My wife and I came across these two fellas during a trip to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. It was a tad tricky to get pictures of them with a 50mm lens (well, 75mm if you take the crop sensor on my D200 into account) but thankfully they obliged our curiosity by creeping close enough for a photograph or two.
We got a new bike for our department at work, so Ryan decided to take it out for a spin. I figured it would be a good opportunity to try a few panning shots, and of the roughly 20 that we took I was only happy with this one (though another one was decent, but just a tad too blurry for my taste). Ryan was kind enough to oblige my curiosity and bike in circles around the student union plaza while I fiddled with my camera. This was on a clear day at roughly 3pm, so a neutral density filter would have been really handy but thankfully f/16 (as slow as my 50mm lens goes) was able to handle the job decently well.
I’m not sure exactly what type of tree this is, but it’s outside my building at work and the Arbor Day website tells me it’s a Dogwood. I took this picture about 9am when the sun was still relatively low on the horizon, creating more interesting shadows than at high noon. I liked the clear blue sky in the background too, which is harder to capture later in the day unless you’ve got an ND filter handy. Also, I didn’t do a single edit to this picture–not even a simple crop. Generally I like to touch up my photos (my tool of choice right now is Aperture) and it’s not that this photo is perfect by any means, but I was just pleased with how it turned out to begin with so I didn’t see the need to process it afterwards.
I took this photo for a contest at Oklahoma State University, with the theme of “Capturing Student Life.” Not sure if it will win or not, but even if it doesn’t I am fairly please with the results. This dude was kind enough to let me take his picture while doing a kickflip on his board, but was quick to apologize for what was apparently the poor execution of his maneuver. I thanked him and assured him that it was far, far better than anything I could hope to do on a skateboard.
When I went to submit the photo for the contest, I was told that doing tricks on campus is illegal. Thankfully nobody told this dude :)
I walk past this statue on the way to my building at work, and finally stopped to take a picture when it was all nice and lit up from the right side. This was more of an exercise in Photoshop than photography, but I’m fairly happy with how it turned out so I thought I’d share it nonetheless. This also demonstrates the value of shooting in RAW, and for the sake of comparison you can view a small JPG version of the original image here. The statue is somewhat overexposed on the original, but since a ton of data is still available to work with on overexposed RAW images, this wasn’t really a problem (DPS explains this phenomenon in their article about exposing to the right). Basically, for the final image I isolated various parts of the image using different layers, and applied some correcting to each one in order to get the final picture the way I wanted it. I also fixed up a few blemishes in the bricks, using Photoshop’s ever-so-useful Clone Stamp tool. If I were to do the same alterations from a JPG source image, it would be impossible to get the same amount of detail in the final image, which is RAW can be so useful. For example, in the original image the knee portion of the statue is nearly white. If I had shot this in JPG, all I could do would be to make the knee look a little less bright. But since it was a RAW image, there was a ton of data collected by the camera that I was able to pull out in Photoshop.
The 50mm lens is great at many things, but wildlife photography is not one of them*. Still, there can be times when it can capture a nice shot if you’ve got your eyes open and your camera handy. The other day we were in my backyard and this little fellow was scampering across the fence, just a few feet from my camera. I think he was trying to make a clean getaway with a berry from one of our bushes, but looks like I caught him in the act.
*unless you happen to be in a zoo, where you can get right up close and personal with said wildlife because they’re stuck in a cage. Or if your wildlife consists of something like a turtle that can’t exactly scamper off quickly when you approach. But if you’re going on a safari, better leave that 50mm lens at home.
A pair of boots outside the Conoco Philips Alumni Center on the Oklahoma State University campus. I wish I could have adjusted my perspective a bit and got the bricks on the right to be uniformly horizontal, but such is life. I may go back and re-shoot it sometime, but for now I’m relatively satisfied.