photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “camera

Goodwill Dressing Room: You’re on Candid Camera!

I popped into the Goodwill store recently to check out their summer shirts. Usually, they have an assortment of cute, short sleeved girly-girl summer tops that I love, and I like getting them in the winter before everyone else does. So I grabbed a few items and headed to the dressing room.

I had completely disrobed, when I couldn’t shake the feeling that eyes were on me, somewhere. I searched the walls, surveying for pinholes or streaming light that could be seen shining through- nope. I looked over my shoulder, and bada-bing! There was an evasive, round, black globe, peering right into the dressing room. (Right into the dressing room!)

I tend to have an overactive imagination at times, but I’m not so naive to believe that Quakers are running the security system. All it takes is one rogue worker in security and you could find yourself in somebody’s private collection, or worse even, on the internet.

Here’s the view from inside the dressing room. (Yes, the bathroom bandit has struck again.)

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And here’s what I saw when I looked over my shoulder:

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I was pretty disgusted. There’s no warning, no sign on the wall about it, and I’m sure if I were to ask management about it, it would be excused away as “policy” and “assured” that the patron isn’t completely on camera (or something to that effect).

Nothing like feeling raped in a public dressing room!

Nice one, Goodwill.

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And to all of the pervs who keep pulling up my blog because you’re searching for “dressing room hidden cams [insert unsavory female anatomical references here]”- get a frikking life you sick &^%#.

Here. Click on THIS. You’ll thank me later. (Or maybe not.)


New Camera on its Way

I remember last year, having to sell my whole rig to pay the rent and buy groceries.

It included:

Canon Rebel XSI
Lensbaby Composer Pro w/ Double Glass OpticsZ
Lensbaby + Sweet optic 35
(kit) 18-55 MM/75-300
50 MM 1.8 II (prime)
Lens reversal adapter/coupling ring
Rc-1 remote
camera bag
Extra batteries + charger/neck strap etc. etc.

It broke my heart to have to do that, but considering it allowed me to take care of my family through some very difficult times, I don’t regret the decision and would do it again if I had to. During all of 2012 I’ve shot with a 4 MP Canon Power shot, and for a serious “artographer” as myself, that has been difficult.

I’ve recently received the remains of my Financial Aid for school, and after paying (the school) back $1,380, my mom $500- brother $500- along with a few more chunks of hundreds here and there (bills, etc.) I had just enough left over to order another DSLR: Canon EOS 60D 18 MP. After shooting all year with a 4 MP- I cannot wait to have an actual DSLR in my hands again!

I ordered one that came with the kit (18-55 standard lens) which pretty much sucks as a lens- but, with a bit of experience and know-how (of which both I possess) you can pull off some pretty good shots with one. I’d be a fool to not order a 50 MM 1.8 II prime lens- it’s $100 brand new, which is pennies compared to other lenses, but the 50 MM makes an excellent portrait lens with considerably good bokeh. For those that may be reading this that have no idea what bokeh means, it’s a Japanese word that actually means “senile” or mentally foggy. Photographically, it translates as the super blurry parts of an image, apart from the focal point or subject, and it’s usually in the BG/background, but there is also what I call “reverse bokeh”, and that’s when you have a sharp focal point with a super-blurred FG/foreground.

Another attractive feature the 50 MM offers is that it’s a fixed focal length- there’s no zooming to be had. That means, if you want to get a close-up shot of your subject or subjects, you have to actually walk up to them. The 50 MM captures a field that equate to a 35 MM and it’s the closest thing to capturing a scene that your eye actually sees. You can’t go wrong with a 50 MM- ever- and it’s a great lens to take on trips, etc. because although it captures a subject beautifully regarding macros, it also makes an excellent landscape lens- many people don’t know that.

Here are two examples below, both taken with a 50 MM 1.8 II:

Sketch, one of the many cats we’ve owned over the years:

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The Longest Dream (Perrin Park/Indiana)

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Not too shabby for a $100 lens. Some of my favourite lenses are the Lensbaby Composer Pro (double glass ops), Sigma 17-70 (great walk around lens- it’s a wide angle on one end and a macro on the other- excellent lens), Sigma 10-20 (super wide) , and there are others, but the 50 MM prime remains at the top of any lens I’ve ever used. This lens is an absolute must have for any advanced amateur and pro, for that matter.

I should be receiving my goodies in the mail within the next week. I’ve spent the last 8 years developing my own unique style, a style that’s recognizable to most of the people who know my work, and I’m considering posting a few tutorials in the areas of layering, mastering your lighting (in camera- and in post processing) and developing a trademark style that is unique to your personal preferences. I’ve had many requests over the years but have just been so busy- hopefully I can do that sometime soon. (We’ll see.)

It’s another busy day and I’ll be filling mine with housecleaning, lots of school work and supper to cook.

Adieu…


Photo Therapy [part 2]

Things are incredibly stressful for me today. Right off the bat, I had to be at a business meeting first thing in the morning. I have an egotistical flea (who happens to be the owner of an art website) biting my &^% to appease his ego. I’ve never known anyone so full of him or herself, honestly. The guy blasted me publicly- which is defamation- and you better believe I’m gonna blast back. I don’t take slaps lightly.

When I reach a breaking point, and I just want to hang everything up- shut my door- and “retire from everything”, I go take pictures.

It gives me a great sense of control to be able to compose my environment; even master the very lighting around me.
I think every person wants to feel in control of his or her own life, down to their very eternal destination- if one believes in such.
To be able to “design my surroundings” by manually adjusting the controls- it’s far more rewarding than simply “pointing and shooting”.
I would have little joy as a photographer if I merely pointed and shot. Manually adjusting my exposure in-camera is an integral part of the bonding process with my equipment.
For me, it’s a must.

My head feels blasted in about five areas.
Pain everywhere.

Nevertheless, I can’t simply sit around the house in pain and be pissed off.
So, I’m going to go out and take pictures.
Of what, I haven’t a clue.

I know of an online photo challenge and the theme is colour.
Perhaps I’ll go out and induct a spash of colour into my day…


The Marriage of Black and White

 

I’m realizing only today why I’m so creative. Because I’ve had to improvize my whole life. Having next to nothing to work with, forces you to try harder. You have no choice but to experiment because you really don’t know what else to do. Over time, your style becomes defined, refined, and unmistakable.

Having to sell my rig, more than once, I was left with only my Canon G3. It’s a 4 MP dinosaur. Because I had nothing else, I decided to not only learn how to shoot in B&W + manual, but revel in it.

That was about two years ago. I’ve been shooting for about 7, but B&W rules me. I’m completely infatuated with the marriage between light and shadows. To me, black and white is already a story. The images within an image become the actors on the stage, or props, I suppose, but even if you have only one blank wall, and a cheap camera set up to photograph that wall, with a bit of natural window lighting hitting it (through parted curtains, say), then the clouds passing over the sun become the filters. The passing clouds increase and decrease the gamma and contrast naturally.

The story of B&W is one of masculinity and femininity. Life and death. Hot and cold. Love and hate. When stripped down to their very elements, they are in their most powerful state. I have little interest at the moment in HDR, filters of this or that kind- and while they’re great (and I have experience in those as well) I can’t escape the beauty of being stripped down to almost nothing, and simply working with what ya got.

That’s not to say I photograph things in the nude.

I’m experimenting with a new webcam I got. It’s a cheapie $18.00 Logitech. But it’s capable of shooting in B&W (Heaven……….!) and so I’ve been sitting here in my computer chair, painting shadow swans on my wall with my hands. When I move my hands back and forth to and away from my chest, the shadows become elongated horizontally. Such a simple action. But it changes the dynamics of everything.

And here are some snappies:

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This is generally how I feel several times a week.
“Ahhh…..close the curtains!”

(Migraines make the light absolutely unbearable.) Oh, and I wasn’t faking it. I did indeed wake up with a migraine.
I intentionally bleached the lighting, and jacked up the gamma so the blacks would be double heavy.

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Choppy, grainy, bleeding contrast, toasted exposure- what’s not to love?

(Yes, yes, I’m kidding.) But the shadows on my neck from my fingers are intentional.

It’s a fair statement to say that I am obsessed with shadows.

Perhaps I’ll post a video today.

Perhaps not.