Monday, June 20, 2011

Los Angeles Skyline

One of the places I love to visit is the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The Getty Center is a great place to behold the fantastic art and especially, the architecture of the center itself.

I like to drive up there on days when it might rain. I just feel that a raining day, there are opportunities to catch some unique photos. One of these unique photos is the photo you see here.

This photo was taken from the Getty Center, looking past Westwood with the skyline of downtown Los Angeles in the thin sunlight, that broke between the storm clouds.

Was I lucky? I sure was. But, you have to put yourself in position to have luck pay off for you. If I would have went on a typical, hazy, clear, blue sky., this photo would not have the drama that the storm clouds gave it. You have to be there to be lucky.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Squeezing In

Just got back from a few days trip into Arizona and one of the obvious spots to visit was the Grand Canyon National Park. This was my second visit here.

There is a lot to see here and it might not seem so, if you just visit the south rim. Shooting from just the rim, it is very easy to have one photo look just like another. So you have to find different angles, interesting subjects, etc...

Here, I knew this was going to be one of my better pics from this trip into the Grand Canyon. This photo conveys an emotion.

You would think with all this space, this tree could have grown anywhere. But when it is all hard rock, that is not so. Or maybe this tree wanted one of the best views to stare at each day? Who knows? I always find it interesting how some trees can find the most odd spots to grow.

I took this late in the afternoon. The shadows behind the tree and just in front of the tree really make the tree stand out. Obviously, the rocks split like they are will draw the viewer's eye immediately.

When you visit the Grand Canyon, you will naturally get your grand vista type of photos. But, find the intimate spots to take your photos, as well. You will find these just as grand as the canyon itself.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Up Periscope

I'm still trying to get use to my new Carl Zeiss 35mm f1.4 lens, for my Canon EOS-1D mark III camera. I am still mainly testing it out at f1.4 and trying to nail my focus dead-on. With the new EC-S super precision matte focusing screen installed in my Canon EOS-1D Mark III camera, I am having a lot more success.

A great environment to use a 35mm wide open is inside a submarine, where everything is very close quarters. Trying to isolate your subject from the rest of the background clutter with any other lens and to have this same field of view is basically impossible.

With this lens, I am able to blur out the background, but not totally obliterate it. I still like having a sense of where I am. So this lens, the periscope is certainly spot on in focus, while everything else is out-of-focus, yet, still recognizable.

For composing this image, I liked all the dials and instruments in the background. There are a few different possible variations in this control room. This is just one of them. You can still move this periscope and look thru it. So I turned it this way to get the image you see now.

This was taken aboard the USS Dolphin submarine, which was just decommissioned in 2007. It is now a part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Anyways, I am going to keep practicing using my 35mm lens and getting a good feel for it. It just takes a lot of practice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wine Storage

This past Saturday, I met up with one of the photography groups I am a member of; The San Diego dSLR Group.

Every month, we get together for a group shoot. It's a nice way not to only talk all things photography, but to also snap a few shots, for a few hours, have lunch, and share our shots from the day.

This month, our group shoot was held at the Bernardo Winery, located in the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego.

The winery isn't all that big, at all. But, it is very intimate, with lots of odds and ends, crafts, a nice cafe, wine tasting tours (of course), and this wine storage area which has these century old huge containers (barrels) of wine. This is my favorite place to get photos at this winery.

This room has a very good mood. The lighting in here is excellent. The texture on these containers is awesome. Plus, the whole room wreaks pleasantly of fermented wine.

Pretty much, you are going to be photographing nothing but barrels, or containers, whichever you prefer, in this area. So the challenge is to find some interesting compositions to go with the spotty light.

For this shot, I liked the play between the little barrel with the huge container in the background. I did not manipulate the lighting at all.

This was also a good test of my new Carl Zeiss Distagon, 35mm, f1.4, ZE lens for canon mount cameras. This was shot at f1.4 and it is amazing how a lens this wide can blur the immediate background. The sharpness is also amazing at this focal length.

The one challenge is manually focusing the lens. The plane of focus is so razor thin. I think I am going to get another focusing screen to help me obtain precise focus much faster. I was using live view and the zoom buttons to ensure critical sharpness. That process is pretty tedious, to say the least. But, it is another great use of the live view feature on my camera.

Anyways, once I get the hang of this new lens, I think I am going to really love it.

About Me

San Diego, California, United States
Thanks for checking out my photography blog. I am a photographer from America's finest city, San Diego, California. This blog is just a regular update of what I am photographing or what catches my fancy, when I am out and about with my camera. So subscribe and stay up-to-date with my latest photographic adventures.


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