Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shannon's Show

My friend Shannon had a show featuring her senior graphic arts project. Of course, I took a few photos. Here are some of my favorites. (You can see more photos from the show HERE on my flickr page.)
(click on any photo to see a larger version)
This is Shannon. 

Shannon's work. Complex and thought provoking.

This is Ryan. 

I have no idea who these people are but I just loved this shot. 

Congratulations Shannon on a great show!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Can you recommend a good portrait lens?

I'd recommend a "nifty 50".

Nearly all camera manufacturers offer an inexpensive, 50mm, 'fast' lens. Priced at less than $150, it offers a much wider aperture than your standard 'kit lens'. A wide aperture (1.4, 1.8, or 2.0) means you can get the subject in focus but the background will be nice blurry.   Shallow depth of field (DOF)... that's a good thing when you're making portraits!

Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

(If these links are broken OR if you want a different brand just google "nifty 50" plus your preferred lens manufacturer such as canon, nikon, olympus, sony, tameron, etc.)

It's all about the eyes! At f/1.8 or f/2 it's really easy to miss the focus because the depth of field is sooooo shallow.  It will take practice and you'll probably have some shots where the eyes are out of focus but the ears or nose is in focus. Keep practicing and you'll get the hang of it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Edge of the Storm

(click on photo to see a larger version)

Finally Spring

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
The first day of Spring and the first bit of green (March 20, 2010).

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 35mm

ISO 100  -  1/200  -  f/7.1

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunset Reflection

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
Reflection of the sun setting on the Guadalupe River.
Taken on March 24, 2010. See more of the beautiful light here and here.

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 16mm
ISO 100  -  1/250  -  f/9

Storm before sunset II

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
Another photo from last night.

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 35mm
ISO 100  - 1/80  -  f/5.6

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Storm before sunset

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
A fast moving storm passed over us this evening producing some of my favorite type of light. More images will follow.

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM @16mm
ISO 200  1/400  f/5.6

Monday, March 22, 2010

Duck on the Lake at Sunset

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
Duck on the Lake at Sunset
Ingram, Texas

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 35mm
ISO 100  -  1/160  -  f/6.3

Thursday, March 18, 2010

11th Street Cowboy Bar

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
11st Street Cowboy Bar
Bandera, Texas - "The Cowboy Capital of the World"

To see more of these photos go to my Flickr site

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 24mm
ISO 100  -  1/30  -  f/3.2

Applying Textures

Step 1
Open the base image:

Step 2
Open the texture image:

Step 3
Select the MOVE tool from the Tool Bar
(shortcut: press V)

Step 4 
Click on the texture and drag it on top of the base image.

Step 5
Resize the texture layer to fit:
Edit > Free Transform
(shortcut: Mac = Cmd T or PC = Ctrl T)
Click, hold, & drag the handles to resize
(Tip: If you can't see the handles you may need to zoom out. View > Zoom Out or use the shortcut:
Mac = Cmd plus the 'minus' key or PC = Ctrl plus the 'minus' key)
Click Enter/Return (or the check mark at the top) to apply the transformation

At this point your texture layer will be on top. The base image will not be visible.

Step 6
Change the Blend Mode on the texture layer.

Experiment with different Blend Modes to find one your like.
I frequently use the following Blend Modes: 
Multiply, Screen, Overlay, Soft Light, or Hard LIght

You may also want to adjust the Opacity of the texture layer.
(Opacity is located in the top of the Layers Palette, next to the Blend Modes)

Here's the before & after:

Where to find free textures online:

Shadowhouse Creations

Flickr group showcasing artwork/images utilizing Shadowhouse Creations textures. (Scroll down on the flickr group page for more free textures, tutorials, & more):

Lost & Taken:

If you have any questions or need help applying textures to your images please email me:
Vicki Gibson

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pedernales Falls State Park

Took a drive out to Pedernales Falls State Park to visit the bird blind and see how it was constructed. Here are a few of the birds we saw...

Lesser Goldfinches 
(Carduelis psaltria)

Not sure about this ID...  about the same size as a Lesser Goldfinch but I don't think it is a female LGF because of the white eye-ring.

Black-crested Titmouse
(Baeolophus atricristatus)

Northern Mockingbird
 (Mimus polyglottos)

Three House Finches (one red male, one orange male, & one female)
(Carpodacus mexicanus)

Dark-eyed Junco
(Junco hyemalis)
The park volunteer pointed this bird out to me and identified it.  Not an uncommon bird but the first one I've ever seen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I won!

I entered this photo of Fisher in the Hill Country Camera Club monthly contest. The theme this month was "Kids At Play" and mine was the winning entry! The photo will hang at the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center for the next month.

Taken on February 26, 2010 at 11:31.

Canon 5D
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.8
ISO 100,  f/1.8,  1/2000
Metering mode: Spot
(no flash)

Printed on Kodak Endura Glossy Professional Paper
Mounted on 2mm white styrene
Print size: 8 x 10-inches


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Winter No. 3

(click on the photo to see a larger version) 
Winter on the Guadalupe 
Study No. 3
Ingram, Texas

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Winter No. 2

(click on the photo to see a larger version)
Winter on the Guadalupe 
Study No. 2
Ingram, Texas

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee
Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Ingram, Texas

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Dendroica coronata
Ingram, Texas

A winter resident who is also sometimes called a 'Butter-butt' because of the single yellow patch on the rump. (Admittedly, these are crummy photos.)