New Camera

I bought a new camera!

I really didn’t want to, but I thought I would treat myself.

While editing some photos from a recent wedding, I noticed that some of the pictures that I took, the right half of the picture was out of focus while the left side was sharp.

After taking my camera into Henry’s to see my friend Mark, we found that it was my 28-70mm f2.8 lens. We put it into repair.

Then I started looking at a full size Nikon camera. After looking for a while, I found the Nikon D750. Only that there was a few other reason why I wanted it, the best reason was it was an affordable full sized FX sensor camera. I won’t into the details of the tech specs, but needless to say a 24 megapixel sensor, 6.5 frames per second and HD video to boot.

D750 24 120 front34l

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Setting up your camera, HDR Photography

For a relatively short and easy explanation on what HDR or High Dynamic Range Imaging is about, see the description at Wikipedia.org

But basically, it’s a way to get foreground details along with background details when the light will not allow for both at the same time.  In some instances, the sky will be washed out by overexposure or the foreground is underexposed.  Or vice versa. Continue reading

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Rule of Thirds

It has come to my attention that I have not put placed anything about photography lately.

Sorry, been too busy ranting about current subjects. 

Ok, shut the f*** up James, I’ll post something.

So, lets start off with a little bit of basic photography, Rule of Thirds.

For those of you that don’t know what the Rule of Thirds is.  Well, you’re in for a big surprise, which will increase your photography skills dramatically.

What is it?  Well, basically put, it’s a a rule of thumb that is used in the composition used in visual arts, such as Painting, Photography, and Design.

Dividing a picture into nine sections, like a grid, you’ll get the rule of thirds base.

ruleofthirds

Generally, this is an imaginary grid, but on some cameras, it is an option in the viewfinder.  I don’t know about Canon or Sony or any other inferior camera body.  (Just kidding, no not really… :-))

On Nikon DSLR cameras, it’s referred to as a ‘grid’.  You can find that in your set up options, probably under display.  Some of the point and shoot Nikons have it for the LiveView as well.

This grid will help you in dividing the picture view, as well help you level out your picture.

2010-08-03_19-12-28-3

In the image above, you’ll see a picture of a boat.  Yeah, it’s just a boat, on water…  Doesn’t tell you much does it.  Plus, you can see the island in the background, it isn’t level.  So, this doesn’t look that great.

2010-08-03_19-12-28

Lets re-take that picture.  Ok.   A bit better, you can now tell that the water is calm and it’s a good day to probably take a ride out on the water.  There’s more water, so you know you can go further on that ride too.  The sky is slightly cloudy, but at least you can see the sky and notice that it’s a decent day to go out for that boat ride.  But there’s still something wrong.  Wow, look at that horizon, it’s really out of whack now.  The angle certainly sticks out like a sore thumb.

Let’s try this again.

2010-08-03_19-12-28-2

Oh wow!  Definitely much better.  The earth doesn’t look like everything is slide right off to the left now.  You can see the sky and the wide open waters.

Here’s the shot with a grid on top of it for your comparison.

Before:

2010-08-03_19-12-28-3 third

After:

2010-08-03_19-12-28-2 - Copy third 

Better, isn’t it? 

Now, go out there and take some photos!

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GeoTagging

Hey again,

I said in the last post that I would explain about a process call GeoTagging.

This is the process of adding location data into the MetaData of a digital photograph.  Now why would you want to do that you ask?  Well, maybe you have some family and friends, following your photographic adventure while you’re on vacation.  Maybe you just like taking a look at other people’s photos at a specific location.  The reasons are multiple and plentiful.

So, first, let’s introduce you to a couple of places that support Geotagged photos.  Amongst the popular, there’s Flickr and Panoramio (which is a Google Earth based application).  Do a Google search on the internet and I’m sure you’ll find something.  I’m going to talk about Flickr, it’s what my friends and I mainly use.

Capture

Above you can see this is Flickr’s map view of the Ottawa, ON area.  The little pink dots, well, as you probably have guessed, those are geotagged photos.  Doesn’t look like a lot, but trust me there’s a lot more.   You’ll have to zoom in closer.  In the next picture you’ll see a few of my photos that have been geotagged in at Phiney’s Point.

Capture2

Click on one of the Pink dots and it’ll open up the photo.  Neat, huh?

So, how do you Geotag a photo?  Well, the most inexpensive way, but the least accurate is to manually enter the data into the metadata of you digital photograph.  In Flickr, it gives you the option of drag and dropping it onto the map.  I’m not going to get into any great detail on how to do that.  You can figure that out on your own.  I have faith in you.

Now, the more expensive way to do it.

There’s at least two ways of doing this.  Direct Imbedding (while on the camera) or using a computer, handheld GPS device and geotagging software.

Now this is what I would like to get for Geotagging.  Well, since I have Nikon camera, I would like to use the Nikon GP-1.  This device will cost you about $280 at Henry’s.   It will automatically write the longitude and latitude coordinates into the picture as you take them.

25396_gp-1-gps-unit_front Nikon GP-1 Geotagging GPS Unit

nikon-gp1-mounted-20081202-600Nikon D90 with the GP-1 attached.

The other way, which is way more affordable is software.

I use a program called Robogeo, now there are other software out that that does Geotagging, but I found that Robogeo is more intuitive and easier to use.  Also that it will geotag RAW (.NEF) photos as well.

You’ll need to walk around with a handheld GPS that is capable of keeping a tracklog.  Previously, I used a Garmin GPSMap60 CSx (Robogeo was able to automatically grab the tracklog from the 60), now I use a Garmin Colorado 300.  I have to transfer the tracklog to my computer as a GPX file and import it into Robogeo.  Hind sight, being twenty-twenty, I should’ve kept my 60.

garmin_gpsmap_60csx_handheldGarmin GPSMap60CSx

garmin-colorado-300-sat-navGarmin Colorado 300

Technically speaking, this is the more expensive way to go about Geotagging.  Since you have to spend out for a good hand held GPS.  But since I go geoaching, I already had the handheld GPS.

Once you have imported the tracklog into Robogeo, then you have to import the photos that you want Geotagged.  You can either have the coordinates stamped right on the picture or written into the metadata or both.  This is a long process, especially when you go out for a photowalk and take hundreds of pictures.  I choose to write the geotagged photos to a new directory on the computer, therefore I don’t alter the original photo.

Well, I hope this answers your questions on what is geotagging.  If you have the means, I suggest giving it a try.  Oh yeah, Robogeo has a demo version available on their site.  I think it watermarks your photos until you register for a full version.

Until next time folks.

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Scott Kelby’s Third Annual Worldwide Photowalk (2010)

G’day folks,

This being my first blog, I’m going to start by telling you what this blog will mostly connect with.  Mostly with  a couple of my biggest interests/hobbies.  Doesn’t everyone do that?

Currently, my hobbies include Geocaching and Photography.

It was fun day today.  I, went on Scott Kelby’s Third Annual Worldwide Photowalk today in Ottawa, ON, Canada with walk leader Dale Hogan of Dale Hogan Photography.

2010-07-24_17-32-54

A photowalk is meant to be a social gathering of people that have a common interest.  That would be a passion for photography.

People from all walks of life get together and have fun taking pictures.  Some people get a little help with some techniques, talk tech and just all around other stuff.  It’s meant to be fun.

We first started off on the front steps of Parliament hill, walked around the Parliament buildings, through Major’s Hill Park, through the Byward Market and ended up at the Exchange Pub and Restaurant to compare and comment over photos.

Some of the local Geocachers from Canada’s Capital Cachers, with a passion for photography, also joined in as well.  RossMTBiker, GeoNarcissa, GarminGal, Tanglebones and I had a great time out today.  Ross showed off his new 100-400 lens for his sacrilegious camera, <cough> Canon <cough><cough>. jk

I drooled over someone else’s 70-200 f2.8 VRII Nikkor lens.  What I wouldn’t do to get one of these.

When I got to Parliament Hill, I totally forgot that I left my handheld GPS on the coffee table at home.  I wasn’t going to be Geocaching, but I wanted to grab a track file of the route we took, so I could GeoTag the photos that I took.

GeoTagging is a process of placing a location (Latitude and Longitude coordinates) into the EXIF metadata of a digital photo.  I’ll explain in a post about this in the future.

Back to the Photowalk.  There’s something to be said about going out with a group of people and take pictures.  You get to see the whole world differently through another photographer’s eyes (or lens).  I got some great ideas for some future shots, made some new friends, traded e-mails and phone numbers.

Scott Kelby is well known author and photographer.  He does photography training at kelbytraining.com and does a number of webisodes pertaining to photography and photoshop.  My favourite to watch is DTown, which gives tips and tricks on all things to do with Digital Photography.   Yes, he’s primarily a Nikon camera shooter, but the show is geared to Nikon and Canon, if you own something like a Sony Alpha, the same principles apply, but you’ll have to find out how to get through your camera menu to get the same result.

Once a year he organizes, online, a Worldwide Photowalk, in which local veteran Photographers lead a group of 50 photographers on a walk around the city and do what photographers love to do.  Take pictures!

I, originally thought about leading a walk, but the requirements needed a seasoned photographer or previous experience.  This is where I contacted fellow Geocacher and Photographer, Dale Hogan.  He graciously lead last years photowalk and this years as well.

This year, 1,111 photowalks with 33,483 photowalkers were registered worldwide.

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