Archive for the Photos Category

Some Canon S90 Sample Shots

Posted in Cameras, Miserere's Photos, Photos with tags , , , on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere

  

As some of you may have noticed, I bought a Canon S90 a couple of months ago and have been putting it through its paces during this time. While the reviews showed photos taken mostly for the purposes of testing the camera, the fact is I bought the S90 to take real photographs with.

Below I’m posting some “real” photos for your enjoyment (click for larger versions). If you would like to see more, you can check out my Canon S90 Gallery.

When I view these photos, varied in style as they are, I see a clear similarity between them: The only reason they exist is because I had the camera in my pocket. For only two of them did I also have my DSLR with me, but packed away in my backpack, whence it was unlikely to come out to take either of those two photos. So thanks to my new pocketcam, I have a handful of photos I wouldn’t otherwise have taken. No, the S90 isn’t perfect, but it’s proving to be extremely useful nonetheless, proving once again that, more often than not, the best camera is the one you have with you.

  

  

  

  

  

  

The Camera You Have With You: A White Squirrel

Posted in General, Miserere's Photos, Photos with tags , , on Saturday, December 5, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere

  

As a card-carrying member (#249, Pentax chapter) of the Worldwide Squirrel Shooters Association, I am always on the lookout for a good squirrel photo opportunity. In general, one needs a fast DSLR with a relatively long lens for this endeavour (a 70-300mm zoom works well), but sometimes a chance encounter with a rare squirrel will have you shooting with whatever camera you may have, because a lousy photo is better than no photo at all.

Such was the encounter I had today. I was driving home early in the morning; it was cold but sunny, and I was in a rush to drop the car off at home before walking to work (I know this sounds backwards, but that’s my life). I had just turned into my street when I saw a white, fuzzy flash of fur cross the road. I looked to the pavement on my left, and right there, looking back at me with beady, red eyes, was a white squirrel. A white squirrel! Possibly the most prized photograph a member of the WSSA can take! I stopped the car immediately.

With trembling hands I took my Canon S90 from my jacket pocket and fumbled to turn it on. Alas, I was too slow, and sensing that she was in danger of being photographed, the white squirrel had fled through a hole in a fence. But I was not giving up! I parked the car and walked stealthily towards the fence; I could hear some rustling and the occasional flash of white in the bushes behind the fence. When I was some 5m away a sudden frenzy of shaking branches and the sound of little feet scampering announced the white squirrel’s departure. All was silent.

I reached the fence and peered over into a large garden with trees in the far side. Nothing moved, and there was no trace of the white squirrel, only the sound of far away traffic. I waited for a minute or so, camera ready and zoomed out to the max, set to Av and auto ISO; I was not going to miss again. And then I saw it. Sitting motionless atop a fence post, it had been there all along, yet remained invisible to my eyes. Not anymore.

I pointed the camera at it and took a few shots (the above is a resized JPEG straight from the camera). I wasn’t close enough for a high quality portrait, but I knew I at least had evidence of my encounter. All of a sudden a regular squirrel appeared in the branches above the white squirrel and started shrieking. The white squirrel shrieked back and scurried up the tree, possibly to claim it as her own. I snapped a few shots while this happened, then sensing it would not be leaving its tree nor coming any closer, I left it to its own devices, my mission accomplished.

As I walked to work a few minutes later I whistled a tune while admiring my catch on the rear LCD screen; I will even admit I skipped a little. It was a cold but sunny morning—and I had just photographed a white squirrel.

The image below is a 100% crop from the first frame, with a little bit of sharpening added.

Random Pic of the Day

Posted in Miserere's Photos, Photos, Random Pic of the Day with tags , , on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere

 

Miami Beach, USA, October 25, 2009.

Miserere - Miami Beach, Florida

Photoshop’s Limitations with Panoramic Stitching: Use Hugin!

Posted in Miserere's Photos, Photos, Software links with tags , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere

  

On September 15th, 2009 I went to see the Boston Red Sox play the Los Angeles Angels in Fenway Park, Boston. I knew the game would start shortly after sunset and that my seat would look out towards the West, so I planned to take a panoramic photo of the stadium even if I did nothing else that day. The weather cooperated and even provided some clouds to increase the dramatic effect of the sky at sunset. I also snapped the photos when the sky’s brightness was similar to that of the field; this is a short window of opportunity that cannot be missed!

While I had processed the many photos I took during the game, including the 4 individual photos that I wanted to stitch, I hadn’t actually got around to creating the panorama. I tried doing that this evening using Photoshop’s Photomerge function, but it kept complaining about not being able to align one of the images. This had happened to me on a number of occasions with less important panoramas, and I had simply given up, but I was determined to get this panorama to work. Where can I find a good, free panorama stitching tool? I need look no further than this very blog! Peter Zack keeps a list of freeware image editing tools and software that I recommend everyone bookmark. It was there that I found Hugin, a piece of software that serves as a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to the industry standard panorama creating algorithm Panorama Tools, written by German mathematician Prof. Dr. H. Dersch .

I downloaded the latest version, which installed quickly on my Windows XP laptop, and in very little time I had my panorama. And no, it didn’t complain about any images not being aligned. I wasted a lot of time playing around with different perspectives and other parameters, but in the end the default and automatic settings gave the best result by far. Next time I know not to touch anything and simply press GO. Actually…next time (tomorrow) I will redo this panorama using TIFFs instead of JPEGs. I’m sure it will take longer due to the larger file sizes and bit depth, but the end result will be of higher quality.

But even with JPEGs, the panorama looks pretty damn good to me. Please, judge for yourselves (click for larger version). And if you have any favourite panorama tools, let me know in the comments section!

Miserere - Fenway Park panoramaFenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox

Street Photography in Boston

Posted in Miserere's Photos, Photos with tags , , , , on Sunday, October 11, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere

 

Bookended by kisses—no words, just pictures. Taken in and around Boston yesterday, Saturday October 10th, 2009.

 

Miserere - Love and Life on the Subway (Boston T)

 

Miserere - T Station in Cambridge

 

Miserere - Cafeteria in Boston's North End

 

Miserere - Boston's North End

 

Miserere - On the Boston T

 

Miserere - At the Holocaust Memorial in Boston

 

Miserere - A Kiss on Cross St, Boston

Photo Walk – Boston (Financial District) Edition 2009

Posted in General, Miserere's Photos, Photos with tags , , , on Sunday, July 19, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere

  

NEW: I’ve created a discussion thread for all Boston Photo Walks within the EtL Flickr Group. If you participated in this, or any other Boston Photo Walk, please consider adding some photos to the group and discussing your experiences.

  

Make sure you check out Peter Zack’s Photo Walk report from Prince Edward Island, Canada. Peter should be starting a separate discussion on the EtL Flickr group soon.

Since this was a photo walk, not a chat walk, I’ve decided to skip the prose and simply post some of the pictures I took. Nonetheless, I do want to thank Michele Peterson for organising the Boston – Financial District photo walk, and Gary Hoyt for leading it when Michele was unable to due to a last-minute emergency. Thanks also to all the nice, chatty and friendly photographers I met; it was a pleasure walking, talking and taking photos with (and of!) you. I hope to see many of you soon!

Somehow, my friend and I managed to get there early, well before the 9:00 meeting time. Seemed like a good time to take the first pic of the day.

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Photographers praying to Our Lady of Perpetual Construction that we may be spared of rain. (We were.)
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Gary takes the group photo. Hopefully I’ll get that photo at some point.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

And after the group photo, The Walk was officially started. Click on the photos for larger versions.

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Thanks to Greg for the idea on the following photo. Maybe he’ll post a link to his version and we can compare our different approaches.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Yes, she’s silver!
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

The end of the Photo Walk! Outside Boston’s Beer Works, a few weary photographers compare notes before going in for some well-deserved food and drink.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Not that the intrepid photographers were out of danger!
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Which is why some didn’t take their cameras off, even to eat.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

But not everyone had the same priorities.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

And that’s it from me! But if you still want to see more photos I took, they are all here.

Photo Walk – Charlottetown PEI Edition 2009

Posted in General, Peter Zack's Photos, Photos with tags , , , , on Sunday, July 19, 2009 by Peter Zack

by Peter Zack

Scott Kelby’s Photo Walk Charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Canada, edition. This article will be different than my usual submissions. Normally it’s written and proof read, changed and sometimes after reading it several times tossed in the bin. The others are posted on ETL.

Make sure you check back and go to the bottom of this page for any updates. There will be a few over the next ten days or so and then we’ll have a seperate article to highlight the winners.

This will be an evolving article to a certain degree. I expect Miserere’s will be similar. I’ve invited the 50 participants in our walk to submit photos and we’ll create a Flickr gallery of the Charlottetown ‘walkers’. I also hope the group sends in a few stories to add to the article.

Scott Kebly's World Wide Photo Walk
I liked the grunge look of this spot. A building that needed repair but someone has decided to make this stark looking area a summer sitting spot.

So our walk started on the Charlottetown waterfront at Confederation Landing Park near Peake’s Quay, a local hot spot on the weekends. I arrived around 6 AM, hoping to find some sleeping party-goer, passed out near the bar. Start the day off with a funny shot of last nights festivities. Alas nothing like that anywhere.

The leader of our group, Stephen DeRoches, –thank you Stephen for making this a fun event and having it go smooth as silk, sent out 3 possible meeting times earlier on with a note “I must admit, I was concerned scheduling early would mean nobody would go but at the moment, most are favoring earlier the better…” The first idea was to meet at 5:30 to start walking. Stephen didn’t need to be concerned, it was a ‘sell-out’ with 50 shooters. For me, being a wedding shooter, this was going to be a long day, as I had a wedding later that day and would get home at 11:00PM. So eventually a compromise was reached and we started at 6:30. People began arriving around 5:30 AM hoping to get a sunrise but alas, most of the east coast of North America was either covered in dark cloud or rain. We got the dark cloud and realized that this was going to be a high ISO shoot for at least the first hour.

Other than us milling around, we were alone. But we did attract the attention of the police. They cruised us repeatedly to see what was going on. Next time just roll the window down and ask. No bad intentions here.

So all the participants wandered in on time for 6:30, we reviewed the ‘rules’ and took a group shot. It’s tougher to get 50 photographers together for a group shot than any other type of group. We just like to hide behind our viewfinders. So shot taken, 6:30 hits and the group scatters in various directions along the general route. Most people shot in pairs or small groups. I could see some shooters just discussing gear and not really doing much shooting. Photographers are like golfers in this regard, there’s always a longer ball or straighter shooting club to discuss and buy. When it comes to being a gear head. I’m the worst offender. I think most of us took around 100+ shots. Mine was 167 for the 2 hours. Some deleted on the spot! There were some very high end cameras and some small point & shoot cameras. It was all good and I think from comments heard at the wrap up breakfast, everyone had fun.

I’ll add more in the coming days but will post this one shot from my camera that day. Actually 2 shots…
World Wide Photo Walk Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby's World Wide Photo Walk

These ladies were lovely. They heard about the photo walk and decided to get dressed in costume. They made the dresses themselves and just wanted to be available for us to shoot. They walked around some of the historic parts of Charlottetown and made themselves completely available to us. Wonderful people. I never got their names but hope they see this and send me an email. Thank you so much for being fun and getting dressed up.

More photos and stories to come. You can also follow the Twitter feed of sites across the planet that joined in. Twitter

Cheers and good shooting –Peter Zack


UPDATES

Update number 1: Stephen (our tireless leader) posted some shots and thoughts here.   For you Charllottetown walkers. you might spot yourself in one of his shots.