Here’s a photo from a camping trip at Killbear Provincial Park that I took with my friend Michelle back in 2009. For a couple of years my absolute favourite lens was the Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 and this photo shows exactly why. The bokeh, colour, contrast, sharpness were all perfect. Just perfect. On a DX body it gave a 75-200mm field of view. This lens was my big reward for getting a job after finishing my masters and I used if for thousands of photos.
The Oldie-but-Goodie photo was taken at 135mm f/5 1/800s ISO 800.
This week’s oldie-but-goodie comes from February 2008, in the middle of my year long Photo-a-Day challenge. I challenged myself to produce a decent photo every single day for an entire year and, for the most part, pulled it off.
The photo is of friends making masks in a basement bathroom. When I saw what was going on I quickly grabbed my flash and mounted to the curtain rod in the shower with a super clamp. The flash was triggered with crappy old ebay triggers.
Details are: Pentax K10D with DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 at 18mm f/7.1 1/30s ISO 100.
On a few occasions I’ve had the opportunity to shoot the fake prom event at the Starlight in Waterloo… essentially a big night club party where everybody dresses up. My part has most often been by setting up a ‘photo booth’ where individuals, couple or groups can pose together and be as goofy or sexy as they like. Today’s oldie-but-goodie comes from my favourite of these proms, back in 2010. The theme was Horror, if I remember correctly. I’m a big fan of this photo of Celeigh, both for the lighting and for the pose.
For the photo booth I set up three lights. For the main light I used an Alien Bee B800 with brolly box (an octagonal softbox that opens and mounts like a shoot-through umbrella). The light was on a stand, cinched tightly to a post. For rim lights I clamped a Vivitar 285HV about 15′ away on each side, as close to the back wall as possible. The 285HV on the left was gelled with blue and the one on the right was gelled deep red. I triggered the three lights with Cybersyncs.
The settings were Pentax K20D with FA 35mm f/1.8 LTD (the lens I miss more than any other that I’ve sold) at f/2.8 1/80s ISO200.
Today’s Oldie-but -Goodie comes from summer 2007 when Jeff and I took a night-time photo trip out to Mary Hill, Ontario. We were drawn to the church, since it’s a landmark on the trip between Waterloo and Guelph. Since I’d brought along my tripod I thought it would be fun to take some moody long exposure shots of the cemetery next to the church, made extra moody by the moving clouds. I tried out a few long exposure (2-8 seconds) and found that, while the sky and church looked just as I had hoped, the figures in the cemetery were lost.
What I needed was flash. Unfortunately, both of us had forgotten to bring any batteries for the Vivitar 285HV. Jeff had the great idea of using his camera’s on-board flash to light paint the cross figure during the long exposure. We set out testing. While I took a long exposure image, Jeff walked around the figure taking pictures of it with his camera so that his built-in flash would put light just where we wanted it (more on the right side and less on the left). The image below was the best out of a half-dozen.
I finished the image with some colour/contrast enhancement and local dodging and burning to bring out the cross figure even further.
Pentax *ist DS with DA16-45mm f/4 @ 16mm f/6.7 8s ISO 200:
Here is a photo that I took a few years ago (June, 2008, to be specific) of my friend Elsa as part of a series of art for her upcoming album. Elsa wanted an “ethereal” feel and dressed accordingly. After taking a few in the garden and another few under a tree (with a lamb!) we saw that the sky was rapidly darkening. As the clouds rolled in and claps of thunder were heard in the distance I made the snap decision for us to hop over the fence an up into the field.We had two lights with us, Vivitar 285HV, and cheapo ebay triggers for firing them. I set them up in a simple arrangement with the main light at camera right and the other at camera left to act as a rim. This second light can be seen at the left of the frame. I set the camera (K10D) to manual, 1/80s, f/6.3, ISO 160 to get the ambient exposure how I wanted it (1/2-1 stops underexposed) and adjusted the flashes to either 1/2 or full power. The lens, a Pentax DA 16-45/4 was zoomed out to 16mm.
A few quick snaps later and we were happy… and just in time, because as soon as we packed up the skies opened up and it rained like you wouldn’t believe!