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Monday, November 28, 2016

Prints framed in Reclaimed Wood!

11x14 prints $60.00
Matted and framed,
Total size 22” x 26”.
Frames made of reclaimed wood.
Local pick up only! Oklahoma City
See us on Instagram as @sweetharkcrafts

Friday, October 28, 2016

Why do we like B&W photography?

Most of us see the world in color. Our brains have the ability to focus in on color, too. Sometimes making the scene appear to be saturated with certain colors.

Many snapshots, tho, show a more balanced scene. We have to use filters (pre or post processing) and exposure tricks to highlight what we viewed in our mind's eye, to show others what we saw.

Nothing wrong with adjusting colors, contrasts, and exposures. That's part of the art of photography.

Sometimes, our mind's eye has a view that differs significantly from the levels present in the scene.

That's where Black & White excels.

For a long time, most photographs were in black and white. Technology advanced and then color became the norm. 

When most photographers were likely using mostly B&W, we found ways to make adjustments that showed what we saw in our mind.

Now, we have to rethink color, contrast, and exposure in order to take our color images and make them into B&W art.

An old photography course book (from the 50s, 60s, or 70s) can help us to see how colors can appear in the B&W medium. And what adjustments were made back then, can be done today. Either with glass filters and altering exposures, or in post processing with a good imaging program. 

Check out these pics. First in color. Filtered, processed, tweaked. Then reprocessed to B&W.

Try your hand at it.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Transition to Digital Pro

I've been doing this a long time. Photography, that is. Both as a job and as a personal art form.

The transition from being a film professional and hobbyist to doing all the same things in digital has taken me some time. Part of the reason is the sheer cost of some of the equipment. When shooting film was the norm, I could buy and sell used equipment at the drop of a hat. Being trained in camera and lens repair also helped, since I could basically buy low, fix and use, then sell high.

High end digital equipment, on the other hand,  is expensive, period. But, by being patient and frugal, I was able to piece together a set up that equals or surpasses almost everything I did in film.

Not a single brand new item in this rig. Used, demos, refurbished... saved me a lot of money. And yet, I get to shoot with heavy duty, super high resolution, and extremely versatile equipment. About the only thing that still doesn't match up is the large format view camera movements and the extreme depth of tonality in those films, but even at that, I can get pretty close with some of the newer image manipulation software programs.

Even the motion picture work I did (on film and video), training videos, local TV commercials, and an independent feature length film, I could now do on these same cameras.

In one bag, I can transport a rig covering fisheye and ultra wide angle to super telephoto and including macro and portrait. And it all doubles as a motion picture outfit. Of course, I still need other bags for the tripods, lights, reflectors, panoramic mounts, etc...

I still love film. And film is still needed for certain applications. But the high quality and versatility of digital has remade professional photography in this modern space age. I, for one, am loving it!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Panoramic Rig

Setting up a new rig for my panoramic photography

I've been using a budget rig and adapting my procedures to make it all work out. Since I've been consistently getting the highest ratings from my contracted client, my procedures have obviously worked.

But, I want to be available for the higher end jobs for my client, so I updated my equipment. 

Still, I didn't want to break the bank, so I even upgraded on a budget!

You can do that. Buy used. Used, refurbished, demos, all are good sources of quality equipment at bargain prices. 

You have to find places you can trust, tho. I picked up an 8 year old camera with almost no use at all for about 1/8th of its price when brand new. Sure, there is a new upgraded version of the camera in the brand's current line up, but did I want to pay almost $1800 more for that brand new camera? Or, could I use the high end features and quality of the used high end camera? I chose used.

The fisheye lens, too. I saved $500 by scouring the internet for a usable version. 

So far, I saved $2300.

The tripod set up I use is over 30 years old. Yep, I bought it in 1981. The same model is still for sale. Around $350. I can't recall how much I paid back when, so let's just call this a little more than 1/2 off, or $150 or so.

The one brand new item was my panoramic mount. There are several on the market, from $200 to $950. The most common brand/model is about $300. I found thru a multitude of reviews that the $200 brand is exactly the same, just not well known. So, a no brainer for Mr Budget. Another $100 saved. 

Even from discount sources, all brand new and current equipment would have been about $2500 or so more than what I have invested. For a rig that has no substantial difference in quality or use for my specific job needs. 

Want to know what I got?

(This was me calibrating the rig) 

I'm using a Nikon D300, Sigma 8mm f/4.0, Panosaurus 2.0 nodal point mount,  Bogen (now Manfrotto) 3021 legs plus 3028 head.

New models would be D500 (D7200 would work but is missing a few vital features), Sigma 8mm f/3.5, Nodal Ninja MkII, and Manfrotto tripod.

Friday, April 15, 2016

New Travel Photos - Calvin, OK

Here are some images from our latest photo trip.

An old bridge, 100 years old in fact, and some wildflowers growing nearby.

Rendered in color, black & white, and B&W infrared.

We'll be back here in the Fall to get some new Autumn Color pics.

Available for sale on my gallery linked in the header.