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Old Jul 11, 2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Week 17 of 52

Spent most of this week trying my hand at street scenes. I still donít have much of a feel for it, most of what I took were ďalmostĒ pictures.

They had a street near where I work closed off Monday. Seeing an ordinary, household type of vacuum cleaner sitting in the middle of a city street struck me as funny. Whatís even funnier is that it matches the red carpet, another odd thing to be running down a city street. It makes sense when you know that the street is in front of a movie theater where they often hold movie premieres. I had never heard of this movie, called Savages.



I had been thinking of doing this week with black and white as a theme, but the red carpet and vacuum on Monday killed that idea. But I did this b&w for Tuesday.



Tuesday afternoon they sent out a road outage for Wednesday noon to Friday noon. Thatís a longer time than normal for a movie premiere, so I went out Wednesday at lunch to see if it was going to be a block-buster or several premieres. It was a block-buster. This was Wednesday, they were setting up a whole room in the middle of the street, and had a second street closed off (hadnít read the closure notice correctly and hadnít picked up on the second street).



Thursday morning I went by again, before work. There were already people lining up even though the premiere wasnít going to be until evening.



Thereís several odd things about the picture above, things that just arenít normal. But I think itís an ďalmostĒ picture, love the humor and the various elements but not sure it entirely comes together. I tried a couple of things (moving the people over so that itís more obvious that they are talking/interacting with the guy standing up and converting it to b&w) but I donít think it made that much of a difference. You can see the modified version here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/eb752899 , Iíd love some feedback if you have any ideas about the shot. Or let me know if you agree that itís an ďalmostĒ shot and isnít going to come together, no matter what.

Figured Iíd never get anything at lunchtime, assumed it would be a huge crowd. Loved the stylized web-like structure in the center.



Yes, it really was a block-buster movie, the studio must have spent a huge amount on the premiere.

One thing Iíd like to do is get a better grip on a couple of lenses I donít use much and donít really have a feel for yet. One of them is the DA 10-17. Iíve taken some very cool shots with it, but Iím just not so sure about it. I had been thinking of taking this picture during my week-long water theme, but didnít quite make it up to the top of this parking structure. So on Friday, while searching around for a subject, I decided Iíd try this shot using the fisheye.

I wasnít all that thrilled with the straight lines being bent, so I used CS6ís wide angle filter to straighten them. I would have liked the buildings to be in a slightly different spot to the fire hose connection but then the shadows wouldnít have worked right. Iím not unhappy with how this came out.



I didnít post this one to the project though Ė I chose this white on white picture instead, then on Monday posted the almost complete poster.



I missed another day on Saturday, wasnít feeling all that great and so didnít take the camera out of the bag. Iím getting worse about missing days here and there. But Iím not giving up yet.

Sunday there was some ground fog along a ridge near me, so I drove up a dirt road to get some pictures, always a fun spot.

This is the picture I posted for Saturday even though I took it on Sunday. I could have taken it on Saturday. This is one of the most common tree around here, the pinon pine.



Typical mountain fog, it doesnít blanket everything.







We also went shopping in Bakersfield, this was the scene as we drove home. The foothills are very dry, but thereís a strange sort of beauty in the golden hills, with the pattern of cloud shadows adding to the texture of the land.



So ends another week. Iím finding it harder to come up with something new and different. I had great fun taking the fog pictures, definitely my ďthingĒ. Iím still having trouble juggling everything, it really takes more time and effort than I had anticipated when I started it. Still donít regret starting it and still hoping Iíll be able to finish with under a 10% miss rate. And I'm still over a week late in posting my summaries. Hope to get more caught up this weekend.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:05 AM   #2
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I really like the 2nd photo...the B+W of the woman on the cell phone.

It reminds me of a 1930's Margaret Bourke-White image. ...no, not the subject matter...but the technical quality of the pix...in that it's a very nice contrasty type of B+W. Very clear and strong.

I recall Bourke-White's photos taken during the depression...also her India work...great photos of poor individuals coping as best as they could with the limited resources. Obviously your subject in photo # 2, isn't in the same difficulty.

But what I also recall in Bourke-White's images....is the lighting and excellent contrast...the strong B+ W qualities...this photo (#2) shares that technical aspect.

I'd like to see some more B+W portraits...with this contrast and lighting.

The 4th photo also appeals to me. I'd like to see this pic in B+W.

Although I like the 4th pic, I still prefer the B+W of the woman with the cell phone (2nd. photo)...just one person...close up...little in the way of distractions.

Last edited by lesmore49; Jul 13, 2012 at 12:16 AM.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 4:49 AM   #3
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#2 a clear winner here and an excellent street shot. Most street is up close and personal - unless there are elements that interact directly with your subjects.

#4 comes close but, as you say, something is just not right and it doesn't come together.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 7:40 AM   #4
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Hi Harriet,

#1, #9 are my fav's. Thanks for the series.

Simon
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 5:14 PM   #5
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Here's the b&w version, with the people moved over. Looking at it now, I think I should have moved the local homeless guy instead of the people who are seated, perhaps that would have tightened things up better.



I really like that high-contrast type of b&w, its the look I often try for when converting. But I don't know if it works as well with this picture.

The first fog picture was a bit of a surprise to me - I was surprised that the camera put so much blue in the fog. The mountains look pretty much as I remember them, it was around the golden hour with the sun not long up. I don't remember the fog being that blue, but thought the effect the camera came up with was neat, something different. May not accurately convey what my mind saw, but I think it's actually better, it makes me look twice at it.

I'm a bit surprised that no one has said anything about the other two fog pictures - they actually are my favorites from the week. I've always loved the delicate look of trees barely seen in the fog with a foreground tree showing up clearly. Or is that too much of a cliche now? In any case, I like it.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 7:57 PM   #6
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The black and white of the woman on the cell phone was very well done, but I am so sick of seeing people on cell phones that had she been doing almost anything else would have made it more appealing to me.

The pinion Pine was my favorite followed by the shot of the foothills along the highway.

Once again you have exhibited a diversity of subject matter and done a fine job with them all.

Lou
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 11:33 PM   #7
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Thanks, Lou. I can understand why people around here use their cell phones so much - they are busy and using time walking from point A to point B to make a phone call is not such a bad use of their time, better than just walking. It's called multitasking, I think. Now it's almost unusual to see someone walking on a city street without a phone stuck to their ear!

You know me, I'm always taking close-ups of things growing. And since pinon pines are the most common tree in my area, I have hundreds of pictures of pine needles, pine cones, bark, moss on limbs and so on. I liked the pine cone, the dof is exactly what I wanted (something that often doesn't happen) but it wasn't all that difficult.

Do others sometimes struggle with dof with close-ups? I know I should use a tripod more, but so often I just miss things, either the focus is slightly off or I don't get enough dof, rarely do I have too much dof. As much as I used to do macros, and still do on occasion, I find it difficult to get right.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 5:54 PM   #8
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"This is the picture I posted for Saturday even though I took it on Sunday. I could have taken it on Saturday." Had a rough week? Love the mist shots.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 8:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Do others sometimes struggle with dof with close-ups? I know I should use a tripod more, but so often I just miss things, either the focus is slightly off or I don't get enough dof, rarely do I have too much dof. As much as I used to do macros, and still do on occasion, I find it difficult to get right.
I do struggle a bit with DOF. Often times I find my DOF range a bit more shallow than I want.

On my 70mm F 2.4 and 50 mm F 1.4, I've done a lot of experimenting around the F 2.8 to F 3.5 areas....trying to find the perfect combination of bokeh and subject clarity.

I don't have it 100 % yet...so the challenge continues with these lenses.

With my 50 mm F 2.8 Macro I have difficulties with live subjects...such as Bees...which tend to wander in and out of the shallow DOF range at the F 2.8 to F 3.5 areas.

For macros....I don't use my tripod near enough (lazy )...but I need to start doing this and using F stops around F 16.

Les
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 9:31 PM   #10
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Paul, I'm just finding time a problem, the longer I go with this. It's also hard to stay inspired, so many of those things I wanted to try, I have tried, and other things I don't quite have the capability to try. I had hoped by taking the day off completely I might get creative again. It didn't quite work, but it was nice to take a break.

Les, I've been using f13-16 and still often miss things. I want to try macro rails and some extending the dof with software one of these days. I have the 35mm macro and the 105mm macro lenses, and the 35 does have the distance disadvantage when it comes to 1:1. I think I may need to see the optometrist soon to have my eyes checked again, or else get the 100WR for its AF.
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