Saturday, April 30, 2011

More Toys!

 My buddy Scott lent me his flash for the weekend.  It's a Sigma EF-610 DG ST.

The head of the flash is adjustable so that you can direct the light towards the ceiling or a wall in order to reflect/diffuse the light.  It makes a world of difference when compared to using the on-board flash.
The first shot is with the flash directed straight at the portrait subject.
The second is using no flash, just the light from the window.

In this third shot I reflected the flash light off of the ceiling.

The ability to reflect the light off the ceiling is great for evening out the light in the shot.  I think this would come in really handy on an outdoor shoot on a really sunny day.   Thanks to Scott for lending me his toys!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pringles Diffuser

An update on the Pringles can diffuser post .  I (okay, my wife!) bought a can of Pringles while grocery shopping tonight.  I quickly transferred the contents into a tupperware container and started cutting and taping. 

It only took me about 5 minutes, but the thing works pretty well.  Judge for yourself:

 The above shot used the Pringles can and on-board flash.

 The second shot used the flash only.

 This third shot used no flash (so obviously no diffuser either).

The diffuser allowed me to get a bit more focused on the shot, which is really what counts in macro photography.  I still couldn't get a really close up (using the full stack of extension tubes) shot with the lighting, I may need to experiment a bit more with it.  What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DIY Macro Lighting

Here is a cool article that I found on how to do macro lighting with a Pringles can.  That's right, a Pringles can.  The site itself is a great resource for a photographer on a budget...kind of like me.  I'd mentioned wanting this flash in an earlier post, but that will be a little ways down the road.  Until then, I'll have to pick up a can of Pringles the next time I'm at the grocery store and give the set up a shot. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Macro example

As promised, the following is an example of what extension tubes do.  I'll leave the more detailed description to the makers of the tubes themselves, Kenko, but essentially the extension tubes allow a camera's lens to focus closer to it's subject.  This has the effect of magnifying the image being taken. 

The extension tube set that I bought has 3 different tubes;  a 12 mm, a 25 mm and a 35mm.  The lens that I've us for this example is a Canon 50 mm, f1.8. 

This first shot (of a pin cushion) uses no extension tubes, just the lens.  I focused as closely as possible on the pin cushion.

 The next shot used only the 12 mm extension tube and was focused as close as possible:

 This one used the 12 mm combined with the 25 mm extension tubes, focused as close as possible:

 On this last shot, I used a combination of the 12 mm, 25 mm and 35 mm extension tubes:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

All the way from Hong Kong!

The Kenko extension tubes arrived today!  Not sure what I'm talking about?  Check out this post.

It seemed like a really, really long time that I was waiting for these thing but, in reality, it was only a week and half.  Not too bad for items coming from Hong Kong.  I snapped a few shots to show an example of what the extension tubes can do.  I'm pumped, they work great.  In some upcoming posts I'll show the difference between using a regular lens, then adding one extension tube, then another, then the third.  It's difference is drastic.

                         (Anyone care to guess what the first photo below is of?)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Slowwwww shutter speed in the dark, pt 2

A couple more from the abstract session.....


I found a really cool article on expanding one's horizons within photography.  I'm going to give as many of the techniques a try as possible. Any other photogs reading this, check it out here!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Slowwwww shutter speed in the dark, pt 1

I've wanted to try this for a long time.  I took a bunch of photos in the dark with an extremely slow shutter speed (between 8 and 15 seconds).  When the shutter was depressed, I took a couple of different coloured lights and swirled them around in various patterns.  Here are a few of the results.  Definitely something I'd like to experiment more with.  Also, I'll need some more lights so that I can vary the colours!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wish List

Now that I have the Kenko extension tubes on order, I've found something else to add to my wish list. A company called Sigma makes this flash The flash is made specifically for macro-style photography. It fits around your lens to fully illuminate the subject of your photo. Very cool but I'll need to pick up a few paying photography gigs to pay for this one.

Speaking of paid gigs, I've been asked by my buddy, Scott, to be the second photographer for a wedding this summer. The wedding is in June and I'm pumped! He's put in a quote for a second shoot in September so we'll see how that works out. I'd like to get some practice in with my macro tubes before the wedding so that I can get some unique shots on the day of the wedding.

Also, Scott just got a new flash, it's a Sigma as well. I tried it out today (on his camera) and it made me want one too! So much money can be spent on this hobby! Scott has offered to lend me his flash when he's done figuring it out so I'll post some shots once I've played around with it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I have been debating buying Kenko extension tubes for our camera for quite a while now. Everyone I know is sick to death of me talking about it, so I finally broke down and ordered a set.

Not sure what Kenko extension tubes are? They are tubes that attach to the camera body in between it and the lens. They contain no optics but allow the lens that is attached to focus much, much closer when attached. Essentially, they allow the photographer to get some extreme close-up shots. My hope is to use them with my 50mm F1.8 Canon lens for some macro photos. I've been told that that set up is a decent way to do macro photography on a budget.

Kenko is a bit of a knock off and is significantly less expensive than the Canon extension tube series. However, I've read lots of good reviews of the Kenko tubes and that's all I can afford right now so....that's what I got! I ordered them online and they are coming from Hong Kong. I'm expecting them sometime in the next two weeks. I'll do some comparison shots then so that you can see exactly what it is that they do. In the meantime, here is a link to the Kenko site. And here's a shot of the extension tube set from the Kenko site. Ohhh I can't wait until they get here!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Digital Photography School

Just wanted to share a site that I frequent quite a bit now a days. There are tons of tips and tutorials that are updated daily. That, and lots of digital photographers sharing ideas as well as weekly contests with prizes. It's called "Digital Photography School". Check it out here.