Your camera and lens may be weather sealed but it really cannot take a downpour for too long or too often. If you don’t want to let the weather take away your shooting fun, or you have to shoot in any weather for a living, you need to get a rain cover to protect your gear.

I found there are many names for similar items : rain cover, rain cape, rain sleeve/rainsleeve, elements cover, camera cover, etc. Rain cover seems to be the most popular name. The prices also vary greatly, from $200+ to 7 bucks . The most expensive ones are made by AquaTech, less expensive ones by Tenba, OP/Tech, Lightware, Kata , and others. The choice should really depend on what you need based on your camera/lens combination and the type of shooting. The least expensive one may work for you just fine. However nothing should prevent you from making a fashion statement with the most expensive one if you can afford it.

For the budget-conscious types, here is the DIY rain cover tip: Find a clear plastic bag, cut a hole in the bag at an appropriate location, attach it to the lens hood using duct type.

Posted in Accessories on September 30th, 2007. 2 Comments.
Full Moon Exposure

It was full moon again the day before yesterday. I setup my Nikon D200 with Sigma 100-300 f/4 and a Sigma 1.4x TC on a tripod in my front yard and took some moon shots. One of the test I did was trying to find out if the “sunny f/16” rule can be used for the full moon exposure.

Since I was shooting at ISO200, the exposure should be 1/200s and f/16 according to the “sunny f/16” rule. However I didn’t want to shoot at f/16, so I opened up the aperture by two stops to f/8. Correspondingly, I increased the shutter speed by 2 stops from 1/200s to 1/800s. As shown in the picture above, the moon taken using the “sunny f/16” rule looks a little bit dark but it retains the details of the moon surface. I then shoot an 1EV/step bracketing series. 1/500s and f/9 is a third stop stop overexposure than the “sunny f/16”, 1/250s and f/9 is 1 and 1/3 stops overexposure, and 1/125s and f/9 is 2 and 1/3 stops overexposure. Which one is the perfect exposure? 1/125s and f/9 is definitely not. The details in the highlight was blown out. The final conclusion may be dependent on personal taste. It is probably somewhere between the “sunny f/16” and approximately 1 and 2/3 stops more exposure.

Just like all other “rules”, this test is only relevant to my specific test conducted at the specific time and location under the specific atmospheric conditions using my camera and lens. When it comes to your own full moon shooting, you may find that the perfect exposure is off more or less depending on various factors. For more detailed moon shooting tips, please read my previous post .

Posted in Tips and Techniques on September 28th, 2007. 2 Comments.

Yes, there are tips and tricks for photography. However being there at the right time is the best one of them. Enjoy this fantastic photo!

Posted in Popular Photos on September 26th, 2007. No Comments.

Digital media storage cases

Digital cameras use flash storage media cards of various types. Typically they come in small plastic packages that are difficult to manage in field and offer little protection to your valuable memory cards. Digital media storage cases will be a well made investment.

These card cases are typically constructed of high mechanical strength materials with anti-static rubber molded lining for maximum protection. There are many choices of different sizes and interior shapes for various digital media types. They are fairly inexpensive. Even the very fancy ones cost less than ~$20.

The picture above shows the case I use. One very useful tip is put the card with photos face down so you don’t need to figure out which one has been used later.

Posted in Accessories on September 25th, 2007. No Comments.

Cannot afford a real ring flash? Check out this DIY ultra-cheap diffuser.

Posted in Photography DIY on September 25th, 2007. No Comments.

It’s never too late to chase your dream.

This is the motto of 53 year old Terry Isaacson, who had a dramatic career change from a auto body mechanic to a fashion photographer. Read this inspiring Daily Herald story.

Posted in Inspiration on September 23rd, 2007. No Comments.
DailyAwards Logo

DailyAwards.com is a peer-judged photo contest site for photographers of all skill levels. Users are encouraged to post their best work and have it evaluated by others in the community.

The site has an innovative weighted voting and scoring system that promotes fair judging by putting more power into the hands of people who have proven records of voting and winning.

A good feature of the voting process is that images are randomly selected and displayed on the voting page for a user to cast a vote regardless of how long the image has been in the system, given that the user has not previously voted on the image and the image does not belong to that user. This feature ensures that every image has an equal chance of receiving a vote.

Those who post images also have the opportunity to promote their business. Winner’s image gets displayed on the home page for the duration of that contest. Winning an annual award means your image and a link to your site is displayed for an entire year.

Some features of the site may appear confusing at first, so be sure to read the about page, site overview, and FAQ section before signing up.

Posted in News on September 23rd, 2007. 2 Comments.
Multi-Flash Fun

Multi-Flash Fun by Green Destiny

 

Stroboscope photography refers to the technique of photographing a moving subject with camera’s shutter open to yield multiple stationary exposures of successive movement phases, with pulsed flash illumination or mechanical devices that intermittently allow the light passing into the camera.

Click to view large

Nikon D200/SB800

A good write-up of this technique is by Professor Andrew Davidhazy of Rochester Institute of Technology titled Introduction to Digital Stroboscopic Motion photography. The article also contains a link at bottom that links to a article on film-based stroboscopic photography and details of do-it-yourself stroboscopy using a mechanical stroboscope.
     
The most challenging part of this technique is to get the exposure right. If each single frame has correct exposure, the overlapping parts of the photo will most likely be overexposed. As shown in the example on the left, the moving finger received much less exposure compared to the stationary hand. Having the subject in a different position for each exposure is the key to avoid this problem.
Another tip is to use a dark background and make sure the pulsed flash contributes the most exposure not ambient light.

Details on how to setup stroboscopic photography using pulsed flash vary depending on the camera and flash makes and models. For users of Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight, you may find this article useful. Sigma EF-500 DG SUPER is compatible with many cameras and it also offers the multiple pulse flash capability.

Posted in Photography Lighting on September 23rd, 2007. No Comments.
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