Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Color or Black and White

Choosing when to convert to black and white is not always easy, fortunately its as just a few clicks away in Lightroom. The above shots I took with black and white in mind, images with snow and rock always make for good conversions due to the high contrast.

Selecting the B & W tab will give you a quick preview of what your image will look like and then its a matter of processing how you like, the color slider increase or decrease the luminance of their corresponding color in the color image. Try making a virtual copy of the image and then use the compare tool to see which you like better.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blue/Red Woman

Marco Cochrane's sculpture "Bliss Dance" was moved from the Black Rock desert where it was erected for Burning Man in 2010 to Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Bliss Dance brings a lot of tourists to Treasure Island to view it and the views of the city.

A really well choreographed light show goes on every night, arrays of LED lights surrounding the sculpture and from within, light it up with a multitude of colors and reflections from its mesh surface.

Black Rock Arts


Monday, December 8, 2014

Lee Big/Little stopper Filter

5D Mk III, EF24-70 f/2.8, Lee Big Stopper. F/5.6 at 5 sec.

5D Mk III, EF24-70 f/2.8 L, Lee 0.9 GND. F/13 at 0.4 sec.

5D Mk III, EF24-70 f/2.8, Lee Big Stopper. F/11 at 21 sec.

Neutral density and polarizing filters are about the only filters really needed any more for landscape photography, there are a few exceptions, but currently these filters dont really have an option that can be done in camera or in post.

ND filters allow you to control the amount of light hitting your sensor, along with aperture control, you can allow the right amount of light to do exactly what you want in most lighting conditions.

This allows us to shoot in bright light and get the feeling of motion in our images, there are many uses for this; smoothing of water, motion of a running animal or person, motion in vehicle traffic, abstract images and more. I arrive at a shoot long before the golden hour, its nice to be able to start my process before the light dims enough for normal shooting and allows for far more abstract images than with out an ND filter.

Frequently I cant shoot slow enough when at an ocean front shoot, with ND filters I can shoot at 30 seconds on a bright day, allowing me to get in more shooting time as the evening progresses, I can maintain long shutter speeds or change to a different filter to speed up my shutter. Varying the aperture and the filter density allows me to select the exact speed for the effect I'm looking for.

These are the ND filters I use regularly.

Lee Big Stopper

Lee Litttle Stopper 

Lee 0.9 GND Filter

Lee 0.6 GND Filter

Lee foundation kit

Shutter speeds with Big Stopper


Images In Light

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Long Exposure in bright light

5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, 35mm, 8 sec at f/16, Lee Big Stopper

Shot mid day with the Lee Big Stopper, 10 stop neutral density filter. I was hoping for faster moving clouds to achieve the look I wanted, but this was a decent start. I will try some more in San Francisco in the next few weeks.

Its pretty cool to be able to shoot so slow on such a bright afternoon, it opens new doors and gives one a chance to try some new technique's.

The Big Stopper requires the Foundation kit to use.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Photographing The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge from Horseshoe Bay
5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, Lee Big Stopper - f/11, 30 sec, 38mm.
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Golden Gate from the Marin Headlands
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 Golden Gate from the Marin Headlands
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The Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach
5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II - f/11, 6 sec, 70mm.
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Shooting the San Francisco Icon. After living in the area for nearly six months now, I decided it was finally time to capture some images of the Golden Gate Bridge. My research showed the 4 best angles to shoot the bridge from, without using a boat or helicopter that is.  Baker beach, Marin headlands or Battery Spencer, Fort Point and Horseshoe Bay.

Now I need to finish all four locations and decide what I personally like the best, the crowds of tourists have kept me away from the Marin side, that seems to be where most people flock to. Baker beach and the Presidio are so far my choice due to light and foreground interest. Kirby Cove from the Marin side looks worth a hike down to the beach also.


From the bridge deck

I will also try walking out on to the bridge at dusk and shooting up the towers with a telephoto lens, I have not seen much done that way. Also a tower shot with the city in the background would be nice to compliment my Bay Bridge Shot, incidentally I like shooting the Bay Bridge better.

The Bay Bridge
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The Bay Bridge
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

EF 11-24mm f4L USM

A recently leaked on line image shows my dream lens, the EF 11-24mm f4L USM, yes thats f/4 constant aperture, why? size mostly, but with a super wide its main purpose in life is wide angle landscape and architecture so f/2.8 is not really needed and by keeping it at f/4 it can have an even wider field, hence the 11mm, while keeping size and weight down.

 I absolutely love the Nikon 14-24, but this one will be way better for my purpose's. I hope this is true, I will run right out and get it. Will be tough to swallow the rumored price of $2800, but it will pay itself off quickly.


Images In Light

Monday, November 10, 2014

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

 Here is a lens a lot of people have been waiting for, I look forward to trying this one in Yellowstone.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available in December 2014 for an estimated retail price of $2,199.00

 Order it here

DPReview here

The Digital Picture here

Review here Lens Tip

Review here Photozone.

Review here ePhotozine

Dustin Abbott here

Canon CPN
  • EF Mount L-Series Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • One Fluorite and One Super UD Element
  • Air Sphere and Fluorine Lens Coatings
  • Ring-Type USM AF Motor, Internal Focus
  • Optical Image Stabilizer with 3 Modes
  • Rotating Zoom Ring & Torque Adjustment
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • Detachable, Rotatable Tripod Collar
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm


Images In Light

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


5D Mk III, EF 70-200 f/4 L IS, f/9, 4 sec at 111mm

Two shot panorama of Seattle at dusk. Processed in Lightroom and CS6.  I like to shoot a city scape just after sunset at dusk, the city lights are visible and the sky has not yet turned black. Seattle is still my favorite city to shoot, there are many locations that offer excellent views like the classic one above, Kerry Park on Highland Ave.

More of my Seattlescapes can be found here


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Perspective Correction

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Image: 5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II, 24mm, f/11 at 1/60 sec.

Perspective correction is something we come up against whenever architectural elements are the subject matter of a photograph. This image of the lighthouse in Mukilteo is a good example. Looking at this image subjectively some will say the image should be fully corrected and some will say it would look un-natural that way. I believe a certain amount of distortion is acceptable and appears more natural.  

Other issues with correction are reduced resolution due to crop and sharpness loss from the correction itself, for these reasons I always try to minimize distortion correction, the original size of the image was 5760 x 3840 and the fully corrected image is 5399 x 3712, not a huge change. One last thing to keep in mind is your field of view, the fully corrected image lost a lot of foreground detail (flowers, pathway).

Lightroom5 lens correction panel - for fully corrected image

None corrected for perspective

Fully corrected for perspective


Monday, September 15, 2014

Photokina 2014


This is the camera that looks most interesting at Photokina this year, it is a well specked compact camera, a 4/3rds sensor with a fixed 24-75 mm(equivalent) f/1.7 to f/2.8 lens. Could very well be the first 4/3rds camera I get to test, well 2nd after the GM1, anyway it should be a great little camera.

Not cheap at around $900 but probably well worth it, we'll see what the gang at DPreview have to say, I look forward to it. 4K video is pretty cool too, I want that in my next camera.

More here at the phoblographer, Photozine editors choice here

Camera Labs here

Panasonic here and here and here


New from Canon, 7D Mk II and Power Shot G7X


Photography Bay here

Clark vision review here very interesting read

First impression here

The Digital Picture here

Power Shot G7X


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Architectural Perspective

Its not always necessary to include the entire subject in your photo, sometimes an image takes on a life of its own when you don't include the expected. 

I enjoy the ability to shoot both Seattle and San Francisco these days,  and its given me a new vision of city scenes. Finding the individual subject and the abstract meaning in those subjects.


Images In Light

Sunday, August 24, 2014

City View

Image: 5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, 70mm, f/10, 20 sec.

The Bay Bridge and San Francisco viewed from Treasure Island, probably one of the best, but also most obscure locations to view the city. Up off the beach on a crumbling hillside, on Treasure Island, not a very safe place to be putting a tripod down, especially after it gets dark and you need to traverse the hill with a headlamp.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Keen interest from Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is showing interest in using some of my 787 images. they have been passed to the marketing group, keeping my fingers crossed, I really like the images myself.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014


5D Mk III, EF24-70 f/2.8L II, 44mm, f/5.6,1/60 sec, ISO 1600
Monterey Aquarium


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Do we still need a tripod?

Image: Fuji X-T1, XF 18-55 f/2.8-4.0, 23mm at f/5.6, 1/5 sec,
hand held at ISO 6400.

The answer is a definitive maybe, it depends what your after, just fun images like the above one, then no, a large format print for your wall at home, that depends on the light. Hand holding a camera in low light takes a lot of practice to get sharp images and you still need high ISO's to get there, so we still have a ways to go.

Cameras like the X-T1 with image stabilized lenses are getting us close though, even with the slowdown in sensor technologies, its just a matter of time. However there are images that will always require a tripod, long exposure's just can't be reproduced in Photoshop and I'm a big fan of long exposure's, whether they are a few seconds or 20 minutes.

Image: 5D Mk III, EF24-70 f/2.8L II, 24mm, f/7.1, 8 sec.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Zealand 787-9

5D Mk III, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 116mm, 1/500 sec at f/8 
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I like shooting Jets on this corner, the runway stripes make for an
 interesting reflection on the belly of the plane.  Here's another
5D Mk III, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 165mm, 1/640 sec at f/7
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5D Mk III, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 138mm, 1/500 sec at f/8
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Somehow this blog seems fitting as I move in to a new career on the professional side, going from an Aerospace Design Engineer at Boeing to a Camera Field Test Engineer with Amazon.

 I have to hand it to the marketing folks at Air New Zealand, this is one fine looking airplane.

My next blog should be coming from the Bay area, somewhere near Sunnyvale. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Canons new EF16-35 f/4L IS

 A new wide angle for Canon shooters:

 A direct response to the Nikon Version ? It will be nice to have IS in a wide angle lens but I would still like to have an f/2.8 lens in this focal range, lets see how it performs, its 25g lighter than the EF 16-35 f/2.8L II that's a plus.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 16–35mm 1:4.0
Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 108°10′ – 63°
Focus Adjustment: Inner focus system
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.92 ft. / 0.28m
Filter Size: 77mm diameter
Max Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.3 x 4.4 in., 21.7 oz. / 82.6 x 112.8mm, 615g



Images In light

Saturday, May 3, 2014

In Camera Abstract

5D Mk III, EF100 f/2.8L IS Macro, f/11 at 1/6 sec

Having fun with abstract images, shooting a grove of Alder on the way up to Bridal Veil Falls I have a whole series now on abstract trees, its a little different each time I shoot, because of light, but it can be a fun exercise trying to get the right amount of camera movement to make the image blur just the right amount.

Getting the shutter speed right is key to getting this type of abstract image, I shot at f/11 to slow the shutter speed down in to the range of 1/6 to 1/4 of a second.Then I moved the camera either up or down as I depressed the shutter button, trying to keep the motion of the camera as parallel to the trees as I could. The green just comes from the surrounding foliage.

 5D Mk III, EF100 f/2.8L IS Macro, f/11 at 1/4 sec


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lytro Illum

Lytro announce a new version of their Light field camera, with a 30-250mm f/2 lens, that's right f/2, the technology is very interesting, but their last camera and sensor proved only a gimmick from a photographic standpoint, this may change that, they look like they may have something on their hands this time around.

 02 lfe2

From the Lytro site:

Product Features


Capture a deeper picture.

LYTRO ILLUM’s 40 Megaray customized sensor, with Lytro’s patented microlens array technology, unlocks the ability to capture the color, intensity and direction of the light rays flowing into the camera. This allows you to create imagery on a truly experiential canvas. By capturing and harnessing the power of light field, photographers can portray not just a cross-section of reality, but an authentic, interactive window into their world.

  • Custom-designed 40-megaray light field sensor
  • 8x optical zoom lens (30mm-250mm equivalent)
  • Constant f/2.0 aperture across the entire zoom range
  • 1/4000 of a second high-speed shutter
  • Extreme close-focus macro capability
  • Combination of tactile-controls and smartphone-class, articulating touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 86mm x 145mm x 166mm; 940 grams
  • Hot shoe supports all leading flashes

It needs to be ergonomic and fill a niche, or carve out a place of its own with something beyond mini video, which is what it appeared to be before.

I did not see a place that it would be useful before, lets see if they are bringing more of a game changer this time around.

Pre-order at Lytro for $1,500 20% off with Pre-order

Lytro's site


Images In Light