Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shed some light on Halloween

Design Credit to Tianna Bertolo

Happy Halloween! Between scaring the ba-gee-bees out of children and eating obscene amounts of candy I'm sure many of you have tried to capture a part of the Halloween experience in photos. One of the most long-standing Halloween traditions is pumpkin carving ( it also happens to be one of the messiest). Problem is- pumpkins don't last very long after being carved. With that in mind- I set out to photograph my amazing pumpkin carving girlfriend's masterpieces this year.

Read more after the jump!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever!

So- every once in a while I see something interesting and I have a photo-day (or afternoon) where I try to re-create or capture something similar. A while ago I saw a set where the photographer had captured fruit being dropped into water. Amazingly simple, yet crazy cool. On the tail-end of a grueling series of midterms I decided to treat my girlfriend to a bunch of strawberries and raspberries!

Of course she had no idea that I would be conscripting her help first!

Read more after the jump!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You know what would be fun? Smashing something! (Sorry Canon)

A several months back while searching Kijiji I found an inexpensive EF lens- the Canon EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6. This lens had previously been the kit lens for older Canon EOS film SLRs. The person I ended up buying this lens from had sold his old film SLR body and just wanted to get rid of the lens.

While researching about about the 35-80mm I came across an interesting thread about a macro hack. Apparently by removing the front focusing element the lens performed well as a macro lens. I saw some amazing pictures and decided to try it.

First of all. This is the version of the lens that I bought. I believe there were three versions of it- the importance I will explain later.

Canon EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6

Read more after the jump!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So. I have a confession to make. My name is Victor, and I like fish. No, I'm not talking about a nice fillet of salmon over a bed of rice smothered is a rich dill sauce (well I might be now). I'm talking about aquariums. I have/had and am close friends with many people who keep fish in aquariums. And you know what else? I love taking pictures of them.

Believe it or not, even though you don't have to worry about fish running away when they are in an aquarium like you do when shooting most wildlife- aquatic photography is pretty tricky! That is at first.

I love aquatic photography, and I would like to share one of my favourite shots I have captured. While at a conference in New Orleans this past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the New Orleans aquarium. While there I made an effort to take photos of as many creatures as I could to share with my aquatic-loving buddies back home. One of those critters is that seen below- The Pacific Sea Nettle.

This shot took a little bit of creativity because the displays were so poorly lit. So much so that to get a proper exposure I needed to either crank my ISO way up or drop my shutter speed to way below hand holdable (with aperture wide open). Neither option sat very well with me. So what other options did I have with such dismal lighting conditions? Add more light of course! I got out my trusty eBay wireless flash trigger/reciever and my speedlite flash and gave my girlfriend the 'ol puppy eyes. Of course she already knew what I was going to ask as soon as I opened my bag. She was going to be my high tech light stand! Flash at about 1/8 power into the side of the aquarium, aperture stopped down for sharpness and sync'd at my max sync speed of 1/200 sec to freeze motion, I was able to get several of this type of image very easily. The nice thing about hitting a Jelly with flash is light become so soft! The jelly acts like a sponge, lighting itself up like a softbox! These, believe it or not, are not touched very much in post. A little colour correction here and some cloning of debris in the water there and presto! Sharp jelly shots! 

So, the next time you are at a public aquarium- try taking out the flash!

Welcome to the Jungle!

Well, I suppose it's more of an ocean. That's how I felt when I first jumped into the photography scene- literally drowning in information.

Now, almost a year later- I am still learning and invite you to learn with me. Here in this little corner of the internet you will find little tricks I have found along the way. As a student I like to stay as budget oriented as possible (although I do spoil myself... too often) and some blog posts will be dedicated to different DIY projects and how they work for me. I will also mix it up with posts with shots that I have taken and try to walk though what I did.

Research and a thirst for learning has brought me to where I am today. I have learned so much from people who don't even know how much they've helped me and if I can pass on some of that knowledge here I will be thrilled!