Des Moines Flickr Friend Photowalk 5 January 2013

First photowalk of the new year! I walked along with the Des Moines Flickr Friend Photowalk Group, with about 30 people showing. I set myself two challenges for this walk:

  1. No Chimping!
  2. No Color!

I was successful at keeping myself from chimping (looking at the photo on the camera screen right after taking it). In fact, I didn’t see any of my photos until I popped the CF card into my computer at home. While I did not use the monochrome setting on the camera, I did post-process all of my images in black and white.

As always, please Share and Enjoy! Here is the Photo Set page on Flickr, or you can click on any of the following images to go direct to it.

 

Launch Together

untitled

Scowl

Not dressed for the weather

Don't Mind Me. . .

Gig Stickers

First Photowalk of 2012

Took a couple of hours to walk around downtown Des Moines, IA this weekend along with some other fellow photographers. Unfortunately, I showed up late and had to leave a little early so I did not get to socialize very much. Also, I must have taken off in a different directly than the bulk of the group, because I didn’t end up running in to too many other photographers. From Java Joe’s, I headed West towards West End Salvage. I went to the top of a few parking garages to try to get a different perspective of the Des Moines sky line.

Here are my photos from that session. As always, please click on a photo to show it on Flickr, visit the whole set on Flickr, or just fire up the slideshow.

 

606 Walnut St BW

606 Walnut St

750 Mulberry St

8th and Cherry

800 Walnut St Reflections

800 Walnut St Self Reflection

800 Walnut St Self Reflections_resized

Safety First

700 Walnut St

 

Pheatured Photographer: Valery Titievsky

After studying many photos from Valery Titievsky’s Photostream on Flickr over the past few weeks, I decided I would need to set a limit on the number of photos to include in this post or risk mirroring most of that stream here. Three is just not enough, so please click through each photo on Flickr and explore the other photos. I think you’ll find yourself, as I have, spending a lot of time there.

First, let’s start off with the photograph which first drew me in:

Coffee & ...

This is part of a subset of photos within the set “The life in Black & White” simply titled “Coffee & …”. There is a sense of motion which he captured well here by tracking the waitress as she hurried by while using a slower shutter speed to blur the background.

Here is another photo entitled “Coffee & … (Street Life)”:

Coffee & ... (Street Life)

Here we see a good use of bokeh with the string of lights out of focus in front of the subject, but what really draws you in is the emotion captured in this moment. Is this despair or simply fatigue? Did she discover her wallet is empty after having finished her meal? There is a story here, but it is incomplete, thus the photo holds your attention.

Although I was tempted to pick yet another of the excellent “Coffee & …” photos, I forced myself to pick more of a street photo. This one is called “Old Man”:

Old man

Digging into the exif information for this image reveals that the flash did not fire, yet we see some quite dramatic lighting here. There is an excellent contrast between the dark, almost ominous, sky in the background and the brightly lit face of the man. His age and hair bring complex textures into the mix. What is the story here? Is this a street corner preacher, giving his sermon to all who pass, hoping some will stop to listen for awhile?

I have yet to make it through all 1600+ photos in Mr. Titievsky’s photostream, but I have subscribed to the RSS feed from his Flickr page so I can keep up to date on his work. I encourage you to do the same.

Ruffy Photos

Not a whole lot of action in the photography realm the past couple of weeks. Here are a few photos of one of my favorite subjects, our dog Ruffy. Here’s an experiment with my new 50mm macro lens. Very shallow depth of field.

IMG_0011_mod

I love the textures and contrast between his fur and the grass in this next one.

Ruffy on the prowl

Finally, a favorite shot which happens to be one of the first few shots taken with my 50D through the back screen door.

Ruffy through the screen door

Photo Experiment: First Macro Shots

My wife got me a new macro lens and macro ring flash for Christmas, so I thought I’d finally try them out. Why the delay? Well, the ring flash came with a couple of step down/step up rings to adapt to different lenses, but they didn’t fit my new macro lens so I had to order the right one. Yup, I picked it up yesterday and couldn’t wait to use it.

Remember, you can skip directly to the photo set on Flickr to see more photos from this set. You can also click on any of the photos below to bring up their Flickr page and leave a comment or set them as a favorite.

Pie Bird Head Monochrome

Hunting around the house for objects to shoot close up, I found this ceramic pie bird sitting on the shelf. I set the camera’s macro focus to 1:1, then carefully moved the lens closer to the subject until I got the desired focus.

Pie Bird Head 3 Monochrome

Next, I backed off a little bit to take this shot, trying to capture more of the bird’s head at (hopefully) a more interesting angle. Both of these were taken with an overhead incandescent light shining down and the ring flash attached to the lens.

Garlic Head 6 Monochrome

What is this? A ghastly beast emerging from the deep? Nope, just a nice macro shot showing the bottom of a head of garlic. I can’t help thinking the root cluster looks a bit like ominous tentacles reaching out for you.
Garlic Head 4 Monochrome

From this perspective at the other end of the head, it takes on the look of a stratovolcano shot from a helicopter hovering above it.
Lambourghini 2

Oh yeah, I also got a Lamborghini Reventón for my birthday last year. It’s a little bit difficult to get into it, so I’ve not actually taken it for a drive yet, but I suppose that’s to be expected from the Matchbox edition of this supercar. Still, I think I captured a bit of its speedy nature here. For this shot, I got a piece of plain white paper to use as a backdrop.

All of these were shot in our “makeshift studio” in our dining room. Lori has set up a very functional area just off the kitchen so she can take photographs for her soon to be launched food blog. Here’s a quick shot of that studio showing, from left to right:

  • A black and a white reflector board on glass shelf standards.
  • A compact florescent bulb in a desk lamp stand.
  • A large cooler on or over which can be draped various backdrops
  • Atop the cooler are a couple of bamboo place mats used for backdrop.

Makeshift Studio

This was a great setup for my macro experiments. Hopefully I’ll be inspired to take some more of these in the future, and perhaps I’ll contribute a few shots to my wife’s new blog.