The Butterfly Effect

Had a chance to go to a butterfly exhibit with my camera recently. There were literally thousands of them in this enclosure – it was really amazing. They would land on your shirt or your hat (you had to go through a special screening to check that no butterflies weren’t “hitchhiking” out of the enclosure on you)..

It was good fun trying to capture them up close, and try get them in focus. Here are a few results (click to make the pictures larger):


Lincoln’s Panorama

Spent most of Monday playing tourist in Washington, DC, so obviously headed down to the National Mall.

Used the opportunity to attempt my first panoramic photo. Wish I could say that I spent hours and hours painstakingly stitching these photos together, but the post-processing software these days include such impressive algorithms for this. All that is required is taking a handful of photos relatively close together (in this case, I believe I included about 7 images), and a good deal of time and processing power while your computer chugs away.

Just like on the penny!

It’s probably worth clicking on the image to get a larger view.

A first try at macro

Picked up a few cheap macro filters (think small magnifying glasses you can screw onto your lens), so wanted to try out some of the options for getting in extremely close to a subject. Am fairly impressed with the overall power of the filters, and that they didn’t do much degradation to image quality.

It is amazing how narrow the depth of field is with these up close. On this next one, it took a while to focus right in on specific grains of salt. When I add the largest filters, my auto-focus basically gives up, so all the focusing done here is manual. It’d be a real challenge if you were trying to focus perfectly on a very small subject. Will need to play with this more soon.



The other day, I stumbled across this girl’s website who does some very cool “levitation photography”. It’s tough to explain, but you should definitely check it out here. The concept is pretty simple. Use high shutter speeds, and try to capture yourself in a position where you could appear to be levitating (rather than just jumping, which is exactly what you’re doing).

I’m not sure I was totally successful in my first two attempts. I’ll see if I can’t improve on it in the future.

Floating? Not quite. Just like David Blaine

Self Portrait on Swings

Found a small playground in downtown SD near the convention center. Set up my tripod to attempt to put together a multiple exposure shot.

I didn’t get as long to work with this as I’d like, as a family showed up and wanted to use the swings (and was wondering what this guy was doing, with a camera, tripod, and standing on the swing set).

A "swinging" good time.

A brief description of how I put this together, after the jump.

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Dream – A Pentaptych

Stumbled across a statue garden in downtown SD this morning that had a set of statues as a tribute to the deaf community. Figured it would give me an opportunity to learn how to do a “collage” in post-processing. The most common form of this is a triptych (a series of three photographs or panels that can go together, but given the nature of the subject, I suppose I made it into a pentaptych).


The Moon

One of the first photos I took with my new camera. Set up my camera on a tripod on the balcony, and zoomed in as much as I could. It’s cropped down a little, and sharpened a little in post, but otherwise it’s exactly as it came out of the camera.

What surprised me what that you need to significantly under-expose compared to what the camera is suggesting for exposure – otherwise it will totally blow out the moon. This was taken wide open (f5.6), but at an exposure of just 1/4000.