Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545

    Talking Peak of the Season

    Okay ... so I just got back from Colorado (4/12-15) ... with a load of SONY α700 stuff. Not as much as I had hoped for, but I figure some good stuff, none the less. The weather was exceptional ... pristene blue skies, devoid of clouds ... temps in the high 60s and low 70s. Give me a camera!

    Sadly, all I had for this treat were my three lenses (10-20, 17-50, 80-400) and I shot this 400mm-shot through some branches, from the Garden of the Gods ...

    Name:  Pikes-Peak-400mm.jpg
Views: 244
Size:  220.2 KB
    EXIF: Tokina ATX-840 @ 400mm - f/11 - 1/250 sec. - ISO-200 - Manual

    It was the first time I realized that there is something on top of ol' Pike's Peak.

    100% Crop of above
    Name:  pike-top.jpg
Views: 196
Size:  228.9 KB


    I wound up with this crop (below) as my print for the trip:

    Name:  Pikes-Peak-crop.jpg
Views: 215
Size:  221.4 KB
    EXIF: TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 45mm - f/16 - 1/350 sec. - ISO-800 - Manual (crop)

    Impressive mountain. As you can easily tell, no small feat getting to it either. As I drove up to the base of Pike's Peak, I found out that the last 3 miles of the 19-mile road to get to the summit were closed to traffic. They estimate it will take an average of two hours to make the round trip, there and back. Sounds like a trip to downtown Chicago, from O'Hare airport ... during rush hour ... and to think: this is on a dedicated, empty road!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-16-2008 at 03:00 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545

    Thumbs up US Air Force Academy

    I popped into the US Air Force Academy (guess they'll let anybody in, huh?) ... and did the nickel tour ... by myself. I hate crowds. Anyway, many people probably don't realize this ... the the USAFA is on 18,000+ acres No kidding! How's that for running room?

    Well, here's a pseudo-HDR I carved out from a shot I took of a B-17 (from WWII) and the Cadet Chapel. The original shot was okay, but I wanted something more from the shot, as my Grandfather used to be involved with the B-17 Bomber Group in Jolly ol' England. A tribute to him and the Army-Air Force of 1943 ... something modern ... mixed with the past.

    Name:  B-17-&-USAFA-Cadet-Chapel_HDR2.jpg
Views: 263
Size:  217.2 KB

    I then went for a geometric composition, which is definitely a snap with this structure. I felt the framing caught what I wanted from this image. You can see the detail of the stained glass along each vertical and it makes you truly appreciate the interior, when you get inside of it:

    Name:  Cadet-Chapel-side.jpg
Views: 162
Size:  337.3 KB
    EXIF: TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 22mm - f/8 - ISO-100 - Manual


    Of course, what would a trip to the Cadet Chapel be without the interior, obligatory 10mm roof shot?

    Name:  Interior-roof-Cadet-Chapel.jpg
Views: 189
Size:  228.8 KB
    EXIF: SIGMA 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm - f/4 - 1/15 sec. - ISO-400 - Manual
    (for Griptape ... this is no "test shot")

    Going to altar ... going to get mar ... uh, enlightened. LOL

    Name:  Cadet-Chapel-Altar.jpg
Views: 175
Size:  211.0 KB
    EXIF: SIGMA 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm - f/8 - 1/15 sec. - ISO-1600 - Manual

    The Cadet Chapel allows you two hours to get your wedding done ... and then it's another ... and another ... not shot-gun weddings, but rather machine-gun weddings.


    Here's the side view, looking West ... and check out that mountainside, through the windows.

    Name:  Cadet-Chapel-Inside-out.jpg
Views: 146
Size:  474.8 KB
    EXIF: SIGMA 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm - f/4 - 1/15 sec. - ISO-400 - Manual


    Then turning around and seeing the wonderful pipe organ that was installed, also. Man, this is some excellent equipment.

    Name:  _DSC3287a.jpg
Views: 139
Size:  463.3 KB
    EXIF: TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 24mm - f/2.8 - 1/10 sec. - ISO-800 - Manual

    Driving from the Northern entrance gate to the Southern entrance seemed nearly five or more miles. Know any other colleges with that kind of elbow room? Wow!

    BTW: I really do want people to notice the SHUTTER SPEED with these "handheld" indoor shots. Folks, that's 1/10th and 1/15th of a second. Without Image Stability or a tripod, that simply won't happen. Enjoy!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-29-2008 at 02:18 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545

    Smile Garden of the Gods Historical Site

    I took this, because someone went to a lot of trouble to set this site up as a "photographic opportunity." Hey, who am I to dispute that?

    Name:  Normal-exp-GOTG-Hist-Site.jpg
Views: 172
Size:  224.5 KB
    EXIF: TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 50mm - f/13 - 1/350 sec - ISO-800 - Manual

    I do believe NATURE knows how to color itself. The richness of that orange area, in the upper right, is an honest example. Saturation was not altered at all!

    This huge verticle orange wall really was incredible, with how smooth it was. Shooting into the direct sun also added a serious challenge to ol' Don. I'm not sure why, but I had to have this shot. A little later on ... it became impossible:

    Name:  GOTG-sheer-wall-of-rock.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  473.9 KB


    Since my wife's cousin was doing the tour directing ... she thought this image of the center section of the garden held some interest, also. Although the contrast with the sky lacks depth, the penetration into the shadows is pretty good. I figure I'll share it, too:

    Name:  GOTG-center-section-inside.jpg
Views: 117
Size:  319.8 KB




    Then this (from the west side of the GOTG) Direct sunlight making for the high contrast:
    Name:  GOTG-From-the-west.jpg
Views: 158
Size:  222.6 KB
    EXIF: TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 35mm - f/8 - 1/750 sec - ISO-800 - Manual

    Just to give you some idea of the scale of this thing ... here's a 100% crop with some dude climbing this beastie. UTE understand why, if you'd been there, too. The crop was taken from the area in the lower left hand part of the above image ... near that white verticle finger-like bolder. Yeah, that's "Mr. Dot."
    Name:  GOTG 100 copy.jpg
Views: 133
Size:  232.2 KB

    Finally this (from south side of the GOTG)
    Name:  _DSC3355a.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  434.4 KB
    EXIF: Tokina ATX-840 @ 80mm - f/11 - 1/125 sec - ISO-200 - Manual
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-20-2008 at 12:12 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545

    Dino Prints

    One of the surprising finds were Dinosaur foot prints permanently displayed in layers of the soil near "Red Rocks." Someone took the time to dye the prints so they would contrast well in images like this. The sun was behind the hill, so exposure was bizarre, in this shadow area.

    Okay, I ask: "What would you do?" But, of course ... -Click!-

    Name:  Dino-prints.jpg
Views: 158
Size:  229.3 KB
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-16-2008 at 12:46 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545

    Red face Red Rocks

    In my tribute to Ansel Adams ... and taking a little liberty with my zoom on the moon ...

    Name:  Moonshot-Red-Rocks.jpg
Views: 159
Size:  219.5 KB

    Below is the original, which kind of inspired me, when I looked up and it caught my eye. The moon seemed bigger, in real life ... but, this is an eye-opener ... or squinter. Several people around saw my attempt at composition and thought it was "cool." Anyway ... I worked it up.

    Name:  _DSC3392.jpg
Views: 150
Size:  145.9 KB

    Below is the "Red Rocks" Amphitheater, which was a nightmare to shoot because of the huge range (f/22) of light available, due to the sun rapidly setting in the West (behind me). The seats were completely shadowed (f/2.8) ... the background totally exposed to the sun ... so a five-layer HDR to the rescue. Hey, it was a shot at getting the exposure. Nothing I could have taken in one shot, without a 1/2 ND4 (or maybe even an 1/2 ND8, in this case filter) or something similar The five-shot overlay also effectively eliminated the people who were running back & forth, up & down the rows of seating for exercise or whatever. I wonder if this place is insured for falls and such?


    Name:  Red-Rocks-Amp_HDR2.jpg
Views: 153
Size:  250.0 KB

    Original center exposure
    Name:  _DSC3400.jpg
Views: 153
Size:  162.5 KB

    Just try and figure out what's back there, from this shot. This definitely qualified for a "creative solution" ... much like some of the photographic problems were undertaken in school. Obviously, metering for the center of this exposure meant little to nothing. The highlights and shadows clearly exceeded the sensor's limitation of 3 full f-stops, which is something I have been trying to explain to some folks, on here.

    I may continue to play with how the HDR deals with this, to try to improve it ... as this was my initial attempt with this composition. I figure it's not that bad, considering it was entirely HANDHELD through all five shots!

    EDIT: After some more toying around with the A700's capability, I realized I missed a golden opportunity to try out the DRO capability of this camera. From my current understanding, it may have been able to cope with this wild swing of exposure rather than trying to do it with conventional (flim type) methods. I will make a concerted effort to try this feature out, as shooting permits, throughout the upcoming outdoor season. I have seen some encouraging results.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-25-2008 at 07:06 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545
    I can honestly say my appreciation for taking of many of these recent Colorado shots was directly attributable to the training I received not only at Oakton College, but also with the many varied and colorful exchanges I have participated in, right here, on the DCRP. Sure, we haven't always agreed in aspect of the craft, but that is what makes it so fun, in my estimation. The variety of tastes and viewing we all have. Seeing through each others eyes ... not always understanding, but just the fact that we can have the "vision."

    Cool stuff. Thanks for looking. Suggestions are invited ... discussion appreciated.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-16-2008 at 01:05 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Real nice I like the one with the moon.
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545
    Thanks, Frank ...

    We were on the move ... no tripod to use ... so the long shots and layered stuff was really kind of tough to do. It's just so much better when you can bring the right equipment. I lost a couple shots to that problem.

    Wish I could say the huge Moon was my idea, but I was inspired by "a master." Although Ansel's Moon was a bit smaller, per se. You do what works? LOL

    Anyway ... I am impressed with what I was able to get with the SONY α700. It was monstrously efficient, although I did eventually suffer some "sensor contamination" with all the lens swapping I did. I will have to do some inspection and dry air blow outs to clean it up, even with the sensor's "clean shake". The sand and dust has to be taken into consideration. Illinois does not get that much dust, that's for sure, so it is truly an environment issue. I hate to even imagine what the Canon EOS 20D would have been like, under the same conditions. I think it had a "dust magnet" built into its sensor.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-16-2008 at 02:51 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,651
    Great shots Don! That moon shot is my fav

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Wild, Wonderful, Wyoming
    Posts
    1,043
    That's more like it Don, a little travel and landscape photography.
    The light on the second Garden of the Gods shot is really good, that's one of the best of your series. I like the interior shot of the chapel, but I would have used a smaller f/stop: the top of the frame is a little OOF. The moon shot looks like 2 frames to me, and there is a little too much negative space at the bottom of the frame, a little crop would go a long way.
    A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
    Ansel Adams

    Rule books are paper, they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal.
    Ernest K. Gann-Fate is the Hunter.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •