One from the archives taken last summer of a co-worker. Although I liked the lighting, the background was a plain wall without even texture to provide minimal interest. So I manually added some texture myself to see if I could make the general portrait more interesting, tell more of a story, without distracting from the subject.
It’s the end of an era for this young man, anyway. With five seconds on the clock and a tie game – the final game of the regular season – he took the inbounds pass, drove all the way down court, and executed a perfect layup as the buzzer sounded. Avoiding the charge, the ball rolled tantalizingly around the rim, bouncing precariously, before dropping through the net.
Well done young man. I’m proud to know you, and so happy I was there to get the shot. This one’s for you.
A swim meet was my latest self-imposed challenge for me and my intrepid 70D. I discovered a number of interesting things. This particular pool is terribly lit and I had to push the ISO way beyond my normal comfort level in order to get a fast enough shutter speed. I thought about trying to blur the action, but in the end decided to leave that challenge for another day. I also discovered to make sure your equipment is warm before bringing it into such a building. Although thankfully this wasn’t an issue for any of my electronics, when I brought my tripod in from 20 degrees the condensation on it was immediate and impressive. My camera would have been useless and possibly irreversibly damaged had I attempted to use it with the same condensation.
This pool is a small room – just 4 lanes and about 6 feet of walkway around the pool’s edge. Crowded with two swim teams and cheering parents and siblings, it was not easy to find a place to get a good shot. Fortunately the officials were not too particular about where I wandered as long as I wasn’t in the way of the competitors.
This photo is one of my best from the afternoon. It demonstrates the competition, the effort, the muscle tone, and the texture of the water nicely. the colors are nice too. More grainy than I would have liked, but it was impossible to light the scene well under the circumstances.
The good part about taking photos of newborns is that it’s pretty much impossible to not get a good one. Babies are insufferably cute even when they’re crying (though I imagine it’s much more cute in a still photograph than in real life at two in the morning for the 15th night in a row).
When I was given my first newborn assignment, I wanted to to capture not just the child, but the sense of a loving family. When Dad starting feeding their girl to help stop her from fussing for the camera, and Mom was there to stroke her head, I quickly turned the light around and got this lovely closeup.
I took what is for me a pretty big chance recently. I came home with a Microsoft Surface. This was a fairly spontaneous decision. I had been thinking about it for awhile, but there wasn’t much time between deciding to pull the trigger and pulling the trigger.
It was a big chance for me because I wasn’t looking at this as a backup PC or a toy tablet. I was looking for something that would become my primary computing resource. That meant, first and foremost, it has to run Lightroom and Photoshop well. I’d read a lot of reviews that claimed, understandably, that the screen size, if for no other reason, limited this device’s ability to be a serious photo editor.
I do have complaints about the device, but they are almost exclusively to do with Windows 8.1 rather than the device itself. Things behave oddly on the second monitor (though the video is driven quickly and well). Just some odd things like tabs on Google Chrome stack up on top of each other on the second monitor. Things are rendered somewhat differently between the two screens (so, for instance, even though both the Surface and the monitor are at 1920×1080 resolution, windows take up more space on the Surface than the monitor).
But image rendering itself is fantastic. I don’t have specific metrics to compare with my 5 year old tower, but it feels about 10 or 15 times faster. The color accuracy is fantastic right out of the box. And the screen size is perfectly adequate for serious photo editing. Yes, you’ll spend a few more moments zooming in and out for detail work, but that’s more than made up for – in my case – by the vastly increased speed of everything else. I used to be able to plan on 30 minutes to edit a single photo. Now I can probably manage it in 10. (Partly, I like to think, it’s because I’m getting better at creating the photo I want in the camera, rather than the computer.)
I have to say the Surface has been a joy to use, though I’ll admit that it requires a lot of patience and Google searches to get to the joy. Initially it is a very frustrating operating system, because nothing is obvious or intuitive. Within the first couple of hours I was ready to pack it up and return it for a full refund (I actually had everything back in the box, in fact). But the patience paid off, and while there are still some things I might wish worked differently, the ability to work on photos any time any where, and the added attraction of always having a portfolio with me on a stunning screen, makes all the difference to me.
If you’ve already got a mobile, powerful photo editing workhorse, stay with what you’ve got. But if you are looking for speed and a beautiful display, along with the ultimate in portability, you could do a lot worse than the Surface.
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