Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to Create Realistic images with HDR.

Its been a few weeks since i have posted something but with the weather here in Japan sucking. it has given me time to try and show you all what i do. I know its a fast edit but its just the start of what am looking to do. Please take the 12 mins and take a look.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review of the Golla GARNET Pro Sling Camera Bag.

While it was time for a new bag and this time i was thinking of a bag that could carry a lot of camera gear and this time not be a back pack or a messenger bag style but it had to look cool and must of all....Hold a Tripod.  So after looking all over the internet at sites like B&H and Adorama and my search was coming up hopeless. Till one of the ads that was running on the side of the webpage i was on had the Golla Garnet and i thought to my self "that it looks really cool". So i clicked it and off i was sent off to some Japan camera store called yodobashi camera. After looking at it and searching for a few more places i was able to find it for half price at best buy of all places. I placed that puppy in my cart and checked out!

So i have this brand new camera sling bag that looks military on the outside and bright red on the inside. If you are wanting something that stands out, This is the bag for you!

So i have been using this bag for a few months now and i have fallen in love with this thing. its my go to bag when ever i need to take my gear out and not worry about a large camera bag. its can easily be brought to the front of your body with out taking off the bag and grab what ever gear you need..... FAST AND EASY!! all with out missing a beat. The large padded strap has a nice rugged buckle that you can un clip to remove or put on the back with out raising the strap over the head(very nice to have this feature in a tight area like a subway car or a restaurant). The bag also has a nice handle on the top of the bag that feel good in the hand. Over all this bag fits every aspect of what i was looking for!

Top down view.

Side view, you can see the 2 front pockets and the main compartment.

This bag is made out of a strong durable material and padded structure protect your equipment in any situation that you get your self into. This bag has 4 different pockets in total that fit your every day gear. 2 smaller ones that face away from the back of the body for spare items like battery's and spare cards. I use these for items like a GoPro for Time-lapse along with spare travel good that i might need. 1 Ipad pocket that will fit your ipad with a medium size. That brings us to the main compartment for your camera gear, This compartment is sporting a bright red color and comes with 3 dividers for your ever changing gear setup and a zipper net pocket under flap so you can store small items like battery's and cards and such. This huge open compartment can easily fix a Canon 5Dm3 with a 70-200 F2.8 attached and have space for a few other lenses in this main compartment. You would still have the outer 2 pockets and the Ipad pocket for other gear as needed. But the biggest selling point for this bag was the 2 straps for the Tripod holder on the side that most sling bags DO NOT have.

the top view with the main compartment open. you can see the flap with the zipper pocket, and the 3 dividers that i arrange to manage my gear.

My IPad 2 with a hard case fits in the back sleeve pocket. some times i even forget i have it in there.
Just to show you how much space you really have, here is the 70-200 F2.8 with lens hood. I can still fit 2 more lens and a body and a flash in the main compartment.
I normally have this bag set up to carry a Canon 5Dm3 with a 17-40, and use the dividers to create a lower section where i store a 24-105 F4 and a 50 F1.4 for spare lenses with just enough space to have a filter set on the very bottom.  This is a very fast and easy to access setup that i use 90% of the time i use this bag.  I can change to any lens and still fit the new camera setup back into the camera compartment and not have to change any of the dividers to fix this new set up.  In the front pockets i have a GoPro Hero3 that i do Time-lapse with and some other day to day photography items. If i was going out for a night outing, i would take my Manfrotto Tripod. So in total i would have a Camera, 3 lenses, filters and remote timers, cards and battery's, Gopro and a tripod all in a small bag...... DING! that is a winner!!!!!!!
Me with the camera bag on. very easy to use. just sling it to the front to grab any gear.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How to get Long Exposure Light trails In a HDR image.

        One of my Favorite places to shoot and just explore is the streets of Shibuya. So last week i wanted to re-create one of my images that i took earlier this year but this time i wanted to have the traffic coming towards me with long light trails coming towards me.  So i started to look around the area and looking on 500PX i found a few images that had the look i was trying to get. However i wanted to do a HDR of it and put my little spin on it. So i had a place and a plan on how to go after this new shot i have been thinking of. Here is the image (pictured below) that i was wanting to re-create that i did after i seen Trey Ratcliff image.
My first shot of the intersection.

So i took the local train to Shibuya station and went to the spot that i had picked out earlier that week. It was a little median that divided the lanes of traffic heading north and south. So i went to the spot and started to set up my gear and looking for the best composition that would show off the local area and get the light trails of the traffic that i was looking to capture.  I set up my Canon 5D Mark III with my 17-40 F4L on my Manfrotto 293A4 tripod. I really enjoy this set up and how handle and what i put it through.  I started to use a remote timer over the last few weeks to reduce camera moment and get that sharper image i look for and it working just fine. Its the Neewer LCD Timer Shutter Release Remote Control.  Its a fraction of the price of the name brand Cannon remote, but it works just the same as the high end one. The only down side is that there is no ON/OFF switch so you have to remove a battery to keep it from draining the battery when not in uses.  Here is a video of what the whole set up looks like in action.

Now that we have seen the whole set up to capture the images that i needed. I set up the Camera to do a set of 5 exposures to try and capture all the dynamic range of light in this area.
Final Image

6 images that i used.
I shot a -2 / -1 / 0 / +1 / +2  for 5 shots plus 1 shot at -4 for just the highlights of the signs.  But that hard part of this was just trying to time it just right for the light trails i was looking for since i  was working with shutter speeds of 1 secs or more.  I think it took about 7 or 8 attempts to get the buses and the streaks in the right part of the frame. I wanted to get the light trails very close to me in the frame but still leading back towards the intersection.  Best thing i have learned from doing this kind of stuff is just being patient and good things will come to you. Cause right when i was about to give up, I had 2 buses go by at the same time! how cool is that!!!!
     So now i have the images with the light trails that i been wanting to capture. All i have to do now is create the image that i have been wanting to create.  I use Photomatix/Lightroom 5/Photoshop CS6/ and NIK plugins. I know that its a lot of software use to create one final image but every single one has something that i need from it. I could make a very long video just on editing but i will leave that for another day. till then, get out there and explore!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to shoot through a window and not get a reflection!

Sorry its been some time since i last posted something. I have been working a lot and trying to get out and do something, However the rainy season is upon us here in japan. SO its a lot of staying indoors and out of the rain. I was able to get away from work and went out with my wife for some amazing dinner in Korean town in Tokyo and on the way back we went through Shinjuku. I have been seeing this shoot that i been wanting to get for a very long time but i could not find the right spot for it. This time i went and found a "good" location for it. Needless to say that it was behind some dirty glass. So i did my little trick that is so very simple it can be done in 3-4 steps.

Step 1: Take the lens hood off of the camera.

Step 2: place lens against glass.

Step 3A: if not does not sit flat against glass, place some clothing that are dark over camera and lens so it removes the rest of the light. 

Step 3B: take photo.

So very simple!!! Step 3A can be a pain but if you got a jacket, just place it over your head and your camera and place your hands over the whole set up to kinda shield the camera away from any lights. this should do the trick.

well here is a little video on how i was able to capture this image.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to create a TimeLapse with a GoPro and a Egg Timer.

A while ago i picked up a GoPro Hero 3 black edition just for the pure reason that every one had one. I found that it took some amazing video that gave me a different view that i could not have gotten from a large DSLR. So as a photographer at heart i played with it taking still images.  It takes images at 4,000x3,000 pixels (12 Megapixels) and does it just fine so this camera and lens set up its not that bad to start with.
     First things first, how to set up the camera. You go to the time lapse setting on your Gopro. Once you get on that menu it will ask you what setting you want the GoPro to take a image, what it mean is the interval on how often it will take a image.  Right now it will take a image every 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds.  here is a little cheat sheet that i use when i want to find out how often i need to fire the camera.

1 second
Moving traffic, Fast moving clouds Drivelapses

1 – 3 seconds Sunsets, Sunrises, Slower moving clouds, Crowds, Moon and sun near horizon (or telephoto) Things photographed with a telephoto
15 – 30 seconds Moving shadows, Sun across sky (no clouds) (wide) Stars (15 – 60 seconds)
Longer Fast growing plants (ex vines) (90 – 120 seconds) Construction projects (5min – 15min)

Once you select your time interval that you want. set the camera down and wait. You can also place the GoPro on a egg timer(something that move very even and slow) to create a moving time lapse.  So now you let your camera shoot for about 30 mins and you have all these files on the GoPro and you now need to get them into a video.  This video below will show you how to do it, Please watch and enjoy!


Big things to take away from this is that you need to make it smooth.  If you have done everything right and take the images at the wrong interval it will end up being choppy and that is not very pleasant to the eye.  So i try and keep this little set up in my bag so when i out taking still images with my main camera like this one.  I can still create something on the side that requires just me starting and stopping it.

So i hope you enjoyed this and i hope that you will go out and try this sometime. At the end of the day i love to have as much media that i can have from one location. Even if it never sees the light of day, i still have it for a later day to enjoy or even edit when i found a new way to edit things.  I leave you all with this video that i took with a GoPro and a Iphone 5s.