Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Best Camera is the Camera that You Have

Palm Star, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

Sometimes you find something nice, but don't have your camera with you. Most people have a camera in your phone these days, but then what to do with it? If you have an iPhone, it's easier and there are a number of apps that can help you to process the photo to fix it up a bit before using it or posting it. In this photo, I used "The Best Camera" app which has quick "fixes" with filters with cool names such as "Paris" that I used with this photo, "Jewel", "Candy", etc. To get more typical photo processing tools such as cropping, color and exposure adjustments, etc. I use "Photogene". Contrary to the hundreds of dollars you'll spend on Photoshop, these apps are <$5.

This photo is of a palm tree in Orlando that I took. I'm attending a conference and took a lunch time stroll outside. My first thought was "I wish I had a camera, the light is so wonderful" and then luckily I remembered the iPhone in my pocket.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Race!, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

With unexpectedly good weather for the weekend after a punishing winter, it was time to head to Kelly Drive. I was thwarted in planning to go to the Art Museum grounds by a regatta, so decided to go with it and photograph it instead. It was challenging because the background was more typical of late winter, but the action was all spring/summer.

Settings: f11, 1/250 sec, 200mm

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Value of Getting Close - Zooms and Teleconverters

Galapágos Tortoise originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit. Using a zoom or walking close to the item being photographed really works out. The subject of interest is the tortoise, not the background, which was just a dirty enclosure filled with other very similar tortoises. By getting close, you get a much better picture of the textures and colors.
Because getting inside the pen with the tortoises was really discouraged by the folks at the Darwin Research Center (Santa Cruz Island, the Galapágos), I used 3 ways to get closer. The low tech way was to lean as far over the fence as possible. The rest was optical: a zoom lens, in this case a Nikkor 18-20 VR and then to get even closer a teleconverter. I bought a Kenko N-AF 1.4X teleconverter specifically for this trip. It snaps on between the regular lens and the body of the camera. It extends the maximum zoom of the regular lens (200mm) to 340mm. Caveats are that because it is essentially putting a magnifying glass in front of your camera body, it also magnifies light and I had to use exposure control of about 1.5 to compensate and the exif data for the camera won't reflect the increased zoom.