Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Canon Photo 5 - 2011 Shot

Another shot from the same brief, from the same shoot in fact. At first I thought this wasn't good enough to share but the more I look the more I like. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Canon Photo 5 - 2011 Competition - High Speed

Looks like I missed the deadline for the Canon photo 5 2011 competition because I only learnt about it the other week and by the time I received my neat little box submissions were closed.

I have decided to still complete all the briefs for a bit of fun and would like to share what I did with brief #4 Powder - Fast shutter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

High Speed Photography - Popping water balloons

When it comes to capturing subjects at high speed one thing that always springs to mind is water balloons. Some might call it a little cliché and I wouldn't completely disagree but cliché or not I think it is a mighty cool sight.

Just like my last two posts these ones were shot with the help from the Cognisys - Stop Shot control unit. If you can't already tell I am a huge fan of this device. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

High Speed Photography - Party Poppers

More high speed shots! Made possible with the Cognisys - Stop Shot control unit. The delay varied around the one or two millisecond mark, It is amazing how messy party poppers are.

Once I get a nice collection of high speed shots I will put together a nice little tutorial.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

High Speed Photography - Breaking compact discs

I thought it was about time I put some photos on my photography blog.

These shots were made possible with a little help from the Cognisys - Stop Shot control unit. Using a microphone as a trigger the delay varied between 1ms to 3ms.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

dslr.Bot iPhone App Review

Have you ever wanted to control your Canon EOS DSLR camera with your iPhone?
Well you can via infrared with this handy little iPhone app dslr.Bot developed by Studio Canvas.
$4.99 USD / $5.99 AUD

Before reading on please note: For this iPhone App to function correctly you need an infrared transmitter. When it comes to infrared transmitters you have two options. You can be like me and try your luck at making one Instructables have an easy to follow tutorial. The second option is to purchase a pre-made one from the dslr.Bot webpage for around $20.

Overview of remote features
  • Shoot
  • Long Exposure
  • Time Lapse
  • HDR Bracketing
  • Movie Mode

As the name suggests this is the main mode for taking pictures, it even has the ability to log and track GPS location. The GPS syncing is achieved by setting your cameras clock to the precise time of your iPhone (dslr.Bot displays the time down to the second making this easy). All of the GPS information can be exported via email.

Long Exposure

Set the camera to Bulb mode and select the desired time from dslr.Bot. A nice touch is the ability to stop the session at anytime. You must have the infrared transmitted pointed at the camera to start and stop the session.

Time Lapse

Did I hear someone say time lapse video?
The time lapse feature is simple to use and very versatile. One thing to keep in mind, the signal is being sent via infrared if you move the infrared transmitter or the camera out of range shots won't fire.

HDR Bracketing

HDR (High Dynamic Range) dslr.Bot achieves this by opening the shutter for different time durations. I played with this feature for quite sometime and although it is wonderful when it works I found that my camera kept missing the close shutter command and left the shutter open.
This may have been caused by my home made infrared transmitter or I may have to work with longer time durations to make sure the IR is ready.

Movie Mode

Movie mode allows you to start and stop movie recording as well as track recorded time, this mode also allows export to email. DSLR film makers will find this mode the most exciting, taking out the need to track shots and total footage separate.

The Verdict.
I would to like to start off by saying with any infrared device there will always be interference and miss fires. Putting the infrared issues aside this app is absolutely amazing, it is feature rich and of a very high quality. I get the feeling the developers over at Studio Canvas have a passion for Photography and gadgetry. I have been over to the app store and rated this one 5/5 stars.

Friday, February 11, 2011

DSLR Video - Pros and Cons

Do you use the video functions on your DSLR?

Part of the decision making that went into purchasing my DSLR was the fact it had fantastic video quality, I did plenty of YouTube watching and found one outstanding video after another. After a while it really did start to feel too good to be true.

I have been using the video feature on my DSLR for a little while now and I would like to share some of the pros and cons associated with DSLR video recording.

  • Shallow depth of field (Nice blurry background) - A trait traditionally found on professional grade film cameras, shallow depth of field can now be achieved with ease.
  • Interchangeable lenses - Going from a macro closeup to a telephoto panning shot would normally require multiple video cameras or you would have to choose between the two shots. Now with interchangeable lenses the skies the limit (well your back pockets your limit).
  • Lightweight and portable - Having a camera already dangling around your neck means shooting a video can happen in a matter of seconds without lugging around heavy video equipment.
  • Lightweight and portable - Considered a pro, being lightweight can also result in shaky video. This can be overcome by using rig accessories but these do come at a cost.
  • Autofocus - Although you could technically enable auto focus while in video mode even the instruction manual recommends against it. Apart from the fact the camera tends to be seeking for focus causing blurry video, autofocus can be very noisy and if you are utilising the on camera mic this noise will all be recorded to your soundtrack
  • Recoding time - DSLRs were not primarily designed for video therefore a major limitation is recording time, ranging from less than 10 minutes to over 30 minutes DSLRs get hot. So hot the camera needs to be turned off to cool before using again.
I have outlined 3 points from both sides of the camp, I have only skimmed the surface and there is a laundry list of good and bad when it comes to DSLR video.

At the end of the day, I love the fact that DSLR Cameras have such great quality video. For most who bought their camera for stills, having a fantastic video feature is a really big bonus.

Along my travels of researching video on a DSLR I came across NoFilmSchool and their FREE ebook "The DSLR Cinematography Guide" dedicated to the art of DSLR video. I highly recommend NoFilmSchool's ebook to anyone even remotely interested in using the video function on their DSLR.

Here is a couple of videos I shot using my canon 550D.

Video 1. Making a coffee
I shot this video using kit lens -  EF-S 55mm-250mm.

Video 2. Riding my bike, until I get home.
I shot this video using Canon 50mm f1.4 lens

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why I bought a canon 550D

Based on the above title you might now be wondering why I bought a Canon 550D also known as the Rebel T2i also known as the Kiss X4.

Well let me start at the beginning, up until October 8th 2010 I had never picked up a digital SLR.

October 8th was no ordinary day, in fact October 8th was my birthday. I had no idea what I wanted for my birthday but I woke up that morning looked at my girlfriend and said "I'm going to buy myself a DSLR today". My girlfriend was quick to remind me she had never seen me use a camera before and I had shown no previous interest in photography. 

Unperturbed by this I went into a google frenzy and started looking at prices and reviews, I quickly learnt that DSLR cameras ranged greatly in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. A close friend of mine owned a Canon 5D MKII and I was always impressed at her amazing shots. Part of me at the time wanted to splurge out and buy a 5D MKII but in the back of my mind I was concerned photography could be a passing phase with no longevity.

So what sold me on the Canon 550D?

1. Value for money.
Need I say more, the Canon 550D packed great pro level value into a consumer grade camera.

2. Video.
In searching for a DSLR I wasn't sure where my heart lay. I didn't know if I was going to head down the photography track or try my luck at video. I set my sights to youtube, after countless searches and some really great Canon 550D videos one stood out and really spoke to me. I would go as far to say that this video sold it for me.

Maybe it was the cute girl, the cool indie style music or the fact I could produce the similar outstanding results with such great value for money camera.

At the end of the day the reason I bought the Canon 550D was due to its great value proposition, rave reviews all over the internet and because it was my birthday and I could do whatever I want. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Impressions, first, last..

What makes my photography blog different? 

I would like to share everything I already know and everything I am learning about photography. I am in no way a professional photographer but I am a very keen enthusiast that lives and breaths photography and would like to take you along for the ride and hope you enjoy the journey.

I am here to make connections with like minded people that are interested in growing their skills together and sharing their knowledge.


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