My wife has several flowers around the yard, and this week the first batch of lilies bloomed.  I decided to take some photos of them, but really wanted the background to be dark in relation to the flowers themselves.  To do this, I knew I had to use a flash to allow proper exposure on the flowers, but knock down the ambient exposure around them.  After several versions, I found I liked the backgrounds completely blacked out, as this allowed the bright color of the flowers to pop.

During the setup and shoot, I realized that I couldn’t get both flowers in focus in a single image, even if I closed down the aperture to its smallest at f/22.  To overcome this, I took 2 images, one of each flower manually focused.  Then I took both images into Photoshop, and layered in the 2nd flower, allowing both flowers to be in focus in the final image.

The setup was fairly simple, I setup my flash with a 24″ softbox 12″-18″ away from the flowers, mimicking the angle and direction of the setting sun.   Found my composition, then set the tripod up and attached the camera.  Manually focused using Live View zoomed in 10x and made the exposures.

Read details

Duluth Sunrise

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to Duluth for a few days of hiking and relaxation.  The weather was rain one day and nice the rest.  The second morning there I ran down to Canal Park for sunrise images.  It was a pretty quiet morning, very few people out around the lighthouse.  But the seagulls were everywhere, as usual.  A few of them rested on the streetlamps leading to the lighthouse, and I was able to silhouette them against the brightening sky.

Read details

Mini Badge

I was able to spend a little time today photographing some of the details on my car.  It is a Mini Cooper, and I have always liked the simplicity of the Mini Badge.  I quickly locked onto the composition, as I liked how the lines of the grill added some light and angled lines to the image.  My problems was with the flash.  After struggling with using direct flash in a stripbox, I decided to add the grid, and bounce it off the ceiling of the garage.  This gave a nice indirect, soft light source, but kept the light pattern a little thin, allowing it to fall off quickly.  It took me a few shots to get it set properly, but once it was set, I was happy with the final results.

Read details


A friend asked me if I was interested in photographing at rodeo in the local convention center last week.  While I normally don’t do much for action photography, I thought it would be interesting to try.  Below are a few images I have worked through.

I will say the 5D mark 2 did a fine job tracking the action, but I found it best to use AI Servo mode with only the center point.  It seemed to do a better job of tracking compared to using the other points.  This could be me just not familiar or comfortable enough using AI Servo and tracking action in the frame.

I did have to push to 3200 ISO, due to the f/4 limitation on the lens I was using.  My faster lenses would have helped push down the ISO, but would have been too short for the action.

Read details