Photography in the snow..

In preparation for an upcoming weekend in Lake Tahoe, I decided to do some research regarding taking photos of snow covered scenes.  Although the weekend trip isn’t purely a photographic expedition (have to get some snowboarding in there!), I am certain that photo opportunities will be plentiful.  However, seeing that I have never taken photographs in snowy conditions, except with a point-n-shoot, I figured that some preparation was in order.

I found an article at http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo18.php3, which I found extremely interesting.  The entirety of the article has some very basic tips for snowy conditions, however, there was one piece of information that I found very odd and kind of backwards:  “the average tone of a snow-covered landscape is far lighter than a medium gray. So, the photograph of snow often is underexposed.”  WHAT?!?!  This concept seemed a little backwards to me.  At first blush, one would presume that a lot of light, as in snowy conditions, would tend to over-expose rather than under-expose, but apparently, that presumption is incorrect.  After some thought, this does seem to make sense, but it certainly does require some thought as to why.

Here’s a different site with some easy to remember tips for shooting in snow…  http://www.digicamhelp.com/how-to/nature/snow/

Show me the EXIF

As my interest in photography grows, I find myself looking at other photographer’s captures online quite often, looking for inspiration for my own photographs. However, in this day and age of digital post-processing, it is often difficult to distinguish what was captured in-camera and what was adjusted in post-processing. Without knowing exactly what was done to a capture in post-processing, it is often difficult to replicate the techniques seen in various photographs.

My efforts to find out more information about each digital photograph led me to a great little online tool called Jeffrey’s Exif viewer. Simply put, this tool allows you to view the EXIF data of any photograph located online if the file contains such data. There are plenty of photographs online that contain minimal EXIF data. However, there are plenty that show a ton of information.

EXIF data often contains a lot of useful information when it is available. At its basic level, you can view what camera/lens was used for the photograph as well as the focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You can also view adjustments setting for all sorts of variables adjusted during post-processing such as white balance, exposure compensation, sharpness adjustments, hue, saturation, etc.

I have to admit that there is a ton of information often contained in a photographs EXIF data that I do not understand yet. However, this does not stop me from reviewing the data and trying to make sense of it. And I have found this online tool very useful in trying to understand what is capable in-camera , what equipment was used and what adjustments need to be made during post-processing. Perhaps others will find this data useful in their own learning experience. Enjoy!

Fundra in the magic hour…

Last year I got a light bar custom fabricated by Defiant Truck Products for my Toyota Tundra aka Fundra. I had promised some pictures of the light bar, but i wasn’t happy with any of the photos i had previously taken. I am incredibly happy with the light bar and would certainly recommend Defiant to anyone interested in their products. But the pictures I had taken did not reflect my feelings towards their product and work. I took quite a few pictures, but nothing was popping like I wanted.

Well…. until I decided to take a few shot during the photographer’s dreamy “magic hour.” I must admit, i was not sure what to expect. I had no real expectations. But I am a believer now… magical things happen with light during this time… I’m sold!!!

The next two captures were taken with a 1/10th shutter speed… handheld! These are a testament to Canon’s image stabilization on their EF70-200mm.

The beginning…

Well… people often say “The best way to start a business is to ‘start a business.'” I presume the best way to start a blog is to well… start a blog. I’ve been putting this off for some time, but lately, I’ve been hearing my buddy’s voice in my head telling to get started… (So Chapstick, get out of my head!!!)

I’ve recently started to dive into the world of photography. I’ve found the whole experience of picking up a new “hobby” both exhilarating as well as expensive. What started out as merely trying to get useful pictures for the family album, has turned into an addiction (borderline obsession).

Recently, I picked up a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. After only a short amount of time, i have quickly fell in love with this wonderful lens. It has a very shallow depth of field and wonderful bokeh. Here are a few example pictures. Enjoy!