular lens.

I assume Nikon and other major lens companies also have charts on their web sites.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Tulips Emerging

March 9, 2012

These photos were taken today, March 9, 2012. Clicking on them once will enlarge them. Clicking twice will magnify even more.

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To see watercolors of tulips painted by Mother (Marion Gunderson), click here.

The photos above were taken with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens.

The settings for the two photos are:
Top photo: Shutter 1/30; aperture f/22.0; ISO 3200
Bottom photo: Shutter 1/80; aperture f/16.0; ISO 2500

Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.

Roller Derby in Rolfe, Iowa (a.k.a. A Nightmare on Oak Street) — Part II

October 31, 2011

Here are pics from the “A Night on Oak Street” roller derby bout in Rolfe, Iowa, two nights ago…October 29, 2011. A few details of the bout are in the previous post which also includes video of this bout.

The details of the camera settings I used are at the bottom of this post. The lighting in the venue was not all that bright so I struggled some with camera settings. Even so, I’m pleased with the photos. Plus, since people were in costume, a little bit of a “dark” side seems to work!

CLICK once on the photos to ENLARGE them. Twice to enlarge even more.

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The 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th photos were taken with a Canon 135mm f/2L lens. Shutter: 1/1250; aperture: 2.0; ISO: 6400.

The 2nd photo was taken with a Canon 50 mm f/1.4 lens. Shutter: 1/1600; aperture: 1.4; ISO: 6400.

The 3rd photo was taken with the same Canon 50mm lens. Shutter: 1/1600; aperture: 1.6; ISO: 6400.

The 8th photo was taken with a Canon 135mm f/2L lens. Shutter: 1/1000; aperture: 2.0; ISO: 6400.

The levels in a few of the photos are adjusted in Photoshop ever-so-slightly.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Using Photoshop’s High Pass Filter to Sharpen a Soft (Fuzzy) Image

July 10, 2011

The two images below are of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolor supplies. These images are derived from the same original. There is one difference between the two photos. Using Adobe Photoshop* editing software, the top photo has had the High Pass filter applied; the bottom photo has not. The High Pass filter helps to sharpen a photo that is just a tad soft/fuzzy.

I think it is difficult to isolate differences between these two images unless you enlarge them and look very closely. That’s probably good, since if any difference was blatant, that might mean one was over-edited and didn’t look natural. However, I think the top one looks a little bit sharper than the bottom one as a result of applying the High Pass filter.

Before I learned about the High Pass filter, I tried applying Photoshop’s Sharpen filter but didn’t think the results were worth the edit. (Maybe part of it was because I didn’t really know what I was doing.) Then I ran across Duane’s (at Christian Photo) explanation of when and how to use Photoshop’s High Pass filter to sharpen photos. Here are Duane’s illustrated instructions. More thorough instructions of how to use the High Pass filter are at this YouTube 6-minute video. Another explanation (my least favorite but still helpful) of the High Pass filter mentions a step of adjusting the hue/saturation so as to avoid color fringing.

I know there are varying opinions about editing photos. Most definitely, every time an image is resaved as a JPEG, some image information is lost. However, if an image is edited in PhotoShop, and resaved as the same PhotoShop file keeping the edit history in tact, my understanding is that information is not lost.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to get the perfect shot and not have to do any editing. When that doesn’t happen, I’m thankful for Photoshop.

The High Pass filter was applied to this photo of Mother's watercolor supplies. I believe the High Pass radius I used was around 2.0. If I were to do it again, maybe I would use a higher radius number.

At a glance, it was difficult for me to isolate any differences between these two images. Even so, I think the top one looks sharper. One area I see that difference is in the area of bright yellow paint in the middle of the images. When I click on each photo to enlarge it, I see that in the top photo (with the High Pass filter applied) the tiny dark dimples are more crisp “dots” than in the bottom photo.

In this image, the High Pass filter was not applied.

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*My Adobe PhotoShop version is CS4 Extended.

By the way, in the watercolor-supplies-banner that is seen today at the top of this blog (but sometime will be replaced with a different banner image), the High Pass filter has not been applied.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Canon Extender EF 1.4x or 2.0x? II or III?

June 18, 2011

On Wednesday I posted a photo of our (formerly my dad’s) cat, Mouser. Without the photography accessory that I purchased earlier this week, I wouldn’t have been able to shoot that photo, anyway not as “up close.”

With a boatload of gift certificates from past Christmases and Mother’s Day, at Christian Photo* I purchased a Canon Extender** EF 1.4x III. Canon offers two versions of the 1.4x: the II and the III.

Why did I purchase the 1.4x extender? Because most (but not everything) of what I photograph is at medium-range distances, and sometimes a little further away. The most telephoto quality lens I have at present is a 135mm lens. When using the 1.4x extender with my 135mm lens, the resulting focal length is 135mm x 1.4 = 189mm. I.e., the extender gives me extra reach.

Also, I didn’t want to spend the money to purchase a really good long telephoto lens. (Even if I could afford one, I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the cost.) While the extender is pricey, it isn’t as pricey as purchasing a quality long lens.

Why did I get the III instead of the II? One of the perks of the III is it is supposed to offer more optical crispness. Also, I had accumulated the gift certificates for something special and didn’t want to get the II and later wish I had purchased the III. (When I got my first dSLR camera, to economize I opted for one model down from what my gut said was a fit for me. I’ve regretted it ever since.)

Comparison of Photos: With and Without the 1.4x Extender

This photo was taken with a 135mm lens and no extender.

From the same location and with the same camera settings as the previous photo, this photo was taken with a 135mm lens and a 1.4x extender, resulting in a 189mm focal length (135mm x 1.4 = 189mm).

For a few, but rare, situations, I wish I had telephoto capabilities even greater than 189mm, like with a 2.0x extender. (135mm x 2.0 = 270mm) However, most of the time when I photograph, I’m moving around. That means I rarely use a tripod. My hands are not as still as a tripod. Therefore, as still as I try to be, I still have some camera shake.

This shake (and therefore fuzziness in my photos) would be even more evident if I had taken these two mailbox photos with the 2.0x extender. This is because…a 1.4x extender cuts back the amount of light by only one f/stop. In comparison, a 2.0x extender cuts back the amount of light by two f/stops. Less light usually means slower shutter speeds. Slower shutter speeds without a tripod usually mean more camera shake visible in photos. When photographing in some rather dark environments, for less evident camera shake I need all the light I can get. I get more light with the 1.4x than with the 2.0x.

I like the telephoto capabilities of a 2.0x, but the following three things made me decide to go with the 1.4x extender, instead. 1.) Without a tripod, my camera shake was just too pronounced with the 2.0 extender. 2.) I don’t need a 2.0x extender for the distance of things I most frequently photograph. 3.) If I don’t have too much camera shake, I can always crop and still have a relatively focused enlarged photo, for example, like the cropped photo at the bottom of this post.

Yes, I could crop/enlarge to a certain degree even if I didn’t have the 1.4x extender. I guess the 1.4x extender lets me have the best of both worlds…a little bit longer focal length, but without as much concern regarding visible camera shake as I would have with the 2.0x extender.

One thing to check out before purchasing an extender is whether or not it is designed to work with one or more of your lenses.

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If you are thinking that the photo of Mouser (at the bottom of this post) seems a little fuzzy, just know that it would be even fuzzier (due to that whole camera shake/shutter speed thing) with the 2.0x extender.

This photo was taken with my 135mm lens and the 1.4x extender (i.e., a focal length of 189mm).

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Same photo as above, but cropped. His face (where I was focusing) is a teensy fuzzy, but he was on the move and so was I. Especially when enlarged by clicking on it, I'll take it!

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I know I’m kind of like the blind leading the blind when explaining things about photography. But, maybe there’s someone blind out there who wants to listen!

*The pricing of the III at Christian Photo was exactly the same as online at reputable B & H. All the more reason for me to shop locally.

**An extender is also called a teleconverter. It connects between the camera lens and the camera body.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

The Art of Pouring Concrete

May 20, 2011

The photos below are of Dave Harland and/or his crew. Dave is the owner of Harland Concrete & Construction* out of Perry, Iowa. Bill and I found that Dave and his crew are exceptionally reliable in all aspects of the job: workmanship, efficiency and timeliness (even with the wet, cold spring), safety, communication and confidentiality.

In the first photo, Dave is at the left. The third and fourth photos also include Dave. In the fifth and sixth photos, Dave is in the middle.

To enlarge the photos, click on them once. Click twice for even more magnification. Camera setting/lens info is at the bottom of this post.**

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POURING FOOTINGS

April 21, 2011

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FINISHING the PAD

May 17, 2011

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Hamilton Redi-Mix of Jefferson and Boone supplied the concrete.

*At the “Gallery” link at the Harland Concrete & Construction web site, you’ll see photos related to not only concrete work and construction but also their snow removal and metal fabrication.

**The first two photos were taken with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. While I wish these two photos were more crisp, I’ll take them! The last six photos were taken with a Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens. For one or two of the photos I slightly adjusted the levels in Photoshop.

Photo #1: Focal Length 50mm; Shutter Speed 1/1600; Aperture f/3.2; ISO 400.

Photo #2: Focal Length 50mm; Shutter Speed 1/500; Aperture f/3.5; ISO 400

Photo #3: Focal Length 135mm; Shutter Speed 1/1250; Aperture f/6.3; ISO 200

Photo #4: Focal Length 135mm; Shutter Speed 1/1000; Aperture f/5.6; ISO 200

Photo #5: Focal Length 135mm; Shutter Speed 1/1250; Aperture f/6.3; ISO 200

Photo #6: Focal Length 135mm; Shutter Speed 1/1250; Aperture f/7.1; ISO 200

Photo #7: Focal Length 135mm; Shutter Speed 1/1000; Aperture f/5.6; ISO 200

Photo #8: Focal Length 135mm; Shutter Speed 1/1000; Aperture f/5.6; ISO 200

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

review recommendation

Q. What accessory is the perfect gift for a photography enthusiast? A. The HoodLoupe 3.0.

May 9, 2011

The HoodLoupe 3.0 is sandwiched between my camera’s LCD panel and my eyeglasses. While I take photographs, the HoodLoupe hangs lightly on a lanyard around my neck; it is out of the way yet readily accessible. The purpose of the HoodLoup is explained below. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I’m a little late for Mother’s Day and quite early for Father’s Day. Whatever the occasion, I think the HoodLoupe is a great gift idea for treating yourself or someone else.

This photo was taken on a snowy winter day. However, the HoodLoupe I’m using in the photo is intended for bright situations in all seasons.

The purpose of the HoodLoupe is to, no matter how bright the setting, allow for glare-free viewing of the LCD panel on a digital camera. No more bending over at the waist tucking the camera — with my eyes glued to it and my hand over it — to my chest in an effort to shade the LCD panel.

For about $75, Santa purchased for me the HoodLoupe at B&H Photo. It fits easily in my camera bag and seems weightless when I wear it, on the included lanyard, around my neck.

I’m extremely nearsighted. I like that the HoodLoupe has a +/-3 diopter to adjust for my vision.

The first 70 seconds of the video below illustrate how the HoodLoupe 3.0 from Hoodman is used.

Update 4-14-13: The original video I posted here is no longer available. Today I added a different explanatory video (below) that I think is even better.

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The front and back of the packaging are below.

Front of HoodLoupe packaging. Click on image to enlarge.

Back of HoodLoupe packaging. Click on image to enlarge.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Gunder Woods, OLLI at Iowa State, and David Rogers’ Big Bugs (unrelated except all are in Ames)

May 6, 2011

Inis Grove Park in Ames, Iowa. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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This past Monday the OLLI Photography Field Trips class, of which I am a member, had a photo shoot at Inis Grove Park on the northeast side of Ames. This “Gunder Woods” sign (above) is in that park. Having the maiden name of “Gunderson,” I couldn’t resist including this photo today.

OLLI Field Trips instructor Sam Wormley is pictured here with one of the field trips participants. One of the fun features of the class is that participants get to "play" with Sam's "toys." I took this picture with Sam's 135 mm f/2.0 lens and my camera. Experimenting with Sam's lenses and other accessories helps me determine what I might want to put on my wish list. In contrast to advice from someone who sells cameras, the great thing about Sam's expertise is that there's no sales hype. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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The OLLI Photography Field Trips class will be offered again in the fall. I’ve taken it twice. Why twice? Because it is casual and I learn something new every session. If I can’t make it to every class, it’s no biggee. Also, the class is tailored to take advantage of participants’ growing points. I’m a novice as are many participants, but the course is equally geared toward more advanced photographers.

Sam Wormley is the instructor and will be again in the fall.

The only requirement for taking an OLLI course is that a person be at least 50 years of age. There is a nominal fee.

To have a fall course catalog sent to you electronically (i.e., via email) or via USPS, contact Jerilyn Logue. 515-294-3192 or jlogue@iastate.edu

Here is a list of the current spring OLLI course offerings.

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Also in Ames, on the Iowa State University campus beginning this Saturday, May 7, is David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit. In 2009 I took a few photos of and posted about Rogers’ Big Bug exhibit when it was at West Lake Okoboji.

Tomorrow, the creator of the Big Bugs exhibit will be on hand at Reiman Gardens. More information about the exhibit is at Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens’ web site.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)