imgorg - The Image Organization Tool

I wrote a tool to organize the massive amount of photos, screenshots, and images I've amassed over the years. It works great and brought back a lot of nostalgia!

Read more at imgorg - The Image Organization Tool

Photography Lighting

In recent weeks, I've become interested in going to the next level of photography. Not to say that I've mastered any previous part, but going to the next level will help me better understand the previous levels, and therefore I'll be half decent at any part. Lighting is the next level, I've determined.

In researching "The Holy Grail of Photography", henceforth, "lighting", I came across some blogs of old pros, namely the "Strobist". There, I read and read and read until I fell asleep. I bought a few Kindle prints of Joe McNally's books. I read and read and read, then did some practicing.

This is all in anticipation of the baby coming in April. I will blind that kid :P

Aside from books, here's what I've purchased:

  • Nikon SB-700 flash
  • CowboyStudios wireless flash trigger
  • CowboyStudios light stand with mounting bracket and umbrella
  • LumiQuest mini-softbox

I haven't been uploading sample shots with every piece of equipment yet, but the pictures up right now (as of 1/9/2012) include sample shots taken with the flash and the mini-softbox. I have shots with the wireless flash trigger that aren't up on flickr yet, and I just received the stand and umbrella today, and I haven't gone home yet.

I've been getting up to date on all of the terminology used. I know what effects the aperture has vs. shutter speed when flash comes into play. With flash and without flash, actually. And ISO plays a big part in that as well.

I shoot in manual mode on my camera without a flash, and so I've brought that over to flash photography as well. My method now as always is shoot and review to see if I'm getting enough light. If not, bump the flash power or open/close the aperture, etc. Or refocus, since I also shoot in manual focus mode. With practice, I'm getting quicker at it..

Most photogs suggest shooting in aperture priority mode, since aperture is what effects flash the most. If you want to darken the flash, close the aperture, and vice versa. In non-flash photography, it also makes sense, because you can limit the depth of field (make the background blurry) or go infinite on that mother, and the camera will choose the proper shutter speed. I have opted to really learn everything before I go that way. The side effect is I take about 1 good photo for every 5 times my shutter opens :)

A good side effect of all of this photography, is I'm becoming a photo snob! If I look at a bad photo, either blurry or not enough light, or too much light, I get an ill feeling down in my bowels and have to just close my eyes or look away. It's good to have.

Lots of photos to come, especially when there's a baby AND a pug in the house :D

50mm f/1.8 Lens

For Christmas, I got a new lens! As well as some other awesome stuff, but the lens is the focal point of this post.

I'm generally a beginner photographer, but over the past few weeks I've been taking hundreds of pictures, I got a new flash (the SB-700) and have been playing with that. I want to try getting the flash off the camera, and there's tons of little accessories I don't own yet that will help.

Here is a sample picture of what I've been able to do with the f/1.8 lens. It's pretty awesome so far! That's my nephews, with Ethan in the foreground and Caden in the background, both playing their new Nintendo 3DS's that they got for Christmas :)


My other favorite photo with the new lens, Amanda and Beaker, enjoying the Snoogle that I got for Amanda for Christmas!

Enjoying the Snoogle

Photographer's Blessing

May your aperture be filled with light, but not too much!

And so my photography hobby begins...

While in Jamaica, I noticed how much fun Mike and Jared were having with their DSLR cameras, and I wanted to get in on the action. I will be keeping a log here for just that purpose, and uploading the photos I take to Flickr and displaying them here with the details of the photo. I've been reading up on some things, but also bought a book to help me out. I got a Nikon D40 with the default load-out, an 8GB memory card, a bag for it, and the book which is on exposure. I'll probably read around the web as well and maybe try out some trial versions of professional photo software like Aperture from Apple or Lightroom from Adobe. Jared uses Lightroom, Mike uses iPhoto which is a basic photo application. Aperture is cheaper than Lightroom but only available on a Mac which is perfect since I use one :) But I'll try them out. It should be fun. I've been into photography for a while but never really fed my interests.

I did have a camera in 4th or 5th grade, though. A really old one. I went to Notre Dame and took a photo of the gold dome they have and it turned out really good, like a post card. They also had these giant sand dunes that I took a few pictures of. We had the big red van back then. That was fun.

So I'm giving it another whirl. We'll see how it turns out. Hopefully better than my drawing experiment a year or so ago :)