Saturday, May 30, 2009

King of Kings

While on a business trip in Cincinnati I stopped by the Solid Rock Church in Monroe to get a picture of the King of Kings Statue.

The statue stands 62 foot tall and is reported to be the largest sculpture of Jesus Christ in the United States. The sculpture can be seen from Interstate 75.

It's easy to see how the statue has gotten two of it's nicknames, Touchdown Jesus and Big Butter Jesus. The comedian Heywood Banks made the statue even more famous when he wrote the song "Big Butter Jesus". The Big Butter reference comes from the statues resemblance to statues carved out of butter you see at the state fair.

The water was too choppy for me to get a good reflection shot. I bet this would make for a great night shot.

The rest of these are just a few pictures I took while roaming the grounds of this rather large complex.

Related Links:
King of Kings
Big Butter Jesus

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun with Shadows

This is the fire escape behind the old jail in Sidney. I took this some time ago on one of my walk-abouts. I really like the way the lines and shadows work together in this one.

Uhmmmm Good!

My wife has been taking cake decorating classes. This basket weave flower cake is her latest creation. I could of used a little fill on the bottom left corner.

With such a pretty cake you would think getting a nice picture would be easy. All am going to say is its a good thing I don't make my living taking pictures of cakes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Road Trip Rt. 66 and my Camera Phone

Well I must say, while it was an interesting trip, the pictures leave much to be desired. These pictures were taken with my Verizon LG Camera Phone. According to the the specs it has a 3.2 mega pixels digital camera. Yea, Right!

My son Tyler has his drivers permit and needs to log 50 hours before he takes the test for his license. We thought it would be cool to take OHIO St. Route 66 which starts in Piqua and ends just outside of Michigan.

This picture was taken through the windshield which didn't help quality wise. One of the problems with the camera phone is that it shoots at such a wide angle you have to be right on top of something like a road sign to get anything that remotely resembles a closeup. The phone was at it's best outdoors and plenty of light.

We didn't have a lot of time so we did not stop and take a lot of pictures along the way. This one of the War Memorial in Piqua was one of our rare stops.

This is the mandatory picture for every Road Trip. Tyler's looking pretty comfortable behind the wheel.

Okay so we come to the end of Rt. 66 and instead of jogging over and getting on St Rt 127 we just go straight. Sounded like a good idea, we were just going to get something to eat and come back. We started questioning our logic when we came to the Dirt Road!

Once it became evident that we were indeed in Michigan but still traveling dirt roads, we pulled out the GPS and politely asked it to steer us to the nearest place to eat. Which brought us to Grumbellies in Hudson.

Despite it's appearance and the fact that you can still smoke in restaurants in Michigan the food wasn't bad. We had no problem wolfing down our Cheeseburgers and generous portions of French Fries.

While in Hudson we had a little fun shopping in the antique stores. Here's Tyler doing his best Lincoln impersonation.

We took State Route 127 back and made good time. It was a fun trip and I learned somethings about my phone. Mostly that I wouldn't want to take a picture that I really wanted with it. And BTW Tyler and I both give Grumbellies a Thumbs Up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Having Fun Trying to Pan

This is my Granddaughter Emily. I took this last year at the Anna Homecoming. She was in a rocket ride and I was trying to catch her while panning the camera.

I must admit I got a little dizzy trying to follow her and the ride. Too bad I forgot to check my settings and took it at ISO 1600. Still a pretty cool shot. The rocket was a two seat ride. My grandson not pictured here was in the front facing forward, while Emily was seated in the back facing backward.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Impulse Baton & Dance Studio 2nd Annual Recital 2009

If there is one event that I simply dread from a photographic standpoint is my Granddaughters annual baton recital. The lighting is Gym Lighting and I am never happy with my results.

I snapped the above picture while I was working out my exposure settings. These aren't my Granddaughters but they are cute as a button. The little ones are always a treat to watch.

I absolutely hate taking pictures at ISO 800 but in the end I wanted more DOF so I went with that instead of ISO 400. Next year I hope to have a better lens. I used my Cannon 100mm f/2.8. It is my best lens but didn't quite have the reach I needed.

Emily and Hannah's number was called "Newsies". They were decked out in these cute costumes with berets, suspenders and ties.

Madeline got to perform twice in "Take a Chance" and a "Solo Number". Her costume for both numbers was more of the traditional style.

Afterwords I always take a few shots of the kids in their costumes and of course some with their friends. This time I got a keeper out of the bunch. This is the BW version but the color one isn't bad either. This ones going to hang on the wall and quite possibly show up in a show.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mayfest 2009 Soccer Tournament

Every Mother's Day I get to spend some of it taking pictures of my Granddaughters playing soccer in the annual Mayfest Tournament. Pictured here is Emily

Soccer like any sports takes practice to photograph. This was my first shoot of the year, so I didn't get the quality of shots that I normally do. One of the things that I try and do is avoid clutter in the shot. This can be very hard with the way the soccer fields are right next to each other.

These next two pictures are Hannah in action. Not pictured here are two shots of her trying to score a goal. She was playing defense at the time. Hannah's easy to photograph, all I have to do is look for the ball.

It was a little cool but otherwise a great day to take pictures. As always I enjoy taking pictures of my grand-kids.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Understanding Exposure (Book Review)

I recently got the book "Understanding Exposure (Revised Edition)" by Bryan Peterson.

The following is the text from the back of the book:

For anyone who finds the concept of exposure overwhelming and confusing, this book demystifies the subject, making it easy to grasp. Author Bryan Peterson explains the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, and explains how to achieve successful exposures in seemingly difficult situations, including those involving backlight, low light, overcast weather, and motion. All the information is relevant, whether you're using film or digital cameras...

I found all the above to be true. Most of the information covered in the book, I was exposed to in the photography classes at Edison. However, he has a way of presenting things in an understandable manner that I find refreshing compared to some of the other books I've read.

There are plenty of tips and photo's to illustrated the points. I have found it a worthwhile book to add to my growing collection. I found the authors concept on using the sky for light metering certain situations very interesting. The following is from the book concerning the Sky Brothers:

Oftentimes when shooting under difficult lighting situations (Sidelight and backlight being the two primary examples), an internal dispute may take place as you wrestle over just where exactly you should point your camera to take a meter reading. I know of "no one" more qualified to mediate these disputes between you and your light meter than the Sky Brothers. They"re not biased. They want only to offer the one solution that works each and every time. So, on sunny days, Brother Blue Sky is the go-to guy for those winter landscapes, black Labrador portraits, bright yellow flower close-ups, and fields of deep purple lavender. This means you take a meter reading of the sunny blue sky and use that exposure to make your image.

When shooting backlit sunrise and sunset landscapes, Brother Backlit Sky is your go0to guy. This means you take a meter reading to the side of the sun in these scenes and use that reading to make your image. When shooting city our country scenes at dusk, Brother Dusky Blue Sky gets the call, Meaning you take your meter reading form the dusk sky. And, when faced with coastal scenes or lake reflections at sunrise or sunset call on Brother Reflecting Sky, meaning you take your meter reading from the light reflecting off the surface of the water.

Shutterbug did an interview the Bryan about the book. Click on the following link to check it out: ShutterBug Interview with Bryan Peterson

I would recomend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of exposure and is looking for creative ways to use it.

All pictures used for this post were taken by the author, Bryan Peterson.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Walk in the Park

After dropping Tyler off for his drivers-education class, I decided to go to Tawawa Park and take some pictures.

You can't go to Tawawa Park and not take a picture of the covered bridge. I am not sure but if you have a camera, I am pretty sure it's mandatory. A couple of joggers helped me get a shot I didn't have in my growing collection.

I did find something exciting happening under the bridge. The sunlight was reflecting off of the water onto the supports. That's what you see pictured above. The background was so drab, I made it black and white.

It was a sunny late afternoon and plenty of folks had come to enjoy the park with their families and pets.

There never is a shortage of fisherman, but there always seems to be a shortage of fish. This is the same park that my Dad use to bring me fishing.

I found a few things in bloom on my walk along Benjamin Trail. This picture was the best of the lot. It's almost like the little fellow was just waiting for me to come and take his picture.

While this is not the most picturesque scene of running water, it was an opportunity for me to practice so I am better prepared for when I find a real nice waterfall. I had to use my highest fstop and polarizing filter to get a 1/4 of second exposure to get the dreamy water effect.

I took several pictures of pealing paint and rust on the playground equipment. This one is my favorite. The other ones were okay but I need to work on more DOF.

I'll close with my last picture of the day. The classic sunlit dandelion.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Black 13

I recently finished Stephen King's seven book Dark Tower Series. The books chronicles the travels of Roland the gunslinger and his pursuit of the Dark Tower. I must admit I was disappointed with the direction the series took after Stephen King's brush with death.

For this picture I used a crystal ball, The last book of the series,a black velvet background, Flash with softbox and flashlight. The shot was lit with a strobe with a softbox setup from behind. I used a long exposure and used the flashlight on the book and crystalball (Thats where that glob at the bottom came from). Those familiar with the series will appreciate the PhotoShop effect in the crystal ball the dreaded Black 13 representing the tower itslef. It was the most creative thing I could come up with to deal with the unwanted reflection in the ball.

For fun I tried a PhotoShop Poster Edge Filter. I actually like this.

This is far from perfect, but I always like it when my experiments comes out half decent. The lighting technique used is one I learned in the lighting class I took at Edison.

Lesson In Flash

My wife received the Friend of Education award for 2009. She didn't think spouses were allowed so I didn't go. So there was no picture of her getting her award. We did a pose at home with her plaque so she'd have something to scrap. I took the opportunity to also play around with Canon 430EX Speedlite.

For this picture I aimed the Speedlite directly at my wife. (Same as using on board camera flash. Notice the harsh highlights and shadows. Not to mention a less than flattering photo of my wife.

For this next shot I adjusted the Speedlite upward at a 45 degree angle.

This one's a little better but still room for plenty of improvement. For my last shot, I pointed the light straight up and bounced it off the white ceiling. We learned this in class and guess what it works.

I could have further improved the shot by using a reflector to bounce some light back onto her face from below, but I didn't have one handy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Life Begins at 185 mph

My son Tyler (Who just turned 16) and I went for a drive this weekend to Bud Chevrolet in St. Mary's. Tyler armed with his new driving permit wanted to check out some cars. Corvettes to be exact. The Chevy dealership was sponsoring a Corvette show/drive-in. Tyler seemed partial to this Yellow and Black classic.

Of course I had my camera with me...but I chose just to take the lens that was on the camera at the time. This turned out to be my Cannon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. A wonderful lens but my Canon 18-55mm lens probably would of been a better choice.

One of my favorite shots for the day wasn't even a Corvette. I just liked the colors and paint on this Chevy Pickup.

Of course the conversation finally turned to So dad, can we get a vet. I laughed and told him I remembering having this conversation before. He guessed his older siblings and was somewhat surprised when I said. Nope. My dad and I had the same conversation when I was about your age. Back then they were called Stingrays and My dad laughed when I asked the same question. I must admit I was wondering what kind of trade-in they'd give me on my mini-van.