Montgomery at Sunset

The week started with cold, wet weather. I hated it. I love the sun. I love the warmth that Ra brings to my being. The sun started to peek out here and there during the week. For the weekend I planned to head out with the camera.

I stood out in the parking area near and the side of the Devon Road near Montgomery Park. I shot a large number of bracketed images as the sun went down. I had planned on using my Raspberry Pi and gPhoto, but I couldn't get my setup to work. Instead, I used my MacBook with Sofortbild to control my Nikon D40 via the USB port. I wonder what cars passing by must have thought to watch a man holding a laptop connected to a camera on a tripod?

To get the right set of bracketed shots, I used an app on my photo to decide the range of exposures for Sofortbild. My process was this:

  • Set the D40 to aperture priority and take note of exposure reading.
  • Use EV Calc app to get the range of exposure needed to get either a +1/-1EV or +2/-2EV change between captures.
  • Set the D40 to manual mode.
  • Set Sofortbild to capture bracketed images.

The process would have been much easier using the gPhoto. As I detailed in that project, the D40 is set to aperture priority, and my script uses gPhoto to capture the first image for analysis. That image is then tossed away, and then five images are then captured at a different exposure.

It's been a while since I've done any HDR so my skills are a bit rusty. For this shot, I combined seven exposure in Photomatix Pro. I tweaked the image a bit in Photomatix and then some more after pulling it back into Adobe Lightroom 4. My son got to choose the final image.

Khürt Williams

Auld Lang Syne

It's the end of 2012 and the end of my photography Project 52. It seems like it's been a long time but in reality, 52 weeks is short. There were some weeks when I struggled to find something interesting -- from my perspective -- to photograph but I always found something. Fortunately, I knew other photographers doing their own Project 52 who helped provide motivation to get out and shoot. A 52-week photography project is much easier to complete than a 365-day photography project. I've tried those in the past but given my personal and professional schedule -- and my dislike of winter -- there were many days when I couldn't be bothered to pick up the camera. Having a whole week to find a subject that was interesting took the pressure off.

I learned a lot in 2012. The project has helped me practice my technique and compositional skills. I learned more about my Nikon D40 camera -- which I've had six years now -- and it's limitations. For HDR photograph having a camera capable of auto-bracketing is essential and a higher resolution and high ISO sensor helps maintain quality when cropping. I tried overcoming the limitations of my camera via my Raspberry Pi but I would love the convenience of a built-in feature. Finances permitting I would like a new camera body in 2013.

I also learned a lot about lighting. I've taken a few courses and workshops in the past but having my studio strobes has allowed me to experiment. I learn more from doing. My intention for 2013 is use those lights to start and grow my photography business. I prefer landscape and nature photography but it seems more customers are willing to pay for portraits.

So that's it for 2012. I'm looking forward to 2013 and whatever new adventures await. So as the song "Auld Lang Syne" suggest, the time has gone by. May the new times ahead bring incredible new adventures for you.

After the storm

I fell behind in posting my images for my Project 52. Time to catch up.

It’s the morning after Hurrican Sandy. The air is cold. I’ve never heard such quiet inside and outside the house. We are still without power. It seems the AT&T cell tower has gone offline. My phone has a no service sign. It’s still dark in the house, but I’m well-rested and can’t sleep anymore. Shaan is up as well. Time to make the coffee. Are we in the eye of the storm, or is it over?

A large tree has fallen across River Road ( near Blue Spring Road ). The tree has brought down the power lines. I’m not sure if these are the lines supplying power to our neighbourhood.