Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 122

Thread: Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

  1. #1
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    I am going to join in on the Project 52 idea as well. I think I will probably be a bit more free-form with what I'll work on, but I do want to try and spend more time working with the gear I have and learning how to get the full potential out of all of it. I also will be trying to spend some time working on PP techniques as I am very novice at that. What I'd really like to do is spend 52 weeks improving my underwater photography, but that might not be so feasible. Either way, this will be a learning experience.

    - Bill

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Week 01

    My first project for Project 52 was simply to get out and use my new lens....

    Well, as you might be able to tell from my other post, I spent my year-end bonus on the Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens.

    This lens is seriously impressive - it can magnify things up to 5x life size. Because I can't figure out how to determine that magnification after the fact, I'm not sure exactly what magnification this shot is at, but I can say that it is an uncropped image.

    It isn't every day that you get to see grains of pollen like that (sorry if I got anyone's allergies acting up early this year!).

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    Unfortunately, our conservatory doesn't allow tripods for most of the week, so I had to shoot just using my monopod, but I think all things considered - a heavy setup, nearly microscopic subject, only a monopod, and my first try with this lens - I think this is pretty cool photo.



    - Bill

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,912
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Week 01

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    It isn't every day that you get to see grains of pollen like that
    Indeed it is not. That is quite a lens you've got there.

  4. #4
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    1,798
    Real Name
    Mal

    Re: Week 01

    Wow - that's pretty impressive. And nice colours in that shot. Did you do any post processing?

  5. #5
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Re: Week 01

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Indeed it is not. That is quite a lens you've got there.
    It is a fun one for sure... I've been looking at that lens for so long, and when I got this bonus from a job that I've hated for very long, my wife told me I should definitely buy the lens... and then there was a sale the same day... you know the deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldcoastgolfer View Post
    Wow - that's pretty impressive. And nice colours in that shot. Did you do any post processing?
    Nothing more than regular RAW processing. So the colors you see there are true colors.

    - Bill

  6. #6
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Week 02

    For this week's project work, I actually pulled double duty and was helping my wife with a project she started in the new year as well. She is working on a Project Life exercise, and as such she has been taking a lot more photos. She has been using our older Rebel XT, and in this particular instance, was having some trouble taking photos of some chocolate chip cookies she had just baked for me (yum!). The problem was the lack of light in our kitchen which was requiring relatively slow shutter speeds (in the range of 0.5 seconds). So I quickly ran upstairs and grabbed my Speedlite and tried that - the first attempt with the flash in the hot shoe turned out horrible (not shared here), so I went and got the cable to use the Speedlite off camera.

    As I was playing the role of "lovely assistant" and holding the flash for her, I was experimenting with different flash angles. I always find it amazing how changing the positioning of the light source can completely change a set of photographs, and so from time to time I experiment with it so I can begin to have a better understanding of what works and what doesn't in case I need to do something in a hurry some time...

    So without any further ado, here are the results...

    1. Flash too far out in front of the camera, causing a shadow on the front sides of the cookies - not very appealing...

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    2. Flash directly to the side, causing a very strong shadow on any texture on the tops of the cookies - better, but still not exactly what I was looking for...

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    3. Flash above (but not too far forward) and far enough up to be nicely diffused, producing a nice even and warm light that drops off nicely towards the back of the photo - yummy!

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    Like I said - some pretty dramatic differences there. Of course none of these are meant to be award winning photos, but I still like the way they illustrate how minor changes to the light source can make a world of difference.

    - Bill

    PS: Yes, the cookies really are as fantastic as they look.

  7. #7
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    1,798
    Real Name
    Mal

    Re: Week 02

    Nice work Bill. As someone who needs to get more into flash photography your post this week has been really helpful.

    I think I'm hungry now....

  8. #8
    Wendy Stanford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    576

    Re: Week 02

    Great explaination Bill, I like the way just minor changes to the lighting can produce such varied results, thanks

  9. #9
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Week 03: Faux Smoke

    I of course can't take credit for this idea, but it was still a fun little project that I'm sure I'll return to at some point in time to try and improve my results....

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    I saw this video on Adorama's site a while back, and made a mental note to try it myself sometime...


    For my setup (darn it! I meant to take a photo of it as well, but forgot!), I went a bit simpler than Mark did. I simply used my light tent, a single speedlite, and a clear drinking glass (easier to work with than a whole aquarium full of water). With my 100mm macro lens, I was able to isolate the droplets of food coloring without picking up the sides of the glass (for the most part).

    I did end up with some blown highlights from reflections off of air bubbles in the water, or imperfections in the glass, or in one case - my own fingerprint! So I spent some time in Photoshop using the content aware fill and the clone stamp to clean up the shots as you can see below... (which is another step out of my normal routine as I usually just do RAW processing and nothing more)


    Before:
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    After:
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    I know it is kind of cliche, and rather difficult to get one that stands out and really makes you stop and take notice, but I still think it is a fun exercise that is worth trying at least once.

    To me, the first one (green one, up top) makes me think of an abstract painting of bonsai trees. Do you see anything else in these fun photos?

    - Bill

  10. #10
    Wendy Stanford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    576

    Re: Week 03: Faux Smoke

    Hi Bill, they are certainly different, do you have any control over how the images will turn out?, for example the height of the drops or the volume, do you have to stir or move the water to create patterns, what happens if you mix more than one colour.
    I like the red one post PP, I like the light and dark lines,

  11. #11
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Re: Week 03: Faux Smoke

    Wendy,

    When I did it, I didn't have much control over the patterns that emerged. I literally put one drop of the food coloring into the water and started shooting. After a while, it would disperse enough that I would have to dump that glass of water (in hind sight, I probably should have watered the house plants with it rather than wasting it) and start over.

    I did find that the different food coloring colors behaved differently - probably because of the different chemicals/metals used to create the specific color. For example, the red would sink in a column and then spread out (the red image above is actually flipped 180 degrees) whereas the green would actually cause a "smoke" ring of sort that would sink so far, and then start to spread all along the ring. Any kind of stirring would have ruined all those awesome patterns I think.

    It is definitely a trial and error kind of exercise. But it is fun, so... I do recommend having an assistant to add the drops. I did some myself, and then asked my wife to come help so I could get more of the shots from when the drop just starts dispersing.

    - Bill

  12. #12
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Week 04: FlashBender

    MY wife bought me a Rogue FlashBender for Christmas, and I finally got around to trying it out the other day. In this case, the photography started with trying to capture a shot of the dogs chasing the laser pointer, but after several attempts, I decided it was something to table for later (maybe another week, perhaps?)

    After running around, the dogs were laying around, and I decided to see what kinds of shots I could get of them. They continued to fidget, but I did get a couple keepers.

    I used the FlashBender to act as a reflector to spread the light from the flash and soften it as well. This produced a nice even lighting over the whole portrait, while still producing a bit of a catch-light in Luca's eyes.

    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    - Bill

  13. #13
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Week 05: More Super-macro

    Well, it took me quite a while to finally come up with a good idea of what to shoot for this week. At one point (over the weekend) I had all my stuff packed up and ready to head out to find something, but the motivation escaped me and I decided I just didn't feel like going out in the cold. So I'd been looking around the house trying to find something to shoot.

    I finally found something today and pulled out the Canon MP-E 65mm macro again for some more super-macro work. At once point, I threw on my 2x teleconverter to get some ridiculous 10x magnification. Oh, somehow, my camera got switched to JPG only (instead of my normal RAW+JPG) so these didn't get as much PP as I normally would do.

    Admittedly, these photos aren't the best - I was very close to tossing out the whole lot of them, but instead I'll likely revisit this subject (probably after I pick up a macro focusing rail). I think that what I'm going to infuse into this project is the realization that this is a learning experience above all else, and if I learned some stuff from these shots, then it was successful - even if the shots weren't so great.

    Oh, I'm going to leave the subject open to guessing to see if anyone can identify what it is....

    10x magnification (MP-E 65mm at 5x + 2x teleconverter):
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    5x magnification:
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    5x magnification with more backlight, less flash:
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    2x magnification with a very slight crop (to straighten):
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    1x magnification with a fairly significant crop:
    Project 52 by Bill S (ktuli)

    Did you guess what it is yet?

    - Bill

  14. #14
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    1,798
    Real Name
    Mal

    Re: Week 05: More Super-macro

    Your dog has lovely eyes

    I've no idea if what it is that you've photographed. I thought from your 10x magnification that it might have been some airconditioning cooling fins. But the pattern at 1x magnification makes it look like something else.

  15. #15
    Wendy Stanford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    576

    Re: Week 05: More Super-macro

    Hi Bill, I like the expression on the face of the dog, eyes are nicely in focus and the way the paws fill the other 2/3 of the image looks good, nice shot
    No idea what it is, on the next, perhaps something metallic and the light seems to shine on the lines, I like the lines of #2, with the main line on the diagonal and the others on the diagnonal from that

  16. #16
    Bunty Plumchip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    Posts
    219
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Week 05: More Super-macro

    Is it a feather?

  17. #17
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,912
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Week 05: More Super-macro

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    I think that what I'm going to infuse into this project is the realization that this is a learning experience above all else, and if I learned some stuff from these shots, then it was successful -
    I think that is exactly how it should be considered and I am full of admiration fro those of you with the dedication to commit to the project.

    Like Mal and Wendy, I have no idea what the subject is, but it's a super exercise in exploring line and light.

  18. #18
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Re: Week 05: More Super-macro

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

    And Carolyn in indeed correct - it is a feather from a Blue Jay.

    - Bill

  19. #19
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    1,798
    Real Name
    Mal

    Re: Week 05: More Super-macro

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

    And Carolyn in indeed correct - it is a feather from a Blue Jay.

    - Bill
    Well you sure fooled me! The lighting on the feature gave it an almost metallic look to me. Nice job

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Week 02

    Hi Bill, love what you're doing with your lighting experiments. Those cookies look delicious. I like the lighting on the last shot the best, but think I would like more DOF so I could see ALL the cookies. They look to good to hide.

    I thought the food colouring shots were PP'd smoke when I first looked at them. Cool idea, I'd like to try that sometime. I think if you got the right pattern it would be a great abstract and I'd imagine there are lots of PP effects that could be applied to shots like these.

    The lighting on the dog, is sooooo nice.

    Wendy

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

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