Black and White fixes everything

So often I find myself taking ordinary images and converting them to black and white, only to find that they are still ordinary images, in black and white. There are exceptions of course
Flag by David Vasek (davidvasek)) on 500px.com
Flag by David Vasek

but generally speaking I think a mediocre image is going to stay that way regardless of the color saturation. Knowing this when I go into a shot forces me to really concentrate on the composition and other “interesting” elements of the shot beyond just the color or lack thereof.

One thing I definitely struggle with when shooting landscapes is the high contrast between the landscape and the sky. I don’t always have my filters ready to help compensate for the drastic dynamic range, so all too often I find that my highlights are completely blown out. Of course, with the 5d mkIII I not only have more dynamic range, and in-camera HDR, but that only goes so far. Converting a blown out color image to black and white won’t help with those highlights; it is true (to me) that sometimes the blown out highlights add contrast to the image, but there are only a few instances for me where that has really worked right, and in all honesty wasn’t something I planned on when I took the shot.

Bottom line is to watch your exposure no matter what, and don’t assume that black and white will magically fix a poor image.

I’m going to do a write up specifically on the 5d’s HDR functionality as I am able to play with it more.

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Water Dropping shots coming soon

I’m getting ready to build a shutter trigger tied to a water valve, should be a fun way to get some interesting shots of water droplets. I took this shot last year with my flash set to strobe and a lot of trial and error. Although not nearly as difficult as the really impressive water drop shots you find on the Internet, it is still pretty fun to play with the strobe and get these kind of shots.

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Quick, Warm Thought

Sick and tired of the month we call “winter” in South Texas. No reason to complain compared to so many parts of the country, but I’m going to nonetheless! While we wait for things to warm up and get back to being outside, a quick picture from Oaha, Hawaii, taken in 2005; consider this a “warm up” shot!

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Still Loving the 5d

Wanted to add a quick update that the more I use my 5d Mk III the more I like it. The low light sensitivity is great, and though it definitely doesn’t have the frame rate of the 7d, it is working great as a nature camera for me. 

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RAW Discussion (I know, seriously?)

I can remember early on when this debate was raging, it was almost as hot as the megapixel discussions that took place. But by and large as memory capacity increased, and buffers and transfer rates, the issue seemed to kind of die down. Personally, I made the decision to shoot JPEG for “everyday” shots, and have one of my custom settings set for my high-res/top quality images, i.e. landscapes, and use RAW for that. Otherwise it depends on what I’m shooting.

All that being said, this is a really interesting article on why RAW is the only way to shoot if you actually care about recording maximum image resolution, and the negative effects of JPEG manipulation.

Infographic on RAW Imaging

 

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Finding interesting subjects in front of your face

If you don’t own a macro lens, I highly suggest getting one and using it CONSTANTLY. The 100mm 2.8L macro from Canon has proven to be one of the best lenses I have ever owned. I don’t have any experience with any other macro lenses but that doesn’t negate my claim that you can always find something to shoot if you have a lens with so much capability.

Get the Point by David Vasek (davidvasek)) on 500px.com
Get the Point by David Vasek
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Staircase photos

Really interesting pictures of staircases. Once again, the leading lines are what does it for me.

http://digital-photography-school.com/29-stunning-staircase-images

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Duck in black and white

 

I always struggle with cropping for maximum effect. This image is an example of that. I think this is interesting and powerful, black and white images often look that way, but I wonder if it is as interesting as it could be.

Look at this duck picture purely from the perspective of cropping, it is difficult to crop with a good balance. Here’s what I mean. IMG_2127

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Amazon has 5d MkIII for $2975

Wow, to think I paid $3500 for my MkIII just a few short months ago. I guess the competition got to them. It is really easy to get frustrated over price drops like this, but in the grand scheme of things you can wait forever, “hoping” the price will drop and it doesn’t. This time it worked the other way.

If you are looking at purchasing a 5d Mark III, please consider using this link. It doesn’t cost you anything and helps me offset the costs associated with running a small photography business.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body)

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Colorado in the summer

We took a family trip to Colorado last summer and really enjoyed it. Traveling, especially driving with small kids is kind of tough, you just need a good pair of headphones though!

Alek (my son) and I did some hiking together and had a blast. He wore the GoPro set to 10s intervals and thought it was super cool. I was still shooting with the 7D and got some decent shots.

This image was taken right as we were getting ready to leave the trail after hiking for a few hours. It wasn’t immediately obvious that I had captured the bee in flight; when I downloaded the images and reviewed them I was pleasantly surprised.

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