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July 13, 2010

Underwater with Jenna Crumley


Yes, there are young mermaids. They're just harder to find. This is 10-year-old Jenna Crumley and she can do most anything the older ones can do. She just has to be in bed earlier.

July 10, 2010

More Motion Blur with 8-stop Variable ND


It's a 40-minute run to the boatyard for a bottom cleaning session; time for more experimenting with the Singh-Ray 8-stop Variable ND filter.

The variable ND was dialed in to produce a 1-second shutter speed to capture the motion, but I had to hand-hold the camera and that introduced the shake on top of the motion blur. I'm part-way to the effect I want. Next session, the camera gets mounted on the FilmTools suction mount to reduce/eliminate the shake. Will also get the scene on video in both horizontal and vertical formats.

July 9, 2010

Uncle Al's Hot Dogs and the Variable ND


If I'm having lunch by myself, I'll frequently read a manual or experiment with some camera feature. So, today I have the Canon EOS 5D MkII with the Singh-Ray Variable 8-stop ND on the lens. With ISO 800 and f2.8 and some significant window light, I can still get down to 1/20 second shutter and create some motion blur.

That takes the hot dogs out of a literal sense into the abstract. Hey, probably as it should be. And, I love the "grain structure" of ISO 800.

P.S. My apologies to non-photogeeks; ND = Neutral Density (a filter that cuts light; this one also retains color fidelity)

July 8, 2010

Scam Photo Contests


Like Spam in the digital world, photographers are being invited to participate in Scam Photo Contests. They aren't really contests to recognize artistic abilities, they're schemes to acquire cheap or free photos for business use and their prey is the uneducated amateur photographer or one who will ignore all logic for a chance to be "published." The "rules" say all entries become the property of the organizers to use as they please. What absurdity.

One of the latest of the photo contest scammers is the organization I chose to be my scuba-certifiying agency, NAUI. My card goes back to them in tomorrow's mail.

July 6, 2010

Underwater with Brooke McMillan II


Brooke is one of those people who have an amazing underwater grace and elegance.

July 4, 2010

Bob Singh's Variable ND Filter (Geeky)


This is a little geeky; I apologize to the non-geeks.

There are times when I want to shoot slow shutter speeds on a bright day with an open aperture. I've stacked a bunch of Polarizer or ND (Neutral Density) filters, but it was inconvenient and gave a major vignette. Now, Bob Singh at Singh-Ray has a Variable ND filter that lets me dial in up to 8 stops of ND and still preserves color fidelity.

In this picture, I was able to use ISO 3200 at f4.5 to record the bright sunny outdoor and still get a slow 1/20 second shutter speed to blur the car. Good stuff.

The variable ND is also handy for shooting motion footage.

July 1, 2010

Underwater with Cat Doss


Catherine "Cat" Doss was here Monday and we made some pictures. First, there was some underwater tail-time; then, in a few pieces from James Coviello's NY collection. Danna Cullen styled both sessions.

Cat, an actress, lives in Los Angeles. She was on the right coast visiting. We were introduced by Scott Hensen, an independent filmaker based here.

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