Themes 2014-2015: #27 Musical

This post is my fifth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #27 Musical.


I do most of my work at home. But several times a year I head off to visit the corporate mothership in Carrollton, Texas. Besides getting face time with my colleagues, I’ve been staying with my good friend Marc Nowell. Marc is the drummer in a band, The Hydros. They get together to jam once a week or so, and when I’m in town and one of these session is on, I go and take photos.

The jam house is on its own in the midst of Trinity River bottomland, the better to not annoy the neighbors. Think man cave scaled up to four to five man band size and loaded with rock and roll musical instruments. They prefer the lighting turned down, just as it would be in a bar or stage venue. This makes it a bit challenging to get photos, but I’ve been at it since around 2006, so I have some strategies. The best one so far has been to use a camera with extended sensitivity, the Nikon D600. Most of these photos were taken with that camera. A couple of them, though, are taken with a Panasonic GF2 camera with the Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens at or nearly wide open.









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Themes 2014-2015: #32 Painting with Light

This post is my fourth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #32 Painting with Light.

I’m working on a small scale. My “canvas” is a piece of white foam-core board. I’m using a Panasonic GF2 camera, ISO 100, and a Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens at about f/11, distance of about two foot. My light source is a laser. I’ve worked out a means of obtaining virtually unlimited different patterns, which has an obvious up side (lots of different photos are possible) and a not-so-obvious down side (it would be virtually impossible to return to a particular pattern once I’ve moved on). For the moment, I’m concentrating on these as an end in themselves. A future project will be to turn these into masks and combine them with textures in CorelDraw.


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Themes 2014-2015: #31 Panning

This post is my third entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #31 Panning. On August 2nd, 2014, I was at the TailWaggers Club Agility Trial, held at the Turner Center in Arcadia, Florida. Our 10-year-old female Vizsla, Ritka, competes in agility, and Diane has turned over running her to me. On that day, we ran in three events, and Ritka both qualified and took first place in all of them. But even three events does not fill up a day, so I had time to get out the camera and get some pictures of other agility dogs. I thought it was a good chance to do something with the panning theme, since the Turner Center’s lighting, what’s the word I’m looking for? Right, it sucks. There’s not a lot of it, and it has a weird color distribution. On top of that, the club (rightly) disallows the use of flash photography, since breaking the concentration of one of the fast-moving canine athletes is simply the wrong thing to do. Getting to action-stopping shutter speeds is hard to do in any case, so embracing the badness leads right to panning as a way to (sometimes) reduce subject blur.

I set myself up near the dogwalk, which wasn’t hard, since it was only a few feet from the side of the ring. In fact, getting the framing right was a challenge with some of the larger dogs. I ended up actually across the walkway from the ring. The dark walls of the Turner Center were causing problems for auto-exposure, so I went to manual exposure. For the dogwalk, the runner comes up a ramp to a walkway about five foot off the ground, then walk or runs across about twenty feet of elevated walkway, before taking a ramp back down to ground level. So I would start following the dog as it came up the ramp, and fired off shots as it proceeded across the walkway, keeping the camera moving and trying to maintain about the same framing in the viewfinder throughout.


Technical photography details: Nikon D600 camera, ISO 6400, auto white balance, 1/160s exposure. Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, at 105mm and f/2.8. Camera and lens were mounted to a homebuilt “gunstock” style mount, and I used a remote release to trigger shots. Focus was set to manual after focusing on the near edge of the elevated part of the dogwalk, then I shifted forward slightly to try to approximate having focus be in the plane where the dog was traveling.

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Themes 2014-2015: #6 Bridge

This post is my second entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #6 Bridge. The bridge photo is of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning the mouth of Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg to Manatee County on the south side.


The Sunshine Skyway lights up at night. This is about a 10 second exposure with the camera moving about 65 MPH, resulting in a wavery light display that I dub the “aurora caelum via”.

Technical photography data: Panasonic GF2 camera at ISO 100, auto white balance, with Olympus 14-43 f/3.5-5.6 lens, 14mm, f/18.

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Themes 2014-2015: #50 Urban Scenery


This is an image taken in the midst of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, along an access road leading to the George W. Bush Parkway (eastbound) just north of Las Colinas.

Photo technical details: Panasonic GF2, Navitar 50mm f/0.95 @ f/8. Crop, levels adjust, scale image, and unsharp mask done in GIMP.

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