• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

2018 Project - Focused picture a week (WoodButcher)

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Wait, what? Focused? aren't most pictures focused? Well, I'm thinking concentrated or with a defined goal. Scott and I were kicking the thought of another photo project around, but neither of us wanted to do another 365 project. That project was good for training your eyes to see potential photo ops, but tended to just be a "get a shot" project many days. So what I'm going to do is at the beginning of the week I'm going to come up with a certain shot I'd like to do and shoot it before the end of day on Sunday. I'll post soon after, but I suspect the routine with be define the shot Sunday-Tuesday, shoot Monday-Sunday, process and post Sunday-Monday. The end result will hopefully be a set of 52 images that are done like a mini assignment. It may be an architecture theme, but to get an abstract image. It may be a sunrise at a particular location that I haven't been so that I'll to research the place and get there in time. Hope that makes sense. I will do one post for each image with the assignment and how I did it. And, of course, the final image.

I'm not sure if Scott will take this on or not, but he might. Anybody else is welcome to try too. I sat down with a piece of paper last night and came up with about 30 ideas and a handful of modifiers. Like planning the image to be a black and white from the inception. Or a telephoto for a particular landscape. I tried to put things on the list that I don't normally do, or I'm not good at, just so I increase my skills and step out of my comfort zone. So I'm planning on a portrait for one week. Getting a picture of a stranger on the street. Things like that.

Watch this space for an image and story on Sunday.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Okay, first the story. Plan A was to reshoot something I'd shot a couple of years ago and by dumb luck (okay, some knowledge) got a good shot. However, the lighting was bad and time of day was wrong. As of Monday, my plan was to drive out to Inks Lake early Saturday and do it right. However, life started getting the way on Tuesday. I'm one of the two IT guys at the company so there are certain things I get early warning on. In this case it was a layoff. Planned for Tuesday...then moved to Friday and then bumped back to Thursday. That bit of fun impacted almost everything I did all week. To top it off, I'd been sneezing a bit as the week wore on and figured it was cedar pollen, but the Friday news said there was none? However, they did mention early morning fog on Saturday which, if low, could mean my planned shot would be epic. By late Friday night, I realized my health issue was not cedar, but at the minimum a bad cold coming on fast. So I'm thinking about plan B, which was also my plan if the fog was really just low clouds and it meant a quick drive into Austin. Each time I woke up Friday night/Saturday morning, I felt worse and worse. So Saturday was scratched off the list and I hoped for a chance on Sunday. I also started planning on a plan C. Good thing because by Sunday morning I was running a fever, am still am. Nice.

So enough of the whining, on to the image. I had bought a Lego BMW R1200 GSA back in the fall and documented, via cell phone camera, the build process, but had never done a good shot of it. So I got out some flashes and other stuff, including a light box. My thinking was to do a product shot of it. Turns out I really like the looks of the wood grain on my desk. I shot both ways and like this best. So, still fits my criteria of a "planned" shot, but I hate that I had to reach into my stash of emergency ideas the first week.

IM5_0831-XL.jpg


Two flashes, on key light, upper left. One as a rim light, far right, low power. One white foam board reflector, front right. Black background that was darkened in Lightroom with a gradient filter. If you have an overly bright monitor that might show. I'll check on my phone to see since it seems to show thing too bright also. Canon 5D mark 4, Canon 24-70 lens at 57mm, 1/60 of a second, f9 ISO 100. Process was to take a couple of test exposures to make sure it was all black, ie no ambient light from the room. All light came from the flashes. Added the key light and got happy with that, then the rim light and finally the bounce.
 
Last edited:

cdc

Registered Lurker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
2,981
Location
Katy, TX
First Name
Camilo
Last Name
Diaz
Long story . . . Nice first shot!

:)
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,978
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Maybe do another "adventurized" shot of it later posed in some dirt ;-)
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Okay, Week 2. Continued to be a "sick" week. Finally got to feeling normal today. Was okay yesterday and hung out with Scott. However, being run down meant not getting up early. My hopes had been to go back to my Plan B from last week, but that was an early morning shot. I experimented with some drone stuff today, but didn't feel that my results were that good. So off to see the sunset at the local lake and maybe get some bird shots. Well, ended up missing my prime sunset location because I got to talking to another photographer who was shooting birds. Turns out he had recently upgraded to a full-frame Canon like mine and I ended up teaching him some tricks. Oh well, anybody that knows me will know that helping somebody else out tends to take priority over my needs. I did get some sunset shots after he wandered off. And some birds, but the good bird shots would have been while we were talking and before.

So I give you sunset at Brushy Creek Lake park.

IM5_0853-XL.jpg


CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
LENS Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
ISO 100
FOCAL LENGTH 75.0 mm (75.0 mm in 35mm)
APERTURE f/9
EXPOSURE TIME 0.01667s (1/60)
SIZE 6720 x 4480
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,171
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
Indeed, that was a nice sky this evening. :clap: And the lack of clouds and that calm as glass surface tells me tonight is going to be quite chilly.....
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 3. Still haven't hit my stride yet. I've got to work out a rhythm to plan out shots better. I actually had hopes for something else, but it didn't work out. However, I did work on a project earlier in the week. The results weren't spectacular, but it was just the sort of thing I had in mind when I started this project. The weather was cold enough in Austin that I could actually attempt it. The idea was to photograph a soap bubble as it froze. Much research on youtube was done. As I headed home the evening before the storm, I stopped at a couple of places to buy children's soap bubble toys. No dice. I wasn't about to head to the HEB the evening before a storm. It would have been a nightmare. Fortunately my neighbors have grandkids that live with them and they had gallons of the stuff and lots of wands for blowing bubbles.

The next morning, 24 degrees for so, I headed out to shoot some pictures and quickly learned what the youtube vids said. No wind or it won't work. So I struck out. In the evening though, it cooled off again and the wind died down. So I used a clamp to hold a bubble wand and blew bubbles with another one. I'd catch a suitable one (learning curve) and transfer it to the steady one. I had the camera on a tripod with my macro lens and it was pre-focused on where the bubble would be. I found that I didn't get good ice crystal formation, probably because there was still a very slight breeze and it would break as it got stiff. Here are before and after shots. You can see where it is freezing in the lower left area.

IM5_0978-XL.jpg


And a second later...

IM5_0986-XL.jpg
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,171
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
Nice try though.... I tried for about 45 minutes with no-joy myself. Certainly cold enough at 14*F, yet the wind was the deal breaker for me too. There's always this winter? lol
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,978
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Cool attempt :-P

I saw that time lapse vid that was going around on Facebook that showed a bubble freezing. Maybe you need to go visit Justin up in Ten Sleep :eek2:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,978
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Something different...?

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IEdT1E1tfk"]I Photographed Boiling Water – Very Surprising Results! - YouTube[/ame]
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,171
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
His first series at 1/160th was too slow was my take-away right off the bat. Those bubbles are moving rapidly as well as changing shape. I would have started at the 1/250th or 1/320th (but my flash trigger sync runs out about there....) Pretty cool concept which reminded me of my vegetable dunk shots a while back.
 

twtex85

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Messages
178
Location
plano
First Name
David
Last Name
Adams
That would have been a cool shot (no pun intended) :rider:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,978
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
His first series at 1/160th was too slow was my take-away right off the bat. Those bubbles are moving rapidly as well as changing shape. I would have started at the 1/250th or 1/320th (but my flash trigger sync runs out about there....) Pretty cool concept which reminded me of my vegetable dunk shots a while back.
I would get away from flashes and go for fixed lights so higher shutter speeds could be used without the sync issue. I might also try to find a container with flat sides and without all the visible scratches.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 4

Okay, I held off on this because I thought I might use the same picture I'm using for the Smoke photo contest and didn't want to have discussions about it. I've decided to use a smoke picture, but not the one I'm using in the challenge.

Basically I spent the week looking for fog/cloud/steam or smoke shots. I had one from the week before I thought I might use in the challenge that was steam and smoke, but really wanted to concentrate on the smoke aspect and minimize the rest of the content. This picture I picked for my weekly images caught my eye because of the many shapes I saw in it. Kind of like cloud watching, the more you look at it and let your imagination go, the more you see. Between two cameras, full frame and crop, three lenses (macro, 24-70 and 100-400) I took about 50 pictures. This one is a tight crop of one area and was taken with my full frame sensor camera with a 105mm macro lens. I've cropped down to about the middle 50% of the image. ISO 400, f4, 1/500 second exp. In processing, I increased contrast, clarity and blacks to get the smoke to stand out more. I've shot smoke before and lighting makes a huge difference. This was early morning with little wind. The sun was behind me, but diffuse due to early clouds.

IM5_1069-X2.jpg
 
Last edited:

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,171
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
I see a couple animal heads in there..... wow. or does everything still look like a duck to me? lol
 

twtex85

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Messages
178
Location
plano
First Name
David
Last Name
Adams
That is really a cool looking picture. Nice concept.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 5.

Interesting week. I had planned on shooting the supermoon/eclipse/blood moon, but I was unable to because it was cloudy. However, I did plan and practice for it. I even shot the night of the 30th to get exposure correct. It was 99.5% full at that time and for the eclipse, it was only going to be 99.7% full so I thought about just using that shot since it fulfilled my goals of being a planned shoot and I did get the supermoon. However on Sunday I got downtown in Austin with my drone and did a shot I've been wanting to do all year. Basically this has been my Plan B shot since Week 1.

It is using the auto panorama shooting mode of the DJI Mavic Pro. I tried all the types of panos, and really wanted to have a 360 degree one, but DJI doesn't have a way to export it or share it in a useful way. So this is a 21 shot panorama, stitched together in Photoshop. The drone hovers in place an rotates and moves the camera on the gimbal all by itself to take all 21 images. I pull all the shots into Lightroom, edit them to even out the exposure and other values, then send them to PS for stitching. Then back into LR to do a final edit.

If you click on the image it will take you to Smugmug and once there, if you click on the icon in the lower right with the 3 stacked boxes, you can select Original size. It is big, so don't try it on you phone cell data. :-) The image is 13409 x 6507 pixels and 36MB in size.

PanoHorizontal-X2.jpg
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Changing things up a bit, I'll talk about the plan I have for my picture this week. Right now, the whooping cranes are still in Texas, along the coast. I'm going to head down to Corpus Christi to see my sister and spend some time at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Port Aransas just shooting pictures of birds. My goal will be one good whooping crane shot, but will be happy with a good shot of any wildlife. I've done research on access, sunrise and sunset, locations, and habits. So hopefully I'll get something.

This has been my mode of planning for each week so far all year, but the planning part has been scrapped due to weather too many times. This time the forecast looks good for Saturday. Worst case, I'll stop in Goliad on the way home and do some landscapes, but it's unlikely I'll need to so that.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
I'm hoping to head out after work Friday. Back on Sunday sometime. Dropping off a helmet in Victoria on the way back.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 6. And nature plays with me again. Drove down to Corpus Christi on Friday evening. Had gear all ready to jump in the car and may the two hour trek over to Aransas wildlife refuge early in the morning. Forecast was for 70's by the peak of the day, but clouds early. When early rolled in, I looked out the window and decided there was no rush to get out there for sunrise since there was no sun. I arrived at 9:15am though and started to wander some of the trails. Left around 1pm. In the middle of the some fog rolled in off the ocean and it went from overcast to sucky. However, I did get lots of pictures of critters, feathered, furred, and reptile. No whooping cranes though. I think I saw a pair they had told me to watch for, as they flew out of the low cloud and into the fog, but I couldn't get the camera on them fast enough. They were bigger than the sandhill cranes I'd photographed in Bosque del Apache, so I was confident, but not positive they were whoopers. Anyway, this was my favorite of the day:

IMD_4421-XL.jpg


Gallery link if you want to see more. https://woodbutcher.smugmug.com/Port-Aransas-Birding-2018

Day two of the trip will go up this evening. Same clouds and mist, but 30 degrees colder...
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 7.

Getting the bird photos along the coast got me thinking animals all week. Friday night I invited Scott over for a beer, he declined due to a family event, but complained that his shot for the week was less than stellar. I suggested a trip to the zoo in Waco and he agreed. I love going when it is cold because fewer people are there and the animals are more active. So we headed in and straight for the tiger exhibit...and as we walked I realized I didn't have my truck keys. So I parked Scott at the tiger exhibit and told him all the tricks for shooting through the bars and went back to deal with the truck. At this point you are probably wondering why I'm bothering with that side story. Well, it is why I don't have a tiger shot and I suspect Scott does. Also it is a chance to mention how wonderful my wife is for driving up with my spare set. Yes, a pop a lock guy could have solved it, if I was sure the keys were in it, but I couldn't see them. Further from home and I'd have taken that option.

Anyway, Scott and I wandered the zoo getting lots of pictures and Scott got to play with his new camera body. I decided I liked this one best. There were three moms and 5 young girls. We talked with them some and that is part of why I liked it. To me there is more than just a picture. But the two girls in the shot were eye to eye with the lion and I had to slide way back to get that shot since I had a very long lens on. You can see some flare and reflection, but I managed to clean up the snot (or bird ****) that was on the glass in Photoshop. So, not an awesome picture, but an entertaining one.

IMD_5201-Edit-X2.jpg


Oh, and the keys were under my jacket in the back seat. :headbang:
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,171
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
I'm still processing my batch..... I'm sure there will be one in there.

I think this is an awesome shot. You're right - much more to this than just the kitty cat.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 8

Wonderful weather again. Plus I spent much of my free time during the week doing car research and chasing pricing. And then spent Saturday buying a car and playing with it.

So Sunday rolled around and I looked at my inside project list and found one. And I had just watched a Youtube video about shooting close ups/macro using the glass/plastic shade from a pendant lamp as a light diffuser. So I pulled the frosted glass shade off a small light and tried it out. First picture is my setup, second is the penny I was trying it out on. A larger shade would be better, I think. The penny image is uncropped.

IM5_1245-X2.jpg


CAMERA Canon EOS 7D Mark II
LENS Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
ISO 100
FOCAL LENGTH 105.0 mm (168.5 mm in 35mm)
APERTURE f/11
EXPOSURE TIME 0.01667s (1/60)

IMD_5893-X2.jpg
 

twtex85

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Messages
178
Location
plano
First Name
David
Last Name
Adams
Interesting idea. I would imagine the glass gives you a nice soft light . Will have to try that.
 

Windmill

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,334
Location
Thorndale
Week 7.

Getting the bird photos along the coast got me thinking animals all week. Friday night I invited Scott over for a beer, he declined due to a family event, but complained that his shot for the week was less than stellar. I suggested a trip to the zoo in Waco and he agreed. I love going when it is cold because fewer people are there and the animals are more active. So we headed in and straight for the tiger exhibit...and as we walked I realized I didn't have my truck keys. So I parked Scott at the tiger exhibit and told him all the tricks for shooting through the bars and went back to deal with the truck. At this point you are probably wondering why I'm bothering with that side story. Well, it is why I don't have a tiger shot and I suspect Scott does. Also it is a chance to mention how wonderful my wife is for driving up with my spare set. Yes, a pop a lock guy could have solved it, if I was sure the keys were in it, but I couldn't see them. Further from home and I'd have taken that option.

Anyway, Scott and I wandered the zoo getting lots of pictures and Scott got to play with his new camera body. I decided I liked this one best. There were three moms and 5 young girls. We talked with them some and that is part of why I liked it. To me there is more than just a picture. But the two girls in the shot were eye to eye with the lion and I had to slide way back to get that shot since I had a very long lens on. You can see some flare and reflection, but I managed to clean up the snot (or bird ****) that was on the glass in Photoshop. So, not an awesome picture, but an entertaining one.

IMD_5201-Edit-X2.jpg


Oh, and the keys were under my jacket in the back seat. :headbang:
Wonder what the King of the Jungle is thinking as he stares at the little girl? I like this photo
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Here's the video about using a shade for diffusion. You can see he went all out and used soft boxes too. I just used two flashes. I suspect I could have gotten by with one flash and a couple of pieces of white posterboard as reflectors.

[ame="https://youtu.be/AiihXExf5Ss"]Using IKEA's Melodi for Quick Product Photos | Colour Variants - YouTube[/ame]

Oh, and I used a penny because it was fairly flat and easy to get parallel to the sensor. That way I didn't need to focus stack and at f11 it is pretty sharp. A more 3d object would have meant taking multiple images that were focused at different distances and then stacking.

And, clicking on the image will take you to smugmuq where you can select a full size image and see the dust and lint on the penny. (hint, top edge)
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 9. Theme this year seems to be making due. Or maybe just being flexible. I headed to Palmetto State Park this morning to go on their bird walk...only to find I can read a calendar. It was yesterday. :doh: So I asked questions and took off on my own. Gray and overcast, like many of my outings have been this year. Saw some birds, got a few pictures of them. None particularly good, but enough for me to get a good id on them at home. However, flowers were starting to bloom and there were butterflies starting to fly around. So I couldn't resist that. Here's one when I have some brief sunshine in the morning.

Camera info:
CAMERA Canon EOS 7D Mark II
LENS Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
ISO 1000
FOCAL LENGTH 400.0 mm (773.6 mm in 35mm)
APERTURE f/6.3
EXPOSURE TIME 0.0008s (1/1250

IMD_5973-XL.jpg
 

StromXTc

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
1,610
Location
George West
First Name
Brian
Cat photo. Any pic that can stir human emotion is a good one. Its primal ain't it.
 

cdc

Registered Lurker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
2,981
Location
Katy, TX
First Name
Camilo
Last Name
Diaz
Nice 'Insects and Flowers category' picture.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 10. Back to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This was driven by a couple of things. My wife saw my picture with the alligator in it and said she would have come if she had known there would be alligators. Then I sold my truck and got a Subaru Outback and wanted to take a road trip anyway. So off to the coast...the same weekend as Spring Break starts. Great planning, eh?

And we saw some birds, but a bunch of alligators. One bunch of babies still being guarded by mom. Others about two feet long, max, that were on their own. Here's on of the latter.

IMD_6288-XL.jpg


I was up close and personal. Slight crop on this. 400mm zoomed in.

CAMERA Canon EOS 7D Mark II
LENS Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
ISO 640
FOCAL LENGTH 400.0 mm (848.3 mm in 35mm)
APERTURE f/5.6
EXPOSURE TIME 0.00156s (1/640)
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Thanks. I like doing it and keep working on getting better (and closer). I hope to work more on landscapes this year though. We'll see. So far the weekends I have free have had weather issues.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 11. Something on a whim this week. Earlier in the week I saw a Facebook post on the Texas Parks and Wildlife page about a pink bluebonnet at Lockhart State Park. Weather was cloudy, but dry on Saturday morning and I was itching for a ride. Loaded up the camera, a flash and tripod and took off.

Turns out it was right by the headquarters building. I got a dozen or so shots and then toured the park. Here's the result:

IM5_1361-XL.jpg


CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
LENS Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
ISO 100
FOCAL LENGTH 67.0 mm (72.4 mm in 35mm)
APERTURE f/4.5
EXPOSURE TIME 0.00625s (1/160)
 

Attachments

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,142
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
Week 12

Sorry, I'm a bit late this week. We celebrated my daughter's 25th birthday over the weekend. I was out in the morning with a tripod and a macro lens getting flower pictures, but also shot some family pictures. I decided to go with a flower shot since that was actually planned whereas the others were snapshots.

Cape honeysuckle.

IMD_6854-X2.jpg


CAMERA Canon EOS 7D Mark II
LENS Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
ISO 400
FOCAL LENGTH 105.0 mm (168.5 mm in 35mm)
APERTURE f/8
EXPOSURE TIME 0.00156s (1/640)
 
Last edited:
Top