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All blog post images copyright by Edwardson Tan unless otherwise noted

Monday, December 31, 2012

Last moonrise of 2012

Caught sight of Luna rising as I was setting up to shoot the fireworks display last night. Very cloudy over the horizon as you can see. Waited till she popped out of the cover.

As always the dynamic range is simply too wide to capture both the subdued moonlight being transmitted through and reflected off the clouds and the very bright moon (in this case a waning gibbous). The difference between the "correct" exposure for the clouds and the moon is around 4 stops.

The image with the clouds exposed almost correctly was taken with a shutter speed of 2 sec. The moon shot which was taken just 20 seconds later with a speed of 1/5". Aperture and ISO were kept constant in both shots. I took the correctly exposed moon and then just layered it on top of the completely blown out moon.

I had shot with automatic white balance which turned the golden yellow moon quite white. So I brought back the golden color by adjusting tint and temperature of both clouds and the moon. Various parameters such as contrast, brightness and clarity, among others, were of course adjusted to suit my taste.

You 'll notice that it looks as if some of the clouds are passing behind the moon. Now wouldn't that be neat?

Sky paintings

New Year's Eve fireworks.

I had the Canon T3i with an EF 50mm f/1.8 II on a tripod. Manual exposure mode with shutter set to bulb. Shutter was actuated using a remote switch (cable release). I had the mirror lockup enabled, but I was also using Live View so when the latter was turned on the mirror was up by default and I could immediately open the shutter. When Live View was off I momentarily pressed the remote switch to lock the mirror up and then pressed it again and held it down to open the shutter. Focus was in manual mode and I prefocused on various buildings several hundred meters away.

Bulb 2", f/11, ISO 400

Bulb 2", f/11, ISO 400

Bulb 2", f/11, ISO 400

Bulb 2", f/11, ISO 400

Bulb 2", f/8, ISO 200

Coconut tree in the sky!

Bulb 2", f/8, ISO 100

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lighting a flower

1/125", f/8, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm II @55mm

Lit exclusively with a Yongnuo YN 560-II set to slave mode S2 and triggered with the Canon T3i's pop-up flash. A tracing paper a couple of inches from the flash head softened the output. Flash gun was held very close to the subject. The camera was very near the minimum focusing limit of 0.25m so even at f/8 the depth of field is pretty shallow.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tongues of fire

1/80", f/8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Canon T3i was mounted on a tripod. Focus was done manually using Live View mode and x10 digital zoom.
Subject was lighted using a wirelessly triggered flash (Yongnuo YN560 II) whose output was diffused with a piece of tracing paper held about two inches in front of the head. Had the flashgun within inches of the subject and so only had to set it to its minimum power of 1/128 (with flash zoom set to 105mm). Trigger was the Canon T3i's pop up flash.

I took three shots. The first had the flash on the left side. Then I tried lighting the subject from the top. The above image was lit from the bottom. It looks much better than the other two.

I cropped the image and deepened the shadows in post. And changed the hue of this red flower.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dusk clouds on fire

I pulled the exposure down and pushed the vibrance and contrast and bumped the saturation a bit to make the dusk more dramatic.

Plane heading northwest. Ergo, Northwest Airlines? :)
20", f/5.6, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm II@18mm
20", f/5.6, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm II @18mm

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Upscale sculptures

This shop had halogen spotlights all over the place so it was a real pain minimizing the glare and preventing those lamps from getting in the shot. The large number of specular highlights was unavoidable. Couldn't stop down the aperture further than I did because 1. there wasn't enough illumination (I was already at ISO 800 and didn't want to go higher) and so camera shake would completely ruin the shots, and 2. I wanted a shallow depth of field to blow the cluttered background as out of focus as possible to separate the subject from it.

I shot the image below a couple of times. With the focus on the charioteer the horses were very out of focus. I thought this shot's better. Even the wheel is very close to being tack sharp.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reflect upon this

Twin towers at twilight

Went back and reshot the towers to see if I can capture that deep blue sky during dusk. I was remotely pressing the shutter (using a Canon RS-60E3 China-made substitute) once every half minute or so (because I was waiting for the lights to turn into a combo I like). Although to my eyes the sky didn't seem to be changing much in color, as you can see here it was all over the place! And to think these shots were taken within less than two minutes. All images: 1", f/10, ISO 200, EF 75-300 III @180mm.

Magenta blooms

Canon EOS T3i, 0.3", f/5.6, ISO 800, EF-S 18-55mm II @18mm, cropped


Canon EOS T3i, 0.3", f/16, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8, cropped

Friday, December 14, 2012

Twin towers

The LED lights on these buildings change every few seconds. Just a sampling of the various combinations of colors. I made sure the lights weren't overexposed. Didn't care much for how dark the building would become as a result of getting the colored lights properly exposed.

Reflections of the lights from twin towers can be seen on the glass facade of the building on the left

About an hour or so later I heard fireworks in the distance. Quickly set up the tripod and camera once more. But unfortunately they had already turned off the lights on the towers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tis the season for bokeh

Got on my bike and pedaled for a couple of kilometer to shoot various Christmas lights which were adorning the shrubs outside homes. I had a very specific goal in mind in last night's shoot: bokeh. Lots of out of focus lights. Lots of mouth-watering orbs of light. To get the effect I took only my fastest (and cheapest) lens: a 50mm f/1.8. I shot handheld in shutter priority and manual. Left the metering at evaluative.

The owners of this house just balled up some of the lights to make, well, hanging balls of light.

In this house, besides Santa and his elves, they believe in this legend too.

Santa was atop a concrete post on one side of the gate and on the other was ....

Mrs. Claus!

I opened up the aperture to its maximum, turned the focus ring to its minimum focusing distance, and then just went for bokeh bokeh bokeh!

Sometimes you can easily tell when someone really loves Christmas. Wonder how much decors they have inside their home. Wonder how much they spent.

I never expected the image below to come out this way. The subject is a length of rope light that has been shaped so that it forms the outline of a 5-pointed star. These stars were high up on the streetlamps. I took a picture of one with the focus set to manual and turned all the way to focus at the closest distance. Aperture was set to the max of f/1.8. So this is a very out of focus star outline which then formed this kind of star-pentagon-petal image. Most intriguing!